Tag Archives: Arctic Ocean

Mackerel

Description:
Mackerel is a common name applied to a number of different species of pelagic fish, mostly, but not exclusively, from the family Scombridae. They are found in both temperate and tropical seas, mostly living along the coast or offshore in the oceanic environment.

This fish typically have vertical stripes on their backs and deeply forked tails. Many species are restricted in their distribution ranges, and live in separate populations or fish stocks based on geography. Some stocks migrate in large schools along the coast to suitable spawning grounds, where they spawn in fairly shallow waters. After spawning they return the way they came, in smaller schools, to suitable feeding grounds often near an area of upwelling. From there they may move offshore into deeper waters and spend the winter in relative inactivity. Other stocks migrate across oceans.

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Smaller mackerel are forage fish for larger predators, including larger mackerel and Atlantic cod. Flocks of seabirds, as well as whales, dolphins, sharks and schools of larger fish such as tuna and marlin follow mackerel schools and attack them in sophisticated and cooperative ways. Mackerel is high in omega-3 oils and is intensively harvested by humans. In 2009, over five million tons were landed by commercial fishermen. Sport fishermen value the fighting abilities of the king mackerel.

Mackerel are prolific broadcast spawners and must breed near the surface of the water due to the eggs of the females floating. Individual females lay between 300,000 and 1,500,000 eggs. Their eggs and larvae are pelagic, that is, they float free in the open sea. The larvae and juvenile mackerel feed on zooplankton. As adults they have sharp teeth, and hunt small crustaceans such as copepods, as well as forage fish, shrimp and squid. In turn they are hunted by larger pelagic animals such as tuna, billfish, sea lions, sharks and pelicans.

Off Madagascar, spinner sharks follow migrating schools of mackerel. Bryde’s whales feed on mackerel when they can find them. They use several feeding methods, including skimming the surface, lunging, and bubble nets.

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Distribution:

Most mackerel species have restricted distribution ranges.

*Atlantic Spanish mackerel (Scomberomorus maculatus) occupy the waters off the east coast of North America from the Cape Cod area south to the Yucatan Peninsula. Its population is considered to include two fish stocks, defined by geography. As summer approaches, one stock moves in large schools north from Florida up the coast to spawn in shallow waters off the New England coast. It then returns to winter in deeper waters off Florida. The other stock migrates in large schools along the coast from Mexico to spawn in shallow waters of the Gulf of Mexico off Texas. It then returns to winter in deeper waters off the Mexican coast. These stocks are managed separately, even though genetically they are identical.

*The Atlantic mackerel (Scomber scombrus) is a coastal species found only in the north Atlantic. The stock on the west side of the Atlantic is largely independent of the stock on the east side. The stock on the east Atlantic currently operates as three separate stocks, the southern, western and North Sea stocks, each with their own migration patterns. Some mixing of the east Atlantic stocks takes place in feeding grounds towards the north, but there is almost no mixing between the east and west Atlantic stocks.

*Another common coastal species, the chub mackerel (Scomber japonicus), is absent from the Atlantic Ocean but is widespread across both hemispheres in the Pacific, where its migration patterns are somewhat similar to those of Atlantic mackerel. In the northern hemisphere, chub mackerel migrate northwards in the summer to feeding grounds, and southwards in the winter when they spawn in relatively shallow waters. In the southern hemisphere the migrations are reversed. After spawning, some stocks migrate down the continental slope to deeper water and spend the rest of the winter in relative inactivity.

*The Chilean jack mackerel (Trachurus murphyi), the most intensively harvested mackerel-like species, is found in the south Pacific from West Australia to the coasts of Chile and Peru. A sister species, the Pacific jack mackerel (Trachurus symmetricus), is found in the north Pacific. The Chilean jack mackerel occurs along the coasts in upwelling areas, but also migrates across the open ocean. Its abundance can fluctuate markedly as ocean conditions change, and is particularly affected by the El Niño.

Three species of jack mackerels are found in coastal waters around New Zealand: the Australasian, Chilean and Pacific jack mackerels. They are mainly captured using purse seine nets, and are managed as a single stock that includes multiple species.

Some mackerel species migrate vertically. Adult snake mackerels conduct a diel vertical migration, staying in deeper water during the day and rising to the surface at night to feed. The young and juveniles also migrate vertically but in the opposite direction, staying near the surface during the day and moving deeper at night. This species feeds on squid, pelagic crustaceans, lanternfishes, flying fishes, sauries and other mackerel.It is in turn preyed upon by tuna and marlin.

As Food:
Mackerel is an important food fish that is consumed worldwide. As an oily fish, it is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids. The flesh of mackerel spoils quickly, especially in the tropics, and can cause scombroid food poisoning. Accordingly, it should be eaten on the day of capture, unless properly refrigerated or cured.

Mackerel preservation is not simple. Before the 19th-century development of canning and the widespread availability of refrigeration, salting and smoking were the principal preservation methods available. Historically in England, this fish was not preserved, but was consumed only in its fresh form. However, spoilage was common, leading the authors of The Cambridge Economic History of Europe to remark: “There are more references to stinking mackerel in English literature than to any other fish!” In France mackerel was traditionally pickled with large amounts of salt, which allowed it to be sold widely across the country.

Food Value:
Mackerel is one of the highly recommended oily fish for a healthy diet. It is also known as maccarello. The slim torpedo-shaped fish is found in deep temperate and tropical waters. It is rich in essential oils, vitamins and minerals. Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids occur in high quantities in this fish. It contains vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, E and K. Various minerals also occur richly in the fish. These include calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, sodium and selenium. Trace minerals include zinc and copper. The fish also contains protein and the antioxidant Coenzyme Q10. The fish has several benefits to health.

Health Benefit:

Anti-Carcinogenic:-
Coenzyme Q10 helps to eliminate cancerous agents from afflicted cells. This improves cellular health. Antioxidants reduce the risk of some cancers. Omega-3 fatty acids can help to prevent breast, prostrate, renal and colon cancers. It has also been established that marine fatty acids hinder the proliferation of breast cancer cells. Several studies have concluded that essential fatty acids reduce the risk of breast cancer. The oily fish contains good amounts of vitamins B12 and selenium, which have been found helpful in the treatment of cancer.

Immunity:-
Mackerel fortifies the immune system. It supports the functions of organs that have been weakened by sickness. Omega-3 fatty acids act as an anti-inflammatory agent. They help in the management of arthritis. They also help to lower the risk of some cancers and heart disease. Coenzyme Q10 protects cells from damage that increases the risk of cancer. It also enhances the body’s capacity to fight infections. It is a great item to be included in the diet of convalescents and those undergoing various treatments.

Cardiovascular:-
Inclusion of oily fish in the diet improves the condition of the blood. This promotes better heart health. Essential fatty acids help to thin the blood. This improves blood flow and lowers blood pressure. It prevents build-up of cholesterol in the blood and prevents constriction of arteries. Essential fatty acids reduce bad cholesterol levels yet maintain good cholesterol levels. They make blood vessels more elastic, which facilitates improved blood flow. Cleaner, thinner blood reduces the risk of heart attack and coronary heart disease. The rich calcium content in the fish also helps to normalize heartbeat and regulate blood pressure. To reduce the risk of heart disease, it is recommended that two servings of oily fish are included in the diet each week.

Brain and Nerve Development:-
High concentrations of Omega-3 fatty acids are found in the brain. It has been established that they play a vital role in cognitive and behavioral functions. This enhances memory and performance. It also prevents the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Essential fatty acids help to prevent problems of the central nervous system. They also facilitate the efficient transmission of nerve impulses. Essential fatty acids have been found helpful in the prevention of depression and dementia.
Known Hazards: Although mackerel is a highly nourishing fish, it is recommended that pregnant and nursing mothers avoid it. The fish may contain elevated mercury levels, especially if sourced from polluted waters. When consumed by pregnant women, it could damage the child’s developing nervous system. It also poses risks to the mother’s health.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resurces::
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mackerel
http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/nutrition/peeps-flavored-oreos-and-17-other-foods-that-can-change-the-pallor-of-your-poo.html

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Myricaria elegans

Botanical Name : Myricaria elegans
Family :Tamaricaceae
Reign: Plantae
Class: Equisetopsida
Subclass: Magnoliidae
Order :Caryophyllales
Super-order: Caryophyllanae
Habitat : Myricaria elegans is native to E. Asia – W. Himalayas, Tibet. It grows on stony slopes, especially in Ladakh, 2700 – 4000 metres.
Description:
Myricaria elegans is a deciduous Shrub growing to 3.5 m (11ft 6in), with reddish-brown older branches, bearing lateral leafy branches and racemes; leaves on branches of current year, elliptic to elliptic lanceolate10-15 mm long with narrowly membranous margin; racemes spike-like, usually lateral, rarely terminal, 10-15 cm long; bracts ovate, 3-5 mm long with broadly membranous margin; pedicel 2-3 mm long; sepals ovate-lanceolate to triangular-ovate, 2 mm long, margin membranous; petals white to pink, obovate to nearly rounded, 5-6 mm long, narrowed at base; capsule nearly 8-10 mm long.

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The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soils.
It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.
Cultivation:
We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain, though judging by its native range it should succeed outdoors in most parts of the country. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. Prefers a fertile well-drained soil in full sun with shelter from cold drying winds. Tolerates chalk soils.
Propagation:
Seed – sow early spring in a cold frame and only just cover the seed. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Cuttings of mature wood of the current seasons growth, November to January in a sandy propagating mix in an open frame.

Medicinal Uses:...Poultice……The leaves are used externally as a poultice on bruises.
Other Uses:...Fuel……The wood is used as a fuel.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.
Resources:
https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myricaria
https://sites.google.com/site/efloraofindia/species/m—z/t/tamaricaceae/myricaria/myricaria-elegans
http://www.pfaf.org/USER/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Myricaria+elegans

Taraxacum japonicum

Botanical Name : Taraxacum japonicum
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Cichorieae
Genus: Taraxacum
Species: T. japonicum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Habitat : Taraxacum japonicum is native to E. Asia – C. and S. Japan. Sunny ruderal habitats such as roadsides and edges of paddy fields at elevations below 500 metres.

Description:
Taraxacum japonicum is a  perennial plant ,  growing to 0.2 m (0ft 8in). It is in flower from Mar to May. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.The plant is self-fertile.

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Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

Cultivation:
We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain, though judging by its native range it should succeed outdoors in many parts of the country. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. Prefers a well-drained humus-rich soil in full sun or light shade. Many species in this genus produce their seed apomictically. This is an asexual method of seed production where each seed is genetically identical to the parent plant. Occasionally seed is produced sexually, the resulting seedlings are somewhat different to the parent plants and if these plants are sufficiently distinct from the parents and then produce apomictic seedlings these seedlings are, in theory at least, a new species.
Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame and either surface-sow or only just cover the seed. Make sure the compost does not dry out. Germination should take place within 2 weeks. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle, choosing relatively deep pots to accommodate the tap root. Plant them out in early summer. Division in early spring as the plant comes into growth.
Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Flowers; Leaves; Root.

Leaves – raw or cooked. The roasted root is a coffee substitute. The following uses are also probably applicable to this species, though we have no records for them Root – cooked. Flowers – raw or cooked. The unopened flower buds can be used in fritters. The whole plant is dried and used as a tea. A pleasant tea is made from the flowers. The leaves and the roots can also be used to make tea.
Medicinal Uses: Cholagogue, diuretic, galactogogue, skin, stomachic, tonic.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taraxacum_japonicum
http://www.pfaf.org/USER/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Taraxacum+japonicum

Rubus spectabilis

Botanical Name : Rubus spectabilis
Family: Rosaceae
Genus: Rubus
Species:R. spectabilis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Rosales

Common Names: Salmonberry

Habitat:Rubus spectabilis is native to the west coast of North America from west central Alaska to California, inland as far as Idaho. Occasionally naturalized in Britain. It grows on Moist spots in and about woods below 300 metres in California.

Description:
Rubus spectabilis is a deciduous shrub growing to 1–4 m (40-160 inches or 1.3-13.3 feet) tall, with perennial, not biennial woody stems that are covered with fine prickles. The leaves are trifoliate (with three leaflets), 7–22 cm (2.8-8.8 inches) long, the terminal leaflet larger than the two side leaflets. The leaf margins are toothed. It is in flower in April, and the seeds ripen from Jun to July. The flowers are 2–3 cm (0.8-1.2 inches) in diameter, with five pinkish-purple petals; they are produced from early spring to early summer. The fruit matures in late summer to early autumn, and resembles a large yellow to orange-red raspberry 1.5–2 cm (0.6-0.8 inches) long with many drupelets.

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The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very acid soils.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.
Cultivation:
Easily grown in a good well-drained loamy soil in sun or semi-shade. Grows well in the shade of trees though it is less likely to fruit well in such a position. Hardy to about -25°c. A very ornamental plant, but it is invasiv. It does not fruit well in Britain, but has become naturalized in Surrey and Cumbria in cool acid woodland soils. This species is a raspberry with biennial stems, it produces a number of new stems each year from the perennial rootstock, these stems fruit in their second year and then die. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungu.
Propagation:
Seed – requires stratification and is best sown in early autumn in a cold frame. Stored seed requires one month stratification at about 3°c and is best sown as early as possible in the year. Prick out the seedlings when they are large enough to handle and grow on in a cold frame. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring of the following year. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Tip layering in July. Plant out in autumn. Division in early spring or just before leaf-fall in the autumn
Edible Uses:
Fruit raw, cooked or dried for later use. Juicy with a very good flavour. The fruit can be made into jams and jellies. This species is not of much value in Britain, it does not fruit freely in the cooler summers of this country and the fruits do not always develop their full flavour. The fruit can range in colour from yellow, through orange to red, it is about the size of a cultivated raspberry but is rather inferior in flavour and often has a distinctive bitterness, especially in cooler summers. Another report says that it fruits freely in Britain. Young shoots – peeled and eaten raw or cooked like asparagus. They are harvested in the spring as they grow above the soil and whilst they are still tender. Flowers – raw. The leaves are used as a tea substitute.
Medicinal Uses:

Analgesic; Astringent; Disinfectant; Odontalgic; Poultice; Stomachic.

The leaves and the root are astringent. A poultice of the chewed leaves has been used as a dressing on burns. The root bark is analgesic, astringent, disinfectant and stomachic. A decoction is used in the treatment of stomach complaints. A decoction has been used to lessen the pains of labour. The powdered bark has been used as a dusting powder on burns and sores. A poultice of the bark has been applied to wounds and aching teeth to ease the pain. A poultice of the chewed bark has been used as a dressing to relive pain and clean burns and wounds.

Other Uses:
Disinfectant; Dye; Pipes.
A purple to dull blue dye is obtained from the fruit. The hollowed stems are used as pipes. (The report does not specify what type of pipes)

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Rubus+spectabilis
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rubus_spectabilis