Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report
That also applies to my buddies, the often unsung DOD vets.
Sunday, November 12, 2017: A fair flow of striper reports, Classic-based and everyday in nature. Today sure isn’t knocking the socks off surfcasters. As I did a frontbeach drive-about, there was a ton of idle standing around on what remains a fairly frigid beach – though there will be substantially milder air this entire coming week.
Considering how slow the surfcasting had been, it was a fine fall feel to have a flurry of sizeable stripers – along with a slew of schoolies – being caught.
Bait remains the call, mainly bunker -- with clams also scoring.
Many a caster is putting in some plugging time on the side. Short of some shorts, artificials haven’t been nearly as productive as I had hoped for. That could change if this calmed down ocean starts to show some balled up bait moving near the beach.
Classic has built to 728 entrants. Very nice. And plenty of tourney time left go. See http://www.lbift.com. ;
Boat fishing of the ocean is a tad frantic, especially from off Brant Beach, southward. Dozens of vessels are plying the glassy ocean surface, anywhere from a mile to two miles out. What radio chatter I’m hearing tells of a couple/few hear-and-there bass, mainly on the drift, with trolling also in play. While not far to the north (Monmouth County), the action is epic. May the bass biomass roll this way.
The ocean is looking gorgeous. As expected, the side-ass and (this a.m.) calm winds ushered in very clean water. Water temps have dropped to the mid-50 in some places though I also see upper 50s via my infrared thermometer.
SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Seafood News] by Amanda Buckle - November 9, 2017
Walmart is the latest company to join the Ocean Disclosure Project (ODP), an organization that promotes increased transparency and encourages businesses to keep a profile of their supply chains. The retail giant has already posted their profile, which reveals the number of fisheries used, the number of certified fisheries and more.
“We are proud of our efforts to make the seafood we sell more sustainable and joining the Ocean Disclosure Project is one more way we can show our passion and commitment for sustainability and transparency,” said Laura Phillips, Senior Vice President of Sustainability for Walmart. “ODP provides an important service to consumers and other stakeholders when understanding where their seafood comes from.”
ODP was started by the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership in 2015. The project already has US retailer Publix Supermarkets participating, as well as seafood supplier North Atlantic. You can check out Walmart’s profile on Ocean Disclosure Project here.
SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Seafood News] - November 10, 2017
The International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) could potentially increase total allowable catch of East Atlantic and Mediterranean bluefin tuna at a meeting being held in Morocco next week – and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is strongly opposed.
WWF released a statement warning that after 10 years of sustainably managing the threatened bluefin tuna stock, the recovery efforts could be lost due to a lack of caution. According to the organization, ICCAT is seeking an increase in total allowable catch up to 36,000 tons by 2020, which is “more than double the 2015 quota.” The problem, according to WWF, is that the stock has not yet recovered and the increase could end up decreasing the bluefin tuna population down the line. The recovery plan was initially supposed to end in 2022.
“Bluefin tuna stock is not yet ready to support such a rapid increase in catches and would suffer from less strict management. It took us more than 10 years to bring bluefin tuna back to our seas, and we cannot lose it again for short-term profit,” says Alessandro Buzzi, Fisheries Project Manager at WWF Mediterranean. “The measures adopted for the recovery of the species are generating very positive results, with bluefin tuna no longer being overfished. We urge governments to build on this success and wait for the complete recovery of the species.”
WWF has countered with a recommended quota of 28,000 tons by 2020.
SEAFOODNEWS.COM [NPR] - November 9, 2017
At many Chinese restaurants in the United States, there's a special dish called shark fin soup. It's expensive — a delicacy and status symbol in Chinese culture that's served during banquets.
The soup is a hotly debated item in both the scientific and political communities, and it's illegal in 12 states, including Hawaii, Illinois and Texas.
Now, Congress is once again considering a federal ban on the shark fin trade.
Two bipartisan bills, one in the House and one in the Senate, would make it illegal to possess, buy, sell or transport shark fins in the United States. House and Senate politicians introduced similar bills last year, but they didn't make it out of committee.
The new Senate bill asserts that many shark populations are in peril worldwide, and that some fishermen harvest shark fins by finning, a "cruel practice in which the fins of a shark are cut off" on a ship at sea, and the rest of the animal is "then thrown back into the water to drown, starve or die a slow death."
A 2013 study in the journal Marine Policy estimates that between 63 and 273 million sharks are killed each year, including those killed for their fins.
But not all scientists agree that banning shark fins would be the way to protect sharks. Last month, two marine biologists wrote in Marine Policy that a ban would not prevent sharks from being killed worldwide.
David Shiffman, a marine biologist who co-wrote the article, studies sharks at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, Canada. He says that shark fisheries in the U.S. harvest sharks sustainably, shark finning has already been banned, and if the U.S. just withdraws from the shark trade altogether, it'll be harder to encourage other countries to follow the U.S. lead in adopting the same kinds of policies.
"It's a lot easier to say, 'You should do it this way, see we're doing it and it works,' than it is to say, 'You should do it this way, pay no attention to the fact that we're not involved anymore,' " he says.
Scientist Neil Hammerschlag of the University of Miami pushes back on that argument, explaining that the U.S. can only lead by example for countries that have the same resources that the U.S. does, including infrastructure to enforce fisheries management.
"But the same policies would not work in some of the big fishing countries which don't really have the capacity," he says.
Several conservation groups, including the nonprofit Oceana, responded to Shiffman's article against the ban in Marine Policy, saying that if the U.S. allows imports of shark fins from countries that don't have sustainable practices, like Myanmar and China, then it is "complicit in the catch of at-risk species and condoning their lack of finning regulations." They say they support the bill because it aims to eliminate U.S. demand for shark fins altogether.
Lora Snyder, an Oceana campaign director for responsible fishing and sharks, explains why she thinks the U.S. should just get out of the global fin trade altogether:
"Demand for shark fins is one of the primary drivers of population declines of these species," she says, drawing a comparison between shark fins and the ivory trade. It is a global problem, she says, which "needs a global solution."
Snyder points out that 150 scientists came out in support of the shark fin ban — in an open letter of support, they called shark conservation "one of the most pressing biodiversity issues today."
"Science is saying sharks are in trouble," Snyder says. "It's necessary to look at policy solutions that are rooted in science through multiple lenses."
Shelley Clarke is a fisheries management scientist who has studied the shark fin trade in Hong Kong and works with the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization. Like Shiffman, she's skeptical of the idea that the U.S. needs to get out of the trade altogether.
"I would rather focus on the point of the kill, which is on the water, determining what the fishermen do with the sharks that are caught on their fishing lines, and making sure that the number of sharks that are killed every year in fisheries is at a sustainable level," she says.
She works with tuna fisheries to gather better data on how many sharks are caught, which species are most at risk, and how to manage populations through measures like catch limits.
"I think at some point we're going to need to draw a line in the sand and say, 'You can't catch any more sharks than this, because we don't believe the populations can keep pace with that,' " she says.
The shark fin trade is being pressured worldwide, even in China and Hong Kong, a global hub for the trade.
Many companies have banned shark fin in their cargo, including shipping giants Maersk and OOCL, Hong Kong's flagship airlines Cathay Pacific and Dragonair, and China's biggest airline, China Southern.
Ernest Kao, an environmental reporter in Hong Kong, says these multinational companies are responding to pressure from conservation groups like WildAID and the World Wildlife Fund.
He adds that even the Hong Kong government stopped serving shark fin at official events, partly citing conservation concerns. After the Chinese Communist Party banned shark fin at official dinners in 2013 to fight "extravagance," the trade dropped significantly the following year, though Kao says that drop has mostly leveled off.
He says traders he has spoken to are not pleased, but know there's not much they can do.
"Many of these traders actually are feeling the hit," Kao says. "They are expecting demand for shark fin to go down in the long run, so many of them are actually switching to more trade in other seafood or dried marine products."
But regardless of a ban, Hammerschlag says that eating shark fins or shark meat is a health risk.
"One thing that I think potentially people should be aware of when it comes to shark fin ... is that they do have toxins in them," he says.
Sharks are toward the top of the food web, so they have higher levels of mercury and other toxins that have been linked to degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and dementia.
SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Fish Radio with Laine Welch] - November 8, 2017
This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch – Farting shellfish are contributing to global warming. More after this –
Check out the line up at Pacific Marine Expo - November 16- 18 in Seattle - featuring a new Alaska Hall. www.pacificmarineexpo.com
ASMI’s Can Do and Cook It Frozen campaigns are designed to keep people eating Alaska seafood all year round. Learn more about the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute at www.alaskaseafood.org
“Not since the campfire scene in Mel Brooks’s film Blazing Saddles has the world been exposed to flatulence on such an epic scale.” So reads the recent headline in The Times UK.
But instead of gassy, bean eating cowboys, it is shellfish that are producing vast amounts of methane in the Baltic Sea.
Research off the coast of Sweden showed that underwater flatulence by mussels, oysters and clams produced one-tenth of greenhouse gases released there – equivalent to 20,000 cattle. The Stockholm University researchers believe the shellfish are farting more due to digestion of agricultural fertilizers in coastal waters.
Fish farts also are giving clues to fish distributions.
ScienceShot reports a University of South Florida team picked up the barely audible, cricket-like noises using a robot glider that sampled ocean sounds in Tampa Bay.
The sounds lasted throughout the day and night, and were most likely from massive schools of menhaden and herring releasing gas from their swim bladders.
Of the 30-thousand or so fish species in the world oceans, researchers believe the sounds of fewer than one thousand have been recorded.
Tuning into the underwater soundscape offers clues to where sea creatures are and what they are doing.
Find links at www.alaskafishradio.com