a salt lick

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LQZ

Senior Member
Mandarin
No one questions that artificial reefs attract many aquatic species, including open ocean fish such as mackerel and amberjack and some sharks. Billy Causey, the Southeast regional director for the National Marine Sanctuary program, said researchers are trying to determine whether sunken vessels make a “salt lick and get the pelagics to stop off and partake of the food there.The Washington Post (no subscription)

Dear all,

I have difficulty understanding the italic part, especially the bold part. Could you please explain to me? Thanks.


LQZ
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    The speaker is using "salt lick" in a humorous and unusual way. In ordinary language, a "salt-lick" is a place where animals congregate to lick salt from something. Farmers typically use blocks of salt to supply their livestock with this mineral, but salt-licks in nature are often areas where ancient marine salt deposits have been exposed by erosion and weather. In your sentence, the phrase is a metaphor for "place where fish congregate to feed from the things that grow in and on the sunken vessels." These fish might be interested in the small invertebrates or bait fish that seek shelter in objects on the sea floor.
     
    Last edited:

    LQZ

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    The speaker is using "salt lick" in a humorous and unusual way. In ordinary language, a "salt-lick" is a place where animals congregate to lick salt from something. Farmers typically use blocks of salt to supply their livestock with this mineral, but salt-licks in nature are often areas where ancient marine salt deposits have been exposed by erosion and weather. In your sentence, the phrase is a metaphor for "place where fish congregate to feed from the things that grow in and on the sunken vessels." These fish might be interested in the small invertebrates that seek shelter in objects on the sea floor.
    Aha, I've got it. Interesting! This was the first time I've known salt-licks. Thank you very much, owlman. :)
     
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