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Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Saturday, May 08, 2010: Wind warning: For those off-Islander thinking about coming down for afternoon angling, better rethink –especially if boating is your bag. Winds have gone kinda crazy (10 a.m.…

Saturday, May 08, 2010:

Wind warning: For those off-Islander thinking about coming down for afternoon angling, better rethink –especially if boating is your bag. Winds have gone kinda crazy (10 a.m.). The SW gusts have gone gonzo, already blowing 40 at peak -- and forecast to pick up the pace. It could even by a tough go on the beach today. In the past couple years, we’ve had some real tragic accidents caused when winds and boating were unadvisedly mixed. The waters are still quite chilly, meaning any immersion will carry hypothermia in its back pocket.

Important bunker news:

[seafoodnews.com] May 7, 2010 - Despite the fact that the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission found that overfishing was not occurring in Atlantic Menhaden, there were several cautionary notes in their assessment that were not emphasized by Omega Protein, the single corporate user of the Menhaden stock, in their summary of the results.

First, the ASMFC committee did not find that Menhaden were either overfished, or that overfishing were occurring. But they did find the stock close to or at the threshold level, and they found poor recruitment in recent years.

The committee recommended looking at alternative targets, which may lead, as with atlantic herring, to a reconsideration of what the appropriate stock level should be.

The assessment shows the population has undergone several periods of both high and low abundance over the time series (1955 - 2008). Abundance has declined steadily since the peak observed in the early 1980s and recruitment (age-0 fish) has been relatively low. As a result of these findings and recommendations by the peer review panel, the Board took action to task its technical committee with developing new reference points to increase protection to the spawning stock. In addition, the technical committee will consider alternative reference points that account for predation on menhaden.

This finding suggests that the current assessment will not make the controversy over use of Menhaden as a forage fish go away, but instead, opens the door to new assessment models.

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