Tag Archives: Pacific 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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Allium sacculiferum

Botanical Name : Allium sacculiferum
Family: Amaryllidaceae
Subfamily: Allioideae
Tribe: Allieae
Genus: Allium
Species: A. sacculiferum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asparagales

Synonyms:
*Allium deltoidefistulosum S.O.Yu, S.Lee & W.T.Lee
*Allium japonicum Regel 1875, illegitimate homonym not (Thunb.) Steud. 1840
*Allium komarovianum Vved.
*Allium ophiopogon H.Lév.
*Allium sacculiferum var. viviparum Satake
*Allium yuchuanii Y.Z.Zhao & J.Y.Chao

Common Names: Northern plain chive, Triangular chive

Habitat: Allium sacculiferum is native to Japan, Korea, eastern Russia (Amur Oblast, Khabarovsk, Primorye), and northeastern China (Inner Mongolia, Heilongjiang, Jilin, Liaoning). It is found along the banks of lakes and rivers at elevations less than 500 m.

Description:

Allium sacculiferum makes one or two egg-shaped bulbs up to 20 mm across. Scapes are up to 70 cm tall, round in cross-section. Leaves are flat, shorter than the scape, up to 5 mm across. Umbels are spherical, with many flowers crowded together. Tepals are lilac to reddish-violet with darker midveins.

Bulbs 2-3 cm in diameter, narrowly ovoid; outer tunic membranous, reddish- brown. Stem 60-100 cm, terete. Leaves 6-10, up to 35 cm x 20 mm, sheathing the lower 1/2 of the stem, linear, ascending, canaliculate. Spathe 1-valved, persistent, shorter than pedicels. Umbel 3.5-4 cm in diameter, spherical or hemispherical, dense, many-flowered; pedicels 10-20 mm, unequal. Perianth broadly cupshaped or subglobose; segments 4-5 x 2.5 mm, pale yellowish-green very concave, the outer broadly ovate-elliptical, the inner ovate acute. Stamens exserted; filaments 7-8 mm. Capsule 3 mm.

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 It is in flower from Aug to September.  The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, insects.Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

Cultivation:
The bulbs should be planted fairly deeply. Most members of this genus are intolerant of competition from other plants. Grows well with most plants, especially roses, carrots, beet and chamomile, but it inhibits the growth of legumes. This plant is a bad companion for alfalfa, each species negatively affecting the other. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.
Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle – if you want to produce clumps more quickly then put three plants in each pot. Grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter and plant them out into their permanent positions in spring once they are growing vigorously and are large enough. Division in spring. The plants divide successfully at any time in the growing season, pot up the divisions in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are growing well and then plant them out into their permanent positions.
Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Flowers; Leaves; Root.
Bulb – raw or cooked. Added to soups. The bulb is up to 15mm in diameter. Leaves – raw or cooked. Added to soups. Flowers – raw. Used as a garnish on salads.

Medicinal Uses:
Although no specific mention of medicinal uses has been seen for this species, members of this genus are in general very healthy additions to the diet. They contain sulphur compounds (which give them their onion flavour) and when added to the diet on a regular basis they help reduce blood cholesterol levels, act as a tonic to the digestive system and also tonify the circulatory system.
Other Uses:….Repellent.…….The juice of the plant is used as a moth repellent. The whole plant is said to repel insects and moles.

Known Hazards: Although no individual reports regarding this species have been seen, there have been cases of poisoning caused by the consumption, in large quantities and by some mammals, of certain members of this genus. Dogs seem to be particularly susceptible.

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allium_sacculiferum
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Allium+sacculiferum

Claytonia sibirica

Botanical Name : Claytonia sibirica
Family: Montiaceae
Genus: Claytonia
Species: C. sibirica
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Caryophyllales

Synonyms: Claytonia alsinoides. C. sibirica.

Common Names: Siberian Spring Beauty, Siberian Miner’s Lettuce, Candy Flower or Pink Purslane

Habitat:Claytonia sibirica is native to E. Asia – Siberia. Western N. America – Alaska to California. Naturalized in Britain. It grows on damp woods, shaded streamsides etc, especially on sandy acid soils. Thickets of red alder, dogwood, vine-leaf maple, moist shaded coniferous forests from sea level to 2000 metres.

Description:
Claytonia sibirica is a short-lived perennial or annual flowering plant with hermaphroditic flowers which are protandrous and self-fertile. The numerous fleshy stems form a rosette and the leaves are lanceolate. The flowers are 8-20 mm diameter, with five white, candy-striped, or pink petals, flowering is between February and August.

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It is not frost tender. It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower from Apr to July, and the seeds ripen from Jun to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, flies.The plant is self-fertile.

Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very acid soils.

It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.

Cultivation:
A very tolerant and easily grown plant, it prefers a moist peaty soil and is unhappy in dry situations. It succeeds in full sun though is happier when given some shade and also grows in the dense shade of beech trees. Plants usually self-sow freely. This is an excellent and trouble-free salad plant. It is extremely cold-hardy and can provide edible leaves all year round in all areas of the country even if it is not given protection.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring or autumn in situ. The seed usually germinates rapidly.

Edible Uses:
Leaves – raw or cooked. They usually have a fairly bland flavour and are quite nice in a salad or cooked as a green vegetable. The leaves have a distinct earthy after-taste rather like raw beetroot. They are available all year round but can turn rather bitter in the summer, especially if the plant is growing in a hot dry position. Although on the small side, the leaves are produced in abundance and are very easily harvested.
Medicinal Uses:
The plant is diuretic. A poultice of the chewed leaves has been applied to cuts and sores. The juice of the plant has been used as eye drops for sore red eyes. A cold infusion of the stems has been used as an antidandruff wash for the hair.

Other Uses:
A good ground cover plant for a shady position. This species is a short-lived perennial but it usually self-sows freely and gives a dense weed-excluding ground cover

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/Claytonia_sibirica
http://www.pfaf.org/user/plant.aspx?latinname=Claytonia+sibirica

Equisetum fluviatile

Botanical Name : Equisetum fluviatile
Family: Equisetaceae
Genus: Equisetum
Species: E. fluviatile
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pteridophyta
Class: Equisetopsida
Order: Equisetales

Synonyms: E. heliocharis. E. limosum.

Common Name : Water horsetail , Swamp Horsetail

Habitat : Equisetum fluviatile is native to arctic and temperate Northern Hemisphere, from Eurasia south to central Spain, northern Italy, the Caucasus, China, Korea and Japan, and in
North America from the Aleutian Islands to Newfoundland, south to Oregon, Idaho, northwest Montana, northeast Wyoming, West Virginia and Virginia.. It grows on shallow water in lakes,
ponds and ditches and other sluggish or still waters with mud bottoms.

Description:
Equisetum fluviatile is a herbaceous perennial plant, growing 30–100 cm (rarely 140 cm) tall with erect dark green stems 2–8 mm in diameter, smooth, with about 10–30 fine ridges. At
each joint, the stem has a whorl of tiny, black-tipped scale leaves 5–10 mm long. Many, but not all, stems also have whorls of short ascending and spreading branches 1–5 cm long, with the   longest branches on the lower middle of the stem. The side branches are slender, dark green, and have 1–8 nodes with a whorl of five scale leaves at each node. The water horsetail has the
largest central hollow of the horsetails, with 80% of the stem diameter typically being hollow. The stems readily pull apart at the joints, and both fertile and sterile stems look alike.

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The water horsetail reproduces both by spores and vegetatively by rhizomes. It primarily reproduces by vegetative means, with the majority of shoots arising from rhizomes. Spores are
produced in blunt-tipped cones at the tips of some stems. The spore cones are yellowish-green, 1-2 cm long and 1 cm broad, with numerous scales in dense whorls.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 2. The seeds ripen from Jun to July.

Cultivation:
Prefers a moist soil with a pH between 6.5 and 7.5. Plants are hardy to about -30°c. Plants have a deep and penetrating root system and can be invasive. If grown in the garden they are best   kept in bounds by planting them in a large container which can be sunk into the ground.

Propagation :
Spores – best collected as soon as they are ripe in the spring and surface-sown immediately on a sterile compost. Keep moist and pot up as soon as the plants are large enough to handle. Very
difficult. Division. The plants usually spread very freely when well sited and should not really need any assistance.

Edible Uses:
The water horsetail has historically been used by both Europeans and Native Americans for scouring, sanding, and filing because of the high silica content in the stems. Early spring shoots were eaten.

Strobil (the fertile shoots in spring) – cooked. Used as an asparagus substitute, though it is neither palatable nor nutritious. Caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity. Roots – cooked.
The roots contain a nutritious starch. Caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity.

Medicinal Uses:
Medically it was used by the ancient Greeks and Romans to stop bleeding and treat kidney ailments, ulcers, and tuberculosis, and by the ancient Chinese to treat superficial visual obstructions. Horsetails absorb heavy metals from the soil, and are often used in bioassays for metals.

Horsetails have an unusual chemistry compared to most other plants. They are rich in silica, contain several alkaloids (including nicotine) and various minerals. The plant is styptic. The
barren stems are used, they are most active when fresh but can also be dried and sometimes the ashes of the plant are used. A decoction applied externally will stop the bleeding of wounds and
promote healing.

Other Uses: Rootstocks and stems are sometimes eaten by waterfowl.

Known Hazards:
Large quantities of the plant can be toxic. This is because it contains the enzyme thiaminase, a substance that can rob the body of the vitamin B complex. In small quantities this enzyme will do no harm to people eating an adequate diet that is rich in vitamin B, though large quantities can cause severe health problems. The enzyme is destroyed by heat or thorough drying, so cooking the plant will remove the thiaminase. The plant also contains equisetic acid – see the notes on medicinal uses for more information.

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/Equisetum_fluviatile
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Equisetum+fluviatile

Psidium cattleianum

Botanical Name: Psidium cattleianum
Family: Myrtaceae
Subfamily: Myrtoideae
Genus: Psidium
Species: P. cattleyanum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Myrtales

Synonyms : Psidium cattleianum. Salisb. littorale (O. Berg) Fosb., Psidium littoraleRaddi

Common Names: Cattley guava, Strawberry guava or Cherry guava
The red-fruited variety, P. cattleyanum var. cattleyanum, is commonly known as red cattley guava, red strawberry guava and red cherry guava. The yellow-fruited variety, P. cattleyanum var. littorale is variously known as yellow cattley guava, yellow strawberry guava, yellow cherry guava, lemon guava and in Hawaii as waiaw?.

Habitat : Psidium cattleianum is native to Brazil where it is known as araçá (ara-SAH) and adjacent tropical South America, it is closely related to common guava . Now it is cultivated in tropical and semi-tropical areas worldwide for its fruit and as an ornamental. It has escaped cultivation and become a serious weed in various Indian and Pacific Ocean locations, and is considered the worst invasive plant species in Hawaii. The strawberry guava is similar in flavor and uses to guava (P. guajava), but is generally smaller (although considered to be more attractive). Other guava fruits that are commercially grown are the Costa Rican guava (P. friedrichsthalianum) and the Guinea guava (P. guineense).

Description:
Psidium cattleianum is a shrub or many-branched small tree, with smooth brown bark and slender branches, which may reach heights of up to 12 m (39 ft), although typically growing to 2 to 4 m (6 to 13 ft). Some varieties are moderately frost-tolerant, and may be hardier than P. guava.It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower in May. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) The leaves are oval to elliptical, up to 4.5 cm (1.75 in) long, smooth and leathery to waxy, with prominent veins. The fragrant white flowers are tubular with 5 petals, and are larger than the leaves, to 6 cm (2.3 in) wide, and are either solitary or in clusters of 3 at the axils (where leaf meets stem). The fruits, which are produced when the plants are 3 to 6 years old, are round to somewhat oval, about the size of a walnut around 4 cm (1.5 in) long, with a thin skin that ripens to a color ranging from yellow (in var. lucidum) to dark red or purple, tipped by the remains of the calyx (somewhat like an apple or blueberry). The juicy flesh, which is white or yellow, has many soft seeds embedded in it……CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

 

Cultivation:
Requires a well-drained sandy loam with leafmold. Requires cool greenhouse treatment in Britain. Tolerates short-lived light frosts and cool summers so it might succeed outdoors in the mildest areas of the country. Dislikes much humidity. Sometimes cultivated for its edible fruit, there are some named varieties.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a warm greenhouse. When large enough to handle, prick out the seedlings into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. If trying the plants outdoors, plant them out in the summer and give them some protection from winter cold for at least their first two winters. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame.

Edible Uses :
Edible Parts:……Fruit – raw or cooked. The fruit can be used in jellies, jams, custards, drinks etc. Sweet and aromatic. The flavour is more pronounced than that of the yellow strawberry guava but lacks the muskiness of the common guava. The fruit has an agreeable acid-sweet flavour and is good when eaten raw, though it can also be used in preserves. The fruit is about 4cm in diameter.

Medicinal Uses : Not Known

Other Uses: …..Hedge; Hedge……..Grown as a hedge in warm temperate climates
Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psidium_cattleyanum
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Psidium+cattleianum
http://eol.org/pages/2508592/overview
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psidium_cattleyanum