Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

July 18, 08: Every once in a orange moon

Friday, July 18, 2008: Waves: Remain large and powerful; 3-5 feet with some clean-up sets. Boaters take note of those clean-up sets since they’re the ones that make spooky near inlets. Winds: South and brisk, they’ll throw even more juice into the inlet breakers. I don’t know if there are SCA today but I’d sure recommend small crafts stay inside. Water clarity: Fair and likely dropping to poor with winds. Water temps: Also likely dropping from low 60 into 50s.

The older one gets the more significance there is no an “I’ve never seen” event. In this case, for me, I’ve seen the moon come up orange then turn white. I’ve often seen it start white and yet orange toward morning. But, I’ve never seen what we had all night. The moon was the definition of orange and stayed that way every minute from when it came up to when I did my Weather Service check. I know it stayed that way throughout since it went from one of my bedroom windows to the next – and I got to the point where I kept checking it out when rolling over or whatever. All I can guess is there is some atmospheric something-or-other. Chatting with one of my meteoro-buddies in Mount Holly, he also noted that first-rise tendency this time of year with the combination of sun and moon angles but we were both at a loss as to why it was all but fire red this a.m. If any of you esoteric types have any insights I’d appreciate it. If we were an ultra-primitive culture, we’d be pissing ourselves convinced something huge was about to happen.

I have top put in a huge thumbs up to lifeguards up and down the island. The number of runs (rescues) yesterday was off the charts on many beaches, and these were some hairy saves. The rips were insane. An east groundswell pushing water straight in and moon tides pushing water all over the place led to swimmers getting rip-dragged out so far the guards had to use paddleboards just to reach them. And they reached a load of them. Nice work guys and gals of the beach patrols.

I had three fluke reports of identical look and feel; loads of fish near both inlets with a ration of 10 to 1 being near average for keepers. I had one fellow note that he did just fine with good old minnow and squid combos. He is very anti-GULP! for no real reason. He did note what I had noticed way back, there is a real decent showing of minnies in the far back bay and up the mosquito ditches. To go with that, and I quote, “I have never seen the biting flies so bad and I’ve been at this (collecting his own minnies) for 40 years.” Ditto from many others. On the Road to Nowhere (Old Bay Avenue bay end, Manahawkin) the flies actually swarm my truck as I drive along and are in full battalion formation the instant I open the door.

Nature note: The wild blueberry plants in Southern ocean County’s pinelands are through the ceiling loaded this year. I’ve done a third pick (over toward Quail Fields, off Rte, 539, Lacey) and loaded up each time.

J.M. emailed to say he had near nonstop kingfish by boat, western Barnegat Bay. “They were huge. They didn’t stop until some bluefish cruised by. We feast tonight,” he wrote.

Numerous reports of fluke in “backyard” commercial-style crab traps, especially bayside LBI and in lagoons over Barnegat way.

There have been keeper bas now and again in the surf. I have three reports of 30-inch-ish sized takes on clams or bloodworms. All have been right next to the rocks. Jigging is working on smaller bass near the rocks.

Off the wires: John Sackton - July 17, 2008 - Warning flags are flying in New England. The long running stock rebuilding effort may be failing, leading some to begin to think in terms of a total moratorium.

These dire ideas were expressed at the most recent New England Fishery Management Council meeting, where the decision was taken to postpone the release of the public comment on the next phase of groundfish management in order to get a full report on stock status in September.

The sobering presentation was from the Groundfish Assessment Review Meeting (GARM).

The most serious implication was that the total biological productivity of Georges Bank and the Gulf of Maine is decreasing. Out of 20 separate stocks measured, 12 showed a clear trend toward decreasing length and weight for age. This means that the fish are getting smaller. 2 stocks showed and increase, and 6 showed no trend.

Fish get smaller when they are less healthy - have a harder time getting food, or other factors have come into play, such as adverse selection for larger sized fish.

The net result is that the biomass targets may have to be adjusted.

The scientists indicated that smaller fish at age were associated with an overall warming trend, a shift in the composition of zooplankton, and a decrease in salinity of shelf water.

Smaller size at age, delayed maturity at age, and decreased survival of recruits are measures of reduced productivity that induce Lower biomass reference points, Slower rebuilding rates, lower total landings during rebuilding, and increases in discarding, said the scientists.

In other words, the total allowable catch for many groundfish species is still too high. The presentation suggested that the maximum catch for many species would decline, in some cases by as much as 50%. but the overall average reduction is around 21%.

But furthermore, the scientists suggested that smaller fish exacerbate the existing problems of discard mortality. In other words, more smaller fish mean a higher percentage of discards, further hurting the stocks.

Given the fact that New England still has no hard quota management, but uses a days at sea and discard system, the prospect for 2009 is for a further large reduction in days at sea.

This is what prompted talk of a shutdown.

[BANR JAPAN REPORTS] July 17, 2008 - Tokyo -

(Report from the North American Bureau of the Minato Shimbun)

Clean Seas Tuna Limited, a tuna aquaculture firm based in Port Lincoln, South Australia, announced that the artificial breeding of Atlantic bluefin tuna, based on its breeding techniques for southern bluefin tuna, succeeded in Europe.

The project has been promoted at a hatchery in Italy by the Allotuna Group, a research consortium in Europe, by using the same technology for artificial breeding of southern bluefin tuna developed by the Australian firm in March this year.

Allotuna successfully collected more than 10 million fertilized eggs from the cages at the hatchery. The spawned eggs have been transferred to a commercial hatchery in Bari, Italy, as well as key hatcheries in France, Crete, Israel, Malta and Spain.

Mr. Hagen Stehr, Clean Seas' chairman, said that the news of success in artificial tuna fertilization in Europe using Clean Seas's techniques is remarkable.

Commercialization of tuna farming by means of artificial breeding has made a great stride toward realization, going beyond the stage of 'if ' to 'when to be carried out,' he added.

Clean Seas will be able to raise southern bluefin tuna in several years from now in the amount equivalent of the annual catch quota set for that species by the Australian government, Stehr said.

Dr. Mylanos and Prof. Chris Bridges, two members of the advisory panel of Clean Seas, have taken part in Allotuna's project.

Commenting on the success of artificial breeding, Prof. Bridges observed that the wild stocks of Mediterranean bluefin tuna are seriously threatened by overfishing. The fishery was closed this year amid strong protests from fishing industry.

In view of the stringent supply of bluefin tuna around the globe, the present development will certainly provide a bright news to related industries, he said.

Although there is much further to do, it is clear that this technology will contribute to protecting endangered wild bluefin tuna and to sustainable aquaculture of bluefin tuna, Prof. Bridges noted.


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