Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Fall always makes me a tad hungry ... Wednesday, October 07, 2015: I’m appreciative of the higher readership I’ve developed in this blog but I now have to choose my wording a bit better. Yesterday…

Fall always makes me a tad hungry ...

Wednesday, October 07, 2015: I’m appreciative of the higher readership I’ve developed in this blog but I now have to choose my wording a bit better. Yesterday I nonchalantly wrote, “LBT’s front beaches remain closed, even though they were supposed to open on Oct. 1.” I had regular readers in mind, those who know I was talking about buggy access. However, I fully understand the emails I got asking why the beaches are closed. Oops. Then don’t I go and repeat my miswording a bit further down when I wrote “the state shut down most bayside areas to be on the safe side, regarding any pathogens that might have washed in.” That local-speak was referring strictly to the taking of shellfish. Oh, well, I’ll have to be a tad more sensitive to the readership. It’s my pleasure.

If you ever see serious water snafus: 

Report Pollution and Spills to the NJDEP 24-hour Hotline at:
1-877-WARN-DEP (1-877-927-6337)

The ocean an LE Inlet water remains discolored but not dirty. There’s another case where anglers will understand that concept better than some other readers. Discolored water, meaning the hue of the water, cleans up faster than dirty water, which contains grass, weed and other floating-about crap.

Things are already cleaning up to our north: Betty and Nick’s … "0/7/15 UPDATED 8:39 AM Great day to be on the beach and the water looks 1000% better. Has a nice green color to it and good looking bass water. We got some anglers hitting the beach today so i'll keep my ears open. Get out there."


I’m still guessing the water will be just-right for the Saturday start of the Long Beach Island Surf F ishing Classic. If you haven’t signed up, get crackin’. This is your year to kick Classic butt. 

I don’t know that we’ve ever had a Classic angler win both the largest striped bass and bluefish in the same year. I actually came close, winning the bass segment and having a lead in the bluefish until the last days of the event when Tony C. beat out my bluefish. In those days, I fished virtually every single day of the event. I just don’t have the energy or wherewithal to go that ball’s out any more. I also have a stricter personal benchmark for entering Classic bass. A bass has gotta be 30 pounds or better (based on in-field length/girth-based weight estimates) before I’ll bring it to the scales. With bluefish, if it’s big enough ... it scales. 

Below: Bluefish Pomatomus saltatrix Date: August 9, 2013 Location: PORTUGAL Record Category: Men Speargun


James Hussey and His World Record Bluefish

World record bluefish

This world record bluefish was caught by James M. Hussey on Jan 30 1972 at Hatteras, NC. It weighed 31 pounds, 12 ounces.


I have seen photos of nice bass coming from the NJ surf, including LBI. Tom B is seen here holding a beauty. The problem is the hookups are so scattered – and so few folks are fishing – it’s hard to see any pattern to the hooking … if there is one. I’m among the many trying to develop a game plan for the Classic, though I’ll take a wild guess and say that Holgate might be somewhere within my game plan. 

I’m thinking the blow might have blown any remaining baitfish out of the bay? Some lagoon folks keep me apprised of the bunkies and even mullet hanging in their backyards. It’s often astounding how late in the fall forage fish will remain lagoon-bound.

 Below: Famed regurgitation move by a bass .. note the semi-digested state of the semi-upchucked bunker. 


Michael Meyer 
Thank you for the add Blaine! Please check out my Albums on Facebook.
Michael Meyer's photo.

Bob Popovics added a new photo.
Not done yet! They're schooling up again. Hoping for good days ahead.
Bob Popovics's photo.

"...we are creating two new national marine sanctuaries in the United States, one off the coast of Maryland and one in Wisconsin along the Great Lakes. But we also have plans in the works which we are pursuing for still another significant one in the Atlantic, where we don't have the kind of presence that we want and should, and we're working with senators engaged in that particular area in order to make that happen. We had hoped to be able to get there; we have a few administrative challenges yet to get over, but I'm confident that we will." -- Secretary of State John F. Kerry

The following are remarks given by Secretary of State John Kerry this week at the Our Oceans Conference in Valparaiso, Chile:
VALPARAISO (U.S. Dept. of State) -- Oct. 6, 2015 -- Well, thank you, Madam Secretary-General. Thank you for your very personal and generous introduction. And Heraldo, thank you for making it so crystal clear not only how you personally are deeply committed to this effort, but also your country. And I again just want to say profoundly thank you for a very, very serious and comprehensive approach to the challenges that we face here.

I'm going to pick up where Heraldo left off, and I'd like to take just a few minutes to outline some of the solutions that the United States is pursuing. And I again want to reiterate, as I think I did this morning, we're going to pick up what Heraldo has laid out and work with Heraldo together heading into next year. And one of the commitments that we will make is to bring more countries to the table than were in Washington or here. They need to be here. They need to be part of this. And I intend to commit a certain significant element of diplomatic effort in all of my bilaterals and travels through the course of the year to make sure that that responsibility that we're articulating here is broadly shared.

As President Obama announced earlier, we are creating two new national marine sanctuaries in the United States, one off the coast of Maryland and one in Wisconsin along the Great Lakes. But we also have plans in the works which we are pursuing for still another significant one in the Atlantic, where we don't have the kind of presence that we want and should, and we're working with senators engaged in that particular area in order to make that happen. We had hoped to be able to get there; we have a few administrative challenges yet to get over, but I'm confident that we will.

In addition, we are working to finalize now a new sister marine protected area arrangement with Cuba in order to connect protected sites in our two countries so we can better collaborate on scientific research, education, and sound management. And we met in New York with President Castro; I met again with my counterpart, and we have agreed to meet in Cuba in January or February, when we will continue this march towards normalization, but importantly, cooperation on the oceans as well.

Over the summer, we joined other nations that surround the high seas area of the central Arctic Ocean - Canada, Denmark, Norway, and Russia - and together we signed a declaration to prevent any unregulated commercial fishing in that region.

But as I emphasized earlier and as you just heard from Heraldo, it's one thing to announce these; it's another to make sure that they actually stay protected, and that is in fact part of our responsibility, to make sure that these prohibitions are enforced.

Back in the 1990s, Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska and I joined together to take driftnet fishing to the United Nations. You all are familiar - thousands, tens of thousands of miles of driftnet fishing would be laid out behind boats. And it would fish and often break off, and then it would ghost fish, which means it would continue to fish, it would get weighted down, it would go down to the bottom; predators would eat, it would rise again and fish again. And this ghost fishing would go on in a terrible cycle of the slaughter - it literally strip-mined the ocean. Much of the fishing that takes place today - approximately two-thirds to 50 percent of the fish catch is just thrown overboard. They don't use it. It goes back into the ocean, but it goes back dead.

So we stopped that at the United Nations. But to my chagrin, it's one thing to have stopped it in name at the United Nations; it's another to have the enforcement in the areas where on the open oceans it still goes on. And so we have rogue fishermen from certain countries particularly, and we know who they are and we need to engage them very directly, and there needs to be a new era of responsibility regarding this - and a new era, by the way, of naming and shaming and of accountability. I think we owe it to people to give them notice first. But thereafter, we need to hold fishermen who still use driftnets accountable.

And all of this has to change. How? How will it change? That is part of our commitment going forward.

There are three major ways that we believe we can improve high seas enforcement: increased tracking and surveillance, better technology, and more effective international cooperation and surveillance and apprehension. Today, I'm pleased to announce some of the steps that we are taking in all of these fronts.

Last year, we announced a program to track seafood from harvest to production to entry into U.S. ports, so we can know for certain that seafood sold in our country is legally harvested. Later this month, we will officially launch that program's first phase in operation, which will trace several marine species, including shrimp, cod, and tuna, that are especially at risk of being caught illegally or mislabeled. And tracking this initial set of species will help us to prepare to track all seafood sold on the shores of the United States by 2017.

We're also proud of a new initiative in the Asia Pacific called the USAID Oceans, a five-year, $20 million effort to promote sustainable marine fisheries in and to help monitor seafood fraud in that part of the world.

In addition, the United States is investing in technology that will help us get a better sense of human activity in even the most remote parts of the ocean. We're enhancing the sensors on our satellites to detect the kind of night lights used by fishermen to attract fish, which will help us identify and stop potentially illegal or unsustainable fishing practices. We've already demonstrated this technology in Indonesia, and next year we will be implementing the system in five pilot countries along with training and technical support for local officials.

But one of the most important changes we can make is to deepen the level of overall international coordination so we can identify, interdict, and prosecute those who pursue unacceptable fishing practices. Today, various nations are working hard to track and address illegal fishing, but the fact is no nation is currently capable of policing the entire range of the oceans. On the other hand, we have an obligation to make certain that no square kilometer of ocean is beyond the law. We're determined to try to do that, and we're going to use this next year to build that towards a broader system that can be in effect hopefully as we come out of next year and into 2017.

With that in mind, I am pleased to announce the launch of a new initiative called Sea Scout. And Sea Scout is aimed at integrating all existing and emerging technologies for use all over the world, and linking responsible entities and agencies around the world. More broadly, its goal is to enhance coordination, information sharing, and capacity building from pole to pole and across the equator. And we will start by focusing on regional hot spots - part of the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Guinea, for example - where IU fishing - IUU fishing is known to have - be most rampant and where our respective enforcement assets can be most efficiently directed and deployed.

Already today, New Zealand, Palau, Chile, and the FAO, others are - have said that they will join Sea Scout, and we obviously are going to invite every nation to become part of this integrated effort, which in a world of virtual reality and instant communication is absolutely plausible. The more international partners involved, the more successful it's going to be. So I urge all of you in both the public and the private sectors, get involved in whatever way you can and help to think about the ways in which certain technologies and practices can be put to use so we can marshal the forces of law enforcement communities around the world to actually make these laws have greater impact.

I'll just quickly share one last important project the United States is undertaking in the coming year. We're investing more than half a billion dollars in a new U.S. Ocean Observatories Initiative. We're commissioning a system of moorings, gliders, and autonomous underwater vehicles - equipped with nearly 800 instruments - to collect data such as pH, oxygen levels, transmission of carbon dioxide between the ocean and the atmosphere, and concentration of phytoplankton. And we'll be putting all of the information that we collect online - much of it in real time - so that the public or anybody who wants to can better understand ocean acidification and other changes taking place - and ultimately, better address and adapt to them.

Now, these are just a few of the many new projects that we're working on. You'll hear about others as the conference continues.

But in closing, let me just say that as we go into next year, obviously we want to build on this, and I cannot say enough about how impressive what Heraldo has done and what Chile has done to get us where we are today. We all need to build on it every year. Long after I'm Secretary of State, I hope we will be coming together to celebrate the success of all the work that we have done through years.

But we cannot put anything on the backburner as we leave here. We have to go to Paris, as Heraldo said; we have to continue to use every opportunity.

And I know there are several others waiting to make their commitments known and I want to hear from them, but I can't thank everybody enough for engaging in this. This is really critical to our responsibility to future generations and to ourselves, and I thank everybody for taking part. Thank you.

Read Secretary Kerry's remarks here


Global Fisheries Scientists set up 'Truth Squad' to Counter Inaccurate Scientific Claims in Media

SEAFOODNEWS.COM  [SeafoodNews.com]  October 5, 2015

Too often false statements about fisheries go unchallenged in the media.  Many NGOs trumpet their conclusions about fisheries crisises, but don't always explain how they get their 'facts.'
Their media partners lap up stories of doom and collapse, often uncritically.  For that reason, a group of  International experts in fisheries management have come together as part of a new initiative, called CFOOD (Collaborative for Food from Our Oceans Data.) The coalition will gather data from around the world and maintain fisheries databases while ensuring seafood sustainability discussions in the media reflect ground-truth science.  
The scientists behind the project have long pushed for accurate and clean data sources on the world's fisheries.  
The CFOOD project, headquartered at the University of Washington’s School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences (SAFS), is made up of a network of scientists whose mission stemmed from a frustration with erroneous and agenda-driven stories about fisheries sustainability in the media. The CFOOD project will maintain a website and social media channels that provide a forum for immediate feedback on new seafood sustainability reports and studies.
“The CFOOD website allows us to offer independent scientific commentary to debunk false claims, support responsible science, or introduce new issues based on recent research,” said Dr. Ray Hilborn, Professor at University of Washington’s SAFS and founder of the CFOOD initiative.
“The ocean is a remarkably abundant source of healthy protein,” said Hilborn. “And while sustainability challenges exist, particularly in areas lacking sufficient fishery management infrastructure, many fisheries around the world are well-managed and sustainable. The message doesn’t always seem to resonate with consumers because of misinformation they continue to hear in the media.”
By reviewing and providing scientific analysis on relevant studies, papers, and media reports the CFOOD network hopes to use science to set the record straight for consumers, so they can have confidence the seafood they purchase is harvested in an environmentally responsible fashion.
Other scientists on the editorial board for CFOOD include Robert Arlinghaus, Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries and Humboldt at Universität zu Berlin; Kevern Cochrane, FAO Retired, Cape Town, South Africa; Stephen Hall, World Fish Center, Penang, Malaysia; Olaf Jensen, Rutgers University; Michel Kaiser, Bangor University, UK; Ana Parma, CONICET Puerto Madryn, Argentina; Tony Smith, Hobart, Australia; Nobuyuki Yagi, Tokyo University.
“Exaggerated claims of impending ecological disaster might grab attention, but they risk distorting effort and resources away from more critical issues.  I hope this initiative will help provide the balance we need,” said Dr. Stephen Hall, Director General, World Fish Center, based in Malaysia.
The first set of comments on the CFOOD website debunks a WWF paper claiming a 74% decline in global mackerel and tuna species.  The scientists point out that the data used to support that conclusion is out of date, having not been updated since 2004, and that more robust data sources, such as the actual stock assessments of tuna and mackerel stocks around the world were not used by the WWF in creating their estimate.  We explore the comments in depth in our related story.

To connect with the scientists, you can use twitter, facebook, or their website.


Where Will The Fish Come From To Meet New USDA Dietary Guidelines? (Opinion)

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [The Hill] By Tom Brenna - October 7, 2015 - 

(Brenna is a professor of human nutrition and of chemistry at Cornell University. He was a member of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee.)

The House Agriculture Committee will hold a hearing Oct. 7 to question Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack about the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans now being formulated.

In scheduling the hearing, Chairman Mike Conaway (R-Texas) reiterated the concern of many members of Congress that the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans Committee (DGAC) "greatly exceeded its scope with its February 2015 report by straying from traditional nutritional recommendations" and considering sustainability in its February 2015 report intended to inform the new guidelines.

For years, nutritionists and medical professionals have recommended that Americans increase their seafood consumption by a factor of two- to threefold above current levels. The American Diabetes Association, American Psychiatric Association, American Heart Association and American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists all recommend weekly fish consumption as part of a healthy diet, consistent with DGAC recommendations. The many lines of evidence are all linked to the basic premise that regular consumption of a variety of traditionally produced seafood delivers a uniquely rich package of nutrients known to support health from head to toe and throughout the life cycle.

The question is: Where is this seafood to come from?

The dramatic increase in seafood consumption that the 2015 Dietary Guidelines call for is at apparent odds with the flat supply of seafood from the oceans. The wild catch has not increased since 1990, and has only stabilized thanks to serious U.S. and global conservation efforts. World aquaculture production ("fish farming") has increased dramatically to fill the void, but what of the quality of the product?

The nutrition evidence that supports the consumption of seafood depends on its net nutrient composition being maintained at historical levels, as well as the absence of contaminants and extraneous material such as excess nonessential fat. Food production, and specifically the maintenance of any particular food's nutritional quality, are inextricably linked.

Critically, nutrients in farmed fish, as all animals, depend on details of production and on feed composition. Fish depleted in omega-3 fatty acids, selenium, iodine and vitamin D, and fattened solely on unfortified grains, are not as healthy as those with nutrient profiles aligned with the wild catch. For instance, farmed catfish with one quarter the omega-3 fatty acids as wild catfish are unlikely to be as healthy as farmed catfish with omega-3s similar to wild catfish. Healthy food delivers more than just protein and calories.

Aquaculture is spawning a rapidly expanding, innovative industry domestically and internationally in feed and fish production to maintain and enhance quality while improving efficiency. Good industry actors produce seafood with low contaminants while maintaining or even enhancing nutrient levels, such as found in most farmed salmon. Government encouragement of responsible food production to build and maintain the health of Americans is at least as important as its more apparent roles, such as maintaining building construction codes so our buildings don't collapse.

In the context of sustainability, the 2015 DGAC report expressly recommends that the nutrient profiles of farmed seafood match that of the corresponding species in the wild. This general principle should apply to all animal food production. Policymakers should embrace and support the best food producers, dedicated to maintaining nutrient quality in the face of price pressure.

The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, most recently reauthorized in 2006, points out that "fish ... constitute a valuable and renewable natural resource ... contribut[ing] to the food supply, economy, and health of the Nation." In other words, Congress has found that sustainability of the wild catch contributes to the nutritional well-being of Americans. The House Agriculture committee should understand that sustainable production of nutritious food is central to diet and nutrient intake, and embrace protection of the nutritional quality of the food supply on which diet recommendations are based.

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