Sure do love those flyin fish

by Jessica Miller

April 18, 2008

sunrise

This morning I woke up still pretty sore from spending a whole day in the RHIBS on the open ocean Wednesday. I glanced over at the alarm clock and realized I had more than an hour before I had to get up for breakfast. I looked out the porthole of my cabin and I could see the sky starting to turn bright pink. I could tell it was going to be a beautiful sunrise. I decided to stay in bed a little longer and my mind drifted back to our day of action on the South Pacific.

I thought about how fast the Koren purse seiner was moving next to our boats (doing almost 13 knots), about the fishermen watching us from the deck, the salt water spray that was pelting me in the face but my mind kept flashing back to the flying fish that were escorting us to the Korean purse seiner.

We launched the boats from the Esperanza with almost a 30 minute ride ahead of us. About half way through, a flying fish shot out of the water, flew for what seemed like forever and then shot back into the water. A few seconds later, a few more flying fish came up for a flight and dove back into the ocean. This continued for a while with varying size to the groups that joined us on our trip to the fishing vessel.

It felt good to have a few of the locals accompany us that morning. Being in the middle of the ocean, you can go for hours and sometimes days without any visible sealife. That morning, the flying fish were a nice reminder that we aren’t just fighting for the tuna. That we are fighting for the health of this ocean and all of the things that live in the delicate balance of these eco-systems.

Flying fish are found in all the major oceans, mainly in the tropical and subtropical waters of the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. Their pectoral fins are unusually large and what allows them to take flight above the water. The fish usually fly out of the water to escape from predators such as tunas, swordfish, mahi mahi and other larger fish.

 

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