I was grateful to learn this update from Dianne Sanford, coordinator for the Sunshine Coast forage fish sampling project, under guidance of Ramona DeGraaf, MSc., and eelgrass mapper with the Seachange Marine Conservation Society.
Herring eggs are present on seaweed washed up on shore (not just on seaweed growing in the water) during herring spawning season, starting mid February to the end of March on the Sunshine Coast. Due to human impact on herring stocks and the effect of that decline on the food chain, gardeners should refrain from collecting seaweed during this period.
Outside of the spawning season, gardeners may also want to think about this: Consider seaweed as a "treat" for your garden. Collect only small amounts of seaweed, if at all.
There are many marine creatures that use the seaweed piles (wrack line) as a source of food, shade and shelter: if you can find other sources of mulch for the garden, the impacts will be minimized and the shoreline inhabitants will thank you for it!
For alternate methods to fertilize your garden, you can visit the website www.gaiacraft.com. Click on the "homeworld" section for information on vermiculture, hugeculture and permaculture compost.
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I accidentally added a "thumbs down" by clicking on the icon to see if I could find a comment explaining why someone had given this post the thumbs down ranking. I totally support the intent of this post - no herring = no marine food chain! — oops Sunday, February 07, 2010