65The Atlantic suary (Scomberesox sarus), was found washed on shore and caught by fishers in East Bay. Sauries are also known as skippers because they skip along the surface of the water when escaping from their predators. Other common names include needlefish or billfish because of its distinct sharp beak.

The saury is a schooling species that is common to the warm and temperate waters of the Atlantic, Pacifick, and Indian Oceans. They prefer warm waters of 8.2 to 24.8oC and feed on zooplankton and other small fishes. Predators include cod, mackerel, tuna, and dolphins. Sauries reach a maximum total length of 50 cm.

Local mortalities are most likely a result of the fishes not being able to find water temperatures within its preferred range (i.e. water above 8oC), or a result of low tolerance to low salinities. Near shore salinities have been 10 ppt in this area as a result of recurring heavy rainfall.

Reference: Scott, W.B. and M.G. Scott. 1988.  Atlantic Fishes of Canada. Can. Bull. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 219:713 p.


From UINR Marten – Vol.2. Issue.4 – Winter 2006