Japan: penguins refuse cheap fish

Japan: Penguins refuse cheap fish


Penguins and otters at a Japanese aquarium are picky eaters: They refuse the cheaper fish their keepers have recently been serving them because of soaring prices, forcing the site to cut corners . 

Some penguins are very categorical. “They first take (the new fish, editor's note) in their beak, but then they decide that they don't like it and reject it,” Hiroki Shimamoto, the aquarium manager, told AFP on Wednesday. from Hakone (southwest of Tokyo).

Rather than a matter of taste, Mr. Shimamoto assumes that the penguins are perplexed by the size of the new fish, which are larger than the old ones: “ They sense that there is something wrong,” he thinks.

The otters are even more picky, having unanimously refused the cheaper fish, he clarified.

Prices for horse mackerel, the fish the aquarium used to serve its penguins and otters, jumped 20-30% from last year, due to lower catches.

The aquarium is still buying some horse mackerel, but has no plans to fully revert to its old menu until prices drop, Shimamoto said.


Penguins and otters will therefore develop to take their troubles patiently.