The Sunshine Coast Friends of Forage Fish (SCFFF) volunteer group warns the public – especially gardeners – that herring spawn season is upon us and urges everyone to leave seaweed on the beach rather than gathering it for garden mulch.
February and March are herring spawning months on the coast, and 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 harvesting seaweeds from the beach during these months, gardeners could unwittingly destroy thousands of herring eggs. NONE should be collected at this time.
Seaweed provides a home for many amphipods (small sea creatures) as well as shelter, shade, and moisture to many others between the tidal periods.
Instead of seaweed, consider using grass clippings, compost, or sawdust.
For gardeners who feel they must collect seaweed as mulch, SCFFF urgently requests they take only small amounts, and over a large area to minimize the impact on this special area of our world, and NOT during the months of February and March.
Sunshine Coast Friends of Forage Fish has been diligently sampling Sunshine Coast beaches for the presence of forage fish eggs. We have had recent positive findings of Pacific Sand Lance eggs at Trail Bay and Halfmoon Bay!