Oliver swam for miles and miles, looking for just a little bite of food.
It was hard, as a fish, to be anything other than pescatarian. The consumption of other fish was expected. Not of your own kind, of course – a herring shouldn’t eat another herring – but other creatures, like zooplankton, or even minnows were expected.
Oliver had traveled some length of the sea. He narrowly avoided the trawling nets, saw the devastation they left behind. He wasn’t inclined to add to the quick death of his fellow ocean-goers, so had, with some reluctance, taken up a kelpatarian lifestyle. Sure, it meant he was lumped in with the hippy-types, all those loopy-headed angel-fish, not to mention the ones off the California coast. But it was right, he thought. A few less died, a slightly longer existence for fish in general, hopefully long enough for the humans to get their shit together.
Now, though, the kelp was gone – a trawler, of course – and Oliver was hungry. His belly empty, the sea around him empty, a desert under water. A few smaller critters skittered away from him, but he wasn’t interested. Kelp. Only kelp. Until the hunger got worse, at least.
Finally Oliver reached the end of the trawled area. A curtain of plants, waving in the water, and he could see, in the distance, schools swimming.
As Oliver swam forward for a bite, a cod burst through the kelp and grabbed him. His last thought, before being crushed in the cod’s jaws, was that he had done right; he had helped his kind continue, if only briefly.