Approach the roach!

It wouldn’t have been possible for people to inhabit the archipelago if the sea hadn’t provided food so generously. Throughout the centuries the most important catch in Finland has been the Baltic herring, which for a long time was the main source of income and food in the archipelago. Even pike, perch, whitefish, cod and many other species were caught with different methods such as net, fyke, seine and ice fishing.

Nutrients, that have ended up in the Baltic Sea, cause eutrophication which causes for example turbidity of water. One species of fish, that doesn’t seem to be disturbed by the eutrophication, is roach. It is typical for eutrophic waters, that the roaches increase in number, whereas large predacious fishes decrease. As they are looking for food, roaches dig around the sea bottom thus releasing nutrients that already have settled into the sediment. This way roaches further enhance the cycle of eutrophication.

As they guzzle small organisms from the sediment, great amounts of nutrients are bound to the roaches themselves as well. In inland waters the problem of eutrophication is often managed by fishing away great amounts of roaches. This way both the sediment-digging fishes and all the nutrient bound in them are removed from the water.

It would be beneficial if we could somehow reduce the populations of roach in our waters. To this task we can all participate and get a healthy fish dish in the process. In the old days roach was considered a proper food fish but these days it is often thrown away when caught. But a meal made of roach can be both delicious and environmentally friendly!

So grab your fishing rod and let’s hope that you catch a roach!

If you don’t happen to have a fishing rod with you, you can either build one out of a branch, fishing line and a hook, or ask if someone has been fishing and caught some roach. You can prepare for example fish chips or soup out of the roaches you manage to get.

Did you know that plankton is the common name for all the different sized organisms that live freely in the water and move mainly along the currents? Typically, plankton is microscopic but for example jellyfish is considered as plankton.

Can you find wild marjoram (also known as oregano)?