Sunday, 20 September 2009

Fishing thoughts

Whenever I've wandered down the foreshore of late, I've noted how many Black Sea Nettle Jellyfish get washed up at this time of year. From early September onwards to the end of October the shingle beach not far from our little domicile is liberally littered with purplish sticky (I've trod in one) gelatinous cowpats. Today I was standing on the rocks with rod in hand (Which can bring tears to your eyes Guv) and observed literally dozens of these things floating down the tide.

This is just an observation, and I'm not going to do the hundred metres conclusion jump, but the thought occurred that perhaps these things are partially responsible for the shortfall in the Fraser River Salmon run. They are carnivorous, and feed off zooplankton, so what effect do they have on Salmon fry or juvenile Salmon? I know many authorities go on about Sea Lice and the great evil of commercial Salmon farms, but I find myself wondering how many Salmon die in the wild due to the stinging tentacles of these nasty little beasties. Anecdotally speaking, there do seem to be rather a lot of these sea nettles and other Jellyfish around at present, and overall during the past couple of years I've lived here.

Jellyfish have killed Salmon before, in this specific incident they wiped out an entire Salmon farm. This blog keeps track of such large swarms, which seem to indicate that there is a definite problem, whatever its source. Unfortunately, while certain Environmental activists are leaping up and down to blame 'global warming' for everything even slightly out of the ordinary, no proper research into the Jellyfish blooms goes on.

Working on the basis that for every issue there is rarely a single definable cause, I wonder what effect a glut of jellyfish have on the Salmon population, and how much of an effect overfishing has on jellyfish blooms. Maybe there's something in it, but so long as the global warming activists are getting in the way, we aren't going to find out in a hurry.

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