Guess who’s coming to dinner?

Socially responsible fish!

So, it is the end of a long day on the beach and now you want some seafood. Completely understandable. And, I applaud this question and the quest to be socially responsible. Your choices will make a difference.

It is a tough question to always have a correct up-to-date answer, especially since it varies for regions.

What I can do is recommend a fantastic site that always provides these up-to-date answer – and – for each region. The Monterey Bay Aquarium will even provide you with a seafood pocket guide that you can fit in your wallet.

The guide is broken down into best choices, good alternatives, and fish you should avoid. These valuations are based on fisheries (or fish farms) that are healthier for long term sustainability of the oceans.

Currently, the best farmed choices for the northeast US are char, barracmundi, catfish, oysters, mussels , clams, bay scallops, strugeon (cavier), tilapia, and rainbow trout. The best wild choices for the northeast US are clams, dungeness crabs, atlantic croacker, spiny lobster, pollock, salmon, longfin squid, swordfish, albacore (troll/pole caught) and skipjack tuna (troll/pole caught).

Species labeled as avoidable according to the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch are: chilean seabass, atlantic cod, imported king crab, Atlantic dogfish, sole, haddock, white hake, imported mahi mahi, marlin, monkfish, orange roughy, farmed salmon, shark, skates, imported or wild shrimp, red snapper, imported wild strugeon (cavier), imported swordfish, tilefish, albacore, bigeye, yellowfin tunas (caught on longline), bluefin tuna, and farmed yellowtail.

Whew.

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Don’t forget to download the guide according to your region.

Do you have another great question? Check out www.beachchairscientist.com and let us know what you always ponder while digging your toes in the sand!

How do sandbars get started?

The current closest to the ocean floor is moving offshore and dumps small piles of sand right at the wave break area. The sand accumulates to various degrees, and regardless it makes the water much shallower where you stand. Now, the sandbars that I am thinking of are very long and are parallel to the coastline. But, the same type of accumulation occurs in the open water, these are known as shoals. A sandbar is a type of shoal.

 

Where are the highest tides found?

The highest tides are found at the Bay of Fundy (Atlantic Ocean) off the coast of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick in Canada, as well as Maine in the United States.

The tides are typically 5 to 10 times higher than other coasts!

Why is being near saltwater good for your health?

I can not believe I am answering this question since I am not a doctor or a beautician on any level.

However, I will happily give you my opinion as a person that has grown up near the ocean. Salt water is amazing for skin – it really moisturizes and tones. That being said, my theory is that once the skin is feeling healthy and strong – circulation increases and eases joint pain and other muscle tensions.

Why does it feel like the ocean is pulling on you when your just standing in the water?

The “pull” of the water that you feel as you stand in the shallows near the shoreline is just moving water rubbing against your skin. So, why is the water moving out to sea near the beach? Several different forces push – or pull – an excess of water up onto the beach, and then it must run back downhill to where it comes to rest at sea level. The flood tides lift water up over the elevated beach and then it ebbs back down and out to sea (the force is lunar gravitation, lifting the water up). Storms beyond the horizon set the water oscillating up and down, sending long waves called “swells” up onto the beach (the force is high barometric pressure pushing the water down, or low barometric pressure pulling the water up). Shorter, choppy waves are pushed toward the beach by the wind (the force is moving air , with friction on the ocean surface moving the water). These swells and waves turn into “breakers” as they reach
the shallows. The breaking waves push water up onto the sand, and as it runs back downhill to rejoin the great ocean basin, you feels it pulling you out to sea.

This post was answered Dr. J.G. McCully, author of Beyond the Moon: A Conversational, Common Sense Guide to Understanding the Tides.

Do you have another great question? Check out www.beachchairscientist.com and let us know what you always ponder while digging your toes in the sand!

Will I really swallow anything living if I gulp saltwater?

You just ingested a plethora of bacteria, exponentially less than that in terms of phytoplankton and then even fewer of zooplankton. Totaling several hundreds of millions of organisms – yup, that were living. Gulp. You will survive though. Just don’t make a habit out of it.

Also, it should be mentioned that there are a substantial amount of ions and elements in saltwater which make it unsuitable to drink on a daily basis. But, accidentally, once in a while after you have been knocked over by a wave – you’ll survive.

Do you have another great question? Check out www.beachchairscientist.com and let us know what you always ponder while digging your toes in the sand!

How much salt is in the ocean?

salt-773845The amount of salt in the ocean, known as ‘salinity’, is a measure of the of the amount of salt dissolved in 1000 grams of water. The amount is expressed as parts per thousands (ppt).

Refractometers are a tool used to measure the amount of salinity in the ocean. The salinity in the ocean is approximately 32 to 35 ppt. Freshwater has a salinity of zero. The estuaries fluctuate their salinity level depending upon the tides. But, it’s always below the open ocean. The poles have a lower salinity because the cold water does not evaporate as fast.

Do you have another great question? Email info@beachchairscientist.com and let us know what you always ponder while digging your toes in the sand!

Why is the ocean blue?

blueMy immediate answer is that the ocean had a rough day at the office.

A lot of people think it is because of the reflection of the sky, but, that is missing an important part of the puzzle. If you think about it the ocean is not really blue everywhere, is it?

What needs to be said is that sunlight particles may be reflected by the surface of the water, but, some may not. The sun contains all colors of the rainbow: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet. Yellow and red are absorbed immediately within the surface of the water leaving the green and blue to our naked eye.

What does this have to do with the fact that the ocean isn’t blue everywhere? Well, that all depends on what is in the oceans too. Different things absorb the sunlight differently. If the ocean floor is bare, the ocean appears crystalline blue. If there is a lot of plant life (phytoplankton, other plants or organic materials) it will generally appear greener.

But we’ve only scratched the surface here. Check back often at beachchairscientist.com for more insight about your favorite beach discoveries.

Image (c) of FreeFoto.com.