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Hands off seaweed during herring spawning season

Friends of Forage Fish
Harvesting seaweeds during the spawning season has the potential to destroy thousands of herring eggs.

The Sunshine Coast Friends of Forage Fish volunteer group has issued its annual reminder to gardeners that herring spawn season is upon us and no seaweed should be collected for gardens in February, March and April.

Herring will often choose seaweeds as the anchor for their eggs. Even 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.

In general, the seaweed line is home to many small sea creatures and provides shelter, shade and moisture between the tidal periods, and 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. 

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. For more information or to volunteer, call Dianne Sanford, volunteer coordinator, 604-885-6283, or email For more information about the group, visit 

– Submitted

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