algae floating in water

Your Macerating Toilet Experts Talk About Why Fish Love Seaweeds

Raritan Engineering your macerating toilet professionals would like to share with you these topics we thought would be of interest to you this month regarding the secret to successful fishing spots.

Your macerating toilet specialists discuss how on a summer morning when the blue, glassy waters 10 miles off Port St. Lucie, Florida, appeared devoid of life, a distant patch of golden-brown sargassum loomed enticingly on the horizon.

Anglers might call them weeds, but these are actually species of marine algae, with different types producing different game fish, depending on where you’re fishing. In the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean, the main species are Sargassum natans and Sargassum fluitans, both of which are holopelagic, which means they grow free-floating in the ocean and never attach to the seafloor during their life cycles.

That’s not to say that weeds are the only form of structure under which offshore life collects. Debris such as logs, palm fronds, wooden pallets, ladders and even the floating carcasses of cetaceans and pinnipeds can attract a chain of marine life. 

What’s the Attraction to Weeds?

Avid offshore anglers know almost ­instinctively that weeds can hold fish, but they might not know exactly what actually attracts fish to these spots. 

Much of the sargassum in the Gulf of Mexico and along the Eastern Seaboard originates in the ever-shifting and borderless Sargasso Sea, an aggregation of sargassum spanning approximately 1.4 million square miles in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean. 

Mahi Attracted to Sargassum

In a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration study off North Carolina, 81 fish species were documented using sargassum for shelter and food. “Most of these fishes are juveniles and occur within Gulf Stream waters.”

Data collected by the program indicates 60 to 70 percent of mahi that are caught are taken around sargassum along the East Coast, he says.

“Dolphin[fish] can grow to 40 pounds in 12 months,” Hammond points out. It takes a tremendous amount of food to fuel such fast growth, and mahi find much of their fodder under and around the weeds.

Interestingly, holopelagic sargassum depends on fish as much as fish depend on it, says Oxenford. “Sargassum relies on the feces of its inhabitants for nutrients,” she says.  

Finding Kelp Paddies Offshore

Schools of warm-water game fish such as mahi, striped marlin, yellowfin tuna and California yellowtail often migrate northward along the Pacific coast of Baja and Southern California in summer. In El Niño years, anglers might also get a shot at wahoo or blue marlin.

Yet, as with patches of sargassum, not all offshore kelp paddies hold game fish. Like that McDonald’s I mentioned earlier, but with no customers, some are devoid of large predators at any given time. While little or no scientific research exists on what makes one floating kelp patch better than the other for attracting fish, anglers rank paddies on a number of factors. 

It’s impossible to determine age, and recruitment times vary, Sepulveda points out, but schools of bait species, such as anchovies, chub mackerel and jack mackerel, under the paddy indicate that it’s mature enough to attract game fish. 

Fishing Near Sargassum

In the waters off Miami Beach, Florida, the best pieces of offshore sargassum are those concentrated into relatively large patches, says Capt. Jimbo Thomas, whose 42-foot Post, Thomas Flyer, is a top-producing charter boat in the region. 

If he sees a bait school, Thomas likes to drop a sabiki rig and catch a few to identify the species and add the prevailing forage to the livewell.

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The same holds true on the West Coast, but frigates don’t reach as far north as Southern California. Terns, shearwaters and jaegers are prime indicator birds in this Pacific region. Flocks of terns fluttering low around a paddy serve as a sure sign of mahi or other predatory fish.  

Finding Weeds

Some days, weeds can be difficult for boating anglers to spot, particularly when large patches are scarce and an overcast sky or glare reduces color contrast. Choppy seas complicate the search. On any day, elevation helps — a big reason many fishing boats are equipped with towers.

Slowing the boat speed can also help, giving your eyes more time to scan the surface. Many anglers troll lures and/or rigged baits at about 7 knots while on the hunt. Captains encourage all crew members to stay on the lookout — the more eyes the better.

Brightenburg likes to shut down on the lee or down-current side of the weeds and then drift away, with live baits placed fairly far behind the boat, while chumming with liveys and chunks. 

Feeding Style

Some days, fish under a weed patch get finicky and refuse to bite most lures or baits. “Often, mahi get keyed in on small baitfish like 1-inch minnows under the weeds,” Thomas says. “They get their minds set on one thing and ignore everything else.”

Whether the golden-brown algae is kelp or sargassum, paddies, patches and lines of floating weeds rank among the most consistently productive offshore hot spots. 

Find Your Own Weeds

Moving in on another boat that has already found a productive weed patch is, to put it mildly, frowned upon by serious anglers. So-called poaching not only creates frustration among the crew that worked hard to find its own patch of weeds, but it can also result in ugly confrontations between the two boats. It also makes the offending skipper look like a hack. Better to hunt up your own patch than poach one and lose all respect.

So don’t forget these great tips on how to find your next great fishing spot. 1) Don’t encroach on another boat’s fishing area;  2) patches and lines of floating weeds rank among the most consistently productive offshore hot spots;  and 3) slowing the boat speed can also help, giving your eyes more time to scan the surface.

Oceans under greatest threat in history, warns Sir David Attenborough

The world’s oceans are under the greatest threat in history, according to Sir David Attenborough. The seas are a vital part of the global ecosystem, leaving the future of all life on Earth dependent on humanity’s actions, he says.

Previous BBC nature series presented by Attenborough have sometimes been criticised for treading too lightly around humanity’s damage to the planet. But the final episode of the latest series is entirely dedicated to the issue.

“For years we thought the oceans were so vast and the inhabitants so infinitely numerous that nothing we could do could have an effect upon them. But now we know that was wrong,” says Attenborough. 

Attenborough says: “Surely we have a responsibility to care for our blue planet. The future of humanity, and indeed all life on Earth, now depends on us.”

The series producer, Mark Brownlow, said it was impossible to overlook the harm being caused in the oceans: “We just couldn’t ignore it – it wouldn’t be a truthful portrayal of the world’s oceans. We are not out there to campaign. We are just showing it as it is and it is quite shocking.”

Brownlow said much of the footage shot of albatross chicks being killed by the plastic they mistake for food were too upsetting to broadcast. The programme also filmed on the Great Barrier Reef in 2016, witnessing the worst bleaching event in its history.

Carbon dioxide from fossil fuel burning also dissolves in seawater, making it more acidic. Prof Chris Langdon, at the University of Miami, says it is “beyond question” that the problem is manmade. “The shells and the reefs really, truly are dissolving. The reefs could be gone by the end of the century.”

The noise from shipping, tourism, and fossil fuel exploration is also revealed as harming sea life. Steve Simpson, at the University of Exeter, who works on coral reefs in southeast Asia, says: “There is a whole language underwater that we are only just getting a handle on. They use sound to attract a mate, to scare away a predator. You hear pops and grunts and gurgles and snaps.” He shows the noise of motorboats distracting saddleback clownfishes from warning against a predator attack.

Overfishing, which remains prevalent around the world, is also addressed. “Every night thousands of miles of fishing lines laden with hooks are set – there is enough, it is said, to wrap twice around the world,” says Attenborough. But the programme also highlights some success stories, such as the revival of sperm whales off Sri Lanka and herring stocks off Norway after bans or restrictions were put in place.

 Orca, Herring fishing in Norway

Strict management of the herring fishery in Norway has saved it from collapse. Herring now draw in humpback whalesandorca. Photograph:AudunRikardsen

Pauly also warned of the dangers of plastic attracting toxic chemicals and then being eaten: “They become poison pills.” Pauly said the question facing humanity now was simple: “Are we going to fight for the oceans or not?”

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via Why Fish are Attracted to Weeds

via Oceans under greatest threat in history, warns Sir David Attenborough