I can see taking this kinda personal ...
Pits bulls have a weird sense of fun things to do all day ...
So do some Indians ...
Thursday, April 27, 2017: Yikes. It’s tough to be wheel-less for even one day. I desperately needed my 2011 Silverado brakes to get a grip on life again. They had become more and more annoyed with doing little things like stopping. Barlow is giving them an attitude adjustment, though it took overnight to get them back on the straight and narrow. Cost a pretty penny. I can’t catch a brake … or I would have fixed them myself. I’m hopefully good to go for a couple 10 spots, i.e 10,000 miles.
I’ll take this moment of truck missing to say my last two GMC/Chevy trucks have treated my amazingly well, considering what I do to them … beach and outback. I longingly look at the series of 2017 “Special Editions” models but I’d be terrified to take them to typical task, considering they can run over $50,000. I kid you not. Price them out sometime. I do it through one of those "Build Your Own" calculators, where you add on all the goodies you want.
Fishing,wise, things have gone kinda quiet on the communique front. I have one lone email asking about white perch spots. Since it was a lone angler, I clued him in on a lagoon hole near a Stafford community center, but I’ve said more than I should.
The off/on bluefishing should be turning on, one-good, in the next few days. South winds will make life easy for hording anglers atop the New South Jetty. The 50s ocean temps are conducive to spring blues, though it now seems the seas might be warming a tad too fast. Cooler air next week might halt that unwanted water-temp warm up.
Winds could remain a bit brisk, not great for boat anglers. So, what else is new? Also, pop-up fog has already been a problem – and could be again, likely for many weeks to come. When on the water, keep an eye open for often easily-seen fog banks moving in. Also, keep radios open, to get word from other vessels running into zero visibility.
Below: An outtake from my weekly writings.
Let’s see, in just the past few weeks, I’ve exposed how dogfish and ticks are harboring inner ingredients that might soon be rescuing all of humanity from maladies and madness. This week, I’m thematically compelled to offer what might be the strangest emerging curative this side of Calcutta.
Researchers at Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, and Rajiv Gandhi Center in Poojapura, India, are homing in on utterly unique peptides found in the slime of a rare Indian frog. These goo-based peptides are demonstrating an uncanny ability to defeat influenza, arguably the most dangerous disease on the planet.
Early returns show the good goo of this woodlands frog seems to “blow up” any number of bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Yes, “blow up.”
“This peptide kills the viruses. It kind of blows them up,” Joshy Jacob of Emory University, who led a study team, told NBC News.
And we’ve all known more than a few flu viruses we would gladly have blown back to the Stone Age.
As to what damage those slime-on-virus detonations might do inside of us, not to worry. The inner battle poses absolutely no danger to healthy tissue. “There’s no collateral damage,” is how Jacob words it.
High on the list of influenzas being targeted for frog-slime therapy is the dreaded H1N1 human flu virus. One of the Indian frog’s wonder peptides, known as urumin, specifically seeks and destroys H1N1 flu viruses, per a study just published in the journal Immunity.
The frog of the hour is best known only as Hydrophylax bahuvistara, common in only uncommon regions of India, i.e. it’s really rare.
Here's one now.
Among scientists, the species goes by the cuddly nickname of H. bahuvistara – which displays the desperate need to teach scientists better nicknaming skills.
H. bahuvistara is so new that nobody has yet to give it a cute little street name – perhaps, Mann’s slimy flu-killer frog. Hey, if nobody is going to step up and name it. Imagine the potential for residuals when it becomes world famous.
For any lovers of anurans (frogs, toads), H. bahuvistara is a type of fungoid frog. Yes, you can use that term even when there’s a bunch of them sitting nearby. It simply means they reside on forest floors, which, in India, means they tend to hang among sundry fungi. In fact, it is suggested that their magic peptides might be the result of developing evolutionary immunities to fight any nastier nearby fungi.
On looks alone, H. bahuvistara resembles our local wood frogs. However, H. bahuvistara’s divine anti-bug slime sets them apart – though, who’s to say how a cold might respond to a sufferer sucking wood frogs, like lozenges. Just wonderin’ – not tryin’.
Below: NJ wood frog.
In case this discovery seems worlds away, it is suggested there could soon be worldwide cold and flu treatments rich in Mann’s slimy flu-killer frog peptides.
PS: I’ve seen the slime of poison frogs in South America down a tree-high monkey, instantly – helped along by a blowgun dart shot by a native down below, who runs into the bush to grab the downed monkey only to be jabbed by some curare-armed plants, rendering him too dazed to walk, and falls easy prey to an 18-wheeler-length anaconda, which is readying to swallow the native when it’s put upon by a sports-sedan-sized jaguar, crazed on jungle-grade catnip – just in case you have any dreamy notions about leaving everything behind by moving into the jungles of South America, just like I did before researching poisonous frogs.
Below: With bright colors being a warning sign in nature, this deadly dart frog doesn't leave any visual doubt that it's not to be toyed with or taste-tested. Once refined, the toxins in its skin can kill ten humans.
9th Legislative District Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf has been named to the New Jersey State Beach Erosion Commission by the Speaker of the New Jersey General Assembly.
Asm. Brian E. Rumpf has been named to the New Jersey State Beach Erosion Commission. (FEMA)
“As a representative of a legislative district that experienced widespread damage by Superstorm Sandy, I feel serving on the State Beach Erosion Commission will enable me to better represent the interests of my constituents for whom this is a significant issue.
“When assessing the devastation caused by Superstorm Sandy, it was unmistakable that those municipalities where beach replenishment projects were more recently completed were more resilient against the Superstorm than those municipalities in need of beach replenishment. Effectively, this is a testament to the overall success of the state’s beach replenishment program.
“It’s important to note that beach replenishment projects are not only essential to public safety and the protection of property. Funding for these projects is also a sound investment in one of the most critical areas of the state economy, as the Jersey shore remains a top tourist destination for this region of the country.”
In the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, Assemblyman Rumpf, along with his 9th District colleagues Senator Christopher J. Connors and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove, wholeheartedly supported Governor Christie’s 2013 Executive Order that allowed the state to move forward with dune construction projects to protect New Jersey’s coastal communities.
More than five years before Sandy hit the Jersey Coast with destructive force, members of the 9th District delegation were prime sponsors of the legislation, signed into law, that established the Coastal New Jersey Evacuation Task Force. Assemblyman Rumpf served as Vice-Chairman of the Task Force, which the delegation used as a forum to advocate for additional transportation funding to the area following the destruction and chaos which ensued after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita devastated the Gulf Coast.
I just can't help myself - the gnashing teeth, big yellow eyes, battle scars along the body! Nothing like dragging home a fresh, spring bluefish and leaving behind a fresh crime scene to have folks wondering until the next rainy day!
Phaedra Laird <email@example.com>
43-FOOT DEAD WHALE WASHES UP ON TOMS RIVER BEACH
Officials say Cause of Death Unknown
Toms River, New Jersey (April 27, 2017) – Staff from the Brigantine-based Marine Mammal Stranding Center responded to Toms River Wednesday, after a decomposing 43 foot whale washed ashore. The whale, weighing between 40-50 tons is believed to be a Sei whale, and had been dead for some time. It was first reported several days ago by a cruise ship 13 miles out at sea off of the coast of New York. Officials don’t know how long the whale has been dead, but say it was very decomposed and had been scavenged by sharks. Bob Schoelkopf, Founding Director of the MMSC, said his staff had to work with limited resources on a narrow stretch of beach with very little time due to the incoming tide so a limited necropsy was performed. Because of that, the cause of death remains unknown. MMSC staff worked to quickly section up the whale so it could be removed from the beach and taken offsite for burial.
NOAA declares deaths of humpback whales along East Coast an unusual mortality event
NOAA Fisheries is declaring the recent deaths of 41 humpback whales from 2016 through present from Maine to North Carolina to be an unusual mortality event, triggering a focused, expert investigation into the cause.
Join our media teleconference tomorrow to hear more details and ask questions of our whale experts. NOAA representatives will provide the latest information on the deaths of the whales and talk about next steps.
Study Finds Recovering Humpback Whale Populations Still at Risk from Ship Strikes
SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Christian Science Monitor] by Patrick Reilly - April 27, 2017
Decades after most countries retired their harpoons, whales still face threats from fishermen, ships, and coastal pollution. But one species that seemed to have overcome these challenges was Megaptera novaeangliae, better known as the humpback whale.
Heavily hunted by the early 20th century, an international whaling moratorium and protection under the US Endangered Species Act (ESA) gave humpbacks the breathing space they needed to recover.
From 1986 to 2008, the whales’ numbers rose to 60,000 worldwide, and their status on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s “Red List” improved from “Endangered” to “Least Concern.” By last September, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced that nine of the 14 distinct humpback populations no longer warranted ESA protection. Last year, one was even spotted in the Hudson River.
But a study published Tuesday in the journal Marine Mammal Science puts an asterisk on this progress. Close to shore, ship collisions threaten several species of whales, and these strikes may be greatly underreported for one humpback population in the Gulf of Maine.
“There are a lot of whales getting hit by small vessels, and there may very well need to be some management actions around high-density whale areas,” Scott Kraus, chief scientist for marine mammals at the New England Aquarium, told CBS.
Ship strikes can either kill whales outright or leave them with debilitating scars. In US waters, the federal government advises mariners that “any whale accidentally struck ... should be reported immediately to the Coast Guard.”
Humpbacks, which summer in the waters off New England, weren’t figuring prominently in these reports. In their report, the researchers noted that “between 2004 and 2013, NOAA's Northeast Region's Office of Law Enforcement had only received one report of a vessel strike (initially reported as harassment) involving a humpback whale.”
But rather than rely on captains’ reports, the researchers instead focused on the telltale scars that propellers and ship hulls leave on whales that survive a strike, compiling more than 210,000 photos of 624 individual whales sighted in the Gulf of Maine’s Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary between 2004 and 2013. Tracing individuals’ gashes, they concluded that “at least 14.7 percent of southern Gulf of Maine humpback whales showed evidence of at least one injury consistent with a vessel strike.”
In a sobering turn for the humpback’s recovery, this finding likely means that whale strikes have been underreported. Given the wide variety of vessels – fishing trawlers, yachts, commercial whale-watching boats – that ply these waters, the study’s authors recommend further research to determine which vessel classes are the worst offenders.
More data, in turn, could help curb the number of strikes. In 2014, The Christian Science Monitor’s Noelle Swan reported that “new research suggests that small adjustments to shipping lanes approaching San Francisco and Los Angeles could vastly improve the long-term survival” for the blue whale.
Closer to the humpback’s New England summer home, in 2008 the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) aimed to protect the North Atlantic right whale by requiring all vessels 65 feet or longer to reduce speed in designated “seasonal management areas.” The following years saw no right whale strikes in the area, a result that, according to biologists, suggests that “the rule has been effective at reducing right whale deaths.”
Those measures haven’t been much help to the humpbacks, but Alex Hill, the study’s lead author and a scientist with Whale and Dolphin Conservation, sees a similar impact for her research. “Long term studies can help us figure out if our outreach programs to boaters are effective,” she told CBS, “what kind of management actions are needed and help to assess the health of the population.”
Beyer & LoBiondo Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Prevent Seismic Airgun Testing, Protect Marine Life
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressmen Don Beyer (VA-08) and Frank LoBiondo (NJ-02) today announced that they have introduced legislation to halt permits for seismic airgun blasting on the Atlantic seaboard. Petroleum companies use seismic blasting in their surveying process, but the practice has significant, adverse effects on marine species. The Atlantic Seismic Airgun Protection Act would halt the practice.
“The seismic pulses from airgun blasts threaten the aquatic species many coastal communities depend on,” said Rep. Don Beyer. “Marine life and ocean biodiversity are essential not only to coastal environments, but to local and regional tourism, recreation, and fishing industries.”
Seismic airgun pulses are loud, repetitive, explosive sounds used to identify oil and gas reservoirs deep in the ocean floor. Sound travels so efficiently under water that seismic blasts can cause hearing damage, stress, and other harm to numerous aquatic species, including the critically endangered North Atlantic right whale.
“The ecological damage and negative economic impact caused by seismic testing is clear, which is why there is near-unanimous opposition from local concerned residents, commercial and recreational fishermen, and environmentalists along the Jersey Shore. This bipartisan legislation reaffirms my strong opposition to seismic airgun testing in waters off South Jersey,” said Rep. Frank LoBiondo.
Offshore petroleum extraction in the Atlantic was blocked until 2022 following an Obama-era decision by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), but that action is reportedly under review by the Trump Administration. President Obama denied all pending permits for seismic airgun blasting just before leaving office, and the Trump Administration is likely to reopen permitting.
“Oceana thanks Reps. Beyer and LoBiondo for their continued leadership to stop seismic airgun blasting in the Atlantic Ocean. Along the East Coast, nearly 1.4 million jobs and over $95 billion in GDP rely on healthy ocean ecosystems, mainly through fishing, tourism and recreation. Offshore oil and gas exploration, and the drilling and spilling that follows, puts coastal communities and economies at risk,” said Nancy Pyne, climate and energy campaign director at Oceana.
“Regardless of who is in the White House, coastal communities remain united in their opposition to offshore drilling activities. As of today, more than 120 municipalities, over 1,200 elected officials, and an alliance representing over 35,000 businesses and 500,000 fishing families have publicly opposed offshore drilling and/or seismic airgun blasting off the East Coast. On the eve of the Peoples Climate March, as the specter of the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster looms large, it is more important than ever to make sure that these voices are heard in Washington. Instead of pursuing seismic airgun blasting off our coasts, and expanding our dependence on dirty and dangerous offshore drilling, we should rapidly develop clean energy solutions like offshore wind.”
Text of the bill may be found here.
On Tinder, Swipe Right to Save This Endangered Rhino
Sudan is the last male northern white rhinoceros in the world.
Credit: Ian Aitken
He's big, smelly and a little past his prime, but should you happen to see a northern white rhinoceros named Sudan pop up on your Tinder, you might want to swipe right anyway.
Sudan is the last male of the northern white rhinoceros subspecies (Ceratotherium simum simum). He's not on Tinder to find love — there are only two female northern white rhinoceroses left, and both live with Sudan at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya. One, Najin, is too old to breed. The other, Fatu, has a uterine condition that renders her infertile.
Instead, Sudan's Tinder debut is designed to garner donations for rhino-assisted reproduction. Swiping right will take users to a donation page with the goal of funding rhino in-vitro fertilization to save the northern white subspecies. [A Crash of Rhinos: See All 5 Species]
Saving the northern white
The northern white rhino has been pushed to near-extinction by habitat loss and poaching. Rhino horn is used as a status symbol and in traditional Chinese medicine, despite it being mostly keratin, the same substance that makes up human hair and fingernails.
The last northern white rhinos seen in the wild were a group of four that lived in the Democratic Republic of the Congo's Garamba National Park. They haven't been spotted since 2007 and are presumed dead. Political instability and war across the northern white's former territory have contributed to the difficulty of protecting these rare rhinos. Meanwhile, the few northern whites in captivity are aging and beginning to die off. In 2015, the Dvůr Králové Zoo in the Czech Republic lost Nabiré, a 31-year-old female, to a ruptured cyst. Just a few months later, the San Diego Zoo had to euthanize Nola, its 41-year-old female, due to a bacterial infection that resisted all treatment.
Sudan is 43 years old, and conservationists and scientists are racing to help him breed before it's too late. Rhinoceros IVF currently does not exist, so scientists are trying to tweak horse IVF to make the process work; horses and rhinoceroses are related, so they may have similarities in their hormones and uterine environments. Zookeepers and veterinarians harvested sperm and eggs from the surviving northern white rhinoceroses, and have already banked tissues from those that have died. At the San Diego Zoo, researchers are even testing methods to turn regular body cells into stem cells, which they then hope to coax into becoming sperm and egg cells.
"We could have a source of eggs that we could actually produce in the lab," Barbara Durrant, director of reproductive physiology at the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research, told Live Science in 2015.
Funding the rescue
All these efforts cost money, so Ol Pejeta has partnered with Tinder and the communications agency Ogilvy & Mather for the dating-app effort. The goal is to raise $9 million to go toward assisted technology research in rhinoceroses. Though the two remaining northern white rhinoceros females are not healthy enough to carry pregnancies, researchers hope they can harvest their eggs, fertilize them and implant them in southern white rhinoceroses (Ceratotherium simum cottoni), a closely related subspecies.
"Financial support remains the biggest challenge to this project. At 43 years, Sudan does not have much longer to live," Steven Seet, a spokesman for Leibniz-IZW, part of the research consortium, said in a statement. "To win this run against time it is very crucial to find major funds as quickly as possible."
During this process, Ol Pejeta must also pay for round-the-clock armed guards to protect Sudan, Najin and Fatu from poachers. Organized criminal gangs have become increasingly brazen in the hunt for rhino horn. In February, armed men stormed a rhinoceros orphanage in South Africa and killed two baby rhinos while holding the staff hostage. In March, poachers broke into a zoo in France and killed a southern white rhinoceros in its enclosure.
Original article on Live Science.
DEP SECURES ARMY CORPS PERMITS TO BUILD NEW ARTIFICIAL REEFS SITES TO BE DEVELOPED OFF OCEAN COUNTY'S MANASQUAN INLET AND IN DELAWARE BAY (17/P36) TRENTON -
The Department of Environmental Protection's artificial reef program has secured a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permit to proceed with construction of two new reefs for recreational fishing, Commissioner Bob Martin announced today. A reef to be built off Ocean County's Manasquan Inlet is part of a compromise the Christie Administration reached between recreational anglers and commercial fishermen over reef access that resulted in restored federal funding for the program. A second, previously planned reef to be developed in Delaware Bay will expand fishing opportunities in that region. "We are very excited to move forward with this expansion of the state's network of artificial reefs, which create important habitat for many types of marine life," Commissioner Martin said. "By enhancing recreational fishing and diving opportunities, these reefs help boost the state's tourism economy. We are particularly pleased with the opportunity to develop Delaware Bay's first reef site, which will help bolster tourism in that region." Recreational fishing generates $1.5 billion in economic benefits in New Jersey each year, and directly employs some 20,000 people. Artificial reefs are constructed from a variety of materials, such as rocks, concrete, steel, old ships and barges. These materials provide surfaces for a wide diversity of marine organisms to grow, ultimately providing food and habitat for many species of fish and shellfish. The DEP's Division of Fish and Wildlife resumed deployments of old vessels and other materials last year following a decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to restore funding for the program. This decision was the result of a compromise the DEP reached that allows commercial interests to have continued access to portions of two reefs in state waters and calls for the construction of a new reef for recreational fishing in state waters. State waters extend three miles from the shoreline. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service had suspended the funding due to concerns that commercial fishing was intruding on and hampering recreational fishing on artificial reefs, which are funded by excise taxes on recreational fishing gear and boat fuel. The Army Corps permit allows the DEP's Division of Fish and Wildlife to develop the two new reefs over the next 10 years as materials suitable for deployment become available. The Manasquan Inlet Reef site is located 1.7 nautical miles southeast of the inlet, which is just north of Ocean County's Point Pleasant Beach. When fully developed, it will occupy nearly one square mile of sea floor in water from 67 feet to 74 feet deep. The Delaware Bay Reef site is located 9.2 nautical miles southwest of the mouth of Cumberland County's Maurice River and will occupy a little more than a square mile of bay floor, at depths ranging from 23 feet to 35 feet. The Army Corps permit also reauthorized continued operation and development of 15 artificial reef sites - 13 in federal waters and two in state waters. DEP studies have shown that these materials are colonized quickly with organisms such as algae, barnacles, mussels, sea stars, blue crabs, and sea fans that attract smaller fish which, in turn, attract black sea bass, tautog, summer flounder, scup, lobster and other sought-after species. For more information on New Jersey's Artificial Reef Program, visit: http://www.nj.gov/dep/fgw/artreef.h
Laying out artwork sketches and design ideas for Capt Skip Smith
's Scrub Island Blue Marlin Tournament. This is where it all starts.