Where did all the flower children go? Oh, I think I see the problem.
Sunday, July 30, 2017: Insta-nor-easter wasn’t much, just a Saturday ruiner – which I guess is half-bad news for weekenders. I can tell from church this a.m. that many folks cancelled their trips upon hearing about the iffy skies. Well, they’re missing a first-rate Sunday, beach-wise.
Surf remain rough so rip concern concerns are “high.” We might have lost a gal just to our north, last night. It was possibly a skinny-dipping fatality. Such fatalities are not all that uncommon.
Anytime you dive in the water at night -- even when conditions aren’t as bad as they were yesterday – things can go south instantly. There is an odd phenomenon that takes place when caught in a rip in the dark. Shore lights suddenly seem to be moving away far faster than really are. It’s a bona fide panic inducer.
I did more than my share of skinny-dipping back-when. I duly noticed the being-pulled-out-to-sea phenomenon. I once had to help a gal who suffered it -- to an extreme. No sooner did she dive in than she began screaming for help. I didn’t think she was serious at first. Well, I helped her in -- actually just a short distance back to the beach -- but not before she clawed my back and shoulder to hell and back. Her words: “It felt like I was getting dragged out.” It was a drag for me. For days, I could barely take the pain of simply wearing a shirt.
End of July ocean temps seem to have maxxed out in the mid-70s. However, mulling over the far more summer-like future weather maps, we’ll be heating up like crazy for not just days but a couple weeks to come. August could see an 80 in the ocean. Air temps, though now only forecast for high in the 80s will likely be upped, going into the 90s.
As to fishing, there are fluke in the inlets, sometimes right through the tides instead of just on both sides of slack. Barnegat Light south jetty and public bulkhead (west of Andy’s) can be fluke fished.
Please fluke with larger hooks. I had a researcher call after I recently wrote about the state’s effort to get anglers to switch to 7/0 hooks. See www.savfluke.nj.gov. There’s more data backing large hooks than I first thought.
An interesting unhooking point is how larger hooks offer more shank for pliers to grab.
One fluking saving concept I was offered – by a fellow who has done it -- is aerating badly unhooked fish in a live-well for recovery. Obviously, that’s a no-no if fish is undersized. That said, I’ve read plenty on bleeding, released fluke being so stunned and they’re dead dogs if attacked, especially by blood-sniffing sharks. Thinking more legally, I imagine that reviving a wounded fluke by submerging it into the water using a larger fluke net might work, though the blood is still released into the water. You can’t believe how many sharks patrol the bottom – right under your boat. Best bet remains avoiding gut- or throat-hooking a fish.
I was emailed that the feds cannot close the NJ fluke fishery ahead of announced season. I didn’t argue but I just don’t see the regs etched in granite quite that thick.
Crabbing remains all-time. I don’t crab so I can only run with numerous reports of remarkable crab populations.
Surf City B&T
Ty with his first fluke. A keeper size that he released from the LBI surf today. Very Nice!!!
If you have any interest in mullet check out this look at where all the migrating finger mullet end up. Amazing looks. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zA5mn423F9g
The doe running behind the young buck apparently survived this hit -- at well under 25 mph. It still goes to prove the axiom: It's not the first deer that gets ya.
Facebook post from ...
As an angler, what are your thoughts on menhaden:
Love when they're around? Hate when they're around?
Snag and drop angler? Go to plug these days to match the hatch? Go to fly when they're thick? Do you fish chunks? Ever slow troll? Favorite recipe? ....just checking to see if you read remarks to the end.
Arrest Men Who Tortured Shark Behind Their Boat
This petition is in regard to the video circulating over social media showing several cruel individuals torturing a shark by dragging it behind their boat at high speeds for entertainment. They laughed and talked about how it would die as they watched it thrown around helplessly behind their boat. “Look, it’s already almost dead”, said one of the men as he laughed and watched.
This disgusting vile act needs to be dealt with immediately.
Please sign this petition and make a difference in an animal’s life. They cannot speak for themselves so we must do so!
To the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission,
We want this disgusting vile behavior of these men dealt with by the arrest and full prosecution of each of them. This act of violence is criminal according to the Florida statute Chapter 828! They need to be held accountable for their actions and pay for their crimes with the maximum jail sentence.
This type of animal abuse must not be tolerated and justice must be served.
Lick-your-cat device... something's not right here, dude.
Birthday trip ahead of the storm and he was able to put a couple dinners in the cooler.
Well with really only today left( the weather sucks for tomorrow) myself and the crew of the "surface action" are sitting on top of the leader board of the small boat division of the Beach Haven White Marlin Invitational! With this 57# yellowfin tuna. We were edged out of first place overall by 4 pounds!!!! Fun day on the water with a good group of guys!! We will see if it holds today.
I thought I saw a Angel today.
Sportsfishermen Lay Out Magnuson Demands (Opinion)
SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Sport Fishing] By Mike Leonard [Opinion] - July 27, 2017
Anglers are true conservationists who deserve better treatment by federal fishery managers
In the United States, healthy fisheries have traditionally meant better fishing access for anglers. That’s one of the main reasons why anglers have always been at the forefront of conservation efforts: Beyond the clear understanding that conservation is vital for the health of the resource, it’s good for our fishing experiences, too.
However, something is clearly “off” with federal fisheries management when improving the health of fisheries resources doesn’t translate into improved access. In the worst case of this — that of Gulf of Mexico red snapper — healthier stocks have actually led to diminished access.
In recent years, at every turn there seems to be another example of a federal fisheries-management decision that has left anglers feeling bewildered. While Gulf red snapper gets most of the attention, similar management challenges have arisen with summer flounder, cobia, black sea bass, triggerfish, amberjack and others. Despite overfishing being at an all-time low, angler frustration with federal fisheries management has reached an all-time high.
This frustration stems from what seem to be overly restrictive regulations and abrupt season closures at odds with what anglers experience on the water. Anglers need reasonable access to enjoy our sport.
Fortunately, earlier this month, six U.S. senators led by Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) introduced the Modernizing Recreational Fisheries Management Act. This bill addresses the recreational-fishing community’s priorities for improving the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA), the primary law governing federal marine fisheries management. A similar bill was introduced in the House earlier this year by representatives Garret Graves (R-La.), Gene Green (D-Texas), Daniel Webster (R-Fla.) and Rob Wittman (R-Va.)
MSA has historically focused almost exclusively on commercial fishing; the Modernizing Recreational Fisheries Management Act would insert key changes in management strategies better suited to the nature of recreational fishing. Recreational fishing is fundamentally different than commercial fishing, and it’s time our federal fisheries-management system recognized the distinction. Otherwise, the recreational-fishing community will continue to experience frustrating management outcomes simply because the management system isn’t adapted to recreational fishing.
However, this bill is not without its detractors. Most of the opposition is based on a fundamental belief that if you give anglers an inch, they’ll take a mile. They like to promote the idea that any changes to insert flexibility into MSA to improve recreational fisheries management will somehow lead to rampant overfishing. Nothing could be further from the truth.
It’s important during this debate over the need for more reasonable access to federal fisheries that neither the public nor fishery administrators lose sight of anglers’ long-held commitment to conservation.
My recent participation in ICAST 2017, the four-day annual international fishing tackle trade show in Orlando, reinforced with crystal clarity that anglers and the recreational-fishing industry not only say they care about fisheries conservation, but prove it through their actions. At the beginning of the week, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), meeting at ICAST, discussed regulations for three recreationally important coastal fisheries — cobia, sheepshead and tripletail. What motivated that discussion, even though data from FWC biologists indicated these species are not overfished? Anglers had urged the state to consider lowering bag limits and raising minimum size limits to ensure the continued sustainability of these species.
I saw sport fishermen offer similar precautionary recommendations a few months earlier at an Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission meeting, when anglers from East Coast states helped defeat a proposal to allow a 10-percent increase in striped bass harvest, even though fishery managers had said such an increase could be allowed within current scientific constraints.
Also at ICAST, I saw countless examples of the recreational-fishing industry taking action to support conservation. Some examples:
Costa’s “Kick Plastic” campaign
AFTCO donating to six fisheries-conservation organizations what it otherwise would have spent putting together an extra exhibit booth,
Eagle Claw developing and donating thousands of packs of hooks to New Jersey Fish and Wildlife to help reduce discard mortality of summer flounder.
These conservation efforts continue to prove that anglers are at the forefront of ensuring sustainability of fisheries resources. The federal management system needs to recognize that anglers are partners in conservation, not adversaries, and that we deserve fair treatment.
I hope Congress and the Administration will ignore the false, paranoid assertions that anglers seeking changes to MSA don’t care about fisheries conservation. It’s been proven time and again that the influence of sport fishermen offers a great safeguard against overfishing.
NMFS Making Decision on Seismic Testing in Atlantic, But Without Oil Leases Work May Not Go Forward
SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Bloomberg BNA] By Alan Kovski - July 28, 2017
Five oil and gas service companies are awaiting decisions by the National Marine Fisheries Service on their proposals for Atlantic offshore seismic surveys that could harm whales and other marine life.
The service, which can issue authorizations under the Marine Mammal Protection Act, is reviewing a high volume of opposing and supporting public comments that were filed by the July 21 deadline.
The five companies are TGS NOPEC Geophysical Co. ASA, Spectrum ASA, ION Geophysical Corp., CGG S.A. and WesternGeco Ltd., a subsidiary of Schlumberger Ltd. A sixth company, TDI-Brooks International Inc., recently expressed an interest in restarting the application for an authorization after an earlier application was returned to the company as incomplete.
The fisheries service proposed authorizations with a variety of mitigation measures to reduce risks to marine mammals. If the authorizations are granted—with or without additional mitigation steps—the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will be able to make final decisions on whether to issue one-year permits for the work.
The fisheries service has no deadline for its decisions. BOEM is expected to be able to act quickly if the service gives the green light.
Opposition From State Officials
If a group of nine attorneys general has its way, there will be no seismic surveys for oil and gas in the Atlantic. The attorneys general for eight East Coast states and the District of Columbia, all Democrats, asked the National Marine Fisheries Service to deny the authorizations.
Environmental activists and many marine biologists fear deep-penetration seismic surveys using air-gun arrays to fire acoustic waves will harm mammals, fish, and other life. The nine attorneys general offered similar concerns in a letter to the fisheries service.
The attorneys general also made it clear that they opposed oil and gas drilling and production in the Atlantic. “Every step of the oil and gas exploration process threatens irreplaceable natural resources,” they said.
The attorneys general were from Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, North Carolina, and the District of Columbia.
Support From Industry
Three oil and gas industry associations—International Association of Geophysical Contractors, the American Petroleum Institute and the National Ocean Industries Association—sent a letter to the fisheries service expressing support for the planned geophysical surveying and argued that it would “have no more than a negligible impact on marine mammal species or stocks.”
The Obama administration resounded the position that the surveys shouldn’t be expected to have a notable impact on species or stocks. Applications for permits from that administration were rejected only after a decision was made to avoid leasing any Atlantic offshore area for exploration drilling in the 2017-2022 leasing program. That decision made the surveys unnecessary, the Obama administration said.
The National Marine Fisheries Service has not yet publicly released the comments on the seismic surveys.
Still unanswered is whether anyone will actually do the work even if they have the incidental harassment authorizations and the BOEM permits. Many seismic companies will not conduct a survey without oil and gas company customers lined up to finance the work, and customers may wait until the federal government schedules Atlantic offshore leasing, and there’s no assurance that will happen.
Extreme El Niño Events Likely to Become More Frequent
SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Radio New Zealand] By Dateline Pacific - July 28, 2017
Pacific nations will be even more vulnerable to climate change effects in the future, according to new research findings.
Under the Paris Climate Agreement, the international community aims to limit the earth's warming to around 2 degrees celcius to combat climate change.
The Australian-led study considered what might the impact would be on El Niños if the earth's global warming reached 1.5 degrees.
Wenju Cai, of Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation is the lead researcher on the study.
He and colleagues at the Organisation worked with scientists from America, China and the University of New South Wales.
Mr Cai said that using the main existing climate models, they looked at the impact of emissions at the 1.5 degrees warming level.
They expected to see some stabilisation of climate patterns, but instead found that the frequency of extreme weather events would increase.
With the increase in carbon dioxide, the global wind temperature increased too, bringing greater climate risks associated with El Niño events.
He says the findings don't bode well for future generations especially in small island states who will face more extreme droughts, floods and cyclones.
"So the South Pacific countries, these are the countries where the capacity to deal with extremes is probably lower than for example in New Zealand or Australia but they are more vulnerable climate change induced, extreme weather, extreme climate and so cutting greenhouse is always good but what we are saying in this paper is that even if we could say achieve 1.5 [degree celsius] the risk will continue to increase for another century."
Wenju Cai says people have already seen the devastating effects of extreme weather events.
"Take extreme tropical cyclone to countries where they don't normally expect such extreme tropical cyclones. Take for example in 1997 that is where we had one of those extreme El Niños where one of those tropical cyclones killed people in Cook Islands in a few hours."
A climate specialist, Professor Pete Strutton, from the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies at the University of Tasmania and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science, says while the Paris targets are admirable, it is becoming increasingly unlikely that it will be met.
"My personal opinion is that its increasingly unlikely we will stay under 2 or under 1.5 cos if there is further warming we have to act straight away if we are going to meet any of those targets."
El Niños events have been occurring on average about ten times a century up until 2000.
The nature climate change study indicates that even if global warming limits were achieved, extreme weather events would still increase in frequency, and possibly even double.
"In some ways the work is telling us some of what we already knew but putting some numbers on it so that can help us to plan for the future and know how many El Niños events we will experience in the next couple of centuries."
Dr Scott Power is Head of Climate Research/International Development Manager at Australia's Bureau of Meteorology.
He says most small island states have a limited capacity to cope with major floods and droughts.
"Unfortunately, this paper indicates that these vulnerable nations could be exposed to El Niño impacts more frequently in the future, even if global warming is restricted to 1.5 degrees."
He said to make matters worse, this study indicates that the risk of major disruptions to Pacific rainfall have already increased.
El Niño-related impacts tend to add to other challenges of climate change, such as rising sea levels, ocean acidification and increasing temperature extremes.
Victoria University's James Renwick says while the study provides useful insights but more work is needed.
"El Niños turn out to be quite subtle things and quite difficult to get right in a model so I would say this is quite a provisional result and it looks very interesting and maybe we will see an increase, but I think if others can reproduce this result it will be even more interesting but right now it is out on its own."
Florida Entrepreneur Starts Pompano Farm; Hopes to Revitalize Florida Aquaculture
SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Palm Beach Post] By Antonio Fins - July 26, 2017
Florida should be the land of plenty for aquaculture businesses. Entrepreneur Joe Cardenas hopes it will pay off for him.
Cardenas, a former banker, started a company a year ago at the FAU Tech Runway, a public-private partnership housed at Florida Atlantic University to help incubate start-ups. Aquaco’s goal is, by this time next year, to be producing 10,000 pounds of farm-raised pompano per month.
“We really looked at it up and down and asked, ‘Where is the opportunity in Florida?’” he said. “Aquaculture just kept coming up.”
But it’s proven to be an elusive opportunity in the Sunshine State.
As of 2012, the top aquaculture product in Florida — among the 404 industry operations counted for that year — was the cultivation of ornamental tropical fish for home and office aquariums. Just $27.2 million worth.
Put it this way: You know an industry is still on the periphery when the freshest statistics are from five years ago.
Nonetheless, Cardenas left a 17-year career in banking, most recently asset-based lending, to become a fish farmer.
“The short answer is I stopped learning three to four years ago,” he said of his decision to change careers. “[Banking] is not an industry that you can be an entrepreneur at heart. It used to be.”
Cardenas insists there is enormous growth potential for Florida aquaculture in the next 20 to 25 years. And there should be.
Combine the growing demand for seafood with the stressed supply of wild caught seafood and clearly someone on this planet needs to get large-scale aquaculture done right. And the one who does will make lots of money.
So Cardenas left banking and seeded Aquaco with a couple hundred thousand dollars. He then embarked on a plan to raise $2.5 million to fund the start-up operations. He is 70 percent there, he said, which has allowed him to acquire an 8-acre parcel in Fort Pierce and begin building his fish farm.
Cardenas’ key selling point for his venture is the fish he picked, pompano.
Basically, he said, it’s a seasonal fish and not one commercial fishermen heavily target out on the ocean.
“You’re just not going to have 20,000 pounds of pompano show up at a distributor,” he said.
Meanwhile, most active aquaculture operations focus on other species, like cobia, tilapia and shrimp.
Cardenas says his calculations bear out the formula for success. Pompano, he says, retails for between $15.99 and $18.99 per pound, and $10 to $12 per pound wholesale.
He won’t say how much it would cost him to farm it per pound, other than to say the spread between his cost and the average wholesale price will give him a substantial return.
Even so, Cardenas said he is playing it conservative on initial production — he is aiming for just 10 percent of his full-run production goal at the start — to make sure he has the farming technique spot on.
That means making sure he knows specifics on things like the optimal water temperature for raising pompano is it (75 degrees or 77 degrees?) and the accurate water salinity level in the tanks.
Florida in many ways is synonymous with farming and fishing. Cardenas hopes to successfully combine both into a surf-on-turf enterprise.
The brutes who allegedly dragged a shark behind a speedboat apparently documented other vile stunts with ocean wildlife — including posing for a picture while pouring beer into the mouth of a grouper.
“This is one of the evil POS that dragged the shark,” one post on Facebook read. “His name is Bo Benac. His mother is a Manatee County commissioner. Look what he and his friend are doing to this beautiful grouper who was probably 50 years old. #notfunny”
The post identified the other men seen in the disturbing video as Nicholas Burns Easterling and Michael Wenzel, who was investigated in 2015 by state and federal officials after posting pictures of him gripping pelicans and a gull. It’s unclear if the other men were part of that investigation, which was closed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service last January, the Miami Herald reported.
More than 5,300 people have signed an online petition demanding that the men be punished for the “sociopathic behavior” they willingly recorded and shared.
“This sociopathic behavior demands attention and prevention,” the petition reads. “Many feel that this act of violence is in fact a criminal act … We also demand that everyone in this video has their fishing license revoked permanently.”
Another post on Wenzel’s Instagram page purportedly showed him shooting a gun at a tarpon in Siesta Key, a video that racked up more than 5,400 views, according to the Miami Herald. Wenzel’s profile was no longer active as of Friday.
Neither Wenzel’s father nor Benac’s mother replied to requests for comment, the Miami Herald reports.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, meanwhile, declined to confirm the men’s identities in accordance with prior policy, spokesman Rob Klepper told the newspaper.
The video — which was posted to Instagram on Tuesday after they emailed it to Capt. Mark Quartiano, a popular local shark hunter — quickly went viral, garnering comments demanding that the men be prosecuted and lose their fishing licenses.
“This is awful to see and they are laughing at what they’re doing to the shark,” one comment read.
“Who does this?” another comment read. “Sick f—s.”
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