Brackish waters of the Baltic Sea are seeing harsh algal blooms. Here’s how the venerable northern pike is coming to the rescue.
The reason: eutrophication.
If that word is foreign to you, you’re not alone. It’s something I learned in basic college level Environmental Science (ENV) back in school. Basically speaking, excess fertilizer and nutrients, usually due to human activity, runs off into nearby waters causing dense plant growth (like algae) that chokes out animal life due to the lack of oxygen.
How can pike help? Check out the video and then we’ll review.
Oscar Olseryd of the Swedish Anglers Association said in the video,
“Now in 2017 there has been 350 pikes that are (have) come up here to spawn, and the biggest fish they are, well they are huge! Fish about 10 kilos, almost as long as I am tall”
Sport fishermen everywhere should be delighted with this effort, not to mention the best reason to have more pike: they will in fact help to decrease the algal blooms by eating smaller fish.
Tom Arnbom of the Worldwide Fund for Nature explains it quite simply saying,
“When the pike goes from the wetlands out to the Baltic again, they start eating fish; the fish which are the ones who really eat the zooplankton which means that the eutrophication can then disappear because the zooplankton’s the one keeping the eutrophication down”
Bottom line: pike eat the bait fish; less bait fish to eat zooplankton- more zooplankton left to feed on things like algal blooms.
And if there are more pike for fishermen, particularly pike that weigh around 10 kilos (about 22 lbs!) it’s a win-win situation for everyone!