Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report


Massachusetts man being stalked by great white shark off Cape Cod. Mentally add famed "Jaws" sound bite. This is the real deal -- no gimmicks or Photoshop. The man is fully freaked, per later news reports. 

(Below) Admittedly, more famous. This scene was recorded by shark scientists all but provoking huge great white off South Africa.  In fact, that is a scientist in the kayak. He better hope his frickin' theories are correct. 


Wednesday, August 01, 2012: This is like the 5th day in a row with east winds, though soon to swing south. That has blown in the warmest water of the year – and maybe the last few years. I scored a 79.8 with my infrared in mid-Island late-day surf.

I see where the panfish and the fluke bite in the surf has picked up again, though the waves from mid-island south are a tad rough. And, yes, there is a marked change in wave size from north to south on LBI. In fact, it can be astoundingly larger toward the north, as all surfers know.

I did a reconnoiter baitfish run over to the mainland and outside being pounced upon by a moderate number of greenheads, it was a nice run down the Bridge-to-Nowhere. Seems the y-o-y bunker and mullet are already in the main channels – out of the ditches. I only did a few net throws and the showing of forage was about normal for this time of year. I did see a nearby spray-up of small baitfish and a slurp sound, indicating a weakfish was on the hunt. I didn’t have a rod with me but I’m sure I could have nabbed a couple small sparklers before exhausting the quota thereabouts.

Speaking of the Road-to-Nowhere, a.k.a. lower Stafford Avenue, it’s now paved all the way to the end, which makes for real easy access of the Bridge-to-Nowhere. The famed bridge is no longer accessible, modified by the township to keep people off the burnt-out remains.

By the by, the Bridge-to-Nowhere is the sign of a real close call, by my thinking. The developers of Beach Haven West -- the Shapiro brothers, I believe – had plans to build an even a larger lagooned development on the north side of Rte. 72. Only the difficulty in selling out Beach Haven West kept us from now suffering through thousands of homes as far as the eye can see north of the Causeway. That bridge (seemingly to nowhere) was the symbolic start of BHW’s sister build-out – one that never got beyond the bridge phase.

Black seabass fishing is decent, which is satisfactory for most folks I talk to. They’re not out to mug seabass, just out to catch a few for dinner.

Please read. These are important news items below: [seafoodnews.com] August 1, 2012

The Senate Commerce Committee has started a full committee mark-up of the Pirate Fishing Elimination Act.

The bill, which was introduced by Senator Inouye (D-HI) late last year, seeks to more forcefully combat Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing.

According to the Marine Fish Conservation Network (MFCN), pirate fishing is one of the most serious threats to global ocean health. It also directly impacts the bottom line of American fishermen—who operate under one of the most sustainable fishery management systems in the world the MFCN said. 

The Pirate Fishing Elimination Act seeks to implement the 2009 Agreement on Port State Measures, denying port access to vessels suspected of illegal fishing and giving US enforcement officers important additional tools in the fight against pirates.

“The Senate took decisive action today to move this vital piece of legislation forward. We applaud Senators Daniel Inouye (D-HI), Mark Begich (D-AK), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and other champions of this bill for recognizing pirate fishing as a serious threat. Pirate fishers work lawlessly, with no regard to health or environmental standards; yet not enough is done to prevent their ill-gotten bounty from finding its way to American dinner tables,' said Matt Tinning, Executive Director of the Marine Fish Conservation Network.

Pirate fishing takes its toll on fishermen around the country. Alaskan crabbers have been a leading voice in support of the legislation. Mark Gleason, Executive Director of the Alaska Bering Sea Crabbers also applauded the Committee’s move to take decisive action aimed at preventing and deterring illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. 

“For years, law-abiding crab fishermen in Alaska have had to compete in the marketplace against a flood of illegal product from the Russian Far East. The Pirate Fishing Elimination Act takes us one step closer to ensuring that everyone plays by the same rules. This legislation will help protect American fishermen, consumers, and show the world the United States is serious about ending IUU fishing,' Gleason said.


[Boston Herald] By John Zaremba, Christine McConville and O'ryan Johnson - August 1, 2012 - 

The booming, federally protected seal population basking in Bay State waters will only bring more hungry, dead-eyed great white sharks closer to shore — where they can strike in as little as 6 feet of water, experts warn.

State wildlife officials said yesterday they're tracking nine great whites — the most they've ever had tagged — but it's not clear whether that lethal group includes the stealthy predator that attacked a bodysurfer off Ballston Beach in Truro on Monday afternoon, splattering blood on the beach.

The victim, Christopher Myers, is recovering from leg injuries at Massachusetts General Hospital in what officials called the first attack by a great white in Massachusetts since a fatal strike in 1936.

Swarming the Cape coast in pockets from Eastham to Chatham, seals — a protected species for the past four decades — are being blamed for the sudden spike in shark sightings.

“Nature is out of balance,” said Michael Snell, a former Truro beach commissioner. “Until we start harvesting seals, we are going to keep having these kind of problems.”

Wildlife experts warn that seal preservation and swimmer safety are on a collision course.

“It's a smoke signal to start thinking about our conservation policies, and whether they're really moving us toward sustainability or something else,” said Brian Rothschild, a marine science professor at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth.

“Society has some tough decisions to make,” he said. “Most people believe the seals are attracting the sharks, and the only thing they can do is control the seal population. But to do that would require a revision of the Marine Mammal Protection Act, and that's a big deal.”

The 1972 federal law forbids killing marine mammals, with rare and limited exceptions. The result, experts said, has laid out a blubbery feast of seals all the way up to Canada's Maritime Provinces.

Prior to the law, towns offered bounties on seals, controlling their numbers as a means of conservation similar to deer hunting, Rothschild said. But 40 years of strictly enforced federal protection have left the waters thick with shark bait, and locals have taken notice.

Greg Skomal, a shark biologist with the Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game's Division of Marine Fisheries, said his program has been monitoring the shark population in Bay State waters since 2009. He sees no retreat in the numbers — and humans have to learn to live with it.

“I think, clearly, we're going to have to live with the scenario of having a robust seal population and white sharks responding to it,” he said.

Skomal said sharks, some up to 18 feet long, are tagged with radio transmitters and are being tracked off Cape Cod between Nauset and Monomoy Island. That data will be used to give towns in the sharks' path more data to help manage their shoreline.

Skomal said the state will leave it up to towns to decide whether they'll close their beaches. Snell, the former beach commissioner, wants his town to hire a shark spotter to prevent a repeat of Monday's attack.

Said Skomal: “If you see seals, don't go in the water because sharks are not so smart to be able to tell the difference between a person and a seal.”


 [Courthouse News Service] By Travis Sanford - August 1, 2012 - 

WASHINGTON, The National Marine Fisheries Service will allow the U.S. longline bluefin tuna fleet to land just over 76 metric tons of the prized tuna in 2012.

The increase in the 2012 quota is due to underharvest in 2011.

Under the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT), member states are able to roll over underharvest into the next fishing season up to 10 percent of the total quota for the subsequent year.

The NMFS says that new data indicate that the U.S. fleet was under quota in 2011 by 160 metric tons. Because of the quota limitation, only 94.9 metric tons of underharvest is eligible to be rolled over and the NMFS will allocate 18.7 metric tons into reserve.

Despite a world-wide decline in catch of the world's premium species for sushi-grade fish, from nearly 19,000 metric tons in 1964 to just over 1,900 metric tons in 2009, in 2011, the NMFS declined to list the bluefin as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act. 

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