All posts by Jules Anthony

Fish & chips apocalypse

With sea temperatures rising, traditional sea-caught fish could be off the menu in as little as 50 years, meaning fish and chips will probably be a luxury item for future generations.

Fish could be so scarce that you wouldn’t even get a bite if you took your own sea fishing tackle and went fishing yourself – and who’s to say that will be legal in the future!

Fish and chips 2.0

Fish and chips sign

Image source: Sarah Jane Taylor
Fish & chips – but not as we know it…

So a future without fish and chips could be a reality – and we’re seeing the early signs of that already with the decline in some species of fish like cod due to overfishing. This has resulted in the rise of fishy alternatives in some UK chip shops with hake, pollock and barramundi (and chips) just a few of the examples.

But with the current global population of 7.3 billion growing by an average of 74 million people a year, it is predicted to peak at around 10.5 billion by 2050. That’s around 50% more people, which is bad news for fish and your fish and chip suppers. So hold that thought and examine our suggestions for the brave new world of fish and chips.

Squid and chips

Squid and Chips

Image source: lsantilli
Popular – but has it got broad appeal?

Calamari with a little salt and pepper is very popular as a starter in restaurants around the world, but is it big enough to sit on the newspaper throne with the chips?

Well it’s certainly tough enough with its ‘chew harder’ texture but it’s very different to traditional fish and chips and it is a popular appetizer for a reason – it’s not very filling (unless super-sized). It could be pricey too for what you get — at least five squid a portion.

Overall, we think it lacks the near universal appeal of traditional fish and chips. Sorry squid!

Sardines and chips

Sardines

Image source: stockcreations
You’d need a few to count as dinner!

Whilst some of the larger fish are endangered the smaller ones like sardines are getting on okay. In Portugal, one of the biggest exporters of sardines in the world, they are already very popular as a main dish.

Sardines can also be much bigger than the type we are used to seeing in tins and 3-4 good-sized sardines with chips would be a substantial meal, although they might not be the best fish for battering.

Salad and chips

Overweight man salad plate

Image source: Ollyy
A sad, dystopian future.

Oh – the thought of it! There will be uproar for sure as carrot-sticks, bean sprouts and pickled onions just aren’t unhealthy enough to give you the greasy satisfaction only cod in batter can.

Sure, the chips could be greasier and cooked in lard and there’s the nostalgic hit from the onion’s vinegar, but carrot sticks (not even battered) just aren’t up to it – unless that is, the future is exceptionally healthy. Sounds boring.

The future

Robot fishing on a river

Image source: iurii
What is the future of our nationals favourite supper?

The UK’s fish and chips industry has a turnover of £1.2billion and there are 10,500 chip shops nationwide, so with money and profit as the driving force there will probably be an excellent alternative (created).

The jury is out on food science, because for the most part it’s controversial due to it’s caginess about revealing ingredients, but it’s highly likely that there will be a scientific solution to the fish and chips problem. Whether it’s grown, produced or beamed down from space we cannot predict but it’s probable that it will taste just like cod in batter. It’s entirely up to you if you eat it though.

No-go fishing zones: The big debate

No-go fishing zones – how do you feel about them?

A long term study has found an 80% difference in the biomass of coral trout between areas where fishing is allowed and no-go zones.

So is there a case no-go fishing zones in the UK? Or does the angler have a right to take his fishing tackle and go and fish freely?

Australian evidence

Great barrier reef

Image source: Tanya Puntti
The study took place across the Great Barrier Reef.

The Australian Institute of Marine Science carried out long-term studies across the Great Barrier Reef and the results are impressive. Supported by substantial underwater data collected between 1983-2012 from around 40% of the reef’s marine park, fish numbers in protected zones have expanded to levels not seen since the Europeans first landed in Australia.

The biomass of coral trout more than doubled in protected areas and in areas where fishing was banned there was an 80% difference in coral trout biomass. Biomass is measured in both the number of fish and their size and the coral trout were found to be much larger in no-go zones, which allows them to spawn more offspring.

Current situation in the UK

Port Isaac

Image source: Ian Woolcock
Currently no-go zone free.

So how about no-go fishing zones in the UK? Well, currently there are none. There are Marine Protected Areas, where limits and restrictions may apply. According to the government: “There are now just under a quarter of English inshore waters within marine protected areas.”

However ‘limits’ and ‘restrictions’ seem a bit grey, compared to No-go zones, which make their point perfectly clear. No-go zones could potentially be easier to manage, so in theory would protect fish stocks from European trawlers. Though this would also impact the UK’s fishing industry.

A fisherman’s right

Man fishing on the beach

Image source: A7880S
An historic right?

There is also the historic right of an angler being able to fish unregulated in the sea. Surely a hungry man can fish for his dinner in the big blue sea like he has done for thousands of years, right?

Well, not everybody sees it this way and there have been attempts to sabotage and disrupt competitions and upset anglers. PETA – the international animal rights organisation — have used provocative and hard-hitting advertising campaigns to sway public opinion against angling. Not only do they favour no-go fishing zones, but want fishing outlawed altogether.

Angling isn’t the problem

Fishing equipment

Image source: Sandra Cunningham
Individual anglers shouldn’t be blamed.

We’d argue that PETA is wrong targeting sea anglers as in economic terms sea angling is very good for the economy and doesn’t harm fish stocks. It is commercial fishing that is the problem.

The book and documentary, The End of the Line, explains that anglers spend billions of pounds on fishing equipment, bait and travel-related costs, but only take a small fraction of the number of fish that commercial fishing fleets do.

But due to being under the spotlight and pressure from PETA it’s essential that sea anglers follow a code of good practice such as observing minimum size limits and not fishing endangered species. Of course, there will always be a small minority that spoil it for the many, but when done responsibly sea angling has minimum impact on the marine environment.

No-go vs Go-go

Great barrier reef close up

Image source: Dobermaraner
It works in Australia, but would it work here?

There’s an argument that it would make no sense to enforce no-fishing zones for sea anglers due to the practice not being the real problem. But due to the success of the Great Barrier Reef, could it be beneficial to introduce tighter regulations to protect vulnerable areas from commercial fishing fleets from home and abroad?

About 30% of the Great Barrier Reef is now protected from any kind of fishing and this has proven necessary to safeguard the future of the reef and drastically increase fish stocks. Over fishing has destroyed other reefs around the world, so it is essential protected zones are managed.

This is the age we live in and never before has humanity had to consider the reality that resources — energy, food, water — can and will dry up and disappear. The challenge is leaving something in our oceans for the generation, so the planning must surely begin now.

Are you in favour for no go fishing zones or against?

Fishing for votes: Election special

Not sure who to vote for at the next election? Tired of hearing about the economy and all the immigration? Same here.

But before you decide to forget about it all and go fishing with that new fly fishing reel you’ve been planning to buy, listen up. Fishing could actually be the clincher when it comes to where you place your vote.

In the world of 2015 fishing policies, sustainability is the hot topic. It’s common knowledge that fish stocks are shrinking whilst the demand for fish is increasing, so it’s essential that vulnerable areas are protected. The flip side is that there is a fishing industry and livelihoods to safeguard too. But which side of the argument do these parties fall on?

Conservative – An eye on sustainability, but the economy key

Conservative Party Logo

Image source: Conservative Party
Economy most important.

The Conservative Party state they pushed for radical reforms to the Common Fisheries Policy, thus reversing the insane practice implemented by Brussels of throwing back perfectly edible fish into the sea.

There is now a legally binding agreement in place, which promotes fishing at sustainable levels. Supported by setting up the UK’s first Marine Protected Zones, protecting 9000 square kilometres. 10% of UK seas are protected and a quarter of all inshore waters.

There isn’t much information on the party’s website about their future plans regarding fishing policies, so we can only speculate.

What we do definitely know is that the Conservative’s priority is expanding the economy, right? Handicapping fishermen too much with no-go fishing zones would damage the economy, so we’re guessing the blues won’t play the green card too hard and expand that 10% too much.

Liberal Democrats – Rebuild fish stocks whilst decentralizing control to local fishing communities

Liberal Democrats Logo

Image source: Lib Dems
Rebuild fish stocks

“Secured a huge majority in the European Parliament in favour of ambitious reforms to the Common Fisheries Policy to end wasteful discards, made it a legal obligation to rebuild fish stocks, and decentralised to local communities day-to-day management of fisheries.”

With the above statement, The Liberal Democrats believe they (not the Conservatives) were the driving force behind the changes to the Common Fisheries Policy and they helped to create a greener, more energy efficient EU. Was it Liberal or Conservatives — who knows? But both parties are claiming the accolades.

We checked the Lib Dem’s manifesto and whilst their track record might be good, they don’t have a lot to say about future fishing policies.

Green Party – Protect the fish at all costs

Green Party Logo

Image source: Green Party
Keen to protect fish.

The Green Party’s stance on fishing is simple: all marine activities will have to function sustainably within environmental limits. It’s a sustainable long-term vision weighted in favour of sustaining the environment rather than the fishing industry.

This principle would reverse the current presumption in favour of fishing so fishing rights and catch limits would be altered to protect fish stocks.

There is a a wealth of information regarding fishing policies and the party is very transparent about its stance.

UKIP – More fishing for UK boats and little on sustainability

UKIP  Logo

Image source: UKIP
All for territorial waters.

Not afraid to shake things up for better or worse UKIP will leave the Common Fisheries Policy completely and reinstate British territorial waters. UKIP has proposed UK-controlled fishing zones to replace involvement in the EU Common Fisheries Policy.

Therefore foreign trawlers would have to apply and purchase fishing permits to fish British waters when fish stocks have returned to sustainable levels. In a recent interview, Nigel Farage said, “As a result of membership of the Common Fisheries Policy, we are now allowed to catch less than 20% of the fish that swim in British waters. The other 80% we have given away to the rest of Europe.”

Nigel Farage was also a member of the European Parliament Fisheries Committee, but he turned up to just one out of 42 meetings, so a close inspection of UKIP’s dismal voting record in the European Parliament on fish and Nigel Farage’s appalling attendance on the Fisheries Committee makes a mockery of UKIP’s claim to be standing up for fishermen.

SNP – Is it too late to be Scottish?

SNP Logo

Image source: SNP
A big priority!

And now over the border in Scotland.

Former first Minister, Alex Salmond, stated that fishing will be a national priority in an independent Scotland and they will negotiate Scottish priorities in EU without compromise to safeguard the £550 million it contributes to the Scot’s thriving (£14 billion) food and drink industry.

Now where’s that kilt…

Labour – Murky waters

Labour Party Logo

Image source: Labour
A bit vague…

The Labour Party’s 2015 manifesto is big, bold and bright and very clear on all the big issues.

We’ve downloaded it, but they don’t have a lot to say beyond: “We want to create a world-leading Food, Farm and Fisheries sector that creates better paid jobs and apprenticeships across the rural economy.” Sounds promising, but we’d love to know more.

Moon landing: How to catch more fish

Full moon above sea

Get in tune with the moon.

With super moons, solar eclipses and all kinds of astrological events happening in the news lately, we’ve jumped on the moon bandwagon to explore how fishing by using the phases of the moon can help land you a bigger catch.

But is there any sense to it? We did a bit of digging and discovered, to our delight, there is a sound theory behind fishing by the moon! So have a read of our quick guide then grab your favourite fishing rod, a moon phase calendar and the determination to get out of bed when the rest of the UK is fast asleep. Just think of that potential catch…

Here’s the low down on how to make the most of the moon.

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What every angler wants in their tackle box this Christmas

With Christmas just around the corner it’s likely that friends and relatives will be scratching their heads about what to buy you this year.

So in order to avoid the unwanted reindeer sweater or the cheap toiletries that you’ll never use, why not drop a few hints about what you’d really like for Christmas this year.

That’s where we come in, so please allow us to assist with a few gift ideas that anglers everywhere will appreciate.

Upgraded fishing clothing

Fly fisherman fishing for trout in river.

Image source: Goodluz
Put a new pair of waders on your wish-list.

Keeping warm and dry is obviously high up on the list of priorities when out for a long period of time fishing. So how are you fixed for waders, an all-weather jacket or even a Thermo Skin bib and brace, which traps your own body heat? Somebody is probably gagging to buy you a dodgy sweater, but some actually useful fishing clothing would be a way better alternative.

A trip of a lifetime

Boats at Pranang cave beach Railay Krabi in Thailand

Image source: Im Perfect Lazybones
A fishing escape to Thailand? Yes please!

You’ll need wealthy friends if you’re expecting to find air tickets to some dream fishing location in your tackle box on Christmas Day. Cat Island Lodge on the shores of Trout Lake in Ontario, or bass fishing in Florida are just a couple of the more exotic locations for fishing holidays. Or what about catching big carp in Thailand? Closer to home how about a weekend of sea fishing on Chesil Beach in Dorset? There’s a wide variety of fish that swim these waters depending on the weather and sea conditions, so an enjoyable challenge.

Secret fishing location

Multiple fishermen silhouette at sunset.

Image source: viczast
A shared secret spot is fishing gold dust.

This one is free, but potentially priceless in the right hands. Only catch is that it could be hard for somebody to share information about their closely guarded fishing spot. But it’s a nice gesture from one angler to another and a wonderful gift that will keep on giving.

Bivvy

Birds eye view of a fisherman with a rubber dinghy and bivvy in Serbia.

Image source: ollirg
Time for a bivvy upgrade?

The Great British bivvy is the angler’s castle. No matter how far away you are from civilisation, your bivvy has your back and will serve you well through day and night. Invest in quality and you’ll be well prepared for a range of weather conditions whatever the elements throw at you. Is it time for an upgrade?

Flies

Handmade flies used for fly fishing

Image source: KML
You can never have enough of these!

If a younger member of the family asks you what you’d like for Christmas this year, be sure to explain what you mean by ‘flies’ or else trouble is on the menu for Christmas dinner. But the fun of choosing which fishing flies to buy you would be an activity that would be enjoyed by the youngsters. There’s an idea.

Fishing tokens

Different coloured squares with fish cut out.

Image source: Blan-k
Affordable and super useful!

Fishing tokens are a wonderful idea for a Christmas gift and most affordable too. Many regional rivers and trusts offer token and passport schemes which usually invest the money back into the upkeep and protection of the river and fish stocks. Simply exchange a token or two and you’re free to fish.

Invent your own fish

Recent news has revealed the discovery of a new fish species — arapaima leptosoma — which is native to the Amazon in Brazil.

The fish is the first entirely new species of the huge arapaima family discovered since 1847, for which only a single species was believed to have existed for the last 166 years.

Arapaimas can grow up to 3 metres long and weigh as much as 200 kilos, so the new species didn’t exactly slip through the net. It only highlights the focus and dedication required to raise fish conservation efforts. The new discovery prompted us to wonder what else is out there in the big blue. Here’s some unlikely efforts we dreamed up (feel free to contribute your own ideas).

Hoover fish (humus nimia satietas)

Plastic underwater

A fish that cleans the ocean? Yes please!
Source: Electrolux

Two of the biggest threats to sea life are overfishing and pollution, so imagine a huge bottom feeder that digested massive amounts of rubbish and pollution clogging up our seas and rivers.

Nearly as big as a blue whale, the hoover fish would provide much needed assistance to a dirty problem.

Golden-gilled ghost carp  (M. Spiritu carpere)

Gold nugget

Fame and riches for whoever hooks this carp
Source: UnJournalism

Very much the fish of choice for many anglers, carps can be challenging to hook and are highly prized. But we all need a holy grail in our lives and there needs to be something out there that provides a fearsome challenge for our carp fishing rod.

Say hello to the golden-gilled carp — a 60kilo carp species incredibly hard to find and a fish that provides huge fame for the fisherman that hooks it.

Mouse marlin (mus marlin)

marlin

The problem with marlin? Too elusive.
Source: Paradise Outfitters

Fast, strong and elusive, select species of marlin are considered to provide the pinnacle of offshore sport fishing. Big blue marlins put up one hell of a fight and have inspired many sport fishermen, but like lots of other species, black and blue marlins are in decline.

Threatened primarily by commercial fishing, it’d be brilliant if there were a breed of marlin renowned for its exceptionally fast breeding (and growing) rates. So fast that is has been nicknamed the mouse marlin.

Sea chicken (quis maris)

chicken

A few gills here, a fin there, we can see it!
Source: Wikimedia

Humanity’s appetite for tuna is incredible and it’s mainstream appeal along with its meaty texture has resulted in it being nicknamed the chicken of the sea. Yet it’s a matter of time before demand outgrows supply, which is likely to result in tuna being an unaffordable luxury for poorer families.

If only there was an alternative like the tasty and abundant sea chicken (a fish incredibly similar to a chicken, but still a fish).

Pearl Catcher (margaritam aucupe)

pearls

A fish with a bonus
Source: AAA Pearls

Not to be mistaken for the commensal pearl fish, which is known to live inside clams and starfish, the pearl catcher is a speedy little fish renowned for its snatch and run routine on the mollusc community.

Unable to properly digest the pearls it steals, the pearl catcher keeps its booty in its stomach until it is caught by a lucky fisherman. Now there’s a nice thought.

Furry fishing gear

Fishing has been around for a very long time and of course in centuries past fishermen didn’t have all of today’s fantastic gear to feed their families.

Not such a big deal when they could rely on animals to assist. Here are a few of the fisherman’s best friends.

Cormorants

cormorant

Cormorant fishing has been around since 960 AD
Source: Animals and Society

For thousands of years fishermen in China have used trained cormorants to catch fish. The fisherman ties a snare around the bottom of the bird’s boat, which stops larger fish being swallowed, but the cormorant still gets a feed as smaller fishes slip through the snare. It’s a dying art, but one that has created some stunningly beautiful  images.

Otters

otter

Training these guys to fish is now illegal
Source: One More Generation

First developed in China and adopted by India and parts of Europe, otters were once used as a highly efficient means of catching fish. If otters were trained when they were young pups, they would become highly obedient and could be used to catch fish for well over a decade.

The otter would be kept on a long cord attached to it collar and be able to catch fish at a rapid rate. It was common in Sweden for a whole family to be supported by the fishing skills of one otter. The practice of training otters is now illegal due to poachers using them to steal salmon.

Dolphins

dolphins

Dolphins can act like sheepdogs for fishermen
Source: Wild Scotland

The Human Planet, BBC’s stunning nature series first highlighted the cooperation between fishermen and wild dolphins of Laguna in Brazil. The dolphins perform a role similar to a sheepdog in herding the shoals of mullet towards shallow water where the fishermen can cast their nets.

Remarkably the dolphins jump out of the water as a means of signalling to the fishermen the exact moment to cast nets and catch as many mullet as possible. The dolphins finish off any escapees.

Rodents

squirrel

We’re not a fan of this technique
Source: Pet Karia

Many of you may have heard of the Mongolian swimming mouse, which is the phrase given to a huge bundle of feathers used by fishermen to resemble a small rodent. This is due to bigger fish like the brown trout and taimen being partial to gulping down any small mammal that has the gall to swim overhead.

Taking this method to a darker extreme, fishermen have been known to attach a live squirrel to a hook and sweep it across the waterline to attract fish.

Dogs

Labrador-Retriever

Man’s best friend, especially when he catches dinner
Source: Next Day Pets

The retrieving instincts of dogs have performed a useful role for fishermen for centuries. Certain breeds like Labrador retrievers and Portuguese water dogs were once commonly used to retrieve fish from the water and assist in bringing the nets back to shore. If the water is shallow enough, dogs can also actually catch fish too as seen recently with flood waters spilling into suburban areas.

Orangutans

orangutan

Check out this impressive technique
Source: Primatology

Although not a replacement for your fishing gear (as anything they catch goes down their hatch), orangutans do deserve a mention for their tool-assisted methods of catching fish.

Studies have shown that our closest living relatives watch catfish before using sticks to poke at the fish causing them to jump out of the water where they are caught by the orangutan. Unfortunately we weren’t able to interview the catfish.

World’s most expensive fish dishes

The UK doesn’t have the best cuisine in the world, but we certainly have an appetite for foody show offs.

Meaning our numerous celebrity chefs are always pushing the boundaries (or being stupid) with food. Cue the most expensive ready meal — a fish pie costing £314.

It’s creator Charlie Bigham admitted the pie was pricey, but said (pun-intended) “It is only a drop in the ocean for customers accustomed to the finer things of life”. Which leads us onto exploring what else these people might be eating — time to take a dive into the opulent ocean of seafood.

Bluefin Tuna

blue fin tuna

Mysterious, rare and very expensive
Source: Ethical Nippon

Severely endangered, the rare and mysterious bluefin tuna is the holy grail of tuna fish. Its raw belly meat is highly prized for sushi and sashimi and its expensive too — very expensive.

One weighing 489lb recently sold for a record $1.76 million at a Tokyo auction, so that works out to $3599 per/lb. Shame it’s too large to be caught with your fishing gear else you’d become a big fish overnight.

Fish soup

The Buddha Jumps Over the Wall

Traditional ‘The Buddha Jumps Over the Wall’ soup
Source: Wikipedia Commons

There is nothing quite like tasty fish soup, but imagine how good it would taste if you’d paid £108 for a bowl. The Buddha Jumps Over the Wall is the name of the most expensive fish soup in the world and it can be purchased at Kai Mayfair in London.

It contains a wealth of ingredients including abalone, Japanese flower mushroom, sea cucumber and dried scallops. It also used to contain a shark’s fin (although this has been revised due to controversy). If you fancy trying it, you have to give 5 days notice.

Caviar

almas caviar

The definition of luxury from the sea
Source: La Dolce Vitae

When it comes to the finer things in life, caviar is never far away. And the most expensive variety of them all is the highly prized Almas caviar from Iran.

The Caviar House & Prunier in Piccadilly is the only place in the world that sells it. It comes in a tin made of 24-carat gold and costs around £16,000.

Oysters

oysters

A slightly more affordable tasty option for foodies
Source: Belly Pleasures

Not as expensive as other seafood, oysters are certainly the most decadent food from the sea and have always been considered a delicacy. Casanova allegedly ate 50 each day and Julius Caesar was rumoured to have invaded Britain in search of its oysters.

He should have headed to the Fal river estuary between Truro and Falmouth in Cornwall where some of the tastiest oysters in the world can be found. Today it’s a special area of conservation, so only boats powered by sail or oar are allowed. It’s also a public fishery, so if you have a licence you can try your luck hand-dredging for oysters.

Lobsters

lobster

Notoriously pricey seafood nosh
Source: Angela Paige

Along with caviar, lobster has for many years been welcome on the dinner tables of the wealthy. Lobster is also the key ingredient in the world’s most expensive frittata.

Served at Norma’s restaurant in New York, the Zillion Dollar Lobster Frittata contains 1lb of lobster meat and 10 ounces of Sevruga caviar. It will set you back a cool $1000 if you mistake it for a fancy omelette (which it is).

Fish Curry

Samundari Khazana

At a cool £2K, this curry includes gold coated lobster
Source: Cooking and Food

Fish curry is arguably India’s finest export after tea, but how much would you pay for a really good fish curry? Well, the most expensive in the world can be found in London (again) at the Bombay Brasserie.

The Samundari Khazana — translated as ‘seafood treasure’ — contains Devon crab, white truffle, Beluga caviar and a Scottish lobster coated in gold! £2000 is how much it will cost you to see that lobster.

Heston’s Sound of the Sea

hestons sound of the sea

Intensify the taste with an iPod
Source: I Am Into This

Love him or hate him, Heston Blumenthal is certainly unique with his Willy Wonka approach to preparing food. So when he made his version of a fish pie it came served with an iPod. Hmm…

Yes the iPod provides the sound of crashing waves, which apparently intensifies the taste of the pie. Served in a wooden box, the pie appears to be covered in sand and seashells, but is of course completely edible.

Ingredients include tapioca, razor clams, crushed fried baby eels, cod liver oil and langoustine oil topped with abalone, shrimps and oysters and three kinds of edible seaweed. You’ll need the iPod back for when the waiter tells you how much you owe.

More about that ready meal

fish pie

“It is only a drop in the ocean for customers accustomed to the finer things of life” – pie creator
Source: Trend Hunter

So back to the £315 ready meal. Well, you can order it online and it gets delivered to your house in an aluminium case (handcuffed to a security guard).

Inside you’ll find the usual suspects: Cornish lobster, turbot poached in Dom Perignon, white alba truffles, Beluga caviar and select oysters. Even the salt used is of the highest quality and sourced from Slovenia, so it’s really not the usual fish supper. Though some of us would still opt for a freshly caught fish supper wrapped in newspaper over all of the above.

Noisy fish sex – deafening creatures of the deep

Male midshipman fish have been keeping scores of families awake in Southampton with their loud mating calls.

The loud droning from their swim bladder, which is used to attract females, can go on for hours and increases in volume when competing males join in.

After a bit of fishing about, we’ve discovered that there are actually some really loud sea creatures out. Some are able to generate noise in excess of 200 decibels. When you consider the average human conversation is around 60-70 decibels and a jet engine produces 140 decibels, you’ll agree 200+ decibels is loud. Fear not though, as most of the noisy stuff is too big (or small) for one of your fishing rods.

Water boatman — 105 decibels

water boatman

Don’t be misled by its mini stature
Source: Wild About Britain

This one isn’t the loudest, but at just 2mm long, the Micronecta Scholtzi still manages to produce around 105 decibels with its mating song, which means that it is the loudest animal on this planet in relation to its body size. Even though 99% of the sound is lost when transferring to water to air, it is still loud enough to be heard from the riverbank when the creature is at the bottom of the river.

Perhaps even more impressive is that the boatman creates his songs by rubbing his penis against his abdomen in a process called stridulation. Don’t try this at home.

Northern elephant seal – 125 decibels

Northern elephant seal

Not the prettiest, but certainly loud
Source: True Wildlife

Found in the cold aquatic environments of the north, the large proboscis of the adult males resembles an elephant trunk hence the name. A complex breathing apparatus consisting of multiple chambers for storing oxygen, and it’s also what the seal uses to blow its own trumpet (metaphorically of course).

During mating season the seals make very loud roaring noises with this wannabe trunk to woo females, and can peak at around 125 decibels. That’s loud when you consider how many trumpets will be blowing at the same time. Good job they prefer the Polar Regions.

Blue whale – 188 decibels

blue whale

Its groans are louder than a rock concert
Source: Photozworld

It may be the biggest mammal in the world, but this graceful 200-tonne beauty with a tongue as heavy as an elephant, isn’t quite the loudest. It’s not far off though, as the blue whale’s siren call can reach levels of around 188 decibels, which is still much louder than a jet engine or even a rock concert.

The blue whale also emits a low frequency series of pulses, groans and moans, which can travel great distances under the water. Scientists believe that other blue whales travelling at distances of up to 1000 miles can pick up these noises.

Pistol shrimp — 218 decibels

pistol shrimp 2

Tiny but very mighty
Source: Environmental Graffiti

Despite being only 2 cm long the aptly named pistol (or snapping) shrimp is able to generate a split-second sound, which at 218 decibels is louder than a gunshot. Recognized by owning one humungous, oversized claw, which resembles a boxing glove, the pistol shrimp uses this deadly weapon to stun its prey.

The claw snaps shut with enough force to fire a jet of water at up to 62 mph. This generates a low pressure cavitation bubble that bursts with a loud snap and stuns unsuspecting prey. Death by deafness — ouch.

Sperm whale — 230 decibels

sperm whale

The loudest of the sea
Source: The Animal Planet

So if you like to play Top Trumps, you’d want the sperm whale card to win the noisiest sea creature category. The sperm whales head has a structure called monkey lips, which it uses to blow air through and also produce loud, booming clicks.

These clicks or codas, which are unique to each whale, are used like sonar to find food and also to communicate with other sperm whales. It is estimated by biologist and whale researcher, Magnus Wahlberg of Aarhus University in Denmark, that these clicks can reach levels of 230 decibels underwater. Meaning the sperm whale is the loudest sea creature we could find with the net.

Prehistoric fish still swimming today

Scientists recently discovered a fossilized fish face at the bottom of a Chinese reservoir that’s believed to be 419 million years old. Making it the oldest known creature with a face (after Mick Jagger).

Rather impressive you’ll agree.

However it’s not quite as impressive as the prehistoric fish that are still around and having it large today. That’s right, the deadly meteor, or whatever it was, didn’t quite wipe out everything. So keep an eye out for this lot next time you’re out with your fishing gear.

Goblin Shark

goblin shark

Ridley Scott inspired nashers
Source: Environmental Graffiti

Anything named after a goblin is going to be a bit scary and the goblin shark doesn’t disappoint. Its translucent skin is a pinkish colour giving the shark a ghostly presence as it moves underwater.

Yet its weirdest feature is the set of teeth that are able to spring out of its mouth like some Ridley Scott sci-fi creation. The good news is that it swims at depths of over 4000 feet, so rarely comes into contact with human beings.

Hagfish

hagfish

The hagfish eats it’s victims inside out
Source: Helablog

There is something about the name, hagfish, that suggests this could be a fictional creature. And many wished this were the case when they learn of the gruesome feeding and defence mechanisms of this fish.

Also known as slime eels, hagfish produce large amounts of slime which turns into sticky goo when mixed with water and this can choke potential predators. When it comes to eating, hagfish attach themselves to their prey like a leech and gorge on their victims from the inside out. There’s 500 million years worth of bad manners for you.

Alligator gar

Alligator Gar

Now that’s a serious jaw!
Source: National Geographic Channel

Boasting a double-jawed arsenal of sharp teeth, thick-scaled armour and weighing in at up to 200 kilograms, the alligator gar hasn’t survived since the Cretaceous period because it looks pretty and barters well.

It’s a formidable predator and the largest freshwater fish in North America. Quite an achievement when you consider some of the big fish found around those parts.

Sturgeon

Sturgeon

A major source of caviar
Source: Wikimedia

The magnificent sturgeon is a survivor from the early Jurassic period, which is about 190 million years ago. With 25 known species (the biggest growing up to an incredible 6 metres) sturgeons are protected with bony plates called scutes, and bottom feed in both freshwater and at sea.

These fish pose no real danger except when they decide to leap out of the water and land on something, which usually gets crushed by their weight. Unfortunately for the sturgeon, it’s the main source for caviar, so it’s done well to survive alongside human beings for so long.

Coelacanth

Coelacanth

Coelacanth – nicknamed The Living Fossil
Source: The University of Chicago

Nicknamed the Living Fossil, as it was once considered extinct before popping up again in 1938, the coelacanth is perhaps the most famous of all living prehistoric fish. Its discovery in a fishing net in South Africa caused a worldwide sensation on par with finding a living dinosaur.

Growing up to 2 metres long, these large predators are found in deep, dark waters and feed on smaller fish, including sharks. They have very complex fin movements and almost appear to be running. No surprise then, that they’re considered by some to be the missing link between fish and amphibians.

Lancetfish

Lancetfish

A pesky nuisance to the fishing industry
Source: Fish Bio

With its abnormally large dorsal fin, which resembles a dinosaur sail, the lancetfish certainly looks prehistoric and its proper name – Alepisaurus Ferox – reinforces this as a fish with history.

Around since the Mesozoic era, this predator has a long streamlined body similar to a barracuda and six very sharp fang-like teeth. It is often caught by commercial fishermen by mistake and is regarded in this trade as being a nuisance.

Frilled Shark

frilled shark

Eats it’s prey like a snake
Source: It’s Nature

This one is a real beauty and one of the most primitive sharks alive being from the Cretaceous period, but is rarely seen in the wild due to dwelling in deep waters where it feeds on squid.

One of the most unusual looking creatures on the planet, the frilled shark has surely inspired many sea monster myths with its almost alien appearance. Its mouth has an incredible 25 rows of razor sharp hooked teeth (that’s 300 teeth in total) and it can extend its jaws to feed on prey almost half its size. It then digests them quite similar to how a snake does.