Predatory fish in North Carolina

History and mystery beneath the waves

The confluence of human history and aquatic opportunism takes center stage at the Aquarium.
Three exhibits replicate famed shipwrecks off the North Carolina coast. Sunken vessels such as these form the foundation for complex marine communities, much as natural reefs do elsewhere in the ocean. Corals, barnacles and sponges attach to the debris. Small fishes seek shelter in the recesses. Gradually, larger predatory fishes, octopus, eels and sharks expand the food web.

The fishes, sharks, invertebrates, sea turtles and other animals vary in each exhibit according to where the wrecks they represent rest in the underwater ecosystem.


German U-boats sank scores of cargo ships, tankers and passenger liners along the East Coast during World War II, a reality still not widely known more than 60 years later. On May 9, 1942, the U-352 fired on the Coast Guard cutter Icarus 25 miles off Cape Lookout. ubmarine lost the resulting altercation. It went to the bottom in about 100 feet of water, the first U-boat to be sunk by the Coast Guard.

A three-quarter-size replica of the U-352 as it looks today lists to starboard at the bottom of the 306, 000-gallon Living Shipwreck. The fearsome-looking sand tiger sharks, schools of colorful fishes and other animals that populate the Living Shipwreck are typically found around this wreck and others offshore.

The extensive and varied marine community makes the U-352 a popular recreational dive site. In the Living Shipwreck exhibit, divers chat with visitors through underwater microphones. Three viewing windows – one of them 65′ long – frame the constant swirl of color and motion around the submarine. A concave cylindrical window at one end imparts the sensation of being inside the tank.

Wreck of the Caribsea

The Caribsea was carrying manganese from Cuba to Virginia when the German U-boat, U-158, torpedoed it near Cape Lookout on March 11, 1942. The 251-foot freighter went down in 85 feet of water, taking 21 crew members to their deaths.

Ocracoke native James B. Gaskill, the ship’s engineer, was among the victims. According to Ocracoke accounts, the Caribsea’s nameplate and Gaskill’s engineering license washed ashore on the island. The nameplate now hangs in the Cape Hatteras National Seashore Ocracoke Visitor’s Center. he altar of Ocracoke’s United Methodist Church honoring Gaskill is said to have been carved from a wooden spar salvaged from the lost ship.

The Carbisea also is popular with recreational divers. The 12, 000-gallon Wreck of the Caribsea exhibit at the Aquarium hosts some of the ocean’s more colorful swimmers – blue tang, black-barred soldierfish, Spanish hogfish and queen angelfish – as well as a host of other animals.

Impact of spear fishing on the abundance of large predatory coral reef fishes
Book (The University)

Do we really want to save it?

2008-09-23 06:43:39 by oikos

The article does not mention that the sea lamprey is not a native fish and that salmon were existing quite nicely without them, seals and sea lions notwithstanding. Further the article glosses over the fact that the adult sea lamprey is parasitic/predatory (the definition breaks down with them) on the adult salmon, negating the supposed benefit of providing alternate prey for the pinnipeds. There are, however, non-parasitic lampreys that would provide the benefits without the drawbacks.

You might also like:

The Bowfin - an ancient fish predator
The Bowfin - an ancient fish predator
UFO Sightings In North Bay Augest …
UFO Sightings In North Bay Augest …
Deep Sea and Inlet Fishing (Fort Pierce)‪
Deep Sea and Inlet Fishing (Fort Pierce)‪

Related posts: