Friday, January 02, 2009:
I’m back from a hiatus. Very few reports of fishing success, though I saw folks driving around with rods and such. Also, I have a couple emails from anglers hoping to catch their first fish of 2009. Some bitingly cold weather has held down serious angling outings.
This coming Thursday there is a meeting of the state’s Marine Fisheries Council. As usual it takes place at the Galloway Twp. Branch of the Atlantic Co. Library, 306 East Jimmie Leeds Rd., Galloway, NJ 08205 at 4pm.
This time of year is a perfect time to take in one of these meetings. They always have numerous items of angling interest.
With the arrival of 2009, important marine fisheries topics for the year are often outlined.
Also, most folks don’t realize how extremely open this council is to new issues. The public comment period – final part of the meeting – often leads to the council looking into new issues impacting the public. However (!), there is a time and place to rail against -- or stump for -- working issues, i.e. fluke sizes, tog limits, seabass bags, etc. “Working issues” are those matters already under heavy scrutiny. In those instances, it is best to first work with fishing organizations, like JCAA, RFA and local fishing clubs, before jumping into the NJMFC “public comment” forum with thoughts on those subjects.
Sidebar: If council comments regarding working issues happen to come up during the meetings (even though they might not be on the agenda), then feel free to bring them up during public comment period.
Personally, I feel there is far too little alerting of the council to environmental problems impacting all fishermen, recreational and commercial.
“The next meeting of the New Jersey Marine Fisheries Council will be held on Thursday, January 8, 2009 at 4:00 p.m. at the Galloway Township Library, Jimmie Leeds Road, Absecon, New Jersey. To the extent known at this time the agenda is as follows:
1. Roll Call
2. Compliance with Sunshine Law
3. Approval of Minutes for
4. Enforcement Report
5. Legislative Report
6. Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission Report
7. Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council Report
8. Shellfish Council Report
9. Committee Reports
10. Regulatory Actions – Update on 2009 Proposal.
11. Old Business
12. New Business
Copyright 2009 The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel] By Annysa Johnson - January 2, 2009 - MILWAUKEE, Twelve people were plucked from the ice off Green Bay Thursday after a passing freighter and heavy winds created a 6-mile-long, 400- to 500-foot-wide crack that separated them from the eastern shore, according to the U.S. Coast Guard, which joined in the rescues.
The 12 all had been ice fishing, some about a mile off the Wisconsin shore. Still stranded on the ice are at least two trucks and three all-terrain vehicles.
'They'll have to wait for the winds to shift and hope for hard freeze, and then they can get them back,' said Coast Guard spokesman Charles Wolfson. 'And pray they're still out there and haven't fallen through the ice.'
Rescue workers from five agencies, some in helicopters and an air boat, pulled 8 people from the ice between Dykesville and Little Sturgeon Bay. Two were rescued off of Shoemaker Point, and two near Sugar Creek, according to Wolfson.
No one is believed to have fallen into the bay. But the Coast Guard used the opportunity to warn ice fishermen that cracks are possible while freighters are still plying the shipping lanes.
'It's early in the season and it can still be a safety hazard,' said Wolfson.
[Copyright 2009 Bristol United Press] - January 2, 2009 -
In the latest encounter, Paul Vickery and his wife Lesley, originally from Somerset, were menaced by a great white shark as big as their 4.2m dinghy off a beach south of Perth on Tuesday.
He said the shark 'appeared from nowhere', then circled the aluminum dinghy at about 9.30am before lurching at them.
Mr Vickery, 46, who has emigrated to Australia, said: 'It was just like Jaws except he had his mouth closed. The boat lurched when he rolled over and he either touched it or the displacement of water made us tip. It scared the 'bejesus' out of us.'
The couple were crabbing in waters about half a kilometre from the Port Kennedy beach where 51-year-old banker Brian Guest was killed by a shark on Saturday.
Mr Vickery said: 'It was a huge great one, bigger than the boat probably about five metres.
'It looked so beautiful in the water. I feel very sorry for that family, you know for Brian Guest's family, that got taken the other day. I'm very sorry about that, but I don't know, they are so majestic and so beautiful you know it was quite a thrill to see it.'
But he said he and his wife 'froze with fright' as the shark lifted its head out of the water centimetres from their boat.
The incident occurred about 500 metres north of the spot where Mr Guest was believed to have been snatched by a shark on Saturday morning. Mr Guest vanished while snorkelling for crabs with his son. Witnesses reported seeing a fin and splashing in the water before the sea turned red.
Mr Guest's shredded wetsuit was recovered but a four-day air and sea search has failed to find his body.
Mr Vickery said they usually snorkelled for crabs, but on Tuesday chose to take out their dinghy because his wife was nervous after the recent shark attack. 'The wife didn't want to go out because of what happened to that poor man but I talked her into it,' he said.
Mrs Vickery added: 'It just appeared like a submarine would come up. We never heard or saw anything,' she said. 'I was petrified. It was too close for comfort. We only have a little dinghy and it was a lot bigger than it.'
The couple quickly pulled up anchor. Mrs Vickery said: 'I just turned to my husband and said: 'Get us out of here now'. I was petrified.'
A fisheries department boat, which had been searching for Mr Guest's body, escorted them to shore. Swimmers were evacuated from the water and two beaches have been closed indefinitely.
Fisheries officers spotted the shark feeding in the shallows a short time later but lost sight of it when it moved into deeper water.
A fisheries spokesman said it was impossible to tell if it was the same shark that killed Mr Guest. Mr Guest's family requested last weekend that authorities did not kill the shark.
[Jiji Press English News Service] - January 2, 2009 -
Tokyo, Japanese consumers will see Japan's version of eco-labels on marine products in 2009, at a time when concern about declining ocean resources is growing.
The eco-labeling system was created by the Marine Eco-Label Japan, which is organized by stakeholders in the fisheries industry. The group allows use of the label to those who conduct sustainable fishing and eco-friendly processing operations.
The first such authorization was given in December to the fishers and processors of red tanner crabs in the Sea of Japan. Their products are expected to hit the market as early as January.
Japan's marine eco-label follows an internationally recognized labeling system managed by the Marine Stewardship Council, established in 1997 by the World Wide Fund for Nature. So far, 35 fisheries groups, mainly in Europe and the United States, have been authorized to use the MSC eco-label.
MSC-labeled fish products were first imported to Japan in 2006. Major retail group Aeon Co. pioneered the sale of the products. Currently, a total of 28 processors and retailers sell more than 100 products, including Alaskan salmon and roe.
According to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, about a half of the world's fishery stocks have been exploited beyond the limits of sustainable use, while a quarter are threatened.
Global consumption of fish products has more than tripled in the last 40 years. 'Demand is rapidly expanding because of increasing health awareness among Westerners and China's economic growth,' a Japanese Fisheries Agency official said.
In December, an international tuna stock management group, the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission, decided to considerably cut catches of bigeye tuna, which is traditionally popular among Japanese.
The impact of the marine eco-labels, however, may be limited in Japan, partly because of a continued shift in consumer tastes, particularly among the young, away from fish.
Consumers are aware of the importance of protecting resources, but given the current economic conditions, buying patterns may be influenced more by cost than environmental awareness, said Yoshiko Miura, a spokeswoman for the Japan Consumers' Association.