Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Wednesday, December 29, 2010:   I am going to approach digging through four-foot-plus snow in my backyard. If you don’t hear from me in, say, a couple days, I’ve either frozen or become one with the …

Wednesday, December 29, 2010:


I am going to approach digging through four-foot-plus snow in my backyard. If you don’t hear from me in, say, a couple days, I’ve either frozen or become one with the snow. No, they’re not the same. The second
possibility allows me to eventually melt and evaporate into the atmosphere to
circle east then south and wind up in the tropics – where I’ll manifest during
a passing shower falling on a nudist camp somewhere on a little-known Caribbean

(Snow crazed already)


By the by, reports are finally filtering in about just how big this snowstorm was. I’m very encouraged that numerous reports of 6- to 8-foot snowdrifts are reaching the media – and the Weather Service. I’ll tell
you right now that road crews have no doubt that initial reports of a mere 15
inches are utter nonsense. I got a phone call from a storm buff of a weather
website I frequent. He’s placing maximum amounts at up to 38 inches, mainly
from a swath beginning in Ship Bottom (you don’t say) and up toward Sandy Hook.
He hopes to substantiate that by interpreting precipitation bands, detailed on
satellite maps recording progressions throughout the “snow event.” The blobs of
orange and red (where the snow thunder lurked) can drop a foot or more of rain
in under and hour, the same way those bright red areas drop rain during warmer
times. Personally, I just go with visual reads of what’s outside. I let the other
guys do all the heavy academic lifting.



Wow. I got an email. I was beginning to think everyone had bolted for Barbados.


Here’s the email (gospel truth): 

“Jay, The weather is great here in Barbados. As I sip a Bahamas Mama, I recall our tracking adventures last spring.  I was wondering if heavy snow is any good for
tracking. Bill.”


(Bill you ignorant slut, that’s a very good question. The answer is no. It sucks, especially when the heavy snow falls during my one, short, annual vacation period.

Sure, snow usually makes for amazing tracking but even the most winter-tolerant creatures know when it’s time to hunker down and wait out the whiteness.

The current snow is too deep for coyotes, foxes – you name it. Admittedly, tall-standing deer will bust snow to reach their favorite (human) yards, where they’ll hoof out spots to eat grass. Virtually everything
else will go into a sleep – not a true hibernation, just an off-and-on sleep
where they’ll often munch on any scraps that they dropped or stored nearby.

Of course, as the snow finally lowers (yes, it actually shrinks down as much as it melts), tracking becomes as good as it gets. That will be right about when I have to go back to work.

Oh, by the by, rabbits will feed underneath the snow. I have found elaborate under-snow tunnels where a single rabbit has cleared trails. However, most rabbits on LBI (and we’ve seen a lot of whitetails in recent
years) have their favorite cover – often under overturned backyard boats and
such – and simply snack on vegetation near their roost. No, they do not go
under crawl spaces beneath ground level houses. That pure feral cat territory. J-mann)


Another email. I can more easily relate to this one.


"Jay; hey, at least you can get out and around. I am sitting here at my gal’s house in the outskirts of Neptune and they haven't plowed our street yet. We have about two feet or more. Thank
God I am on vacation like you and don't go back to work until the 2nd week of


(Allen, I read about that area being all but shut down. It's times like this that I go heavy metal against my attention deficit disorder -- helped along by Viking growlers Wintersun and Ensiferum (bands). My truck is
free but most everything I do is being held captive. I pace the floors even
when I'm sleeping. Hope you're released soon -- for good behavior.I'll be fine
when my snow eating bacteria arrive from Siberia.




Our 2010 seafood year in review: net weights; high prices, and resurgence of fish stocks

by John Sackton Dec 29, 2010 - It's traditional this week to look back over our stories to see which stories were most important to seafood sellers during 2010.


Several themes stand out. First was short weight issues. 5 out of our top twenty stories involved short weight issues, starting with the coordinated enforcement raids by local state officials in 17 states. Most of
the product seized was from retailers, and several national brands had packages
that tested below the stated net weight.


However, at the same time there was some pushback from the industry regarding testing methods. The USDC, for example, averages samples and so long as the average is above the stated net weight, they allow for
individual packages to fall slightly below the stated weight. But many state
retail labeling laws do not allow anything to be sold at retail under 100% net


The increased attention to short weight has been welcomed by the industry and NFI, which was instrumental in bringing the issue to the attention of the state inspectors. But the problem continues. In Canada,
the CFIA (Canadian food inspection agency) has recently warned importers that importing
products below stated net weights through excessive use of glaze is a crime,
and they have pledged tougher enforcement.


The problem is that adulteration comes in many forms: excessive glaze, oversoaking of product, use of chem free solutions to mislead buyers about soaking, not to mention mislabeling and falsifying country of
origin. However, the fact that these stories are coming to light more
frequently does indicate that the problem is being addressed, even if it is not


At the same time, another major story was the over criminalization of regulatory violations by the FDA and the US attorneys in some cases. We published testimony from Abe Schoenwetter before
Congress, on the ways in which enforcement of the Lacey Act is out of control and
simple administrative mistakes are being criminalized.


The overall problem is that quality, weight and labeling standards on seafood are difficult to enforce because they involve technical issues, so demands for tougher enforcement, without at the same time demanding
accurate understandings of the real violators vs. those making simple mistakes,
has resulted in some abuses.


Another theme was the general increase in the prices of many items, from shrimp and snow crab to wild salmon. Much of the initial price rises were driven by supply shocks, but so far, many of the higher prices have
continued to hold. Some are nervous about whether this will continue into 2011,
and that demand may appear stronger than it actually is, but we will not know
until we see some oversupply.


In the meantime, poor weather has hampered production of dungeness crab and lobster, and no immediate changes in availability are on the horizon.


Finally, the last theme to emphasize in 2010, and one we will be actively writing about in 2011, is the disconnect between those who are seeing doom and gloom for fisheries, and the actual resurgence seen in many
fish stocks around the world.


A prime example is cod. Cod stocks are rebounding throughout the Atlantic, and yet, Costco announced it was halting sales of Atlantic Cod because the species was threatened.


The problem here is that Costco, and other retailers, have continued to listen to advocates who are years behind on the science, and not willing to update their advice as more information supports the sustainability
of fish stocks.


Greenpeace has boycotted supermarkets that sell Alaska pollock, despite the fact that pollock stocks have rebounded by more than 50%, and in fact are now limited by the overall 2 million ton cap imposed on all Bering
Sea groundfish fisheries, not by catches or fishing effort.


This disconnect will get greater in 2011. In many parts of the world, good fisheries management is beginning to show real results in terms of increased harvestable populations, yet those who provide red lists or advise
retailers on what to purchase from an environmental and sustainability
standpoint continue to act is if this is not happening.


Some scientists are now vigorously speaking out about this disconnect, and demanding that the real results of good fishery management be brought forward, and not subsumed in ideological constructs that start with the
fact that the worlds oceans are doomed due to overfishing and pollution.


Finally, no 2010 review would be complete without mentioning the tragic death of Sen. Ted Stevens in a plane crash. Even though he was no longer in the Senate, he was still a champion for fisheries in Alaska,
and his death saddened and shocked the industry. Chuck Bundrant's tribute to
him was also among our most widely read stories of 2010.




SEAFOOD.COM NEWS [CBC News] Dec 29, 2010 - 

An environmental disaster may be developing along
the coast of Labrador as unusually warm weather causes some seals to give birth
three months before they should, a conservation officer says.

He says seals born that early won't survive.

'If they're going to be keeping on giving birth in
December, I think that our seals are going Étheir numbers are going to get
lower and lower,' said Simon Kohlmeister, a conservation officer with the
Nunatsiavut government in Labrador.

Kohlmeister said he's never heard of seals having
pups so early. It usually happens in March, he said.

He's said he's talked to elders in Nain, the
administrative capital of Nunatsiavut, and they have never seen births this
early either.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada is investigating the
early births, Kohlmeister said.

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