Friday, November 21, 2008:
Well, we knew if we waited around long enough the thermometer would make its nearly-winter move – but it seems to have gone too far, as in 20 degrees below normal. Add a coating of white for Barnegat and Waretown area. I also hit some snow squalls driving back from my Thursday evening auction up in Tabernacle. While the U.S. Weather Service is parlaying an El Nino/La Nina impact into a mild and very wet winter for us, this initial insertion of Canadian air – invited in by a north-to-south air flow from large storms off Nova Scotia – seems as if it wants to set a precedent for weeks and months to come. The big indicator will be the weeks after Thanksgiving. If the Pacific Decadal Oscillations (El Nino/La Nina) are going to overpower our own local North Atlantic Oscillation. Global warmists assure a mild winter. This is one time I’m rooting for just enough global warming to keep me from going into my annual “Shining” brain drain.
As for fishing, the bluefish are working their butts off to make sure we have a damn decent fall season. They get a well-deserved thanks from the Classic.
The bass , on the other hand, are doing at little as possible to help surfcasters – “little” being the operative word. There are plenty of small fish in the system but where those larger surfside fish from a couple days ago is anyone’s guess. I’ll guess the fishing crowds sure to be out there this weekend will show where – if anywhere – the better bass have gone.
Boat fishermen are having far better (and bigger) luck. Just past the sandbars and even out quite a ways (obviously within the legal 3-mile range) larger metals (those Avas and diamonds) are finding bass to 30 pounds.
I always have trouble getting that last minute striper for Thanksgiving so I hope to cash in on some hot spots (thanks for the call) for small stripers, pushing 28 inches. I don’t eat meat or poultry so I have to bring my own fishy vittles when invited to join in at other tables. Fortunately, clams have a hard time escaping – kinda like farm-bred turkeys.
Hi Jay, here is something that happened to me I have never seen or heard of before. I was fishing Brant Beach this am and was putting on bunker chunks..A one legged gull walks right up to me as I am cutting up bunker. The bird stood right at my right foot, like a pet so I feed him a chunk. As I give him another the Falcon hits the chunk as the gull is going for it. The gull hops away and the Falcon hobbles with the chunk and goes under my Jeep where it starts to tear off pieces of it. It stays there with it even though I am on my knees looking at this only 3 feet away. When it finishes that chunk I give it another and it eats this too. I noticed it was banded. One band was silver and the other was blue. The Falcon appeared to be injured I think from its hard contact with the beach. Another fisherman comes to assist me and ids the bird. He is Bill Long. Nice to meet you Bill. I am parked near the surf line and the tide is coming in but I can not move my truck with the Falcon under it. So me and Bill try to see if the Falcon will fly but it will not. Bill has gloves on and is able to grab the bird and he has handled birds before and knows how to do it. I called the Long Beach Police and advised them a banded injured protected bird was on the beach and within a few minutes an officer arrived and called animal control. The Falcon was rescued and will live to fly another day. Bill endured the Falcons talons the whole time as they had penetrated his glove but he said it was an honor to endure it. Jay, what a thrill to see this magnificent bird up close. I took videos of it with my cell phone and pictures too. In all your days of riding the beach have you ever seen anything like this?..LS , Mayetta, NJ
(Great tale, LS! I'll post it tomorrow. The closest I've had to unscheduled falcon bonding came when years back one landed on the edge of my truck's bed. As you can now fully attest, it's way too spooky to even consider quickly approaching one of these large birds, as that steely gaze they have gives nothing away as to its real intent. As with yours, the one that visited me was banded and had surely hopped onboard my truck for a handout -- which I didn't dare deny it. Mine took an entire bunker I threw on the ground. No, it didn't swoop and grab it in a majestic show of flying skill. It landed near by, walked nonchalantly up to it, stepped on it and after what seemed like a display of "ho-hum," flew off toward the refuge (Holgate) and never returned. Odd thing: The whole experience was so weird, I didn't enjoy it because I was wondering what odd portent this might be. Gospel truth. Too much Edgar Allen Poe. J-mann)
TOO MUCH ACID DROPPING:
Nov 21, 2008 - The first comprehensive national study of how carbon dioxide emissions absorbed into the oceans may be altering fisheries, marine mammals, coral reefs, and other natural resources has been commissioned by NOAA and the National Science Foundation.
'Carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere through the burning of fossil fuels is not only contributing to atmospheric climate change,' said Dr. Steven A. Murawski, director of scientific programs and chief science advisor for NOAA's Fisheries Service. 'These emissions are being absorbed into the oceans with potentially catastrophic effects on life in our oceans. Some of the most vulnerable species Ð clams, crabs, lobsters, mussels, shrimp, and scallops Âare also some of the most important economically to the United States, representing half of the $4 billion annual value of all fish harvested in U.S. waters.'
The need for this national study, to be conducted by the National Academy of Sciences, was outlined by Congress in the reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act in 2007.
Since the beginning of the industrial era, the oceans have absorbed about a third of all manmade carbon dioxide emissions released into the air. The ability of the oceans to absorb carbon dioxide emissions has reduced some of the harmful effects of heat-trapping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and on land. But scientists are finding that the continued, increased absorption of these gases is altering the biology and chemistry of oceans in fundamental ways.
Absorption of large amounts of carbon dioxide alters the chemistry of the oceans by reducing the pH of seawater. With increasing carbon dioxide in seawater, shellfish and corals cannot absorb enough calcium carbonate to build strong skeletons and shells. The greater acidity slows the growth and even dissolves ocean plant and animal shells. The decline of these valuable species would drastically harm U.S. fisheries.
Any decline of these species would also have profound effects on entire ecosystems where shellfish and crustaceans provide food for many other species and coral provides habitat for fish. The effects of ocean acidification will potentially extend to coral reefs, marine plankton, other animals and plants.
The National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences is putting together a panel of 10 to 12 scientists to undertake the 18-month study. The committee will be made up of scientists with expertise in chemical oceanography, paleooceanography, biological oceanography, physiology, marine ecology, resource economics, geochemistry, resource management, and ocean-climate modeling.
TUNA FUTURE IS NOW UP TO THE PEOPLE: [Deutsche Presse-Agentur] - November 21, 2008 - Rome/Marrakech, Morocco, Almost 16,000 people from 149 countries have signed up to join numerous restaurants, retailers and chefs in boycotting Mediterranean bluefin tuna in a campaign to save the endangered fish species, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) said Thursday.
WWF said it had presented a petition on behalf of 15,941 concerned individuals to top fishery decision-makers, meeting at an international conference in Marrakech, Morocco.
There, the 46 member countries of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) are meeting to decide on the future of bluefin tuna in the Mediterranean, which activists say is threatened by overfishing. The conference lasts until Monday, November 24.
'Thousands of consumers from across the world are voting with their wallets by not buying or eating endangered Mediterranean bluefin tuna,' WWF's Mediterranean branch head of fisheries, Sergi Tudela, said in a statement issued in Rome.
WWF also noted that the list of chefs, restaurants and retailers around the world who have stopped serving and selling bluefin tuna is growing.
Such 'trailblazers' included chain stores Auchan in France, Carrefour in Italy, Coop in Italy and Switzerland, ICA in Norway, Moshi Moshi in Britain, and Memento in Spain, WWF said.
They have been joined by German seafood processors Deutsche See and Gottfried Friedrichs, and French restaurant chain Elior among others, according to WWF.
'Bluefin tuna was one of the star items on our menu, but the critical situation of the stocks made me take it off the plates so that diners can keep enjoying it in years to come,' Spanish celebrity chef Sergi Arola was quoted as saying in the statement.
'I believe it's my duty to take care of the sustainability of a dish as well as its taste,' he added.
Tudela noted that, should ICCAT fail to act this week in Marrakech, support would grow for a move away from the attempt to control fishers, in favour of a full-blown trade ban to save the species from collapse.