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Biting fish at Orient? #215145
01/22/2020 03:28 PM
01/22/2020 03:28 PM
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Travel-Bos Offline OP
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Just returned from a week in SXM. On Wed of last week several of us experienced fish biting / nipping at us while socializing in the water at Orient beach near Perch Lite. Several bites actually drew blood. We have visited Orient several times over the last 10 years and never have experienced this. We also spent lots of time at Happy Bay and Mullet Beach and no issues to report. Any thoughts or ideas on what type of fish? On this day the sea weed was heavy, surf was a little rough and water was not as clear as other beaches.

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Re: Biting fish at Orient? [Re: Travel-Bos] #215146
01/22/2020 03:30 PM
01/22/2020 03:30 PM
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It happens because some idiots feed the fish bread. Mostly it seems to happen on Orient Beach.


Carol Hill
Re: Biting fish at Orient? [Re: Travel-Bos] #215154
01/22/2020 04:46 PM
01/22/2020 04:46 PM
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I suppose this could be young barracuda, but there are a number of fish that will nip especially if people are trying to hand feed them on the beach. I have had my mated pair of clownfish in my reef tank at home nip my fingers when feeding time comes around, but not to the point of drawing blood. All marine fish have small teeth though some fish like Parrotfish actually have a beak that they use for scrapping algae from rocks. If the bites actually drew blood and the wounds are 'V-shaped' then smaller barracuda fry could be the culprit (though larger barracuda attacks upon people are very, very rare).

Re: Biting fish at Orient? [Re: Travel-Bos] #215158
01/22/2020 04:53 PM
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No barracudas. It's a silver angel fish looking one that bites. The more folks feed them, the more they bite. I don't enjoy the water there anymore because of it. It's been happening for years, but getting worse.


Elaine
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Re: Biting fish at Orient? [Re: Carol_Hill] #215159
01/22/2020 04:55 PM
01/22/2020 04:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Carol_Hill
It happens because some idiots feed the fish bread. Mostly it seems to happen on Orient Beach.

You mean the guy that walks through the water with a big plastic bag of bread and feeds them almost every day?

Re: Biting fish at Orient? [Re: Travel-Bos] #215160
01/22/2020 05:08 PM
01/22/2020 05:08 PM
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Maybe these are Lookdowns. Really bizarre looking marine fish that have been known to bite and nip off the coast of Mexico and the Yucatan peninsula. Possibly young ones if these bites are taking place in the shallows.

Re: Biting fish at Orient? [Re: Travel-Bos] #215161
01/22/2020 05:24 PM
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I did not notice anyone feeding fish near us and the group thought I was “Kidding” until others got nipped as well. Could it be seasonal?

Re: Biting fish at Orient? [Re: Travel-Bos] #215169
01/22/2020 06:02 PM
01/22/2020 06:02 PM
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Likely to be young Permit fish. Definitely worst I've seen in 25 years of residence. Feeding them is what attracts them, conditioned response to people in the water. Apart from a few tourists there is a local guy who walks the beach, in the water, very frequently with a big plastic bag of bread or some other food.

Re: Biting fish at Orient? [Re: Travel-Bos] #215170
01/22/2020 06:03 PM
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If this is actively happening where you say it is (on the Club O. beach in front of Perch Lite), it might be a good idea if guys keep their suits on when in the water rather than letting one of these little critters take a nip 'south of the border'. That would get one thinking!

Re: Biting fish at Orient? [Re: Travel-Bos] #215172
01/22/2020 06:13 PM
01/22/2020 06:13 PM
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TravelBos--People feed the fish there all the time, so the fish are looking for their regular food. There doesn't have to be someone actually feeding them at that moment.


Carol Hill
Re: Biting fish at Orient? [Re: SammyM] #215182
01/22/2020 07:13 PM
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That has happened SammyM, and the lady's have been bitten north of the border too!



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Re: Biting fish at Orient? [Re: Travel-Bos] #215183
01/22/2020 07:19 PM
01/22/2020 07:19 PM
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We see them all the time at Mullet, but never have know them to bite.

Re: Biting fish at Orient? [Re: Tonythepilot] #215192
01/22/2020 08:06 PM
01/22/2020 08:06 PM
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Auburn, WA
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Originally Posted by Tonythepilot
Originally Posted by Carol_Hill
It happens because some idiots feed the fish bread. Mostly it seems to happen on Orient Beach.

You mean the guy that walks through the water with a big plastic bag of bread and feeds them almost every day?

Yep. He's probably the one.

Re: Biting fish at Orient? [Re: SXMbeacher] #215194
01/22/2020 08:07 PM
01/22/2020 08:07 PM
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Originally Posted by SXMbeacher
That has happened SammyM, and the lady's have been bitten north of the border too!

Ouch. Not good.

Re: Biting fish at Orient? [Re: Travel-Bos] #215202
01/22/2020 09:24 PM
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I had it happen to me and it drew blood. I now keep my hand over certain parts to avoid that from happening. Tough to do sometimes when you enjoy using a noodle.

Re: Biting fish at Orient? [Re: Travel-Bos] #215205
01/22/2020 09:42 PM
01/22/2020 09:42 PM
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After doing a quick search they most closely resemble grey angelfish. The biting is definitely caused from them being fed by humans. I too was bitten bad enough to bleed. A little embarrassing as a male to exit the water holding oneself and bleeding. There are barracuda, but what bit me and most people are the angelfish.

Re: Biting fish at Orient? [Re: Travel-Bos] #215214
01/22/2020 10:42 PM
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Yes, the angelfish is what was biting in October when we were there. They were very aggressive in the area where you normally would stand and socialize in the water. If you are out in the deeper water, they don't seem to bother you. I was bitten multiple times while there during the two weeks we were there. You had to constantly keep an eye out for them the entire time standing in the water. They bit me three times one day on my nipple, and once down south. Not a pleasant experience. They seem to be getting worse each year we go. My wife is getting to the point that she does not enjoy the water like she used to.


Wayne & Lynne

Wishing I was knee deep in the water somewhere
Re: Biting fish at Orient? [Re: beachbum1313] #215216
01/23/2020 01:16 AM
01/23/2020 01:16 AM
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Originally Posted by beachbum1313
Yes, the angelfish is what was biting in October when we were there. They were very aggressive in the area where you normally would stand and socialize in the water. If you are out in the deeper water, they don't seem to bother you. I was bitten multiple times while there during the two weeks we were there. You had to constantly keep an eye out for them the entire time standing in the water. They bit me three times one day on my nipple, and once down south. Not a pleasant experience. They seem to be getting worse each year we go. My wife is getting to the point that she does not enjoy the water like she used to.

Good reason to wear a suit..lol

Re: Biting fish at Orient? [Re: Travel-Bos] #215235
01/23/2020 08:25 AM
01/23/2020 08:25 AM
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The fish that come up to eat bread at Orient Beach are technically called palometas (Trachinotus goodei), not white angelfish. I'm not sure if the palometas are responsible for the bites, but let's call them by their real name.

And, it should go without saying: No one should be feeding bread to the fish.

Last edited by AUCspouse; 01/23/2020 08:25 AM.
Re: Biting fish at Orient? [Re: AUCspouse] #215237
01/23/2020 08:40 AM
01/23/2020 08:40 AM
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Originally Posted by AUCspouse
The fish that come up to eat bread at Orient Beach are technically called palometas (Trachinotus goodei), not white angelfish. I'm not sure if the palometas are responsible for the bites, but let's call them by their real name.

And, it should go without saying: No one should be feeding bread to the fish.


Yes, that's the correct name. I have a hard time remembering it. They do look a bit like angelfish. But they sure do bite. We have had many discussions with beachgoers about this stupid practice over the years. Most just don't care.

Last edited by BillandElaine; 01/23/2020 08:42 AM.

Elaine
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Re: Biting fish at Orient? [Re: Travel-Bos] #215238
01/23/2020 08:43 AM
01/23/2020 08:43 AM
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Well, people been feeding em for at least 10 years. Nibbles in the past. Seem more aggresive now. I might guess the frequency of feeding being way down might cause the increase in aggression. We didnt see bread guy for the first time this year.

We disposed of a whole bacquette but threw chunks far away.

There were 3 types of fish. The black and yellow angels, a solid whitish fish and some fat needle like fish. Are these baby baracudas? They didnt look like the could bite much bread.

As for feeding fish bread........or ducks..........ive heard there are starving ducks now that people quit feeding them.

In Bangkok, the Chao Phrya river is filed with huge schools of big fish that are fed everyday by locals.

I need to hear more science on why a french baquette served by a nude waiter is toxic to fish.

We had two guys surf fishing every day on club orient beach and the chair guys asked them to take it down papagayos.

I guess well change our tune after first blood is drawn.

Re: Biting fish at Orient? [Re: PelicanPirate] #215239
01/23/2020 08:45 AM
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None of those are barracudas. Bread is not healthy for fish, or birds.


Elaine
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Re: Biting fish at Orient? [Re: Travel-Bos] #215241
01/23/2020 08:54 AM
01/23/2020 08:54 AM
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AUCspouse Offline
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Pelican Pirate,
Time to get educated. See this link: "Why you shouldn't feed bread to fish"
http://oceancrusaders.org/why-you-shouldnt-feed-bread-to-fish/

Another link: "Please do not feed the fishes"
http://www.archipelagoimages.net/please-do-not-feed-the-fishes.html

Re: Biting fish at Orient? [Re: Travel-Bos] #215256
01/23/2020 10:25 AM
01/23/2020 10:25 AM
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SammyM Offline
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This makes perfect sense. Palometas is from the family Carangidae and these guys are closely related to jacks. They are rarely seen in the home aquarium trade, and most definitely pack a punch with their little razor-like teeth. Looking at photos online I could why people would confuse them with angelfish, though marine angelfish are typically brightly colored. Palometas should not be taken lightly, and it's a really good idea to get out of the water if someone around you experiences a nip or a bite. Feeding them only causes them to congregate in shoals which of course will lead to more bites.

Re: Biting fish at Orient? [Re: Travel-Bos] #215258
01/23/2020 11:00 AM
01/23/2020 11:00 AM
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Ohhhh boy! This is not good news!!!! I think they need to put up signs educating people about not feeding the fish and WHY.


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Re: Biting fish at Orient? [Re: sxmbeachlover] #215268
01/23/2020 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by sxmbeachlover
Ohhhh boy! This is not good news!!!! I think they need to put up signs educating people about not feeding the fish and WHY.

Signs usually do little or no good. Unless it is something that can be enforced, signs are often viewed as a "suggestion" and mostly ignored.


J.D.
Re: Biting fish at Orient? [Re: Travel-Bos] #215283
01/23/2020 01:39 PM
01/23/2020 01:39 PM
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It may be best not to get too worked-up about this, but instead be alert for these guys. Before going for a swim check and see if anyone on the beach is actively trying to feed the fish and maybe even ask Cedrick if he has heard or seen anyone get nipped in recent days. That's what I'm going to do when we visit in March. The chances of stepping on a long-spined urchin or a jellyfish tentacle are probably just as likely, so exercising caution would be smart move. I've been in these waters countless times with or without a suit on and have never had anything nip or bite me on Orient Beach.

Re: Biting fish at Orient? [Re: PelicanPirate] #215285
01/23/2020 01:47 PM
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I think the long thin fish may be trumpet fish.

Re: Biting fish at Orient? [Re: Travel-Bos] #215287
01/23/2020 02:01 PM
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There could be trumpetfish in this area (I know I've seen them in and around the Dominican Republic). But, in all honesty they would really pose a small biting risk to swimmers. They are close relatives a seahorses and pretty docile from my experience. They have small mouths and usually ingest phytoplankton, but larger ones could take in a small blennie I suppose. They hang out in a vertical suspension position among the tall sea grasses, so if someone stepped accidentally where they were spawning they might take a nip at you, but I don't think it would amount to much. I believe the true culprit is most likely Palometas as mentioned above. I'm definitely going to check this out in March first hand.

Re: Biting fish at Orient? [Re: Carol_Hill] #215296
01/23/2020 02:42 PM
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Yep& they were out feeding them in the rain today at club o. Haven't seen the guy that goes up & down the beach doing it. I just wanted to take the baguette I had & toss cubes all around the husband & wife. Whoops did I say that out loud!! It's so annoying. 😎

Re: Biting fish at Orient? [Re: SammyM] #215298
01/23/2020 02:58 PM
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Right. The Trumpet fish are there, the Palometas are doing the biting.

Re: Biting fish at Orient? [Re: thesimpsons] #215346
01/23/2020 07:59 PM
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Originally Posted by thesimpsons
I think the long thin fish may be trumpet fish.

No. Probably needle fish or ballyhoo fry.

Re: Biting fish at Orient? [Re: SXMScubaman] #215362
01/23/2020 09:52 PM
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Just googled all those. Look more like trumpetfish. Much fatter than all the needle fish I’ve met. Not ballyhoo. When you google ballyhoo fry you get fried fish dinner pictures. Plain ballyhoo shows fish pictures.

Re: Biting fish at Orient? [Re: PelicanPirate] #215364
01/23/2020 10:07 PM
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Trumpet fish have a blunt slightly sloping snout. Do the fish you're trying to identify have that or do they have a needle extending out in front.

Re: Biting fish at Orient? [Re: Travel-Bos] #215912
01/28/2020 05:39 PM
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Well the fish feeder is back! Up & down Orient beach. A couple were throwing baguettes out, different from last week right where we swim at club o. I went over & mentioned that they bite. He shrugged we said it's not great for the fish. One of our beach group got nipped funnily enough it was the guy that threw the baguettes around me last year. Everybody heard me scream but karma exists.
There is a 5 foot shark out near the reef at club o. Some of the snorkellers saw it several times out. I forget what kind.
Talk later going to birthday party.

Re: Biting fish at Orient? [Re: Travel-Bos] #215939
01/28/2020 09:43 PM
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Why would he feed anything in the ocean baguettes? Sounds like a nut job. Feedings like this can eventually lure in larger predatory fish (like barracuda), so this is no joking matter. Someone is going to lose a toe if he's not stopped. Maybe the local gendarmes should be notified? Someone needs to buy this guy an aquarium so he can set up his own mini-reef and feed his own fish. Feeding anything in the wild -- even at the beach -- is not advised -- ever.

Re: Biting fish at Orient? [Re: SammyM] #215946
01/28/2020 11:30 PM
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He used to take a whole loaf of sliced bread in a plastic and walk from one end of CO to the other. Of course he had pants on.

I havent heard anybody raise the bread/fish issue til recently. It has been a widespread, multiple people thing on every visit for us for over a decade.

I get it, bread not the best. But animals arent dumb they usually figure good/bad over time.

The whole city of Bangkok is feeding river fish constantly







Re: Biting fish at Orient? [Re: Travel-Bos] #215963
01/29/2020 09:46 AM
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We've been at Orient, when the weather cooperated, a number of times over the past week. Saw Joe there feeding the fish yesterday. Otherwise have not even seen any fish while swimming, so none were nibbling.

Re: Biting fish at Orient? [Re: Travel-Bos] #216049
01/30/2020 08:41 AM
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We have friends who feed the fish so I am going to resist the temptation to criticize this practice. But I will raise the following question: What makes anyone think these fish will starve if it weren't for the folks who feed them? How do fish farther out from shore manage?

Does anyone recall seeing people feeding French fries to the tarpon behind Lee's Roadside Grill? Could be that's why they gathered there nightly?

Re: Biting fish at Orient? [Re: Travel-Bos] #216056
01/30/2020 10:12 AM
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We have been going to Orient Bay since 2000 and have seen the guy who feeds the fish for many years. He seems to do this for personal enjoyment and likes to share his bread with anyone who approches him. Never heard about anyone getting bit that drew blood. (yikes) definitly had people comment on being nibbled though. Last year very early in the morning I noticed that a couple small boats were fishing in the bay by placing nets. Having never seen this before I wonder if maybe this is driving some more agressive fish close to shore.

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