Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report
Thursday, November 10, 2011:
Let’s see what’s going on. Well, I can make out about 50 yards away, the rest is fog-wrapped.
We just had quite an obscure night. I did some after-dark time in the Pines, including driving Rte. 539, a.k.a. deer kill highway. It was a full-blown fog whiteout. Driving could only be done at a spooky crawl, due to both reduced visibilities -- down to less than 25 yards – and also because deer are in rut. That deranged deer factor is spooky enough even under the clearest of conditions. A hit is devastating to both animal and driver. Average repair cost after a deer strike: $1,700. Worse, that is almost always out of pocket, due to deductibles.
And how about Don. J. getting his brand new pickup truck deer nailed by deer not once but twice in a matter of days -- on the same damn bumper?! I wonder if the Lemon Law applies in that case?
Boat angler are a –growl over this fog. There has been some real decent bassing off LBI. The thing is you really need to see where you’re at, aligning with landmarks and such. Also, it’s a super scary drift in fog, as you hear approaching vessels and hope it not some snow bird bound for Florida using autopilot. None of us will soon forget that deadly fiasco a number of years back.
On the other fishing hand, fog works quite well for surfcasters. The subdued lighting seems to keep bass biting better throughout the day. The low wind-age also make rod-watching a breeze.
As for the beach bass, the Classic is going very well. How so, you might ask, seeing only a modest showing of weigh-ins? For the umpteenth time, it is not always the size or the frequency of hook-ups that matters. The many Classic bass below 20 pounds are as big a winners as if the fish had been 40 pounds. It’s not a bale contest. It’s essentially a perspective event. Perfect example: This year there are fish winning dailies, weeklies and even segment money that wouldn’t have even qualified in other years. That’s fine. What’s more, it always levels the playing field, make that the playing beach, when winners can come from any street end.
It’s officially tog time. Enjoy but don’t think you have to max out just because you can. The fishery is suffering horribly. That’s not to say we should forego keeping the fish that are rightfully ours. Scrimping with one fish a day for months earned the right to keep fish when the season allows. It simply helps to think, “That’s plenty” before everyone on board gets six each – with help from some friends, so to speak.
I will note that I’ve had great luck with freezing tog. That’s because almost all my recipes use the flesh as filler, for example, in fish stew, bouillabaisse, fishcakes, pasta sauce (incredible) and even cold tog salad: lightly stir fry tog pieces (Old Bay seasoning), let cool and mix with cold (real) mayo, lots of minced celery, celery seed, very thinly sliced green onions, a few drips of liquid smoke essence or 1 TBS sesame oil (not both), 6 or so finely minced designer black olives (special section stuff), very chopped crystallized ginger (optional but great), all very gently turned – don’t go mushing it all up by roughly mixing.
A series of 146 seal strandings in New England — mostly young harbor seals younger than 1 year old — has been declared an "unusual mortality event" by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration so the agency can bring more resources to bear on the investigation.
NOAA's National Marine Mammal Stranding Center ramped up its response to seal deaths Sept. 1, working with the New England Aquarium and the Marine Animal Rehabilitation Center at the University of New England. The strandings occurred at three times the normal rate, NOAA officials say.
Samples from five dead animals tested by the New England Aquarium were positive for influenza A virus. Tests for six other viruses and biological toxins were negative, and the agency says it's continuing to look for signs influenza A was a factor in other deaths.
The possibility of an epizootic among seals underlines the need for people to stay clear of the animals when they are on beaches. NOAA says people should stay at least 150 feet away and keep dogs on leashes; seals and dogs are closely related as species and can catch canine diseases from each other.
Infectious disease can take a toll on seal populations. Harbor seals are one species whose numbers have been on the rise in New England and now seen more frequently at the New Jersey shore, too.
Last summer NOAA investigators were looking into shooting deaths of several seals in the Cape Cod region, where the increasing seal numbers raise the ire of some people who say the animals are reducing fish stocks and attracting their own predator — great white sharks — close to beaches.
Aquaculture is the world's fastest-growing source of animal protein and currently provides nearly half of all fish consumed globally, according to a report published here by FAO.
The report World Aquaculture 2010 found that global production of fish from aquaculture grew more than 60 percent between 2000 and 2008, from 32.4 million tonnes to 52.5 million tonnes.
It also forecasts that by 2012 more than 50 percent of the world's food fish consumption will come from aquaculture.
"With stagnating global capture fishery production and an increasing population, aquaculture is perceived as having the greatest potential to produce more fish in the future to meet the growing demand for safe and quality aquatic food," the report said.
With its growth in volume and value, aquaculture has clearly helped reduce poverty and improve food security in many parts of the world.
But aquaculture has not grown evenly around the planet. Marked differences in production levels, species composition and farming systems exist within and between regions, and from one country to another.
The Asia-Pacific region dominates the sector -- in 2008 it accounted for 89.1 percent of global production, with China alone contributing 62.3 percent. Of the 15 leading aquaculture-producing countries, 11 are in the Asia-Pacific region.
A few countries lead the production of some major species, such as China with carps; China, Thailand, Viet Nam, Indonesia and India with shrimps and prawns; and Norway and Chile with salmon.
In terms of farming systems, intensive systems are more prevalent in North America and in advanced aquaculture-producing countries in Europe and Latin America. In the Asia-Pacific region, despite major technical developments, small-scale commercial producers remain the backbone of the sector.
Small-scale producers and small and medium entrepreneurs are also important players in Africa. Commercial and industrial-scale producers dominate in Latin America, but there is strong potential for the development of small-scale production.
While the demand for aquaculture products continues to increase, there is growing recognition of the need to address consumers' concerns for quality and safe products and animal health and welfare, the report said. Thus, issues such as food safety, traceability, certification and ecolabelling are assuming growing importance and considered as high priorities by many governments.
Aside from environmental sustainability, other major challenges faced by aquaculture include climate change and the global economic downturn, the report noted. The sector should therefore prepare itself to face their potential impacts and make special efforts to further assist small-scale producers by organizing them into associations and through promotion of better management practices.
"Achieving the global aquaculture sector's long-term goal of economic, social and environmental sustainability depends primarily on continued commitments by governments to provide and support a good governance framework for the sector," the report added.