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11/22/2005

Bird Flu Scare Hurts Tuna Maker


(New York) Stock in the parent company of seafood maker Chicken of the Sea fell 37% yesterday amid news that that avian bird flu was detected in Canada.

Longtime spokesman Charley Tuna expressed unhappiness with the market raction.

"We just TASTE like chicken," he said. "Tuna live in the ocean, you nimrods. We can no more catch avian flu than we can smallpox."

The bird flu strain found in Chilliwack, BC, last week is not the H5N1 strain that has world health experts worried about a global pandemic, after at least 65 people died in Asia since 2003.

"I am beginning to regret ever signing on with this company," said Tuna, wiping kelp off his glasses. "I am a paraiah in the maritime community, and I don't have lungs, so my land opportunities are pretty slim."

Chicken of the Sea is one of the oldest seafood companies in the United States. Tri-Marine International and Edmund Gann sold their 50 percent interest in Chicken of the Sea to Thai Union International, Inc. in 2000.

Tuna remains doubtful that the seafood company will bounce back.

"Look at Jack-in-the-Box: can you honestly say that you can think of that company without thinking of dead children?" he asked. "The Starkist marketing people are probably already coming up with a new campaign with pigs or cows to get rid of the "chicken" association. I am pretty much screwed as a spokesman."

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