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Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Monday, January 21, 2019: Baby, it’s cold outside. Oh, that’s right, I can’t say that ... Plankton walk the temperature-change plank

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Considered the deadliest land animal ... selfie anyone. 

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Wind art de Holgate 

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Coming soon to Holgate ... This is NOT work going on now at the terminal groin. Just an example of interlocking steel sheets. 

Currently in Holgate: Mount Wooden Jetty: 

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Holgate as the Land Down Under ... 

Ramble On ... 

Few towns have such a roadway alert ... 

Monday, January 21, 2019: Baby, it’s cold outside. Oh, that’s right, I can’t say that any longer. .. Then you get arrested for allowing “baby” to go out into subzero wind chills.Frost-bitten women will be shivering in iciness thinking, “Who came up with this over-feminist crap?" 

I’m not sure emancipated women always think things through, temperature-wise. Come summer, I’m guessing it’s equally illegal to say “Baby, it’s hot outside … come into the air conditioning."  Who knows to what degree woozy women in 100-degree will go.

But I digress.

Still thinking in terms of the cold outside, I have to revert to a standard for coldness with a long-lived “I don’t know if I’ve ever felt it quite this cold.” I’m referring to going out at about 6 a.m. today to do a couple quick chores. With real temps near single-digit and winds whipping at 40 mph, well, you do that wind-chill math. I’ll bet the frozen-shut back door it was close to "as cold as it gets in these-here parts."

Thinking ironically, read my segment on global warming in this week’s SandPaper. In fact, what the hell, here it is, in part – and in its entirely on Wednesday at thesandpaper.villagesoup.com.

WARM AND WEIRD: Last year, aka 2018, saw the warmest oceans since reliable temperature-taking of the seas began over 70 years ago. It beats out the former warmest-yet ocean years of – pattern alert! -- 2014, 2015 and 2016.

Below: You can add in 2018 on the far right. 

There’s no need to over-hype this disturbing and disruptive trend. The numbers speak volumes. What should resonant among all breeds of fishermen is how these temp increases are starting to confuse the hell out of just about every living thing in marine biosystems, particularly those in temperature zones -- where radical seasonal water temperature swings are becoming a little too dynamic for those marine creatures living within.  

Virtually every marine fish species in our domain adjusts its travels and lifestyle based on water temperatures. All follow favorable temps for spawning, migrating, comfort and foraging.  

It’s at the forage level that things get complex, down to the microscopic level. For instance, ideal water temperatures are essential for the live and times of planktons, comprised of plankters including diatoms, protozoans, small crustaceans, and the eggs and larval stages of larger animals.

Plankton is essential to many prime filter-feeding forage fish. Wherever this microscopic foodstuff drifts, so follow the filter feeders. We all know – and covet – that which follows the forage fish.

Knock water temps unnaturally upward and it knocks plankton for a loop. Looping is not a good thing when it comes to the natural flow of things.

While it might seem that warmer waters would accelerate the reproduction of phytoplankton and such, it’s never that simple. There are certain microorganisms suited for each water temperature. Changes, particularly rapid ones, leave some vital microorganisms in the lurch. What happens to other higher animals, like forage fish, that require the ousted organisms? Sure, warmer water microorganism might shine under a hotter sun but overabundance is a known destroyer of entire ecosystems. Simply, it’s never good to unbalance a balanced system.

Below: Menhaden (top) and anchovies filter feeding: 

The plankton/forage/gamefish chain displays a clear-cut relationship with out-of-kilter oceanic water temp changes. And it won’t takes tons of time for biosystems to be frazzled by rapidly changing conditions. It can literally show in one season. In fact, it may have shown seasonally for years now.

As the people of the planet make unimpressive overtures toward correcting the ongoing damaging of the atmosphere, its immediate impacts on the seas are becoming all too obvious – and confounding -- to fishermen. Many popular marine gamefish have begun making some unprecedented changes in their usual travels and behaviors. Along those lines, it’s worth wondering if that explains the changing comings and goings of bluefish, which are highly temperature sensitive. In a way, they’re the toothy canaries in the cool mine when it comes to showing the insidious impacts of big-picture environmental swings. Come spring and summer, could they be annually moving further northward – and outward -- seeking forage and comfortable waters? If so, they will end up east of Newfoundland, meaning the fastest route to where they go come fall, might be well out at sea.  

This coming year will surely see more and more eco news regarding confusion within oceanic biosystems. Things could get highly state-specific. Just last week, New York filed a lawsuit over its allocation of summer flounder due to “the fluke moving due to climate change.” There are similar fishery management changes being considered based solely on warming seas. That’s pretty tangible stuff, considering many folks refuse to recognize that water temp changes are now a major player in the fishing realm.

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I write about opening owl boluses .. Here's one coming out now. That's how it's done. 

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Coming somewhat soon ... Stay tuned.

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Atlantic HMS

December 21, 2018

bluefin tuna

NOAA Fisheries Adjusts Atlantic Bluefin Tuna General Category January 2019 Quota to 49 mt; Default One-fish Limit Will Apply

NOAA Fisheries is transferring 19.5 metric tons (mt) of Atlantic bluefin tuna quota from the 28.9-mt General category December 2019 subquota period to the January 2019 subquota period, resulting in a subquota of 49 mt for the January 2019 period and a subquota of 9.4 mt for the December 2019 period. Although it is called the “January” subquota, the regulations allow the General category fishery under this quota to continue until the subquota is reached or March 31, whichever comes first. This adjustment is intended to provide a reasonable opportunity to harvest the U.S. bluefin tuna quota without exceeding it, while maintaining an equitable distribution of fishing opportunities; help achieve optimum yield in the bluefin tuna fishery; and collect a broad range of data for stock monitoring purposes. NOAA Fisheries reminds General category participants that when the fishery reopens January 1, 2019, the daily retention limit will be one large medium or giant bluefin tuna (measuring 73” or greater) per vessel per day/trip. More information can be found in the Federal Register notice -- see the Atlantic HMS Management Division’s website.

Who is Affected?

This action applies to General category (commercial) permitted vessels and to HMS Charter/Headboat category permitted vessels with a commercial sale endorsement when fishing commercially for bluefin tuna. Dealers are required to submit landing reports within 24 hours of a dealer receiving bluefin tuna. Late dealer reporting compromises NOAA Fisheries’ ability to implement actions such as quota and retention limit adjustments or fishery closures and may result in enforcement actions. Additionally, and separate from the dealer reporting requirement, General category and HMS Charter/Headboat category vessel owners are required to report their own catch of all bluefin tuna retained or discarded dead, within 24 hours of the landing(s) or end of each trip, by accessing the HMS Permit Shop, using the HMS Catch Reporting app, or calling (888) 872-8862 (Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.).

All bluefin tuna that are released must be handled in a manner that will maximize survivability and without removing the fish from the water. Download the Careful Catch and Release brochure for more safe handling tips.

This notice is a courtesy to bluefin tuna fishery permit holders to help keep you informed about the fishery.  For additional information, call (978) 281-9260, or go to the HMS Permit Shop.  Official notice of Federal fishery actions is made through filing such notice with the Office of the Federal Register.

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John D Budish to Surfcasters Plug Bag.

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(This is the same company about to build a wind-farm just southeast of Holgate.)

US seafood leaders, Orsted agree to collaborate on wind energy projects

By Steve Bittenbender

A consortium of seafood industry trade groups and businesses announced on Thursday, 17 January a first-ever agreement with an energy company to foster collaboration between commercial fishing interests and offshore wind developers.

The pact between the Responsible Offshore Development Alliance and Ørsted U.S. Offshore Wind creates a task force with members of both parties. Currently, the sides have begun discussing such issues as where boats can maneuver and where energy companies will place turbines. They are encouraging other stakeholders to join the conversation as well.

RODA was created in June 2018 with the intent of protecting the commercial seafood industry’s interests during the ongoing discussions regarding offshore wind developments.

Anne Hawkins, RODA’s executive director, told SeafoodSource the two parties had been engaged in informal talks for some time and decided to establish a formal arrangement. 

“We’re still working on what’s going to provide the most benefit with both industries,” said Hawkins, who noted RODA wants to maximize time at sea for fishermen but still make sure they have a chance to meet with their wind energy counterparts and learn about the latest developments.

Discussions with other wind industry companies and stakeholders continue, she added.

“We are proud to be the first offshore wind developer to partner with RODA, which is an important part to the future of offshore wind,” Ørsted U.S. Offshore Wind and President of Ørsted North America CEO Thomas Brostrøm said in a release. “The fishing community must be considered as offshore wind development continues in the U.S. Through this partnership, we will be able to share our concerns in a productive way and develop practical solutions as we all seek to coexist and thrive for a better tomorrow.”

According to the company’s website, Ørsted is working on a couple of wind power projects in U.S. waters.

In Massachusetts, the company is working with Eversource to build Bay State Wind, a project 15 miles off the Martha’s Vineyard coast that could produce up to 2,000 megawatts of electricity. In New Jersey, it owns a lease for a large wind farm 10 miles off the coast near Atlantic City that could create more than 1,000 megawatts and provide energy for 500,000 homes.

Ørsted is also working with Dominion Energy in Virginia to build two turbines the utility provider will manage off the Virginia Beach coast.

Thursday’s announcement comes at a time when American fishermen have expressed concerns about the development of offshore wind farms and the impact those turbines will have on their fishing grounds. Last month, U.S. senators from Massachusetts and Rhode Island wrote a letter to the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s acting director encouraging his agency to develop policies that “minimize conflicts” between offshore wind and the seafood industry.

“It is extremely vital that our nation’s fishermen are heard when offshore wind projects are being developed,” RODA Chairman and Director of Sustainability at Atlantic Capes Fisheries Peter Hughes said in a release. “Ørsted has made it clear that they want to be partners with the fishing industry, and we are optimistic that our work with them will set a standard ensuring that fishermen have direct input into wind farm designs and ensuring that their concerns are fully embraced by developers.”

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Jim Robinson
One of many reasons you are told to stay 500 feet back when following a plow truck!!! If the blade digs into the road it will stop on the spot!!
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U.S. Debates Lifting China Tariffs to Hasten Trade Deal, Calm Markets


Copyright © 2019 Dow Jones & Company
By Bob Davis in Washington and 
Lingling Wei in Beijing
January 18, 2019

U.S. officials are debating ratcheting back tariffs on Chinese imports as a way to calm markets and give Beijing an incentive to make deeper concessions in a trade battle that has rattled global economies.

The idea of lifting some or all tariffs was proposed by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in a series of strategy meetings, according to people close to internal deliberations. They say the aim is to advance trade talks and win China’s support for longer-term reforms.

But Mr. Mnuchin faces resistance from U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, who is concerned that any concession could be seen as a sign of weakness, these people said.

The debate is occurring as trade officials try to figure out the best way to pry concessions from China. It hasn’t yet reached President Trump, and the outcome of the discussions aren’t possible to forecast.

In past China discussions, Mr. Trump has sided with Mr. Lighthizer on tariffs, rather than Mr. Mnuchin. But this time, the president has made clear he wants a deal—and is pressing Mr. Lighthizer to deliver one, according to people familiar with the discussions.

The U.S. and China are seeking to resolve their dispute ahead of a March 1 deadline. At 12:01 a.m. the following day, tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods are scheduled to jump to 25% from the current 10%. The higher levies could batter U.S. importers and further harm an already weakening Chinese economy.

While Mr. Lighthizer is leading the trade talks, Mr. Mnuchin has been active in formulating the administration’s strategy. In talks with members of the trade team, Mr. Mnuchin raised the possibility of offering to eliminate tariffs during discussions scheduled for Jan. 30 in Washington with top Chinese trade envoy Liu He—a month ahead of the target date to conclude the negotiations.

“It could be an arrow in the quiver” of U.S. negotiators, said one of the people tracking the talks.

Mr. Lighthizer has taken his oft-stated hard-line in trade talks, contending that China hasn’t lived up to past agreements and can’t be trusted to do so in the future. In the discussions with China, he has said the U.S. should remove tariffs only when China has shown it has carried out promises made during the talks.

But Mr. Lighthizer has shown some signs of easing his position, say people involved in the talks, including raising the possibility that some tariffs could be reduced if the U.S. strikes a favorable deal on March 1.
 
As companies moving goods from China to the U.S. face heftier tariffs, some have developed creative techniques to avoid paying them. The WSJ’s Steven Russolillo takes to the field to explain how some businesses sidestep import duties.

A Treasury spokesman said bargaining positions “are all at the discussion stage” and that “neither Secretary Mnuchin nor Ambassador Lighthizer have made any recommendations to anyone with respect to tariffs or other parts of the negotiation with China.” Talks are “nowhere near completion,” the spokesman said.

A spokesman for the U.S. Trade representative said he concurred with this statement.

In recent days, Mr. Trump has made bullish remarks on the prospects of striking an agreement. “I think we’re going to be able to do a deal with China,” he told reporters Monday.

In Beijing, many officials are also cautiously optimistic about the prospects of a deal. In the past week, China’s commerce officials have publicly touted progress both sides made toward reaching an agreement.
 
Next week, Beijing is planning to dispatch to Washington two midlevel officials long involved in the talks, Commerce Vice Minister Wang Shouwen and Finance Vice Minister Liao Min to prepare for the talks between Mr. Liu and Messrs. Lighthizer and Mnuchin.

Even high-level strategizing about eliminating tariffs represents a striking turnaround for an administration that hasn’t lifted steel and aluminum tariffs on its closest allies and is still threatening them with a 25% levy on car imports. In early December, Mr. Trump declared himself a “tariff man.”

The president finds himself torn. On the one hand, he has been spooked by the decline in U.S. markets last fall and continuing volatility, say White House officials. Investors are closely watching the outcome of the talks.

On the other hand, say Trump aides, the president doesn’t want to be seen as weak on China and has relied in the past on tariffs to show that he will press Beijing to the hilt.

Mr. Mnuchin has talked of eliminating the tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods, and raised the possibility of lifting tariffs on an additional $50 billion of Chinese goods that have been in effect since August.

“He is engaged with colleagues in discussing a number of strategies,” said a person familiar with the talks.

Presidential adviser Jared Kushner has indicated some sympathy for lifting at least some tariffs, say those tracking the talks, but not on the scale of Mr. Mnuchin.

Over the two years of the administration, however, Mr. Kushner has told people he has become more “realistic”—that is to say hawkish—about China and recommends they read Michael Pillsbury’s “The Hundred Year Marathon,” which argues that Beijing has a covert plan to replace the U.S. as the world’s superpower.

He also has become closer to Mr. Lighthizer, with whom he worked on renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement. Recently, Mr. Kushner and his wife Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter, socialized with the trade representative in Florida, U.S. officials say.

A spokesman for Mr. Kushner says he isn’t pressing to lift tariffs. Trade adviser Peter Navarro and members of the Trump national security team generally line up with Mr. Lighthizer.

“The administration is in early preparatory phases of taking stock of China’s approach. The range of options include a reward for China’s progress,” said Mr. Pillsbury, a Hudson Institute China scholar, who consults regularly with the White House. But to get China to make further concessions, “there is also a case to increase the pressure on China,” Mr. Pillsbury said.

Resolving the trade fight is a priority for both Beijing and Washington. China’s economy is weakening faster than expected as the country’s vast manufacturing sector feels the pain from U.S. tariffs. Retaliatory tariffs from Beijing also have punished many U.S. businesses, especially farmers, who are among Mr. Trump’s key supporters.

Other countries are starting to feel the effects too. One of Apple Inc.’s big Japanese component suppliers, Nidec Corp., cut its earnings forecast and blamed the U.S.-China trade conflict for a sharp slowdown in demand from China.

The coming talks are expected to address core Washington complaints, including China’s subsidies to domestic firms and government pressure on American companies to transfer technology to their Chinese partners.

The new round of negotiations follows three days of discussions between midlevel trade officials in Beijing last week. During those meetings, Chinese officials offered to purchase more U.S. goods, especially related to agriculture and energy, but didn’t make any firm commitments.

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Progress of Japan Fishing Reform

Source: The Ecologist
January 18, 2019

Japan’s legislature has enacted the most significant reform of its fisheries laws in 70 years.

The new legislation has the potential to signal a meaningful shift in how other countries in the Asia Pacific region manage their fisheries in the future.

Katie McGinty, senior vice president of EDF Oceans, said: “The world should take note of this moment because it signals a transformational shift in how countries are managing their fisheries for the long term, and if done right, has the potential to usher in a new era of sustainability in the region that will have far-reaching positive impacts”.

Landmark moment

The passage of the reform legislation through the Japanese Diet (Japan’s bicameral legislature) marks a landmark moment in the nation’s efforts to reform its fisheries, which has been a high priority for Prime Minister Abe as he continues to restructure Japan’s economy for long-term prosperity.

For more than a year, EDF has provided expert scientific and policy support and advice to government officials, scientists and regulators to help lay the groundwork for the reform effort. 

The legislation’s goal is to ensure long-term productivity of important fish stocks that are at the heart of the Japanese economy, culture and cuisine, and that impact seafood markets across the globe.

The reform package incorporates several recommendations from EDF including expanding stock assessments to cover all commercial stocks and increasing the percentage of catch managed with science-based catch limits.

In addition, the reforms include requiring recovery plans for overfished stocks within 10 years and establishing a system of individual vessel quotas with some transferability.

Sustainable fisheries

McGinty added: “We applaud Japanese Diet members and the Abe Administration for their leadership and will continue to work alongside our partners to ensure the reform effort is implemented in the most effective way possible.” 

While the reforms being passed by the Diet are a meaningful step forward on the road to creating sustainable fisheries in Japan, the implementation phase will be equally important, EDF said.

During that crucial phase, regulations known as cabinet and ministerial ordinances will be drafted by Japan’s Fishery Agency and will shape how the legislation is put in place on the water.

EDF said it is particularly focused on helping refine the reforms during the implementation phase to include a transition financing plan that does not undercut sustainability, including stakeholders more broadly in the management process and improvements in monitoring and accountability.

McGinty concluded: “There can be no doubt that this development to create greater sustainability in Japan’s fisheries is a significant win, but more work needs to be done.

"We must continue to work together in order to achieve Prime Minister Abe’s vision of creating thriving, resilient and sustainable fisheries that provide more food, more prosperity and greater environmental wellbeing for people, their communities and the ocean."

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