Leave seaweed on the beach during herring spawn season

The Sunshine Coast Friends of Forage Fish volunteer group is reminding gardeners that herring spawn season has started and no seaweed should be collected for gardens in February, March and early April.

Herring will often choose seaweeds as the anchor for their eggs. When the egg-laden seaweed gets broken off and washed up on the beach, those eggs can survive until the next high tide. By taking seaweeds during the spawning season, there is the potential to destroy thousands of herring eggs.

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The seaweed line is home to many small sea creatures and provides shelter, shade and moisture between the tidal periods. Gardeners should ask themselves, “Do I really need seaweed for mulch?” If you must collect seaweed as mulch for your garden, take only small amounts and over a large area to minimize the impact, and not during herring spawn season. 

The Sunshine Coast Friends of Forage Fish is a local volunteer group that has been sampling Sunshine Coast beaches for the presence of forage fish eggs. “We have had findings of sand lance and surf smelt eggs at several of our local beaches,” the group said in a release.

For more information or to volunteer, call Dianne Sanford, volunteer coordinator, 604-885-6283, or email diannesanford@gmail.com. For more information about the group, visit www.friendsofforagefish.com. 

– Submitted

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