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Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Monday re-do (screwed up yesterday) , November 19, 2012:

Monday, November 19, 2012; Winds and waves won’t quit. And it was damn dank out there to boot. Understandably low fishing pressure.

 

Got a few reports of nice fat just-keeper bass in the surf and around inlets. Much larger fish after dark in some select areas.

Belly contents are heavily sand eels, shedder crabs, sand crabs and those big-ass mantis shrimp. One bass (last week) was filled with a half pound of tiny sandcrabs. The only place it could have been eating is right in the swash.

 

There is this water quality prattle going around, alleging some surfers have developed a rash after surfing – mainly just to our north. Sorry, gang, but I’m not buying it, here or up north. Not only has the ocean fully shed off any bacterial presence after Sandy but also we’ve had a large nor’easter and days of hard NE winds. Those onshores have ushered in surface water from way out as sea. There’s a better likelihood those surfers got a rash from the showers they took after waveriding.  Here’s a Capt. Alex water report: “Don’t know where you are getting your reports on water quality, but the water inside LE inlet i.e. 126 buoy area is so clear you can sea flounder and skates on the bottom around the sedge islands!”

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My FEMA reps came by today -- and couldn’t have been nicer. For some odd reason I expected insurance-types, i.e. ogres. Nothing of the sort. Helpful, courteous and kind. Real scouts. This is not to say I’ll surely see some currency but those fine FEMA folks are definitely working on my side of the application and recovery street.

 

Amazing effort by the marinas to somehow gather up and corral boats that ran off – far and wide -- during the storm. The vessel recovery op they did over near the Road-to-Nowhere, Manahawkin, was a Herculean task. Hercules was helped along by some steroided cranes, with tracks able to crunch phragmites into muddy rugs, before the equipment’s arm end leaned out over the backbay meadows to grab wayward boats. So much for abandoned vessel being there for 6 months.

Just for the record, here’s New Jersey’s “Definitions of Abandonment, ”Ch/Sec.12: 7C-8: “A vessel which has remained moored, grounded or otherwise attached or fastened to or upon any public land or waterway or any private property without such consent for a period of more than 6 months shall be prima facie evidence of such abandonment.”

 

Big storms indubitably translate into massive headaches when it comes to abandoned and derelict vessel being left in their wakes. Sandy has surely sent hundreds of vessel to the edge of abandonment. The only way to save the environment from their leakage – and sinkage – is to find them, identify the owners and demand removal. Nobody cares if you don’t want the craft any longer. It’s yours through better and worse. Come get the sucker – or else.

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Fascinating stuff in this story. Not your average global warming fallout. Scientists tried in court for not warning of an impending earthquake? :

[South Coast Today] by Doug Fraser - November 19, 2012

Given the Katrina-like devastation after Superstorm Sandy slammed into New York and New Jersey, it was no surprise when panelists at a global warming symposium were told that water temperatures in the Northeast for the first half of 2012 were the warmest in more than 150 years of record keeping.

The region experienced record heat on land in 2012, and water temperatures hit all-time highs from top to bottom, all along the continental shelf from the Mid-Atlantic states to Canada. This was due in part to a slowing of a cold water ocean flow, known as the Labrador Current, that tends to cool off New England waters.

'The second half (of the year) looks much the same,' said Kevin Friedland, a panelist and researcher with the National Marine Fisheries Service Narragansett Laboratory.

The ninth Marine Law Symposium at Roger Williams University on Thursday focused on global warming and its effects on the marine ecosystem and the people who live near it and work on it, and the management decisions affecting them all. The real concern for Friedland is that if the Labrador Current slows, this past year could become the new norm, in which case global warming projections for Northeast coastal waters jump ahead by 20 to 30 years.

For fisheries, the effect of warmer waters goes right up the food chain. Some fish species, such as haddock, time their spawning cycle to coincide with the spring plankton bloom so that their progeny have a good food source. With higher temperatures, the spring bloom began as much as a month earlier than usual in some New England waters.

The real effects of 2012's record temperatures are still not known, but scientists already believe that species are headed north to find cooler waters. Some species like red hake, once a fixture in the Mid-Atlantic, are now virtually unknown there because they moved to the cooler Gulf of Maine.

Atlantic cod is at the southernmost portion of its temperature range off Cape Cod on Georges Bank. Both Gulf of Maine and Georges Bank cod stocks are way below where fishery managers thought they would be after nearly 20 years of heavy regulations. Fisheries scientists think cod may ultimately be forced off the fertile Georges Bank and into the Gulf of Maine where there is less food. A southern species, croaker, is already moving in.

Commercially important species such as scallops may find it harder to produce their protective shells as the ocean acidifies because of increased levels of carbon dioxide, Friedland said.

Other panelists expressed concerns that scientists, trying to communicate global warming data that was inherently complex and contained a higher level of uncertainty, faced an increasingly hostile audience in trying to get the message of global warming to politicians and the public.

Alison Rieser, a professor of ocean policy at the University of Hawaii, thought that scientists needed protection from liability to do their work.

She pointed to the case of Italian scientists who were recently tried in court for not giving residents enough warning of an earthquake that killed hundreds. In this country, a judge ordered Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution researchers Christopher Reddy and Richard Camilli to turn over more than 3,000 emails to BP lawyers questioning their research on how much oil was spilled during the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

Rieser also was critical of the trend toward managing resources by using the 'best available science' when that science could be fraught with unknowns and may not be ready for use in making management decisions.

'I think we are relying too much on 'best available science,'' Rieser said.

The wealth of unknowns and the possibility of error leave scientists open to criticism, loss of reputation or liability, and could inhibit research.

University of Utah law professor Robin Kundis Craig advocated flexible planning to adapt to a changing ocean. Salmon farmers in Australia work with the government to get scientific predictions on water temperature, so that they can locate their fish farms in areas that won't become too warm for the fish.

Craig also recommended more flexible regulations that account for change. When scientists determined that longline fishermen were catching a lot more endangered sea turtles in areas with higher water temperature, the fishermen volunteered to avoid those areas.

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[seafoodnews.com] Nov. 19, 2012

Agadir, Morocco - ICCAT nations agreed not to raise bluefin tuna quotas for the coming year, a stand that won praise from the environmental organizations attending the meetings.

According to Pew, ICCAT took 'positive measures that will help conserve the iconic Atlantic bluefin tuna, and advance shark protection in the future.'

While were pleased that ICCAT supported efforts to help rebuild bluefin tuna populations, its regrettable that the commission couldnt achieve consensus on immediate protective measures for sharks, said Susan Lieberman, director of international policy at the Pew Environment Group. While there was progress toward putting in place an electronic system to track bluefin tuna, it is disappointing that ICCAT only made limited progress in overall efforts to stop illegal fishing.

By following the advice of their own scientists to not increase fishing quotas for Atlantic bluefin tuna, one of the oceans most valuable fish, ICCAT solidified its commitment to making decisions based on sound science.

It is encouraging that ICCAT listened to the recommendations of its own scientists and agreed to keep catch limits for bluefin tuna within their advice, said Lieberman. This decision will give this depleted species a fighting chance to continue on the path to recovery after decades of overfishing and mismanagement. '

An electronic bluefin catch documentation scheme, initiated at ICCATs 2011 annual meeting, will promote compliance and help combat the persistent illegal and unreported fishing of Atlantic bluefin tuna, especially in the Mediterranean Sea.

In a ground-breaking move, ICCAT member governments also agreed to modernize and amend the treaty under which the commission operates. One of their top priorities includes adding a mandate for the conservation and management of sharks. This is the first time that negotiations will be launched to significantly amend the RFMOs treaty since it was finalized in 1966.

This is encouraging news for the future of sharks, said Lieberman. ICCAT agreed today to formally begin a process that will amend the text of its convention to explicitly include sharks, instead of just managing them as bycatch in ICCAT fisheries. This action sets the stage for improved international management of shark fishing in the Atlantic, which is causing serious depletion of many shark species.

During their negotiations, ICCAT member governments took an important step in their fight against illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing by adopting a scheme for port inspections. All vessels will now be required to provide information about their catch before entering port, and governments will have minimum requirements to inspect those vessels in port. However this measure is weak compared to other IUU port state measures, because under this scheme, even if a vessel is found to have fished illegally, port governments will not be obligated to

                        

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