Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report
Below: This is what happens when people have too much time when the fishing sucks. Just sayin'.
Friday, October 10, 2014: Spitty weather arriving but offering a feel close to ideal for fall surf casting. All we need is some fall surfcasting success to step up to bat – using some playoff series jargon. Seeing my Pirates fall earyl, I'm kinda cheering on the long-time-no-win Royals. I’ll hesitate using hockey vernacular until better Flyers times are seen. Thumbs up to Rutgers football for showing they're not nearly out of their league in the 14-team Big Ten.
Back to weather: We quickly kicked the west winds and we’re again in for a lengthy stint of those aggravating onshore-ish winds we've frustratingly weathered for a good chunk of autumn. Of closure, we’ll hold onto what is have become freakily mild air temps. Hell, we’ll be well back into the 70s until Wednesday, flirting with record highs.
For the now-upon us weekend, the winds will shift with vigor; going north by tomorrow, while getting gusty quickly. It’ll then go to the NE before leaking to the east before fully honking out of the south. In fact, the more worrisome of the arriving winds will be the southerlies early next week, going over 20 mph – and eating up our entrance to Holgate.
Job security for "Wicked Tuna" TV series; Offshore news:
SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Kyodo News] - October 9, 2014 -
TOKYO, The International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas will publish a report saying adult bluefin tuna populations in the Eastern Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea can accommodate a 10,000-ton increase in catch quotas, sources with knowledge of the matter said Wednesday.
The report will likely lead to an expansion of Japan's total allowable catch of bluefin tuna weighing more than 30 kilograms, which if realized would be the first in two years. The ICCAT, comprised of 48 countries and territories and the European Union, will decide on an upper limit based on the report at a meeting to be held in Genoa, Italy in November.
However, the sources said the report calls for a gradual increase in the quota, putting the focus on the extent catches can be increased in 2015 from this year's cap of 13,400 tons.
Should the ICCAT agree to allow an increase, the Japanese government hopes for a proportionate increase in its current 8.5 percent allotment of the quota.
The report, compiled by the ICCAT's standing committee on research and statistics, says the upper bound to bluefin tuna catches in the Western Atlantic can also be raised slightly, the sources said.
Strict restrictions on bluefin tuna fishing enforced by the ICCAT have seen populations gradually recover in the Atlantic, leading to quotas being raised for the first time in 10 years in 2013.
In contrast, shrinking numbers in the Pacific led to an international agreement in September to halve the catch of juveniles from 2015.
Sympathies to 18-mile runners, come Sunday. Having been a distance runner in college (and after), I fully commiserate with anyone having to run that far into a brutal headwinds, now forecast to gust out of the north at 20 mph. End times during such a windblown race is when you begin openly and noisily cussing at the winds.
“Mommy, what are those funny words those people are yelling when they run by?”
“Uh, nothing, hon. What say we gather our stuff together and just forget about cheering on Aunt Melanie when she goes by?”
Atlantic States Fisheries Commission October 10, 2014
Federal Funds Available to Support River Herring Research and Conservation Efforts
The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission and NOAA Fisheries announce the
availability of approximately $260,000 in federal funds to support scientific studies and further
river herring conservation efforts in the hope that we can proactively conserve river herring to the
point at which their population status throughout their full range is well understood and secure.
“By supporting this research, important data gaps for alewife and blueback herring will be
addressed,” said Toni Kerns, director of the interstate fisheries management program, ASMFC. “This
research will lead to an improved stock assessment and understanding of river herring’s role in the
North Atlantic marine ecosystem.”
Priority areas for funding include: gathering information/data to help develop performance
measures for evaluating the effectiveness of fish passage improvement efforts; habitat restoration;
evaluating dam-related river herring mortality due to upriver migration delays, predation, and
downstream turbines; impacts of fisheries on river herring and developing ways to reduce those
impacts; and documenting life history information on the marine phase of river herring. The
agencies also will consider proposals looking at contaminant effects in freshwater systems and
trophic interactions such as those between river herring and other fish species (e.g., Atlantic
herring, Atlantic mackerel) and predator/prey impacts.
“We have been working for the past year with our partners to develop and implement a
dynamic conservation plan to help restore river herring throughout their Atlantic coastal range,”
said Kim Damon-Randall, assistant regional administrator for protected resources, NOAA Fisheries.
“Ideally, we hope that by supporting this research and fostering efforts to conserve the species,
these populations will continue to improve and there won’t be a need to consider whether either
species should be listed under the Endangered Species Act at some point in the future.”
The priority research areas were identified based on NOAA Fisheries’ river herring
management and science needs and other information. This includes input from the technical
Baby is traumatized for life ...
Just a reminder: As you freshen up the line on your reels for fall, make sure to dispose of the line properly. Best place is at a tackle shop, which collects it for recycling. As you might guess, some of the braided line is beyond-deadly if it makes its way into the environment.
This is also good news for us locally. Long Island Sound is a gamefish breeding area.
SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Newsday] By Joan Gralla - October 10, 2014 -
For a second straight summer, the Long Island Sound was far healthier than a decade ago, with fewer oxygen-deprived dead zones, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
An EPA report released yesterday found that oxygen-depleted waters that can suffocate marine life were only slightly larger in size than last year, when the dead zones were the smallest since 1997.
Conditions improved because the weather was favorable and most of New York's wastewater treatment plants and all of Connecticut's were upgraded to strip out harmful nitrogen, said Mark Tedesco, EPA's Long Island Sound office director.
"The good news is there is a lot of progress," Tedesco said.
As nitrogen levels in waters gradually decline, levels of dissolved oxygen that fish and shellfish need to thrive should rise. "We expect that the water quality will lag the pollution reduction," he said.
Tedesco said treatment facilities in New York City and Westchester that haven't yet complied with the new standards are required to do so by 2017.
Every summer, excess nitrogen caused by storm runoff from gardens and fields, and flooded cesspools and septic systems, spur algae blooms where oxygen-consuming bacteria thrive. This kills shellfish, drives out fish, crabs and lobsters, and forces beaches and fishing grounds to close to protect people from pathogens.
(Below: Our NJ great white showing, last summer ...)
SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Cape Cod Times] by Doug Fraser - October 9, 2014
The first great white shark to be tracked in Cape Cod Bay likely spent the better part of a day or two in Wellfleet Harbor before heading toward the Upper Cape on Wednesday.
Katharine, a 2,300-pound, 14-foot-long great white, has traveled more than 8,100 miles since she was fitted with three electronic tracking devices by shark researcher Greg Skomal and the crew of the research vessel Ocearch off Chatham in August 2013.
A sophisticated tag that broadcasts her location when she surfaces "pinged" three times in the past two days, placing her within a few feet of the town pier Tuesday afternoon and in the middle of the harbor near Great Island by Wednesday afternoon.
Although there is a 2-mile margin of error in the actual location for these particular tags, Skomal, of the state Division
of Marine Fisheries, said multiple signals coming from the same approximate location mean it is more likely than not that Katharine was in the harbor.
This summer, Skomal identified 56 individual great white sharks, tagging 15 of them, as part of a scientific study to determine the size of both the local population that comes each year to feast on Cape Cod seals and the greater population in the northwest Atlantic. With so many sharks gathered in the waters around the Monomoy islands off Chatham, Skomal said Katharine's move into Cape Cod Bay may be a sign that Chatham is becoming overcrowded by shark standards and some are exploring less crowded hunting grounds to the north and into the bay.
Although there have been sightings in the bay, Katherine is the first to be documented, thanks to her tag.
While Monomoy's gray seal population went from just a few individuals 30 years ago to more than 15,000 spotted in just one day, other parts of the Cape, such as Jeremy Point at the mouth of Wellfleet Harbor, can also be shark magnets with hundreds, if not thousands, of seals hauled up on the beach sunning themselves.
"They will go where the seals are," Skomal said of the sharks. "We've seen more and more seals piling up on that western shore (of Cape Cod). It doesn't surprise us that there are more shark sightings there."
Katharine's Smart Position and Temperature (SPOT) tag downloads environmental data and position through a series of signals to a satellite. Her position can be calculated by measuring changes in the frequency of a signal emitted by the tag. The tag is bolted to her dorsal fin, with the antenna protruding above it. But the signal works only if the shark's dorsal fin is out of the water for at least three seconds. Skomal and the Ocearch crew fitted four Cape Cod great whites with a suite of electronic instruments, including SPOT tags, in 2012 and 2013. They are tracked on the Ocearch Global Shark Tracker website.
In mid-September, Katharine was off North Carolina but swam steadily north, arriving off Nantucket on Sept. 27. She stopped in at the Monomoy islands, the largest gray seal colony in the U.S., for a couple of days before heading due east 120 miles to Georges Bank. By Sunday, she was off Marconi Beach in Wellfleet before heading around Provincetown to arrive on the bay side of Wellfleet on Tuesday.
On a morning patrol Wednesday, Wellfleet Harbormaster Michael Flanagan talked over the engine noise and the thudding of the hull against a rough chop, saying there have been a lot of fish in the harbor and seals were chasing menhaden, bluefish and other schools around in the shallows.
"I've heard of people spotting them on Billingsgate Shoals this summer," said Shellfish Constable Andrew Koch. It didn't surprise him that Katharine came inside the harbor. Basking sharks, even whales, have been spotted there and it was only a matter of time before they started prospecting, he said.
"Seems to me they are like coyotes. You get more and more and they get (daring)," Koch said.
Skomal said recent evidence points to a possible expansion of range as a growing number of white sharks visit Cape Cod. With more than 50 sharks tagged since 2009, Skomal shifted his effort somewhat this past summer, using underwater video equipment to record identifying marks and scars to create a database of individual great whites.
"The number of scars, bites, rakes, deformities show us that their interactions with each other are not pleasant," Skomal said.
By comparing how many of those identified this summer return next year, he can use a mathematical formula to estimate the number of sharks that frequent Cape waters and possibly use that data to help get an overall population size.
Skomal believes just a handful may be residents, setting up shop at seal hot spots and remaining for the summer.
"Most are transients. Many we saw this summer, we didn't see again (after videotaping them)," Skomal said. Following up on sightings off Provincetown, spotter pilot Wayne Davis saw four great whites heading around the tip Monday. Skomal theorizes that individuals may be on the move after getting squeezed out of good hunting areas.
If so, Katharine, who left the Wellfleet area by midafternoon Wednesday and was located off Dennis by 3:45 p.m., is getting to know the possibilities for meals in Cape Cod Bay, and maybe Wellfleet Harbor.
"Isn't that cool," said Wellfleet Beach Administrator Suzanne Grout Thomas. "She's one of my favorite sharks. I followed her all winter long (on the Ocearch site)."
But it's not all about fascination. As beach administrator, Thomas would like to see an array of buoys that can alert town officials and beachgoers when a tagged shark is in the area, in real time. The town did buy one buoy but it has had some technical difficulties, she said.
"It's a reasonable investment to have a number of them, on the (Atlantic) side and the (Cape Cod Bay) side," Thomas said. "That will be the answer, an early warning."
Time for us to engrave our clams and blue crabs???
SEAFOODNEWS.COM [The Times] By Adam Sage - October 9, 2014 -
They are reputed to be the world's finest oysters, known for their voluptuous flesh and unparalleled flavour — and for their price, which can reach €120 a dozen in Paris.
Now the molluscs produced by the Gillardeau family on the Atlantic coast are to boast engraved shells, in an effort to beat the counterfeiting gangs, both in France and internationally.
The move comes amid evidence that oyster lovers are increasingly falling victim to dishonest French restaurant owners and criminal gangs lured by the prospect of vast profits.
The Gillardeaus, who have been growing oysters in Marennes-Oléron for four generations, claim that lowclass oysters are being passed off as their superior products in China and France, and that they are losing 20 per cent of their revenue and an incalculable slice of their reputation because of the counterfeiting. They worry that the diners who eat the fake Gillardeau oysters will come away imagining that the family that produces them — placing nine-month old oysters in bags and submerging them in plankton-rich water for years — have lost their knack.
"Customers prepared to pay €9.80 for a Gillardeau oyster in a Parisian restaurant are entitled to the product they have ordered," Véronique Gillardeau, who runs the company, said. The French press has devoted extensive coverage to oyster counterfeiting in China, which accounts for 80 per cent of the world's oyster production. However, industry sources say the scam is flourishing in France as well, with a number of supposedly reputable restaurants working hand-in-glove with the counterfeiters.
The Gillardeaus say they have spent €5 million on a laser that will engrave each shell with the family name, in an attempt to end the traffic and save their reputation. Mrs Gillardeau said that the process would not affect the quality of her oyster