Load your fishing gear and head to KZN
Pitch camp at the Tugela Mouth Resort, and hook an elf, grunter or bigeye stumpnose.
How do fish drink? Because fish live in the water, most people think they also drink that water. But you’ll be surprised: It’s true in some cases, but definitely not in all. People drink fresh water, but you can die of thirst next to the sea because the salt in the water will dehydrate you. It works a bit differently with fish: Fish in the sea drink the water, but fish in fresh water do not. Freshwater fish take water in through their mouth and it runs out through their gills. The water is absorbed into the fish’s bloodstream via the gills through a process called osmosis. That’s because the fresh water contains a lower concentration of dissolvable substances (like salts and sugars) than in the fish’s body. Therefore freshwater fish don’t physically drink the water they take in. In the case of sea fish, the concentration of salt dissolved in the water is higher than that in the fish’s body. Some of the water the fish takes in through its mouth also moves over the gills, but it swallows the rest of the water, which then lands in its digestive system. Here the water is absorbed into the bloodstream – just like with people. So sea fish drink their water. The differences between these two types of fish are even more apparent if you look at their excretion. A freshwater fish releases a large amount of urine because of all the water that’s absorbed into the bloodstream. With sea fish it works the other way round, because this type of fish releases water out of the bloodstream via the gills through diffusion. That means sea fish release less urine, but it’s a lot more concentrated with loads of waste products and absorbed salts.