Fishing report

by OlsenMN, Thursday, December 21, 2017, 10:44 (273 days ago) @ frostbite


For many years, I'd feed left-over tortillas to the fish in the surf at Playa Coral. They have now posted a sign forbidding feeding the fish. Any idea why?

This is a quote from a diving site that sums up your question:
"Here we explain why we don’t feed the fish.

Just like humans, fish need the right type of food in their diets and it is essential that they eat important amino acids, of which they can only receive from their natural diet – not bread, or scraps of food that humans eat. Bread is particularly bad as it contains yeast and when eaten by fish, expands in their digestive system causing health problems. The most resilient fish may survive however others die or fall ill and are taken by predators.

Unnatural Behaiviour
Hand-feeding fish and other marine life promotes a behaviour called conditioning, where the animal learns to associate humans with food instead of being naturally cautious around humans. A fish’s natural diet is quite complicated and may be seasonal, daily, or temporal. When fish start to anticipate meal times with humans, it interferes with their natural feeding cycles and they are more vulnerable to predators. A healthy marine community relies on competition for habitat and food and different species feed during different times of the day. Introducing an unnatural meal disturbs these competitive relationships and can lead to the decline of certain species and over-population of others. In a location where fish are regularly fed there are often feeding frenzies and people present may get injured.

Damage To The Environment
Hand-feeding fish takes a toll on the marine environment too. Adding food to the water around reefs increases nutrient levels which then increases the growth of harmful algae that damage corals. The majority of reef fish are grazers, meaning they only eat algae. They keep the growth of the algae on coral reefs under control so that the reefs aren’t smothered. By feeding fish their behaviour is modified so that they no longer graze on the harmful algae that need to be removed from the reef, the algae may become overgrown. Eventually the reef is destroyed and the habitat of many species is lost."


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