A Stinky Artificial Bait Could Protect Millions of Tiny Fish
(Click to enlarge) Menhaden, like this one, are commonly used baitfish (Credit: Joel boumje / Wikimedia)
When commercial fishers set off to trap blue crabs, they bring along buckets of small, frozen baitfish such as menhaden. They stuff the fish into the traps and lower them into the sea. The stinky, slowly rotting fish carcasses decay underwater, temping the prized crabs to crawl inside the traps.
(From Scientific American / by Roxanne Khamsi)– But catching large quantities of the tiny fish for bait could have grave ecological ramifications. A wide range of predators such as humpback whales, seals and dolphins eat the small prey. “Menhaden are sometimes called the most important fish in the sea,” says Joseph Gordon, manager of northeast U.S. oceans for The Pew Charitable Trusts. They are a key link in the ocean food web. Read the full story »