Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Dog Under the Table

Waste management is something we're always mindful of out here.  We don't have garbage disposals, we lack a "garage" to store full garbage bags, and it can sometimes be a while before we get to an island where we can throw things away.  As such, one way we limit the size (and stench) of our garbage is by throwing almost all organic matter overboard where it gets washed out to sea and back into the ecosystem.

So, imagine our surprise when this guy swam up from under our boat as we tossed over our food scraps the other day.  We've seen plenty of fish (and even a couple small sharks) swim up and dine on our leftovers, but this guy was unlike anything we'd seen before. We had no idea what the heck he was.  He measured about two feet long, had what looked like some sort of flat panel on his head and swam kind of like a shark.  We were stumped.  Turns out, he's a remora.

I knew about remoras but for some reason in my imagination they were always very small so this guy's two foot length threw me off.  They're actually pretty interesting fish and have made a habit out of lazily dining on the scraps of others.  The flat piece on top of their head is actually a suction which they use to attach themselves to larger ocean dwelling creatures (like whales, sharks, rays, and - as we learned - even boats).  The relationship between the remora and 'host' is largely one sided with the remora benefitting tremendously from their adopted vessel by hitching rides, getting protection and, of course, eating their leftovers. As nothing is gained or lost for the host, they simply ignore the remoras and let them be.

Perhaps they can be called the "Fido's" of the sea?  They seem to like table scraps just as much!

35 comments:

boatbaby said...

So we used to do the very same thing. But then I was given a magazine story assignment about this and interviewed a local environmental expert and found out it's not a good thing. Maybe it is different in the ocean versus here in the delicate Chesapeake Bay, but this expert told me that the food scraps do not in fact go back "into the environment" as I thought and if the critters are eating them, it would be to their detriment. I felt awful. I can link you to the article if you want. I definitely want to research more about this because it SEEMS so harmless but who knows?

bonnie said...

Looks just like the one that made me stop to think for a minute when I went sailing in the BVI's a few years ago. They do a very convincing shark impression!

Felicity MotorBoat said...

I LOVE these guys, they have a crazy "face"! Like with their mouth on top of their heads! Perfectly designed;) xox

Doug said...

Your blog is really interesting thank you very much for your post. As you mentioned here, yes you done it properly and perfectly. I have read your article carefully and realize that this is a very helpful for all people. Thanks you much.

Bob said...

Yeah, Could have fooled me it looks a lot like a shark. That little guy has probably been hitching a ride on the bottom of your boat for some time now.

Monty thiessen said...

As you mentioned , we must do something for ecosystem.Firstly we must have garbage disposal. It is very useful and very important for us. I have The Legend-8000 and it is one of the best in the market.

Willson said...

Garbage disposal is a device which used in the kitchen for converting waste food into small species. In the modern world the usage of garbage disposal is increasing continuously.

katrina said...

These are heavy duty batteries which offer beastly power backup and incredible performance. However, they result in a constant discharge of the battery over a long time, so a best trolling motor battery is a huge requirement.

Dennis said...

Great article for the waste management .thanks you for sharing info with us .
keep showing good quality articles with us .

Brandon Taylor said...

This is a very helpful article for raising the awareness of the people. I'm very impressed. Good job guys. :)

Kelly the Fisher said...

Really funny! It's like the dog of the sea! I'm wondering if on-boat composting is a thing?

katrina said...

wow its very interesting good one keep it up

huse said...

great blog sir i like it

fill said...

Maybe it is different in the ocean versus here in the delicate Chesapeake Bay, but this expert told me that the food scraps do not in fact go back "into the environment" as I thought and if the critters are eating them, it would be to their detriment

twist said...

I felt awful. I can link you to the article if you want. I definitely want to research more about this because it SEEMS so harmless but who knows?

crazer said...

we must do something for ecosystem.Firstly we must have garbage disposal. It is very useful and very important for us. I have The Legend-8000 and it is one of the best in the market.

Navya said...

Well Written article. Thanks for sharing this. Keep it up.

backer said...

wow great article sir keep it up

Joseph said...

It feels great knowing that there are people who really care about the ecosystem and the environment in which we live.

Clark said...

the garbage disposal is some what a necessary task now days and once must do it more often rather then throwing their waste in oceans or simply burning them

Mathew said...

Very nice written article depicting the seriousness for waste disposal

Ellis Heath said...

I really felt terrible thinking about all the waste that people throw in the oceans and hope that after reading your article they realise it and stop dumping their waste in oceans.

Larry Almaguer said...

nice article. looking forward to read more of your articles

jacob said...

what kind of creature is in this picture you have used, is it a shark?

Lillian Kraus said...

I truly felt awful considering all the waste that people throw in the oceans and hope that after reviewing your short article they realise it as well as stop dumping their waste in oceans.

Drake said...

the waste management techniques should also be a part of new generation's study in schools as it is very important part of life.

Jean E said...

Maybe it is various in the sea versus here in the delicate Chesapeake Bay, however this expert informed me that the food scraps do not as a matter of fact get back "right into the environment" as I assumed as well as if the critters are consuming them, it would be to their detriment

Patrica said...

very nice and well written article waste management is serious issue on which everybody should think and take action.

lenny said...

what is that fish in the picture

joshua said...

I like your writing style its just great , will see more posts from you

Ricky said...

Was that a shark which is shown in that picture

smarty said...

nice article keep up the good work

ronald said...

you can that its a good article when you did'nt realise that its the last line of it

Allen said...

This article is great, and it will help a lot. Thank you for sharing this.

Anonymous said...

katrina said,,
nice article

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