Additionally, there will be $50 and $100 port Calcuttas and $50 and $100 Overall Calcuttas. The awards ceremony will be held at 7:00 PM on August 10th at the Clarion Motel in Toms River. Rooms will be available at a discounted rate for tournament participants provided that reservations are made in advance. There will be free cheeseburgers, hot dogs, mozzarella sticks, soda, coffee and tea at the ceremony. There will also be plenty of door prizes at the ceremony and a huge 50/ 50. To top everything off there will be a Grand Prize Drawing for a Starcraft boat, Yamaha engine and a Yacht Club Trailer.
The early entry fee is $130 per boat (up to 6 anglers) if paid by 7/24. After 7/24 the fee is $160. For complete details and/or to register online visit www.jcaa.org or call the JCAA office at 732-506-6975. Details will also be available on our Facebook page where tournament results will be posted as soon as possible after the conclusion of the tournament.
Here's a bit of my weekly at ...
SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Washington Post] by Sarah Kaplan - July 6, 2017
KITTS HUMMOCK, Del. - All along the shoreline, for as far as you can see, slick shells of horseshoe crabs glisten in the fading daylight. Listen closely, and you can hear their subtle clacking and the whisper of water over their carapaces.
It’s horseshoe crab spawning season in Delaware Bay. Every May and June, on nights when the moon is new and the tide is high, they crawl onto the beach to mate and bury their eggs.
The ritual goes back 445 million years. Horseshoe crabs are living fossils that have survived four mass extinctions. They are bizarre creatures with 10 eyes that offer insights into how vision evolved. And their blood has saved countless human lives - including yours.
But these creatures, nature’s consummate survivors, are in peril. And to protect them, it’s urgent that biologists understand their life cycles and learn how many there are. That’s why researchers are out in force this night, working quickly to take a census of the crabs before they disappear beneath the waves.
Elle Gilchrist reaches into a pile of crabs. Each is glossy green-brown and shaped like a shallow combat helmet with a six-inch spine sticking out the back. Gilchrist, a 20-year-old intern with the Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve, who sports a long blond ponytail, galoshes and silver horseshoe-crab-shaped earrings, expertly flips a crab over to reveal 10 segmented legs and a sheaf of sturdy gills. The males’ limbs end in pincers, which they use to grab onto prospective mates. The insides of the females’ carapaces are lined with thousands of tiny pale green eggs - the reason for tonight’s festivities.
Gilchrist starts to tally the horseshoes in her plot. “One, two, three, four, five males,” she calls to a volunteer taking notes. Then she thrusts her hand among the mass of shells and feels for the huge, smooth carapace of the lady they’re all trying to woo. “One female.” She grins.
Some people might be squeamish at the sight of hundreds of many-legged creatures congregating for what amounts to a giant arthropod orgy. But not Gilchrist. She describes the animals as “precious” and the mating ritual as “awe-inspiring.”
Horseshoe people are prone to gushing. Maggie Pletta, DNERR’s education coordinator, likes to shock volunteers by literally kissing a crab, pressing her face against the mouth hidden amid its many legs. Stew Michels, a scientist with Delaware’s Division of Fish and Wildlife, goes into raptures over the annual spawning: “I don’t know, man ... It’s just tremendous.”
Conservation ecologist John Tanacredi, director of the Center for Environmental Research and Coastal Oceans Monitoring at Molloy College in New York, is so enamored he wants the United Nations to create a new UNESCO designation for them: “World Heritage Species.”
“These animals walked below the legs of brontosaurus at some point in time,” Tanacredi says. “They really should be the paradigm for survival and sustainability.”
Horseshoes crabs are not actually crabs. They’re instead distantly related to spiders and scorpions (though they predate both).
They’ve developed some pretty savvy evolutionary strategies, like sex on the beach. When horseshoes first evolved, land animals didn’t exist yet, which meant no predators could get at eggs laid in the sand. At the end of spawning season, adult crabs could return to the water feeling relatively secure that their DNA would live on.
And so it has. Epochs came and went, oceans rose and fell, the continents converged and drifted apart again, and the horseshoe crabs endured. They outlasted their marine cousins the trilobites. They witnessed the rise and fall of the dinosaurs. They persevered through four mass extinctions, including one that wiped out 90 percent of all life on Earth.
“These guys are maybe, debatably, the best-adapted creatures in the world,” Gilchrist says. “The panda? Don’t know how the panda made it. But the horseshoe crab? I’m like, wow, that really has it figured out.”
First of all, there’s their blood. The stuff that runs in horseshoe crabs’ veins is copper-based, and it gleams pale blue when exposed to oxygen. (Iron makes humans’ blood look red.) But the true marvel of horseshoe blood lies with specialized immune cells called amebocytes, which clump up and form a gel on contact with a bacterial invader.
An extract from these cells, limulus amebocyte lysate (LAL), has been used to test for contamination in every vaccine, surgical tool and medical device that’s been inside a human body in the past 47 years, saving untold numbers from dying of infections like pneumonia and E. coli. No other animal’s blood has such powerful antimicrobial properties, and scientists still aren’t able to reproduce it in a lab.
A vampiric biomedical industry has sprung up to harvest horseshoe blood. Crabbers catch the animals and send them to labs, where about 30 percent of their blood is drawn. The amebocytes are then turned into LAL - $50 million of it every year. And the crabs are dropped back into the ocean, preferably in the same water where they were found.
Horseshoe crabs’ eyes are a study in how one of life’s most complex organs evolved. There are 10 of them, including two that can detect ultraviolet light from the moon and stars. These specialized peepers let the crabs know when it’s the new and full moons - the times when the tide is highest and conditions are right for spawning. Other pairs help the crabs find mates and see through the sea floor murk. Even the spear-like tail has an eye, which keeps the brain synchronized with the daily cycles of light and darkness.
The list of weird and amazing attributes goes on: Their shells repel bacteria. The jagged spines along their sides help the crabs feel their way along the sea floor and contain nerve cells sensitive to minute changes in the water temperature and current. A horseshoe crab chews its food with its legs, then stuffs the food into its mouth, which is situated in the middle of its belly. Their shells are hinged; when a crab finds itself upside down, it will bend at the middle and use its tail to push against the sand and flip itself upright. They can live to be 25 - far longer than most dogs and cats. And their eggs are essential food for migrating shorebirds, including the endangered red knot, which flies north at the same time the horseshoes are spawning.
“All of this life, this productivity, is totally lined up and synchronized and linked together for as long as there is coastline,” Tanacredi says. “And it has been for millions of years.”
Yet, despite decades of study, horseshoes still hold mysteries. Scientists don’t quite know what the crabs get up to in the years between birth and their first spawning season, at age 10. They molt so often (18 times in their first decade of life) they’re difficult to tag and track, though scientists are beginning to study the creatures’ microbes as a possible marker of where they’ve been. They’re incredibly difficult to breed in captivity, perhaps in part because they seem to prefer to lay their eggs on sand from particular beaches. As for what they sense in the sand, no one knows. Scientists aren’t even sure how many horseshoe crabs live in the ocean - estimates range from 4 million to about 12 million for the lone Atlantic species. Three more species live in the Pacific.
These unanswered questions have become all the more urgent in recent years, Tanacredi says. In 2016, the International Union for Conservation of Nature changed the status of Limulus polyphemus from “lower risk” to “vulnerable.” The assessors noted that the overall Atlantic population had declined by at least 30 percent in the past 40 years.
The causes for this decline are complex, but humans undoubtedly have a major role. There’s the LAL industry, which bleeds a half a million horseshoes a year. The process doesn’t kill the crabs, but some horseshoes do die accidentally. And after being abducted, bled and transported hundreds of miles, many more are disoriented and debilitated. The final mortality rate could be as high as 29 percent, according to research published in 2015.
Still more crabs are harvested as bait for eel and conch fishing. Some, particularly in southeast Asia, are caught for human consumption. The shoreline habitat horseshoes depend on for spawning is being lost to development. And it’s not known how much of an effect global climate change, and the accompanying ocean acidification and rising sea levels, may on have on the crabs.
Horseshoe crabs withstood a devastating asteroid strike that killed most other creatures on this planet. But will they survive us?
That’s up to humans, Tanacredi says, especially ones like Gilchrist. When a storm rolls in about half an hour into the survey, Gilchrist simply pulls up the hood of her jacket and keeps trudging down the beach in the driving rain.
“Eleven males, two females,” she shouts over the din. The two volunteers who are working with her, a mother and daughter, look slightly daunted by the weather but neither complains. Gilchrist tries to keep them motivated: “Whoo, gotta love fieldwork!” she says with a laugh.
In a matter of days, the moon will change phase and the horseshoes will vanish beneath the waves for another year. With so few nights left for surveying, it’s worth staying out in such uncomfortable conditions, Gilchrist says. Every crab counts.
The Hard-Earned Richness of Wild-Caught Salmon
SEAFOODNEWS.COM [New York Times] by SAM SIFTON - July 6, 2017
There was a big fillet of king salmon on my cutting board, a shimmering, deep orange, magnificent in its heft. It resembled the farmed salmon you see at the supermarket all year long in the same way a perfect, just-picked peach from the orchard resembles the one in syrup you’re served on an airplane. It was glistening with hard-earned fat, a product of thousands of miles of migration and eating, from birth in the snow-fed headwaters of Alaskan rivers to a life lived in the sea beneath. Wild salmon takes its bright color and derives its rich flavor from the forage it hunts on its journey away from and back to home, not from the pellets a farmer selects for hue and feeds the fish as they swim lazily in a pen.
I pan-roasted mine in foaming butter backed up by the instant zip and high heat of jalapeño peppers. When I had consumed it in a rush of pleasure, I got to thinking about where such salmon come from, who catches them and how they make their way across the United States.
The questions led to phone calls and discussions about fish farming and sustainability — wild-caught Alaskan salmon, harvested each year from late spring until fall, is rated a Best Choice by the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program — and eventually to Tele Aadsen and her husband, Joel Brady-Power, commercial fishermen out of Bellingham, Wash. (Aadsen uses ‘‘fisherman’’ for herself as well.) Each summer the couple steam north to Sitka, Alaska, aboard their 43-foot boat, the Nerka, to troll for salmon along the southeast Alaskan coast. It takes four days if the tides are right, the weather holds, the engine does what it’s supposed to do. They have made the passage each June for as long as either can remember. Brady-Power’s parents built the Nerka in 1979 as a salmon troller and brought him aboard when he was an infant. He took over the boat 12 years ago, when he was 22. Aadsen, 39, is a child of Sitka whose parents were also commercial fishermen. She joined Brady-Power aboard the Nerka in 2006.
There are five varieties of wild salmon in Alaska: king, coho, sockeye, pink and chum. Aadsen and Brady-Power chase two of them. At the start of July, the couple take the Nerka from Sitka to the Fairweather Grounds, well offshore of Glacier Bay National Park, for the opening of the king-salmon season. When it closes, they turn to coho and fish until the fall, working under quotas that help ensure that enough salmon can get into their home rivers to spawn and keep the fishery alive. They work along 500 miles of coast. It is a big office.
The Nerka — Brady-Power’s parents named the boat after the scientific name of the sockeye they harvested, Oncorhynchus nerka — is a trolling operation. Aadsen and Brady-Power run four lines behind their boat, each with spreads of lures attached to them. If the fish are where they were yesterday, they’ll reel those lines in heavy and throbbing and carefully gaff the fish from the hooks. Aadsen thanks each animal as it comes aboard before she slices its gills to bleed, before she cleans it and places it in the hold below the Nerka’s deck.
And if the fish are not there? ‘‘It’s the eternal question,’’ Aadsen told me just before she pushed off from Bellingham in late June. ‘‘Stick and stay and make it pay? Or run because maybe it’s better somewhere else?’’ Either way, the days are long under the high summer sun.
To store their fish, Aadsen and Brady-Power must put their catch in a blast freezer that lowers the core temperature of the salmon to minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit. The fish freeze through before their cells begin to break down, remaining ‘‘fresh’’ for as long as they are deep-frozen, and allowing the Nerka to stay at sea for weeks at a time.
To protect the salmon from freezer burn, Aadsen must descend into the freezer itself, clad in face mask, beanie and jumpsuit, long johns, fleece pants, thermal shirt and sweatshirt beneath it, two layers of socks, military-grade Arctic boots and long, insulated rubber gloves. She dips each fish into a slurry of ice water to create a thick glaze across its iridescent skin. A king salmon could approach three feet in length and weigh more than 30 pounds. Aadsen is 5 foot 2. She dips each fish twice, her eyelashes frozen and sweat running down her back.
When they fill their hold, Aadsen and Brady-Power return to Sitka, where their frozen cargo is loaded into totes that are sent on barges to Seattle and driven to a cold-storage facility near Bellingham. Come fall, Aadsen will go to that warehouse every week to fill her Prius with salmon and sell it to restaurants or ship it to customers across the United States.
Wild salmon is not inexpensive, as farmed salmon can be. But it can be hard, after talking to Aadsen, checking in on her season, hearing about gear problems or storm fronts or a long run offshore only to find a promised school of fish has disappeared, not to think it should come at a premium, that it should be treated as well in the kitchen as Aadsen does on the Nerka. That hot butter splashes on the ruddy, lustrous flesh, searing it tight, amplifying a deep richness that is countered by the jalapeño, and it becomes something incredible: a taste of one of our last truly wild foods.
Dogfish — It’s What’s for Dinner on the Cape
SEAFOODNEWs.COM [The Boston Globe] By Meg Wilcox - July 5, 2017
“Dogfish, you want to try the dogfish?” queried my companion as we eyed the menu at Provincetown’s Far Land on the Beach. With just $20 between us, we were wavering between sharing one $19 lobster roll, or each ordering our own $9 dogfish sandwich.
Dogfish, a small shark, was on the Memorial Day menu courtesy of the Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen’s Alliance Pier to Plate Program, a first-of-its-kind initiative promoting local, sustainably caught but relatively unknown fish.
Hungry from biking, we opted for the dogfish sandwiches. We were not disappointed.
Dusted in cornmeal and deep-fried, the white fish patty was meaty and moist without strong flavor. It didn’t flake like cod, but it was piping hot, slightly crunchy, and served on a buttery brioche roll with lettuce, tomato, and a caper basil tartar sauce. It hit the spot.
With cod and haddock increasingly harder to find off Cape Cod, local fishermen are turning to more abundant species, and they’re teaming up with chefs eager to innovate savory, new dishes cooked with the “under-loved” fish to entice consumers to expand their palates.
“Pier to Plate is a way for the public to support local fishermen,” says Nancy Civetta, spokeswoman for the fishermen’s alliance. “The truth is, what used to be the bread and butter for Cape fishermen has changed. Now it’s dogfish and skate.”
Twenty-eight Cape Cod restaurants and one fish market (Hatches in Wellfleet) are participating in the program, which is funded by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration. Here’s a sampling of their early June offerings:
Terra Luna, North Truro
Longtime chef and owner Tony Pasquale serves dogfish appetizers ($9) such as escabeche, deconstructed sliders, and “shark bites,” dogfish cut into small bites and fried in beer batter, at his funky, intimate restaurant.
“Dogfish is oily, even though it’s a white fish,” Pasquale says. “You have to find a way to hide that oily flavor.” He masks it handily with marinades and hot sauce.
The deconstructed slider, for example, is a thin fish cake, ground with spices and nestled between dollops of fiery, hot aioli on a thin, pizza-shaped slice of sourdough. Local pea tendrils and thread-like red pepper strings add freshness to the dish, but it’s the spicy aioli and drizzled Portuguese hot sauce that truly make it sing.
Festive and colorful, the escabeche is dogfish fried and marinated in blood orange oil, diced red and yellow peppers, tomatoes, vinegar, lime, and radish. The citrus, lime flavoring is vibrant and sweet, though a slight bite of sardine comes at the end.
“It’s a tough fight,” Pasquale says of the aftertaste, “but . . . I’m not going to give up. I’m not going to be beaten by a tiny Cape shark.”
Pasquale also serves a sumptuous skate dish ($27) as a special, though he may add it to the regular menu. The skate is rubbed in black pepper and fennel, pan-fried in herb butter, and served with rice and peas, and sautéed watercress.
Mac’s Fish House, Provincetown
Located far from Commercial Street’s buzz, this large, moderately upscale eatery offers indoor and outdoor seating options, including an outdoor sushi bar.
Owner Mac Hay, who also owns several retail and wholesale fish markets, says he offers only skate through Pier to Plate.
“We have so much variety,” he says of his restaurant’s menu. “So much fish you can get, so someone’s not going to choose dogfish, and you have to do a certain volume to keep it fresh.”
Hay serves skate pan-fried in herb blanc ($22 lunch menu). The fillets arrive perched high above a bed of julienned seasonal vegetables, topped with passion fruit glaze, drizzled black garlic, and micro greens. It’s a beautiful, summery dish with tropical, sweet sour overtones that pair well with the asparagus, carrot, and mild-flavored skate.
Skate sells well, says Hay. “Friday night we sold out of it.”
Bluefins Sushi and Sake Bar, Chatham
Bluefins was recently opened by Andy Baler, a stalwart of the Cape fishing community. The modern, upscale, Asian-fusion restaurant is open year round and serves a variety of fare, despite its name. On a Sunday night in early June, the restaurant was hopping.
Bluefins serves miso-marinated dogfish ($14), a dish created by chef Terry Na, who previously worked in New York City restaurants. Seasoned with miso wine sauce, the dogfish is baked, then broiled, and served on a bed of cauliflower puree, with a side of mixed greens, orange slices, cherry tomatoes, and miso-citrus dressing.
Baler says he’ll sell about 10 plates a night. Na wanted to set the price higher, but Baler prevailed. “We want people to try it, and this way people can try it as an appetizer.”
Bluefins also offers a skate dish ($23), lightly breaded and pan-seared with shallot, roasted garlic, red pepper, and soy sauce. The fillets are nestled, like yin and yang, against a brilliant green edamame puree topped with sautéed fresh spinach, sesame seeds, sunflower sprouts, and parsley oil. This complex, exquisite dish is my favorite.
Far Land on the Beach, Provincetown
After the Fourth, the beach stand will add a Portuguese fish stew made with skate, clams, and muscles in spicy tomato broth, and dogfish tacos served with chipotle Napa slaw and lime crème salsa fresca.
“People want to support sustainably caught fish,” says chef Wes Martin, who formerly cooked for Martha Stewart. “Word is getting out. People are coming to the window, saying that they are eager to try it.”
“It’s a fascinating study, what people want and what we can provide them, and how they develop taste, says Hays. “Look at lobster. It’s a big bug that crawls on the bottom of the sea, and it’s a bottom feeder. And yet it’s a succulent treat, a delicacy that sells for $45 a pound.”
If lobster could win our hearts, dogfish and skate deserve a shot.
Photo: Brian Woodcock; Styling: Claire Spollen
Sustainable Choice. For an alternate preparation, Seaver recommends placing the caponata and fillets in a baking dish and baking low and slow at 275° for 20 minutes or until desired degree of doneness.
- 1 small fennel bulb with stalks
- 2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons slivered almonds
- 2 cups (1/4-inch) diced peeled butternut squash
- 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
- 1 cup diced celery
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 poblano chile, diced (about 3/4 cup)
- 3 cups chopped tomato
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
- 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt, divided
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 4 (6-ounce) dogfish fillets
- Cooking spray
- calories 429
- fat 15.7 g
- satfat 2.3 g
- monofat 8.9 g
- polyfat 3 g
- protein 35 g
- carbohydrate 40 g
- fiber 7 g
- cholesterol 136 mg
- iron 3 mg
- sodium 309 mg
- calcium 135 mg
How to Make It
Remove fronds from fennel bulb; finely chop fronds to measure 2 tablespoons. Remove stalks and tough outer leaves from fennel bulb; discard. Finely chop bulb to measure 3/4 cup. Reserve remaining bulb for another use.
Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add almonds; sauté 2 minutes or until toasted. Add chopped fennel bulb, squash, and next 4 ingredients (through poblano); cook 5 minutes. Add tomato, raisins, vinegar, and 1/8 teaspoon salt; cook 15 minutes or until squash is tender, stirring occasionally. Remove pan from heat; cool slightly. Stir in cilantro and lemon juice.
Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Sprinkle fillets with remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt. Add fillets to grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 3 minutes. Turn and grill 2 minutes or until desired degree of doneness. Place 1 cup squash mixture on each of 4 plates; top with fillets. Sprinkle with chopped fennel fronds.
MyRecipes is working with Let's Move!, the Partnership for a Healthier America, and USDA's MyPlate to give anyone looking for healthier options access to a trove of recipes that will help them create healthy, tasty plates. For more information about creating a healthy plate, visit www.choosemyplate.gov.