It is not uncommon to locate large patches of floating weeds off the coasts of Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. The weed is called sargassum, otherwise known as gulfweed. Gulfweed is found in clusters and can extend for miles both in length and width. The seaweeds benefit both aquatic and human life.
Where Does Sargassum Weed Come From
The weed grows at the bottom of the sea in all of the tropical and temperate oceans worldwide.
Sargassum grows in shallow waters around coral reefs. Even though it evolves from the bottom, the weed thrives at the surface.
The roots of gulfweed stem from the bottom; however, the plant thrives at the surface. Once the weed breaks free of the seafloor, it remains afloat by the gas-filled bladders. The plant remains alive or sinks to the seafloor as a nutrient-rich fertilizer.
Where Can Sargassum Be Found
While sargassum grows in shallow waters along reefs, it remains alive as it drifts along in ocean currents.
The weed floats by utilizing air bladders and is grown in tropical and temperate oceans. Sargassum grows aggressively and proliferates into mats on the surface of the sea.
What Is Sargassum Seaweed Good For
While sargassum is essential for sea creatures, it is fundamental for the growth of crops onshore.
Sargassum is critical for protecting small sealife including turtles, fish, and curstaceans. However, the weeds are utilized for the fertilization of crops in addition to human consumption. Sargassum contains high levels of nutrients despite the bitter taste and is prepared in a multidue of ways.
Is It Safe To Swim In Sargassum
While the plant poses no danger at sea, the beach is a different story. Once the seaweed dies onshore, the plant becomes dangerous to humans.
Those with breathing issues must take caution. The gasses released contain hydrogen sulfide which causes irritation of the nose, eyes, and throat. The smell is comparable to rotten eggs.
How Do Anglers Benefit From Sargassum Weed
Anglers benefit significantly from floating gulfweed. The weeds provide a habitat for baitfish and crustaceans.
The abundance of baitfish attracts aquatic species due to the beds of weeds being a food source.
Offshore anglers fishing the blue water find success when locating organized sargassum weed beds, most commonly known as a weedline. Trolling and casting live bait is effective for catching fish that are beneath a weedline.
What Kind Of Fish Live In Sargassum Weed
The mats of weed at the surface of the water are home to an abundance of fish. The fish are both predators and prey.
The unique species is the sargassum fish which is nearly identical to the weeds in which it lives. In addition to baitfish, squid, and crustaceans, triple tail fish are common. However, anglers seek out weedlines targeting wahoo, dolphin, tuna, sailfish, marlin, and cobia.
The pelagic species roam warm coastal waters and prey on the bountiful food source in the weed beds.
While anglers benefit significantly from weedlines, divers have the opportunity to enter the water and be amongst the fish. Mahi-mahi, otherwise known as dolphin, gather in school and are an incredible sight when diving in with a tank or snorkel. Bring along the spearfishing gear to shoot dolphin.
Do You Have A Better Understanding Of Sargassum Weed
Although weedlines are a nuisance when broken into small patches, anglers find success trolling well-defined weed lines. The patches of floating weeds provide shelter for baitfish and a food source for pelagics. While sargassum benefits anglers, the weed is an excellent source of nutrition despite the taste. The next time you head offshore, keep an eye out for the large yellowish-brown patches floating across the surface.