Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Apr. 8, 2011 -- New fluke regs favor surfcasters

 April 8, 2011: 

 You're looking at a happier man today. OK, so maybe you're not "looking," per se, but hearing from one. Somewhat out of the blue (to me anyway), the state's marine fisheries council has opted for a longer fluke season, meaning we get 25 days into September to fish fluke after the summer masses have de-massed and gone home. Though the minimum size remains at 18 inches, the chosen plan is the fairest when factoring in surf fishermen and Holgaters, though I doubt the council was overly concerned with those of us that fish Holgate -- still, we get the bennies of this fairer-to-all choice. That option was the most popular among a number of angling sectors. 

That said, I remain (correctly) convinced that the fluke biomass is larger than the nearshore waters ecosystem can hold -- and remain a viable system meant to foster ALL species back to health. And, I still hold firmly to the surely-correct notion that there are also way too many stripers for the system to hold without meaning doom to a load of other species. But that doesn't sound like a happy man talking, does it? So I'll mosey on back to my happy place and approach the rapidly arriving saltwater angling season with a positive burst of energy. 

I'll also add some here-and-now upbeatness by noting we have a goodly showing of striped bass in our bay water. I know from first-handedness.  I don't want to burn spots so I''ll  place the (mainly night) action, generally, at both mid-Island and toward the south end. The mainly schoolie bass are very aggressively going after plastics. 
Though we're rapidly moving into scheduled bass times, it sure seems we might be ahead of the schedule this year. 
I haven't gotten any flounder reports but here's a pickup from Fisherman's HDQ: 

"What a difference a day makes! Yesterday Marty Anderson caught one flounder. Today he caught a dozen and kept two beauties for the dinner table. "Flounder fishing was red hot today! exclaimed Marty. "It was non stop action for 2-1/2 hours today. There were even some double headers. My one buddy caught 11 and another friend caught 17 fish. All of the flatties were caught on worms fished from an old school flounder rig. Most of the fish were in the 14 inch range and the biggest was 17.5 inches."
There are some boats and bank anglers trying the Hochstrasser's Hole area. I did hear of some action over in the plant, BB, BI areas but that was second-hand info. 
As everyone should know, the Oyster Creek Generating plant will be shutting down before 2020. It will be a slow cool-down so the artificial biosystem therein can depart their longtime home. I guess a cool-down is better than a meltdown but I still believe nuclear power is the only clean way to power the planet. The options when shutting down plants is to rely on filthy and primitive generating methods that will surely kill the oceans with pollution -- beginning with the bay. However, the Oyster Creek plant is old and increasingly dangerous. There are high-tech nuclear plants out there -- and increasingly incredible technology improving them. We can't stay purely primitive by burning fossil fuels. I assure you that nuclear is the answer until be got off our oily asses and begin to fully exploit the sun, wind and sea for their never-ending power. 
Back to fishing, freshwater action now includes larger largemouth bass, going for baits and slow-moving plastics. Obviously, the shallows are the only fishable areas. When the bass sulk back into deeper water they go back into their passive mode. 

I'll soon be acquiring some incredible vintage photos (negatives) of LBI. Now and again, I'll be sticking them in here to get any help I can in ID'ing exact locales -- and people's faces. 




[The National] By Gregor Hunter - April 7, 2011 - 

Talk about economies of scale. An Abu Dhabi company has airlifted in 22 live sturgeon to give a boost to its efforts to develop the world's biggest caviar factory.

Etihad Crystal Cargo has delivered a shipment of Siberian sturgeon, which arrived safely on March 21 at the fish farm in Musaffah. The plant is a joint venture between Bin Salem Holding, a local conglomerate, and United Food Technologies, a German company.

'The Etihad Crystal Cargo team, working closely with our ground handling colleagues and clients, demonstrated expertise and co-ordination skills to ensure the fish were shipped safely from Frankfurt to their new home in the UAE,' said Roy Kinnear, Etihad Airways' senior vice president for cargo.

Fishery production of the luxury delicacy has leapt worldwide as the wild population of sturgeon and paddlefish, also a source, has dwindled.

Captures of the caviar-producing fish have fallen from 1,915 tonnes in 2002 to 884 tonnes in 2008, according to the latest statistics available from the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation.

The export of caviar from the endangered wild Caspian sturgeon was limited by the UN in 2006 to prevent over-fishing by the five countries that border the Central Asian sea, leading to a boom in fishery production elsewhere.

While Bin Salem Group's factory complies with UN regulations, the challenges of farming caviar in a desert climate remain sizeable, according to Pierre el Hakim, the general marketing manager for Caviar Court, a producer based in Dammam, Saudi Arabia.

He was sceptical local producers could profit without exporting to the US and Europe, which he said have proven far more robust over the past 10 years. 'In the Gulf there's no market,' he said.

However, that has not deterred entrepreneurs such as James Smith, the director of Purely Caviar, who recently established a wholesale website to tap new demand.

There is great potential for profit in local caviar sales, he said, such as the creamy white Royal Almas caviar from Iran, which sold at around Dh120,000 per kilogram last year.

Mr Smith said he had entered the business to tap soaring demand from private individuals, luxury hotels and yacht kitchens seeking to load up on provisions.



Wall Street Joournal] By Shirley S. Wang - April 7, 2011 - 
(c) 2011 Fox Television Stations, Inc.

U.S. public-health officials sought Tuesday to reassure consumers about the safety of food in the U.S., including seafood, amid news that fish contaminated with unusually high levels of radioactive materials had been caught in waters 50 miles from the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan.

No contaminated fish have turned up in the U.S., or in U.S. waters, according to experts from the Food and Drug Administration, Environmental Protection Agency and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They expressed confidence that even a single fish sufficiently contaminated to pose a risk to human health would be detected by the U.S. monitoring system.

They also dismissed concerns that eating fish contaminated at the levels seen so far in Japan would pose such a risk.

Thomas Frieden, head of the CDC in Atlanta, said he expected continued detection of low levels of radioactive elements in the water, air and food in the U.S. in coming days, but that readings at those levels 'do not indicate any level of public health concern.'

He also said no one in the U.S. should be taking potassium iodide as a preventive measure against possible ingestion of radioactive iodine-131.

The FDA, which has been monitoring produce and other foods coming from Japan, hinted that further import restrictions could be forthcoming following Japanese authorities' re-evaluation of its own policies. Domestic restrictions on produce in Japan could be expanded to include several more towns.

The FDA declined to give an estimate of when its tightened restrictions could be introduced, saying it had first to conduct its own review of data.

'As those [Japanese] restrictions change, yes, our efforts to assure that we have the safety net in place change as well,' said David Elder, head of the FDA's division of regional operations, in a press briefing.

'Certainly we are aware of changing restrictions that are going into place [in Japan] and we are adjusting our criteria,' he said.




Nihon Keizai Shimbun, Inc. All rights reserved.

TOKYO (Nikkei)--Following the massive leak of radioactive water from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, the move by plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. (9501) to dump water containing low levels of radioactivity into the sea has heightened concerns over the contamination of fish.

Tepco said the measure was necessary to expedite efforts to restore reactor cooling systems at the plant.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said Tuesday the government will establish provisional safety limits for marine products similar to those set for vegetables. The Fisheries Agency and local governments will step up inspections of seafood for radiation.

Many unknowns

Local fishing businesses have already been damaged by spurious rumors stemming from these new developments in the harrowing nuclear crisis triggered by the Great East Japan Earthquake. For example, authorities at Choshi port in Chiba Prefecture recently refused to allow a fishing boat from Ibaraki Prefecture to land a catch of flatfish.

The main radioactive substance in the water being dumped into the Pacific Ocean is iodine-131, which has a half-life of about eight days, meaning it will decrease by half in eight days. This short half-life has prompted the government and Tepco to argue that fish and seaweed taken from areas around the plant are unlikely to pose any serious health risks, even if they are eaten daily.

But much is still to be learned about the long-term accumulation of radioactivity in fish and the health effects of eating contaminated fish. The common view in Japan is that radioactive iodine does not accumulate in fish, and this has delayed the establishment of recommended limits and regulations for the substance. Many overseas scientists, however, warn of a potential accumulation in animals and fish in the food chain.

It is also suspected that other radioactive substances that would remain in seawater for months could also have leaked from the Fukushima plant.

Riskier than vegetables

The government should immediately start drawing up plans for issuing restrictions on fishing operations and shipments, as well as compensation for affected fishermen. These plans should take into account the assumption that radioactive contamination could be prolonged and lead to much higher levels of radioactivity than stipulated in the regulatory limits for marine products.

Small fish caught off the coast of Kita-Ibaraki have been found to contain a slightly higher level of radioactive cesium than the government set in its provisional limit.

Cesium is highly hazardous to human health as it continues to emit radiation inside living organisms for over 50 days. The cesium in small fish could be passed through the food chain into widely eaten species of fish such as mackerel, saury and bonito.

Fish swim through wide swathes of the ocean, so dealing with the health hazards posed by radioactivity in fish represents a much tougher public health challenge than the problem of contaminated vegetables.

The government has no time to waste in taking on this important task.


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