Sablefish: A long-bodied
Pacific fish with dark skin and oily flesh.
Adults live in very deep water.
Sacrificial anode: Process
whereby zinc covers an iron part on a boat
to reduce corrosion. Usually placed on a
outboard motor on base plate.
Salinity: The total amount
of dissolved material (mostly salt) in water;
sea water is approximately 3.5 percent salt.
Salmon: A family of fishes
that breed in rivers but live most of their
adult lives at sea. Salmon have orange or
pink flesh. For centuries, salmon have been
important food fish to people of many nations.
When they're ready to breed, most salmon
find their way from the ocean back to the
same stream where they were born.
Salmon run: A population
of salmon that breeds in a certain river.
Some rivers have several different runs
of salmon that breed at different times
of the year.
Sand dollar: A flattened
echinoderm that looks something like an
old silver dollar coin.
Sand dunes: Mounds of
sand, usually on the beach facing the surf.
Containing specific types of vegetation.
The faster the winds, the bigger the dunes.
Sanderling: A short-legged
shorebird. When sanderlings search for food,
they scamper up and down the beach following
Sandpiper: A small shorebird
with short legs that searches for food along
the sandy shore.
Sand star: A species
of sea star that lives on the sandy seafloor.
Scales: Thin, flat, hard
plates that cover a fish.
Scaleworm: A member of
a group of worms with segmented bodies and
bristles on each segment; scaleworms and
their relatives are some of the most abundant
animals in the ocean.
Scallop: A mollusc similar
to a clam, but with deep ridges in its shell.
Scavenger: An animal
that feeds on dead organisms.
grouping together of fish, which then usually
move together as a group.
Scope: The ratio between
the length of an anchor rope and the depth
of the water in which a vessel is anchored.
Scuba: Acronym of self-contained
underwater breathing apparatus or aqualung
equipment which provides air to a diver
without the need for an airtube to the surface.
Sculpin: A family of
small fishes that have long bodies, broad
pectoral fins, and wide mouths. Many species
of sculpins live in the rocky intertidal
Sea: A subdivision of
Sea fan: A member of
a group of corals that form delicate, fan-shaped
Seal: A member of a group
of marine mammals that have fur, blubber,
and no earlobes on the sides of their heads.
Seals are graceful swimmers, but move only
clumsily on land.
Sea lion: A member of
a group of marine mammals that have fur,
blubber, and small earlobes visible on the
sides of their heads. Sea lions are excellent
swimmers but can also move fairly quickly
Sea pen: An invertebrate
animal that lives as a colony of individuals
arranged in a shape that looks like an old-fashioned
Sea star: An invertebrate
animal, related to sea urchins and sand
dollars, with a star-shaped body. Many species
of sea star have five points; some have
Sea time: Logged time
spent at sea.
Sea turtle: A member
of a group of species of turtles adapted
for life in the sea. Sea turtles have flipper-like
legs and come to shore only to lay their
Seafood: Food from the
Seamount: An individual
peak extending over 1000 m above the ocean
Seawater quality: Term
used to indicate health of sea water. Good
water quality is essential for fish farming,
swimming, surfing etc.
Seaweed: Any of the large
plants that grow in the sea, especially
marine algae like kelp.
Secchi disc: Device used
to measure turbidity.
Second order consumer:
Animal which eats a first order consumer.
Secondary wastewater treatment:
After primary treatment of sewage,
the removal of biodegradable organic matter
from sewage using bacteria and other micro-organisms,
inactivated sludge or trickle filters.
Sediment: Soil particles,
sand and other minerals or organic matter
eroded from land and carried in surface
Sedimentary rock: A rock
formed from the consolidation of loose sediment
or from chemical precipitation, such as
sandstone and limestone.
Seining: To run a net
around a school of fish.
Submarine that carries passengers. Passengers
travel in an underwater viewing chamber
but the skipper drives from a wheelhouse
Septic tank: A tank buried
in the ground where household sewage is
gradually decomposed by bacteria. Most houses
that are not hooked to a sewer line flush
waste into a septic tank.
Serpent snail: A snail
of the genus Serpulorbis, which makes a
shell that twists and turns.
Serrated: Having a series
of scallop-shaped notches along one side.
A bread knife often has a serrated edge.
Sessile: Not able to
move from place to place. Benthic organisms
that are attached to hard surfaces or the
Sewage: Wastewater produced
from household and industry.
Sewerage pipes: The pipes
that contain the sewage wastewater.
Sexual dimorphism: A
distinct difference in appearance between
males and females of the same species
Shackle: A U-shaped metal
fitting with a cross pin or clevis pin that
fits across the opening of the U as a closure.
Shale: A soft type of
rock that often breaks into big flat pieces.
Shale is formed when mud is pressed into
rock over millions of years.
Shark: A member of a
large group of primitive fishes with skeletons
made of cartilage. Skates and rays are members
of the shark family.
Sheets: Ropes used to
Shellfish: Aquatic animals
with shells, e.g. crustaceans (prawns, lobsters)
and molluscs (e.g. oysters, scallops, clams).
Shipmaster: Person in
charge of a ship.
Shipwreck: A ship that
has sunk to the bottom of the sea or run
aground so that it cannot move off where
it has became stuck.
Shipwright: A person
employed in the construction or repair of
Shorebird : A bird adapted
to live and find food along the seashore.
Shore crab: A small crab
that lives and feeds along the seashore.
There are several species of shore crabs.
Silica : A hard, glassy
mineral. Quartz and opal are two forms of
silica. Since much sand is made of quartz,
silica is very common in sand. Some marine
organisms use silica to build their shells.
Silt: Soil that runs
off the land and accumulates where water
Siltation: The process
of being covered with a layer of fine mud,
silt or sand
Sinkers: Weighted objects
used to take hooks and bait down into the
water when fishing.
Siphon: A tube. Clams
and many other molluscs breathe through
Siphonophore: A type
of jelly that's made of many smaller members
that live and work together as one unit;
a colonial jelly.
Skate: An egg-laying
fish, related to sharks and rays, that has
a cartilaginous skeleton, a broad, flat
body and a pointed snout.
Skinned: To remove the
skin when cooking fish.
Skipper: Person in charge
of a ship.
Slack water: Water at
the top or bottom of the tides. Usually
associated with no currents.
Slick: Oil lying on the
top of water.
Slough: A marshland or
estuary where fresh water meets the sea.
Smelt: A small, schooling
fish. Many larger fishes eat smelt.
Snail: A member of a
group of gastropod molluscs; most species
secrete a spiral shell for protection. Some
species of snails don't make shells and
are known as slugs.
Snap: Surfing term used
to describe quick turning on the wave.
Snorkel: Tube enabling
a person to breathe underwater.
Chemical used in dissolved oxygen test.
Number of drops used in the test equals
the parts per million.
Solute: A substance dissolved
in a solution. Salts are the solute in salt
Solution: A liquid (or
solid) containing one or more solutes dissolved
in a solvent; e.g. salt water.
Solvent: A substance
that can dissolve other substances.
Sonar: The use of sound
waves to detect underwater objects, such
as schools of fish. A system that uses transmitted
and reflected sound waves to find objects
Sounding: Measuring the
depth of water beneath a ship.
Southern Oscillation Index:
An index calculated from the pressure difference
between Darwin and Tahiti. Abbreviates to
Spark plugs: Device inserted
into internal combustion engine, containing
two terminals between which passes an electric
Spat: The spawn of an
oyster or shellfish.
Spawn: To breed; especially,
to breed by releasing eggs and sperm into
Species: A particular
type of plant, animal, or other organism.
Species differ from one another in at least
one characteristic, and generally do not
interbreed. In biology, species is a category
that's part of the scientific system for
grouping together related plants, animals
and other organisms (kingdom, phylum, class,
order, family, genus, species).
Spectrum: A series of
coloured bands of light diffracted and arranged
in order of their wavelength--red, orange,
yellow, green, blue, violet. A rainbow is
an example of a spectrum.
Sperm: Male reproductive
found in sponges and soft corals.
Spinner dolphin: A species
of small dolphin, which often spins in the
air when it leaps.
Sponges: A group of invertebrates
with very simple bodies that spend their
lives in one place. Some kinds form a tough,
flexible skeleton full of holes or pores.
People harvest these skeletons; they were
the first sponges used for bathing and cleaning.
Spore: A reproductive
structure, formed without the union of sexual
cells, which can give rise to a new organism.
Fungi, algae and many other organisms produce
spores rather than seeds.
Asexual generation in plants.
Spotted dolphin: A species
of dolphin with spotted skin.
Spriggots: Small projections
on the mouthpiece of a snorkel.
Spring tide: The tide
that occurs at new or full Moon when the
gravitational influence of the Sun is working
primarily in line with the Moon, so that
the tidal range is high.
Squarespot: A small,
colorful fish from Pacific coral reefs.
Squid: A soft-bodied
marine animal with two long tentacles for
catching food, eight or more shorter arms,
and a streamlined body adapted for swimming
quickly through open water. Squid are related
to octopuses and cuttlefishes.
Stainless steel: Hard
steel alloyed with high percentage of chromium.
Resists rusting in sea water.
Starboard: The right
side of a boat, as seen from aboard facing
Starter cord: Cord attached
to an outboard motor. Pulled to start the
Sternum: Long bone in
the centre line of humans connecting ribs.
Often called the breastbone.
Stevedoring: A firm or
individual engaged in the loading and unloading
Stinging cell (nematocyst):
The stinging capsule on the tentacles of
an anemone or jelly, which the animal uses
to protect itself or to capture food.
Stipe: The stem-like
part of a seaweed thallus.
Stocks: Stocks of fish
are fish populations--the total number of
fish of each species.
Stormwater: Water off
the roads and roof of houses. Must not be
connected to sewerage system. Often gets
polluted by human urban activities.
Group of individuals set up by the Surfrider
Foundation to clean up stormwater drains.
Straits: Narrow body
of water bordered on either side by land.
Stranded: Washed up on
A characteristic of an organism that sets
species apart from another, e.g. segments
in the body are a structural characteristic.
Subduction: The process
in which one huge plate of the earth's crust
descends beneath another plate.
Sub-littoral zone: Zone
on a rocky or reef zone below low water
Submarine canyon: A long,
narrow, steep-walled undersea valley.
by which coastlines become covered with
water from rising sea-levels.
Submersible: A submarine
vehicle used in oceanographic studies.
Subsidy: money paid by
a government to encourage people do something
the government believes is desirable. Many
governments once offered subsidies to help
people buy fishing boats.
Substrate: The surface
or material on which an organism lives--rock,
sand, mud, pilings, shells.
of populations in a habitat through a regular
progression to a climax (mature) community;
brought about by organisms that change the
Sulfide: A compound of
Sulfur: A pale yellow,
nonmetallic chemical element. Sulfur compounds
often have a strong smell, like rotten eggs.
Sunburn: Inflamed state
of the skin caused by being out in the sun
too long. Very dangerous and causes skin
Zone on a rocky or reef zone above high
Supra-tidal zone: The
seashore zone below the inter-tidal zone
exposed to the air at high tide.
Surfperches: A family
of fishes with rounded bodies that live
close to shore and feed in the rough water
of the surf zone.
Group of surfers who care about the sea
and want to see the end to ocean outfalls
of sewage. Anyone can join. Write to PO
Box 1441, Dee Why NSW 2009.
Surf zone: The area of
rough water next to the land, where ocean
waves hit the shore.
Suspension feeder: An
animal that eats by filtering out tiny particles
of organic material suspended in the water.
Sustainable: Able to
last; able to continue into the future.
Swarms: Jelly swarms
happen when great aggregations of animals
are brought together, blown by strong winds
Swell: A wave, or succession
of waves (originally generated by winds),
that have left their area of generation
and have moved into areas of weaker wind.
Swimbladder: A gas- or
oil-filled structure in bony fish that is
used to regulate buoyancy. A swimbladder
is like a float; without it, the fish would
sink to the bottom if it stopped swimming.
Swordfish: A large predatory
fish with a long, swordlike bill at the
tip of its snout. Swordfish are famous for
their speed and strength. They're also heavily
fished for their meat.
Symbiosis: A mutual relationship
between two species in which both benefit.
Symmetry: Body form of
animals. Can be bilateral or radial.
formed by chemical process usually involving
rubber and resins.