May 23, 2024
Alewives out, Alepartners in: embracing inclusivity underwater.

CANAAN, MAINE — In a bold move that’s making waves across the coastline, Maine has officially rebranded its famed fish, the alewife, to the more gender-neutral ‘alepartner’. This decision, announced by the Maine Department of Marine Resources, marks a significant shift in the state’s approach to aquatic nomenclature and has stirred up a sea of reactions from locals and environmentalists alike.

“The term ‘alewife’ has served us well for centuries,” explained Marine Biologist Sandy Shoal, “but in our progressive pursuit, we recognize the need for a more inclusive term. Hence, ‘alepartner’ – a companion in our rivers, irrespective of gender.”

The change comes after a recent study by the University of Maine revealed that only a fraction of Maine’s population could correctly identify an alewife, but nearly everyone expressed support for more inclusive language. “It’s a win-win,” stated Professor Gill Finn. “Most people don’t know what an alewife is, but everyone understands the importance of being a good partner.”

Local fishermen, err, fisherpeople, umm, fishing professionals have had mixed reactions. Old-timer Bob ‘Bait Bucket’ McHook was initially puzzled. “Alepartner? Sounds like a dance partner who brings the beer,” he chuckled. “But if it helps the fish feel more included, I’m all for it.”

The rebranding initiative includes updating signage at local streams and educational materials in schools. “It’s important that the next generation grows up knowing that even fish have evolved beyond traditional gender roles,” added Shoal.

The move has inspired other states to reconsider their fish names. Rumors are swirling about Rhode Island contemplating renaming ‘Bluefish’ to ‘Friendfish’ and Vermont considering ‘Rainbow Significant Others’ in place of ‘Rainbow Trout’.

Local activist groups have lauded Maine’s decision. “Today, the alewives; tomorrow, the world!” exclaimed a spokesperson for Fish Are Friends, Not Food, And Also Partners.

Meanwhile, in Maine’s capital, officials are already bracing for the next linguistic challenge. “We’re getting requests to rename ‘Sugarloaf Mountain’,” disclosed an anonymous source from the Governor’s office. “Apparently, ‘Sweet Peak’ has a more inclusive ring to it.”

As Maine navigates these uncharted waters, the alepartner swims on, blissfully unaware of its newfound role at the forefront of aquatic gender neutrality. The state’s residents look forward to seeing what other linguistic changes might emerge from the depths of Maine’s progressive tide.

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