Writing on behalf of an animal rights group, an Irvine woman has asked that city to install a memorial sign honoring the hundreds of fish killed in a traffic crash while being taken to Irvine Ranch Market.
Dina Kourda, a volunteer with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, sent a letter urging the city's street maintenance superintendent to place a sign at the crash site at Walnut and Yale avenues. Designed to remind big-rig operators of their responsibility, it would read: "In memory of hundreds of fish who suffered and died at this spot."
The letter said, "Although such signs are traditionally reserved for human fatalities, I hope you'll make an exception because of the enormous suffering involved in this case." No word on whether PETA also wants a candlelight vigil for the deceased sea creatures.
The crash occurred Oct. 11 when a truck carrying 1,600 pounds of live saltwater bass crashed with two other vehicles.
"Research tells us that fish use tools, tell time, sing and have impressive long-term memories and complex social structures," the letter said. "Yet fish used for food are routinely crushed, impaled, cut open and gutted, all while still conscious. Sparing them from being tossed from a speeding truck and slowly dying from injuries and suffocation seems the least that we can do."
Craig Reem, a spokesman for the city of Irvine, told the Los Angeles Times he was not familiar with the city's procedure for dealing with such a request.
"I do think it's fair to say we have no plans to erect a memorial," he said.
-- City News Service