I am currently reading my way through a long list of science fiction and fantasy titles. (http://www.npr.org/2011/08/07/138938145/science-fiction-and-fantasy-finalists if you are interested in the list).
The Atargatis had found the mermaids because the people on the ship were made ofmeat, and the mermaids had empty stomachs that they wanted tofill. That was how you found things, in the sea. Be delicious. That was all you ever had to do.
Oh, Char, I think this is what you call a creature feature!