Red Herring Caught in Alberta Oil Sands’ Athabasca River

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FT. MCMURRAY – Scientists say that a red herring not naturally found in Alberta was caught in the cold Athabasca River down-stream from the Alberta oil sands.

The positive identification of the red herring led environmentalists to blame the appearance of the “genetic fish freak” on the nearby oil sands, and had oil industry spokespeople downplaying the discovery as the natural migration of a “good eatin’ fish” into the river.

“This proves that tar sands oil is linked to the recent increase in two-headed puppies and glacier melting,” said Dr. David Schindler, University of Alberta ecologist and outspoken critic of petroleum.

Canadian Fisheries and Oceans scientists were awaiting clearance from Harper government media handlers to comment, but one biologist confirmed off the record that the catch was in fact a red herring, saying at first they thought it might just be a “very ugly trout.”

Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) VP of Communications Janet Annesley told media in Ft. McMurray that fish from lakes and rivers near the oil sands are delicious and are regularly tested, pointing out that the lab technicians “cook ’em up in crushed Ritz crackers and eat ’em afterwards.”

“I was raised on red herrings,” she said in an intereview to be televised on CBC’s The Nature of Things. “Grilled, fritter-battered, heck we even ate red herring raw…Prairie Sushi.”

The discovery of a red herring comes on the heels of comments from Dr. Schindler and Maude Barlow of The Blue Planet Project that fish caught recently near the oil sands have “multiple tails, buggy eyes, and unattractively crooked teeth.”

“I barbecued a delicious Alberta cod caught in the Athabasca just last week,” said Alberta Energy Minister Ken Hughes. “These red herrings are safe to swallow.”

A survey conducted last month by Political Trends for CBC shows that most Canadians don’t know who to believe on environmental issues but a red herring is hard to dispute.

William Yum
Reporting for The Lapine

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