Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report
Old meets new
Below: I don't miss it at all!
Below: I don't know why I'm laughing at this.
It's the Year of the Dog. Here's hoping is stays dog-friendly all year.
In China ...
And in the hood ...
Below: I don't usually let on about such things but this apparent sinking and loss of life off BL struck close to my Ship Bottom home. Missing fisherman Denny Smalling was the son of an 18th Street crew buddy, the late Dennis Smalling. Such great times with Dennis and the crew dating back to the 1970s. Thanks to Barbara M. for giving me the update.
Believe me, it's not easy to call off a search like that. I knew a USCG/BL Commander who told me they stick it out until absolutely all hope is gone -- and, even then, it's a long somber trip back to port.
As to the fishermen who voluntarily helped look for the vessel after it declared an emergency, they never stop looking for any sort of evidence to give the family closure.
Truth be told, I now go into the quiet dread mode, fearing any remains of the vessel washing ashore on LBI, especially Holgate.
Coast Guard suspends search for fishing vessel in distress off Barnegat, NJ
PHILADELPHIA -- The Coast Guard has suspended its search for the two-person crew of a fishing boat in distress approximately 40-miles off the coast of Barnegat, New Jersey, Friday.
Coast Guard first responders searched 4,441 square-miles by sea and air for the crew of the Queen Ann's Revenge since the search began shortly after 1:20 a.m., Thursday.
Weather on-scene at the time of the incident was reported as 10-foot seas, approximately 25 mph winds and a sea temperature of 46 degrees.
Coast Guard units involved in the search are MH-65 Dolphin helicopter search and rescue crews from Air Station Atlantic City, 47-foot Motor Life Boat crews from Coast Guard Station Manasquan Inlet and Barnegat Light, HC-130 Hercules aircrews from Air Station Elizabeth City, North Carolina and the Coast Guard Cutter Lawrence Lawson.
Good Samaritans in the area also assisted in the search.
"We would like to extend our condolences to the families and the fishing community affected by this tragic incident," said Capt. Scott Anderson, commander, Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay. "Suspending a case is never an easy decision to make as first responders."
THIS MIGHT TOP THE LIST FOR DON'T-NEED-ONE NECESSITIES: I’m a sucker for gadgets. I have more gadgets than I do ... I'll stop there, brainlessly.
To me, the perfect gadget fills absolutely no pressing need – and does it perfectly.
Admittedly, there are alleged “gadgets,” new things you can’t live without. However, to a professional gadgeteer, like myself, those must-have items are simply late-arriving life essentials, like penicillin – which first sold in the back of Argosy magazine. Maybe.
A true gadget is often a flash-in-the-pan delight, offering delightfulness just long enough to get thrown in a rarely opened drawer.
There are many closet gadgeteers. Who among you didn't get one of those metal pronged scalp-rubbing thingies. That was a prototypical gadget, though it was a tad tough to just throw in a drawer, seeing how it got hung up among socks and such. Come to think of, a great gadget often offers just such uncalled-for lingering impacts.
For an advanced gadget guru, it’s not the gadget itself but the steroidal excitement of first seeing something thoroughly needless being advertised; eliciting an overwhelmingly urg to get one – gladly paying extra for expedited delivery. Remember: The sooner you get it, the sooner it can be admired and tossed into limbo -- to be scoffingly found by future generations.
This build-up ushers in one of the most mindbogglingly extraneous gadgets to come along since lava lamps, pet rocks lint-removing tape.
Feast your eyes upon “The Ultimate Desktop Jellyfish Tank,” by Jelly Tank, a budding company, using Kickstarter to garner funds to go world with, in case you haven’t gotten the drift yet, your very own living swimming jellyfish tank. AYS?!
“Jelly Tank is a desktop jellyfish aquarium designed for the home, office or commercial space. Owning pet jellyfish are now easier than ever with our state of the art tank. The Jelly Tank is the most affordable aquarium that makes keeping jellyfish simple for anyone,” offer company literature."
Affordable, eh? That could be problematic. An endearing costliness adds to a gadget's highly desirable unnecessariness, offering a certain dollar-count luminosity, elevating a gadget to a higher level of dispensability. However, as I read on, it seems I need not worry about under-spending with the Jelly Tank:
And it takes off into the thou$ands.
But there's even a greater gadgetry to this gadget since it strategically thwarts any quick disposal/storage by a practiced gadgeteer. It instead cleverly envelopes the buyer within a complex and costly saltwater tank maintenance program. Pure genius. Nobody can bear to see a pet jellyfish die of neglect. Talk about strumming on a gadget-buyer's heart strings.
While everything within me says “Buy one!” -- despite my having been stung to the core by jellies -- I can’t help but notice the tank's essential accessories run into many extra hundreds of dollars.
In fact, check out the cost of a single moon jelly, the likes of which we often have come ashore on LBI by, literally, the millions.
Recognizing that one vital aspect of gadget guruism is to quickly acquire the product. Waiting until summer – and a moon jelly invasion – knocks the mick out of proper spontaneous purchasing.
$22.00 – $55.00
I also have one haunting question: When does one know that a pet jelly has passed on to that great Jellytank in the sky? It's not like there's a massive difference between a fully functioning jellyfish and a deceased one simply being whisked about by the filtration system.
Please don't tell the NY Times I used this but it's important to many fishing folks hereabouts.
SEAFOODNEWS.COM [New York Times] by Jess Bidgood - February 12, 2018
NEW BEDFORD, Mass. — Carlos Rafael, whose initials are emblazoned on boats all over this port city, boasted that his fishing empire was worth even more than official records showed. His trick? When he caught fish that are subject to strict catch limits, like gray sole or cod, he would report that his nets were filled with something far more plentiful, like haddock.
“We call them something else, it’s simple,” Mr. Rafael told visitors who seemed interested in buying his business. “We’ve been doing it for over 30 years.” He showed off a special ledger labeled “cash.” And he described an under-the-table deal he had going with a New York fish buyer, saying at one point, “You’ll never find a better laundromat.”
But Mr. Rafael’s visitors turned out to be Internal Revenue Service agents, and the conversations, caught on tape and described in court documents, began the unraveling of Mr. Rafael, whose reign over a segment of this region’s fishing industry gave him his larger-than-life nickname, “the Codfather.”
As Mr. Rafael sits in prison, having pleaded guilty to lying about his catches and smuggling cash out of the country, nearly two dozen of his boats have been barred from fishing for species like cod and haddock, grinding part of the centuries-old maritime economy in the nation’s most lucrative fishing port to a halt.
Fishermen, ice houses and shoreside suppliers who once did business with Mr. Rafael are anxious, as their own businesses have slowed or stopped. Regulators, who oversee a federal system aimed at limiting what the industry fishes for, want more penalties, raising doubts about the future of the port when it comes to groundfish, the bottom-dwelling species like cod that were once the backbone of the fishing industry in New England.
“There are a lot of people on this waterfront, very hardworking people, whose livelihood depends on Carlos’s landings,” said Jon Mitchell, the mayor of New Bedford. “They don’t deserve to suffer along with him.”
Tony Fernandes, a captain on one of Mr. Rafael’s boats, said he was collecting unemployment benefits and waiting to learn when he may be able to fish again. “He’s putting in his time and he paid his fine,” he said of Mr. Rafael. “We are in limbo.”
For decades, Mr. Rafael, 65, was a blustery, polarizing figure along these piers. He called himself a pirate, and mocked smaller competitors as maggots or mosquitoes. When he wasn’t yelling into his phone in Portuguese, he held court around town, talking politics and fish. The authorities said he owned one of the country’s largest commercial fishing enterprises, and analysts estimate that he controlled about one-quarter of New England’s landings of groundfish. Mr. Rafael also had boats to harvest scallops, which now make up a much greater share of New Bedford’s total landings than groundfish do.
But Mr. Rafael also served as a dealer for the seafood that came off his boats, which prosecutors say made it easier for him to lie about what he was catching and how much he was getting for it.
“Carlos Rafael has been well known in the commercial fishing industry for 30 years,” said Andrew Lelling, the United States attorney for Massachusetts, who prosecuted the case. “And, for almost as long, federal law enforcement has heard rumors and concerns about Rafael acting illegally.”
Some people in New Bedford saw Mr. Rafael far differently — as a Robin Hood of sorts, with a pack of cigarettes and a dinged-up Silverado. He was a Portuguese immigrant who had started out cutting fish and eventually provided jobs for many people along a waterfront that has been bustling since Herman Melville immortalized its cobblestone streets and whaling ships in “Moby Dick.”
He saw an opportunity eight years ago when the government moved forward with a new regulatory system in New England, after Congress mandated that science-based limits be used to prevent overfishing. The cod catch, long a staple of New England’s economy, had fallen over the years.
Instead of the former approach of limiting how many days boats could spend at sea, the new regulations by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration set specific ceilings on how many fish could be caught. The rules instantly were contentious, especially when regulators set low limits for dwindling species like cod to help them rebound.
Fishing allocations were divided among 19 regional “sectors” of fishing boats in the Northeast, and boat owners were granted permits based on their fishing history — so those with the most boats seemed primed to win out.
“We were saying, catch shares are going to lead to consolidation, catch shares are going to lead to integration, catch shares are going to lead to corruption,” said Scott Lang, a former mayor of New Bedford.
Mr. Rafael came to control most of the permits for groundfish in his sector, but by 2015, he was pondering selling his business. His asking price: $175 million.
So when the I.R.S. agents — who posed as Russian mobsters interested in buying Mr. Rafael’s business — came along, Mr. Rafael was quick to talk to them.
Explaining why his business was worth even more than it might appear to on paper, Mr. Rafael laid out all that he had done to misreport what fish he was catching. At points, he seemed to worry that he might be getting set up. “You could be the I.R.S. in here,” Mr. Rafael said in one recorded conversation, though he swiftly dismissed the idea, noting that he didn’t think the I.R.S. employed Russians. “That would be some bad luck!”
Last year, in a case that married international financial crime with flaky fish fillets, he pleaded guilty to conspiracy, tax evasion, bulk cash smuggling, false labeling and falsifying records. In September, he was sentenced to about four years in prison as he stood before a courtroom packed with fishermen who had worked for him.
“I did it because I wanted to make sure my people kept getting a paycheck,” Mr. Rafael wrote in a statement read by his lawyer. “The waterfront is a hard world we work in.”
The judge, William Young, of the Massachusetts U.S. District Court, seemed unmoved. “This was not stupid,” the judge said, “this was corrupt.”
Mr. Rafael’s lawyer, William Kettlewell, did not respond to messages seeking comment.
Mr. Rafael’s punishment was cheered by environmentalists, regulators, and fishermen up and down the coast who saw him as having muscled out smaller boats and having marred the whole region. The case also raised questions about the effectiveness of a regulatory system that allowed one man to become so dominant and to skirt the rules for so long.
“He’s the biggest player in the most high-profile fishery in New England,” said Peter Baker, with the Pew Charitable Trust’s ocean conservation effort. “They should have been able to detect what he was doing long before they did.”
John Bullard, who was NOAA’s northeast regional administrator until the end of January, said the regulatory system had worked well elsewhere. He said he had banned ground fishing in Mr. Rafael’s sector through at least the beginning of the next fishing season in May because the industry there had failed to accurately report its catches and stay within fishing limits. “They have a very basic job to do, to count fish, and they didn’t do it,” said Mr. Bullard, who is also a former mayor of New Bedford.
The future of Mr. Rafael’s empire is a matter of intense debate. Federal authorities have seized some of his boats and fishing permits, and they are seeking to revoke more permits in a civil action that also asserts misreporting in Mr. Rafael’s scallop fleet.
Fishermen in other ports hope Mr. Rafael’s permits will be transferred to their areas, while fishermen in New Bedford are fighting to keep them local. Some boat captains worry that they may face scrutiny, even though they say they had no part in Mr. Rafael’s crimes.
(Mr. Rafael told the undercover agents that the captains knew of his schemes; Mr. Lelling, the prosecutor, said a decision was made to go after Mr. Rafael, and not the fishermen working for him.)
Some of the piers in New Bedford have settled into an icy unease as the industry sputters forward without Mr. Rafael.
As fog shrouded the port and a single seal bobbed in the harbor on a recent morning, Ian Saunders unloaded redfish from one of the few boats active at this hour. “This is my first boat this week,” Mr. Saunders said.
The owners of shoreside businesses spoke of heavy losses.
“I go home, I can’t sleep,” said Anne Jardin-Maynard, the owner of a settlement house, which handles payroll and accounting for fishing boats, including Mr. Rafael’s. “It’s the ice plants, the fuel companies, the gear places — everybody’s affected by this.”
Porfirio Caneira, 60, the first mate on the Green Acres, one of Mr. Rafael’s idled, tied-up vessels, looked out at the pier and recalled the scene from an earlier time: welders, painters, workers, all scurrying around on these boats.
“Now,” he said, “you don’t see anybody.”
SEAFOODNEWS.COM [CBC News] February 13, 2018
Ocean plants are chock full of nutrients, says Gail Johnson
Seaweed is nothing new to sushi lovers, but the ocean plants are now used in all sorts of new culinary ways.
The CBC's food columnist Gail Johnson says seaweed is an ingredient used in dishes ranging from brownies to lasagna.
Many cultures — from Hawaii to Ireland — have a long history of cooking with sea greens. Coastal Indigenous communities traditionally used algae in their cooking as well.
"And while most North Americans have overlooked these marine plants as something to cook with, that's changing," Johnson told On The Coast host Gloria Macarenko, "Sea greens... as versatile, exciting ingredients, [are] a food trend that's only going to continue to grow," she said, describing kelp as the new kale.
Johnson suggested (Sea)weed Brownies, a sweet, salty, treat that contains kelp. They're the creation of chef and cookbook author Ned Bell.
Chocolate lovers can find them at the Vancouver Aquarium, or use the recipe found in his cookbook, Lure: Sustainable Seafood Recipes from the West Coast.
Superfood from the sea
Johnson said edible algae are loaded with micronutrients and fall into the superfood category. Their stand-out feature is the 'umami' flavour.
"It can be hard to describe, but it's a pleasant, savoury, rich, almost meaty flavour. With that umami, kelp and other seaweeds act as flavour enhancers," she said.
Wakame flakes, kelp powder, and seaweed lasagna noodles are some of the ways chef Dafne Romero is using the sea plants. Romero created North Pacific Kelp Wild Foods in Haida Gwaii after seeking the approval and blessings of Indigenous chiefs in the area to harvest kelp by hand.
She's come up with a recipe for seaweed lasagna with "noodles" made from dehydrated blades of giant kelp, Johnson explained.
"It's not only a great option for people who are averse to carbs or gluten, but again, with that umami flavour, the seaweed makes for an excellent adaptation of the dish."
Shoppers can find Romero's products at the Nat Bailey and Hastings Park winter farmers' markets, and at Dalina on Main Street.
If you'd rather have someone else do the cooking, Johnson said the Unsung Heroes Festival at Blue Water Café and Raw Bar is an annual event that celebrates lesser known seafood, with all sorts of intriguing dishes by chef Frank Pabst.
An array of sea creatures, including sea snails, red sea cucumber, periwinkles, jellyfish, and invasive crayfish are all a part of Pabst's creations.
Johnson said the dishes are meant to be shared and can be enjoyed during the festival at the Blue Water Cafe until Feb. 27.