Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

  Thursday, March 10, 2011:   Lousy day but idealness to come beginning tomorrow. Below is some fishy reading to keep you in the know.   [Gazette-Journal] By Bill Nachman - March 10, 2011 - The publi…


Thursday, March 10, 2011:


Lousy day but idealness to come beginning tomorrow. Below is some fishy reading to keep you in the know.


[Gazette-Journal] By Bill Nachman - March 10, 2011 - The public comment period closed March 4 for proposed amendments to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for tautog.

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission may approve the amendments during a meeting March 24 in Alexandria, Tina Berger, the commission's public affairs specialist, said March 7.

Chris Vonderweidt, a fisheries management specialist for the commission, said that the Tautog Management Board initiated the development of an addendum to the tautog plan last May to restrict illegal harvest and prevent an increase in fishing mortality rate before completion of the next stock assessment.

'While difficult to quantify, reports of illegal harvest of live tautog are common,' a draft addendum said. The Tautog Technical Committee said that 'poaching activities appear more widespread than previous years because unlicensed buyers now advertise in mainstream outlets such as Craigslist and newspaper classified ads.'

U.S. 'Turning a Corner' in Ending Overfishing

March 8, 2011

At a hearing today in front of the Senate Commerce Committee on the Magnuson-Stevens Act, Assistant NOAA Administrator for Fisheries Eric Schwaab said that the U.S. is  making good progress toward meeting the mandate to end domestic overfishing.

“We know that nearly $31 billion in sales and as many as 500,000 jobs are lost because our fisheries are not performing as well as they would if all stocks were rebuilt,” Schwaab said. “While we are turning a corner toward a brighter future for fishermen and fishing communities, many fishermen are struggling in part as a result of years of decline in fishing opportunity.”

Schwaab said that NOAA is committed to working with fishermen and communities during this period of transition.

Our nation’s fisheries have been vital to the economics and identities of our coastal communities for hundreds of years. According to the most recent estimates, U.S. commercial and saltwater recreational fisheries support almost two million jobs and generate more than $160 billion in sales.

Schwaab talked about fishery management challenges, including improving collection, analysis, and accuracy of scientific information used to manage both recreational and commercial fisheries. He indicated that NOAA Fisheries will continue to work hard with the regional fishery management councils, fishermen and the coastal communities to increase confidence in the management system and ensure productive and efficient fisheries.

“We have turned a corner in our management of fisheries in this country, and the sacrifices made and being made by so many who rely on this industry are showing great promise,” Schwaab said. “As we end overfishing and rebuild stocks, we will increase the economic output of our fisheries, improve the economic conditions for our fishermen, and create better, more stable and sustainable jobs and opportunities in our coastal communities.”

NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources.



Globe and Mail] - March 10, 2011 - Food trends may come and go, but some things in gastronomy never change. 

To borrow a phrase from the great food writer M.F.K. Fisher, consider the oyster. Getting that bivalve out of its fortress has been a challenge for time immemorial, and traditional oyster shucking knives have never excelled at the task. 

Toronto restaurateur Patrick McMurray, who holds the Guinness record for the most oysters shucked in a minute (38), says the problem lies not with the knife blades, but the handles, which lack leverage.

The handle on a traditional oyster knife is a teardrop or pear-shaped knob. “It tapers toward the blade and doesn't provide enough contact in the palm,” says Mr. McMurray, who owns the restaurant Starfish and the pub Ceili Cottage. His kitchens shuck about 4,000 oysters a week. To make life easier, Mr. McMurray, who studied bio-mechanics at university, designed a new knife.

The Shucker Paddy, manufactured in China, is the result of three years experimentation and 40 prototypes made by Mr. McMurray. The knife's nylon handle fits the palm like a pistol; a narrow, 10-centimetre stainless-steel blade is where the pistol's barrel would be, with sharpened edges top and bottom. Traditional oyster knives have only one axis, running straight down the blade, but the Shucker Paddy has two – one down the blade, the other down the angled pistol grip. That dual axis gives the knife a lot more leverage.

The difference is akin to turning a doorknob compared to a door handle. Holding the Shucker Paddy palm down, you firmly wriggle the point of its blade about 2 millimetres into the oyster's hinge. Then twist your wrist clockwise (counter-clockwise if you're left-handed). As the knife's tip rotates, the oyster pops open. The world is your oyster.


$30 by phone from Spirit of Hospitality, 905-277-3380, in person at Starfish or Ceili Cottage restaurants, or online from www.shuckerpaddy.com.


Slippage is nearly impossible with the pistol grip. A nylon flange protects the index finger from making contact with the oyster's jagged shell.

Ease of use

The 45-degree-angle ergonomically designed handle feels good in the palm and keeps the forearm in alignment with the blade for maximum transfer of power. With the knife's dual axis, I could easily open eight oysters in a minute. Not quite McMurray's Guinness record speed, but a lot faster than the three I struggled to open in the same time using an old-fashioned knife. 


And finally an emailed story that you might take with a grain of salt taste:

The Japanese news agency Nippon Soho released a story outlining the latest whacked out use for whales in Japan. The fishing ministry in an  effort to quell world reaction to whale hunting for research purposes has come up with a plan for milking the leviathans. The scheme is to use specially trained dolphin to herd the whales into mid ocean milking stations. Initial testing at the All Nippon Marine center indicate that not only are the whales easily handled but they seem to look forward to the experience. Following recent world wide fads, it is expected that the milk will be used in the production of an ice cream which testers say has a slightly salty taste.


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