Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Saturday, June 27, 2015: On LBI, the rain held out for the better part of the day but has made up for lost time

I catch hell for jerking the chains of cats. Turns out I don't even have to taunt cats to make them do stupid things. 


Geez, didn't see that coming.

Saturday, June 27, 2015: On LBI, the rain held out for the better part of the day but has made up for lost time since about 4 pm. About an inch has fallen but, more significantly, the east winds have toyed with 45 mph during squalls and could get up over 50 should some of the orange/red (on radar) storm cells hold together as they hit here, moving in from tornado-watching Delaware.

Water temps in the ocean have reached the mid70s. It’s gonna take a solid day or two for the waves to settle down enough for easy surfcasting.

Virtually every fire department in the area is out tending downed power lines or sparking/arcing transformers. The tons of wire troubles are surely the result of Tuesday’s sky craziness. Many a pole and wire was weakened and todays blowing is forcing them to give up the ghost. I’ve heard of no major power outages, though. Just a lot of detours around hazardous areas. While the AC Electric lineman are rallying – they very good at what they do to get things back up and running -- they are also getting a tad short-circuited, telling local PDs that many smaller emergencies will just have to wait in line. While that is totally understandable, it makes for long hours of waiting for firefighters and cops, all having to hang near trouble spots until the wire-fixing Calvary arrives.

This storm is surely going to push in flotsam from close in and even well out at sea. The bugaboo is the sewer crap from up north, washed into the water by Tuesday’s storm. It’ll be popping up as folks walk the then-sunny beaches tomorrow.

After onshore winds, I indubitably get a dose of folks calling in to report finding hypodermic needles. While many of those needles are an ugly reflection of the escalating heroin epidemic, an oddly high number are insulin hypodermic needles, despite the increasing popularity of insulin pens. I’m not up on whether insulin needles can be assume an aftermarket use as narcotic needles.

Sturgeon wash-ups: I’m still trying to find info on the three separate sturgeon that washed up on LBI beaches in the past week. One found in BL was apparently quite sizable. I was able to establish that the large one came up in bright (fresh) color, indicating a recent death. While the possibility of bycatch kills being likely – and part of fishing – how can one not worry about the seismic testing?

I absolutely realize experts will openly and condescendingly balk at the mere suggestion that those sturgeon DOAs were collateral damage from seismic testing, I have found experts habitually overestimate what they know. It comes with the lettering.

Hell, I’ll even momentarily give the dying sturgeons death-by-netting causes of death but if those experts are badly mistaken if they think we’ll put down the magnifying glass while looking over any unusual deaths of sea creatures within hundreds of miles from where they’re testing. Hell, creatures could get sound mortally sound blasted and wander aimlessly to who-knows-where before giving up the ghost. In fact, maybe I’m not going to be so hasty in signing off on those sturgeons.

And, no, I didn’t get word on them in time to do secure them and send them off to the state for a necropsy.

By the by, the word autopsy, even though it technically means the same as a necropsy, is now singularly applied to humans -- for both legal reasons and to differentiate post-mortem procedures between animals and humans.


Another shark bite in NC: 

DARE COUNTY, N.C. — An 17-year-old boy is in critical condition after another shark attack off the North Carolina coast, the sixth one in about two weeks.

(Image: David Marko)

(Image: David Marko)

The victim was attacked at about 4 p.m. Saturday at a beach at the Cape Hatteras KOA campground in Rodanthe on Saturday, according to authorities. His name has not been released.

The victim was treated at the scene and airlifted to the hospital for treatment. He reportedly sustained injuries to his right calf, buttocks and both hands. WVEC reported that the victim suffered critical injuries.

He was swimming with several others when the incident occurred, but there were no other swimmers were injured, according to officials.

The North Carolina coast has seen multiple shark-bite incidents in recent weeks.

This is the second incident in two days where a person was bitten by a shark in Dare County. On Friday, a 47-year-old man was bitten by a shark in Avon, N.C. His injuries were non-life threatening.

On Wednesday, an 8-year-old boy in Surf City suffered what appeared to be a shark bite. Police said the wounds were superficial and the injuries were minor.

On June 14, a 12-year-old Kiersten Yow from Archdale and a 16-year-old boy from Colorado both lost their arms in shark attacks at Oak Island.

Yow lost her left arm below the elbow and suffered injuries to her left leg. Hunter Treschl lost an arm.

A 13-year-old girl was bitten while boogie boarding off Ocean Isle Beach on June 11. In that incident, the victim suffered non-life threatening injuries, but the shark took bites of her boogie board.


eBook Just Published to Amazon Shows Consumers How to Prepare and Eat Fish ByProducts (Fish Radio)



Some of the best and healthiest parts of a fish don’t make it into the American diet. And fish like sardines and anchovies are ground up for fish feed instead of people food. An eBook out this week aims to show simple ways to use fish heads, skins and bones in appealing new ways. It’s called ‘The Whole Fish - How Adventurous Eating of Seafood Can Make You Healthier, Sexier, and Help Save the Ocean."

"Eating seafood, especially the oily fish, it makes our hair better and skin nicer, and it makes us smarter – so intelligence and attractiveness also add to this equation."

Author Maria Finn is a former fisherman out of Homer. Her whole fish philosophy stemmed from her years of field work with Fish and Game -
"When I worked out on the Yukon delta I worked with a lot of Yup’ik people at their fish drying camps. And they showed me how to use the whole fish – the heads, the eggs and milt, the bones, and what they didn’t use was pickled or fed to the dogs."
Now Finn lives near San Francisco where she says using the whole animal is the trend in high end restaurants.
'It’s considered very environmentally friendly, it shows respect for the animal, and it’s not just taking a few prime cuts and tossing the rest away. So you might get pig face pasta here or trotters, and these are all in the great restaurants."

She has seen salmon bellies as featured entrees, salmon roe as garnishes, tuna heart grated over pasta, and salmon bones ground with salt to provide calcium and omega 3s. Finn’s short eBook has recipes and also draws attention to sustainability issues and food webs.
The Whole Fish : How Adventurous Eating of Seafood Can Make You Healthier, Sexier, and Help Save the Ocean can be downloaded at TEDbooks or Amazon.

Ocean Beauty Seafoods. Ocean Beauty has contributed over 10 million meals to the U.S. Food Bank network, and is committed to ending hunger in America. www.oceanbeauty.com


Clams Getting the Respect They Deserve for Versatility in the Hands of Chefs

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Open Table] - June 26, 2015 - 

In the broadest of terms, a clam is a bivalve mollusk with two hard shells that protect the edible, sweet yet briny, exquisite yet simple, meat within. Found in most coastal areas throughout the world, clams are both a reliable dietary staple and a treasured delicacy.

Served raw, baked, fried, poached, roasted, steamed, or in chowders, sauces, or stews, the versatility and relative plenitude of clams render them an indispensable seafood pick with chefs from coast to coast. Our seafood markets are brimming with a number of varieties of clams, some wild, some farmed, and all infinitely tasty. Here are the best varieties of clams and the delicious ways restaurants are serving them this summer!

Atlantic Hard Shell Clams at The Clam, New York, New York

Atlantic hard shell clams (Mercenaria mercenaria), also known as quahogs (pronounced coe-hog), are the quintessential east coast clam. Quahogs are graded by size, with littlenecks being the smallest (approximately 10-12 clams per pound), followed by top necks (6-10 per pound), cherrystones (3-4 per pound) and chowders (1-2 per pound). The Clam serves up its favorite and eponymous ingredient in a number of expected, and unexpected, dishes: littlenecks on the half shell, clam dip with zesty potato chips, clam and lobster sliders, and grilled white clam pizza, to name just a few.

Soft Shell Clams at Island Creek Oyster Bar, Boston, Massachusetts

Soft shell clams (Mya arenaria) are also popularly called steamers, piss clams, longnecks, or Ipswich clams and are native to our northeast coast. (And also found n Chesapeake Bay). The soft shell name is a bit of a misnomer as the shells are more brittle than soft. Soft shell clams are more oblong in shape than hard shell clams and are distinguished by a long protruding siphon, which the clam uses to both feed and filter the water. A bowl of steamers dipped in melted butter is one of the purest joys of a New England summer, and Island Creek Oyster Bar does not disappoint with its Ipswich steamers served with crusty bread for sopping up the every last drop of clammy goodness. 

Razor Clams at Saxon + Parole, New York, New York

Razor clams, shaped like old-fashioned straight razors, are found both on the east and west coasts. East coast razors (Ensis directus) are known as Atlantic jackknife clams. West coast razors (Siliqua patua) are known as Pacific razor clams and are slightly more oval-shaped than their east coast cousin. Prized in Chinese, Japanese, Thai, and Korean cuisines, razor clams are now finding their way onto non-Asian menus on both coasts. At Saxon + Parole, chef Brad Farmerie creates razor clam magic by combining steamed razors and egg salad, served with caviar and grilled bread. Brunch will never be the same.

Manila Clams at Pacific Grill, Tacoma, Washington

Manila clams (Venerupis philippinarum) are a west coast clam that was accidentally introduced to the Pacific by oyster farmers who were seeding Japanese varieties of oysters. Similar in flavor and versatility to east coast littlenecks, Manila clams are also called Japanese littlenecks or Japanese cockles. How could anyone resist a dish called “Stan the Man’s Killer Clam Linguine” at Pacific Grill ? I know I couldn’t.

Geoduck at Posh, Scottsdale, Arizona

Geoduck (Panopea generosa) is both one of the largest clams in the world, and one that is the subject of seemingly endless jokes due to its large phallic shape. Geoducks (pronounced gooey duck) are harvested in tidal areas of Oregon, Washington, Alaska, and British Columbia. Popular in Asian cuisine, their large meaty siphons are tasty and crunchy and are delectable when prepared as raw sashimi. Geoduck harvesting is a closely regulated fishery in our country. Look for them as seasonal specials or in tasting menus. Posh offers them, in season, with other not-so-humdrum delicacies. One example is geoduck ceviche with radish, celery, cilantro, and extra virgin olive oil.


Texas Just Banned Shark Finning, Will Other States Follow?

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [KVUE.com and The Texas Tribune] June 26, 2015  

AUSTIN -- Texas became the tenth state Saturday to ban the trade of shark fins, becoming the first Gulf Coats state to pass such a law.
"Shark finning" is the practice of catching a shark at sea, cutting off its fin and tossing the living shark back into the water. 
According to a press release by advocacy group Oceana, Texas recently became a hub for shark fins. After several states enacted their own shark fin trade bans, including California and Illinois, the state's shark fin trade grew by 240 percent in almost five years.
"Right now, about half of the remaining shark fin trade in the U.S. comes in and out of Texas," said Amanda Keledjian, a marine scientist at Oceana, a D.C.-based ocean conservation organization.
Several restaurants in Texas offer shark fin soup for about $10, but most of the fins are shipped to China, where a bowl of soup can sell for more than $100, according to The Texas Tribune. The fins have no taste or nutritional value.
To combat the growing problem, Gov. Greg Abbott signed H.B. 1579, a law that says Texas will no longer participate in the global fin trade. The bill was introduced by Rep. Eddie Lucio III (D-District 38).
Lucio's measure makes it a Class B misdemeanor to buy or sell shark fins, punishable by a maximum $2,000 fine or 180 days in jail for a first offense. Licensed shark fishermen could still catch sharks and sell the meat, just not the fins, which are highly profitable, according to The Texas Tribune.


U.S. Success in Rebuilding Fisheries Can Be a Global Model

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Wall Street Journal]  By Susi Pudjiastuti and Jane Lubchenco - June 25, 2015  

The ocean is a frontier for sustainable growth. It offers increased food security, economic growth and value-added investment opportunities to nations willing to develop maritime resources without using them up. Yet there is an urgent need to deal directly with declines in the value and harvest of wild-capture fisheries around the world.

Globally, marine fisheries support 260 million jobs, add more than $270 billion to global gross domestic product and provide 3 billion people with nutritious sources of protein. But half of these fisheries produce less seafood, jobs, value and biodiversity than they could otherwise. This is primarily due to perverse incentives, weak laws, poor enforcement, unreported harvests and widespread poaching.

Specific political and economic measures and investments are required to deal with these challenges. Governments need to reduce overfishing, enforce regulations of illegal fishing and enable those with the legal right to manage these resources. There is growing evidence that the benefits of such incremental investments far outweigh the costs. Countries that understand this are taking action.

In Indonesia, overfishing is rampant. Illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing costs the economy more than $20 billion each year. The government has responded with a series of important measures, including a prohibition on the use of all trawl and seine nets, size limits and restrictions on important species that are in decline, a moratorium on new fishing licenses for foreign built vessels, and the destruction of illegal vessels that threaten Indonesia's sovereignty and prosperity.

Underscoring the demand for seafood, during the first quarter of 2015 Indonesia's fisheries industry grew at twice the national rate. Catches for certain fish are also up, with Indonesia's tuna yield increasing 80% from April to May of this year. Now the challenge is to ensure that these fisheries are sustainable, otherwise such benefits will quickly erode.

There are examples to suggest that this goal can be achieved. Over the past 14 years, the U.S. has accomplished a dramatic reversal in the state of fisheries in its federal waters by improving governance, empowering responsible domestic fishermen, discouraging poachers and increasing transparency. It has slashed the number of overexploited stocks to 37 from 92, while increasing the number of rebuilt populations. The number of fishing jobs in recent years has increased 23% while revenues are up 30%.

There's every reason to believe that other countries can bring about similar transformations in their waters, and there are compelling incentives to do so. New research shows we can increase profits in the global fishing sector by $74 billion a year if fisheries are managed sustainably. Even though fisheries are currently being heavily harvested in most countries, global fish production could rise by 14% if we fished smarter, not harder. This transition to ocean prosperity could also come fast, unfolding on average within a decade. While it isn't free, the benefits from transitioning from business-as-usual far outweigh the costs, on the order of 10 to one.

The same research, however, suggests that the alternative scenario of continuing with business as usual is a dark one -- a dramatic fall in fish production and a steady erosion in profits until the sector becomes a net money loser, unable to survive without substantial subsidies from the government.

There is no reason to passively accept this narrative. What is required are for more leaders to work with fishers and private-sector partners to achieve investment opportunities that implement reforms and unlock the value fisheries hold for those that rely on them.

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