This takes some balls ... then not so much.
Let's see a cat do this ...
This kid and I can relate regarding skiing ...
Tuesday, April 10, 2018: As you’ve seen, I’ve given blogging a bit of a breather, knowing things will soon rapidly pick up … make that, hopefully pick up.
I’ve been watching the first of the replen sands hit Brant Beach, while reading – but not responding to – derisive comments about the Holgate beach fix. Admittedly, it was horribly eaten away by that series of nor’easters. It is coming back fairly well.
While I still freely report on replens, I’m done stumping for or against them To replen supporters, I fully agree that you’ve bought time for another incredible summer. I think of any and all summers as being incredible, going back to the 1950s. I was so motivated by summer that I spent a huge chunk of my life successfully seeking the endless summer.
As to critics of the beach fixes … knock yourselves out, both badmouthing the efforts and trying to stop them. I’ll gladly offer your perspective in The SandPaper -- and even in my blogs/columns. Just be willing to go on the record, by name, to keep things on the journalistic up-and-up.
As to the new Little Egg Inlet channel, I hear/read that some folks are already attacking it. I’m listening but really think it might be best to go through a boating season before critically assessing its merits or demerits.
I am a bit put off by some confusion and delay over marking the new channel. I see its location … on paper. However, markers would give a better real-time look at the actual deeper-water layout.
Combining the two above issues, I can’t see the just-dredged LEI channel material, placed on Holgate proper, making it all the way back to inlet all that quickly.
I have worked on sand transport experiments, which prove it would take serious time for large amounts of beach material to traverse over two miles, even with nor’easters egging on the sand.
On a technical note, beach erosion is as much an in-and-out motion as a north-to-south material transport. Oh, it migrates south to be sure but one need only monitor the sands adjacent to the Holgate refuge to prove it’s a slow-go.
Major sands from the Holgate replenishment have, to date, moved, at very most, a half mile south. Beyond that enhanced beach area, there is no replen sand of any great significance. Replen sands will move in … eventually. I’ll venture a guess that it could take ten years for any LEI dredged material to make it back to the inlet.
That said, the ongoing long-term erosion of the Holgate south end remains as acute as ever. The down-drift effect of that multi-decade erosion can be profoundly seen at Holgate's far south point, which is gaining massive amounts of migrating material. Again, none of which is dredged material.
The insidious Holgate Refuge erosion is due to the unbulkheaded side of Holgate migrating westward, as nature prescribes.
The Holgate Refuge area, if left unattended/unfortified is destined to break away from LBI – and disintegrate into small sand units, quickly becoming home to sedge growth. However, the farthest south point, now developing into one of LBI's widest points, will take on the look of a larger island, becoming the second showing of Tucker’s island. As such, it will suffer the same long-term erosion fate of Tucker’s, though that fate will likely be accelerated by climate change and such.
FISHING: Can two years make a tradition? Here’s hoping. I’m referring to the two adjacent springs past, when monster blues inexplicably attacked our shoreline. Hard to think of attacks as wonderful but every angler gets my drift.
Based on some of the lengths of blues taken last spring, they would be near record size when filled out, over summer.
Of course, as mysterious as the choppers’ new spring arrivals is their utter disappearance from our once-famed fall fishing times. We never see them filled out; nor does anyone. As I recently wrote, even the commercial guys are at a total (profit) loss as to where the spring blues disappear. No longer do they move slightly offshore, where they used to be caught at night, all summer long.
I’ll go broken record by remaining suspicious of overall sea warmings, as having unknown impacts on blues travels. At the same exact time, bluefish have been unpredictable going back forever. Mulling over old publications, I’ve seen where blues go so missing that their return has folks wondering what they are. I have a local write-up from the 1940s, as Island anglers went through just such a reintroduction to the species.
This world record bluefish was caught by James M. Hussey on Jan 30 1972 at Hatteras, NC. It weighed 31 pounds, 12 ounces.
Segment for this weeks SandPaper column ...
VIEW TO A KILL: This week, I got an angst-filled appeal from down Brigantine way, where naturalists are aghast over the state’s killing of the local red foxes. Here’s just a small look at what I was emailed.
“Our beloved Brigantine red fox has been mysteriously disappearing. Whats going on?
“Over the past few years, many have noticed a dramatic decrease in fox sightings in Brigantine. What gives? Are these foxes being killed, trapped or shot dead? Is the State of NJ involved? That answer is ‘all of the above.’
NJ DEP claims Brigantine fox kill is needed to protect endangered birds like the piping plover.”
Been there, killed that … so to speak.
LBI has experienced everything from fuming cyanide cannisters thrown into fox dens (south end) to randomly placed fox-seeking wire snares (north end) as ways to de-fox any plover nesting premises.
It’s killing times like these that I become complexly conflicted. Who wouldn’t shutter over the lethal ways and means employed by authorities targeting coastal foxes? As noted, such neutralizations are most often done in the good name of piping plover perpetuation. However, there’s a certain seemingly frivolous carte blanch-ness when it comes to controlling resident foxes.
Why the ferocity? I can’t be a card-carrying naturalist and not recognize that foxes are among the, say it, foxiest creatures. They’re cannily adept when it comes nabbing plover eggs and chicks. They’re no slouches when it comes to taking down full-grown plover, along with other assorted raræ aves, i.e. rare birds. When it comes to trapping foxes, they easily outsmart all but the deadliest man-methods. Did I mention toxic gases?
But are foxes the worst culprits on the dead-bird front?
I’ll now thematically piss-off feline-fascinated folks by daring to confidently suggest that the number of rare birds killed annually by cats, both feral and free-roaming domestics, is a thousand times greater than the number of birds killed by foxes. But pity the fool who tries to rein-in cats … or their owners. De-foxing is far easier than de-catting.
SIDEBAR: I’m perpetually told that carousing cats are simply playing out their one-time untamed-beast heritage. By hauling home massacred wildlife -- to “Oh, how cute” praises of owners – they’re somehow mirroring onetime jungle lives. Never mind they’re then being feed multi-dollar cans of epicurean cat food. Screw that “only acting natural” cat crap. Place Fifi back into the wilds of, say, an all-natural rainforest and there are butterflies that can rip her apart. Just sayin’.
That said, that’s me bending over, all “Hey, little guy,” should a random cat saunter over and nestle up to my leg … hopefully not as a prelude to a rabid chomp-down. Cats are man’s best non-friend.
Then, there I go, going all “Awwwww” upon seeing a gorgeous piping plover bopping around on the sand, sporting a tag on its itsy-bitsy widdle weg. Such a beatific bird. A must to be saved from extinction. Let me at those lousy foxes!
And, there I am again, this time absolutely tickled pink when red foxes sidled up to me at night while surf fishing. It was a natural honor to have foxes politely hit me up for a handout … and even a bit of companionship. I remember one male fox who would regularly stop by at night, dine a bit, then come nearly close enough to touch -- before curling up and take a little snoring siesta.
Along those companionship lines, I read in National Geographic that it might very well have been foxes, not wolves or coyotes, that first brought canines into the humanly-beloved realm -- and onward to becoming man’s best friends. That makes it doubly troubling to think about foxes being hideously taken down in the name of stinkin’ birdlife.
It’s when pondering complexly conflicted issues that I somehow manage to make things even more complex, i.e. we wipe out the habitat of plovers through build-out and then resort to brutally killing foxes, a creature that lived here long before we did, as if foxacide acts as some sort of repentance – and ecological repair work.
Spectacular opening day of trout season in NJ.
Trump Administration Proposes Sale for Wind Energy Off Massachusetts Coast
Proposed Sale Would Offer Nearly 390,000 Acres
Date: April 6, 2018
WASHINGTON – In support of the President's “America-First Offshore Energy Strategy,” U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke today announced the proposed lease sale for two additional areas offshore Massachusetts for commercial wind energy leasing, totaling nearly 390,000 acres.
“The Trump Administration supports an all-of-the-above energy policy and using every tool available to achieve American energy dominance. The proposed sale area has tremendous offshore wind energy potential and the responsible development of it continues to play a big role in the Administration’s America-First Offshore Energy Strategy,” said Secretary Zinke. “This area represents the Department’s willingness to listen to stakeholder feedback, including the fishing community, and make the right adjustments.”
A Proposed Sale Notice (PSN) for Commercial Leasing for Wind Power on the Outer Continental Shelf Offshore Massachusetts will be published in the Federal Register on April 11, 2018, and will include a 60-day public comment period.
This document provides detailed information concerning the area available for leasing, the proposed lease provisions and conditions, auction details (e.g., criteria for evaluating competing bids and award procedures) and lease execution. Comments received electronically or postmarked by the end of the public comment period will be made available to the public and considered before the publication of the Final Sale Notice, which will announce the time and date of the lease sale. For information on how to submit comments, visit https://www.boem.gov/Massachusetts/.
“The proposed sales that we are announcing today are the result of extensive work with our partners in the Commonwealth and with a broad community of engaged stakeholders, including fishing communities,” said Interior Counselor for Energy Policy, Vincent DeVito. “Together, we identified areas that can support a large-scale commercial wind project, while minimizing the impacts to fishing habitats, marine species, and other uses of the OCS.”
The PSN requests public comments on the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management's (BOEM) proposal to auction two lease areas offshore Massachusetts for potential commercial wind energy development. Lease OCS-A 0502 consists of 248,015 acres and Lease OCS-A 0503 consists of 140,554 acres.
In addition, the PSN requests the following from potential bidders: (1) affirmation of continued interest from any prospective bidders already qualified for commercial wind energy development offshore Massachusetts, and (2) submission of the required qualification materials from any prospective bidders that BOEM has not previously qualified for a Massachusetts lease sale.
“This Administration’s bold vision for our energy future is reflected in its commitment to a diverse energy portfolio,” said BOEM Acting Director Walter Cruickshank. “We have come a long way, and I look forward to working with all of our partners and stakeholders in achieving a balanced approach to offshore wind development.”
BOEM will host a public seminar to describe the auction format, explain the auction rules and demonstrate the auction process through meaningful examples. It will be followed by a public meeting on BOEM’s planning and leasing efforts regarding Massachusetts offshore wind energy activities. The time, venue, and related materials for the seminar and public meeting will be posted online at https://www.boem.gov/Massachusetts/.
Today's announcement reinforces the Administration’s commitment to an “all-of-the-above” energy portfolio that ensures an energy-secure future. Renewable energy, including offshore wind, is part of this strategy. To date, BOEM has awarded 13 commercial offshore wind leases with wind energy leases off every state from Massachusetts to North Carolina.
Hello. Please see below statement from Pepco Holdings President and CEO Dave Velazquez regarding Atlantic City Electric’s position on the New Jersey clean energy bill.
“Atlantic City Electric commends the actions by the New Jersey Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee to advance Senate Bill 2314 and the Assembly Appropriations Committee to advance Assembly Bill 3723, continuing the important steps to solidify New Jersey as a clean energy leader,” said Dave Velazquez, president and CEO of Pepco Holdings, which includes Atlantic City Electric. “This legislation, which is aligned with Governor Murphy’s vision of a clean energy economy, helps to advance energy efficiency and carbon-free sources of energy, which are essential to New Jersey’s clean and sustainable energy future. We encourage the Senate and Assembly to approve this important legislation and join us in providing a clean, safe, affordable and reliable energy future for our customers and the communities we serve.”
Frank Tedesco | Senior Communications Specialist
Learn Surf Fishing
With Jeff Dement
Fish Tagging Program Director
For the American Littoral Society
Saturday, April 21, 8 a.m. - 3 p.m.
meet at American Littoral Society HQ
18 Hartshorne Drive
$20 for members (family/individual)
$60 non-members (family/individual)
Join Jeff Dement, Tagging Program Director for the American Littoral Society, for a day of surf fishing and instruction on the beach. Jeff will provide hands-on instruction with casting, knot tying, lure/bait selection, and "reading" a beach. Then all participants will have an opportunity to use what they've learned.
All skill levels are welcomed. Rods, reels and tackle will be provided, but bring your own if you have it. Children under 18 are welcome with a supervising adult. Meet at 8 a.m. in Building 18 in the Ft. Hancock section of Gateway National Recreation Area's Sandy Hook Unit.
Coffee and doughnuts will be provided, but please bring your lunch. Space is limited. For information or to reserve a spot, contact Jeff at 732-291-0055 or
NJ DEP Admits to Shooting The Brigantine Red Fox
Our beloved Brigantine red fox has been mysteriously disappearing. Whats going on?
Over the past few years, many have noticed a dramatic decrease in fox sightings in Brigantine. What gives? Are these foxes being killed, trapped or shot dead? Is the State of NJ involved? That answer is ‘all of the above.’
NJ DEP claims Brigantine fox kill is needed to protect endangered birds like the piping plover.
Is the New Jersey DEP poisoning the Brigantine fox? No, says the DEP. According to NJ.com, they shoot them.
“Fox prey on birds and their eggs. They’re a threat to endangered species,” says the DEP. “But we can’t just relocate them – that would just move the problem somewhere else … We want humane control. So, the fox is trapped and euthanized by a gun.
According to the State of NJ, the Division of Fish and Wildlife contracts with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, to trap foxes and handle population control in Brigantine.
Reports and photographic evidence of poisoned Brigantine Foxes are popping up more often. Foxes rotting in snare traps, found among the Northend Brigantine dunes.
Trapping of fox does occur on federally protected land like the Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, north of Brigantine.
Foxes are also trapped on municipal beaches. DFW secures permission from the municipality, like Brigantine, in these cases. Legal trapping season in Brigantine runs from November through March 15.
Read more at NJ.com
May M.: By protecting shorebirds, they condone killing Brigantine foxes. That’s horrible. When all those birds hatch, they are flying around everywhere. What ever happened to survival of the fittest? Let nature take it’s course. Stop killing the Brigantine fox.
Residents and Brigantine beach lovers should keep an eye on things. See something? Say something.
Hot Pursuit of Toothfish Poacher Ends with Arrest in Indonesia
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 9, 2018
On the morning of April 6th, an Indonesian Navy ship intercepted the F/V STS-50, a stateless toothfish poaching vessel that escaped custody from Maputo Bay, Mozambique on March 17th. The arrest marks the end of an incredible three-week-long trans-Indian Ocean chase, where the coordinated efforts of Interpol’s Project Scale, Fish-i Africa, the Fusion Centers in Madagascar and Singapore, Sea Shepherd, the United Republic of Tanzania, and the Republic of Indonesia finally brought this notorious poacher to justice.
The F/V STS-50, a known Patagonian and Antarctic toothfish poacher, was detained in the Republic of Mozambique for presenting authorities with forged certificates of registration, fraudulently claiming to be flagged to the Republic of Togo. Inspectors discovered 600 gillnets on board, fishing gear prohibited by the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Living Marine Resources (CCAMLR).
Both black-listed by CCAMLR in 2016 and subject to an INTERPOL Purple Notice for illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, the F/V STS-50 is better known by its previous names ‘Ayda’, ‘Sea Breez 1’ and ‘Andrey Dolgov’.
After absconding from detention, Mozambique requested assistance from all Fish-i Africa Member Countries for help in apprehending the fugitive vessel. Fish-i Africa is a partnership of eight East African countries -- including Comoros, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles and Somalia -- that fosters information-sharing and regional cooperation to combat IUU fishing.
The Sea Shepherd vessel M/Y Ocean Warrior, currently in Tanzania patrolling against IUU fishing with law enforcement agents on board from the Deep Sea Fishing Authority, Tanzanian Navy and the Multi-Agency Task Team (MATT), was tasked by the MATT to intercept the F/V STS-50.
“It is commendable that the Tanzanian government took the responsibility to chase the F/V STS-50 in hot pursuit beyond its national jurisdiction, showing tremendous leadership in the regional fight against IUU fishing”, said Sea Shepherd Global Director of Campaigns Peter Hammarstedt.
For several days, the F/V STS-50 was pursued through the waters of the Seychelles, where unfortunately the Tanzanian Navy did not have the authority to board and inspect the fugitive vessel.
However, photos and other evidence gathered during the chase -- including the course and speed of the F/V STS-50 – were passed on to Indonesian authorities, adding to the intelligence that allowed them to successfully intercept and arrest the vessel.
A Shared History Chasing Down Notorious Poaching Vessels
From 2014-2016 Sea Shepherd led Operation Icefish, a campaign to shutdown the “Bandit Six”, the last six illegal toothfish poaching operators plundering the Antarctic, that culminated in the historic 110-day chase of the F/V Thunder by the Sea Shepherd ships M/Y Bob Barker and M/Y Sam Simon. The F/V Thunder was subsequently sunk by its captain in a bid to destroy evidence while another of the “Bandit Six”, the F/V Viking, was intercepted and sunk by the Indonesian Navy.
Operation Icefish led to government action that resulted in demise of the remainder of the “Bandit Six”, but in their wake the F/V STS-50 is believed to have commenced poaching operations in the Southern Ocean.
Sea Shepherd applauds the Indonesian government, the Indonesian Navy and the Indonesian Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries for being a world leader in fisheries enforcement. Under the leadership of the Honorable Susi Pudjiastuti, Minister, Indonesian authorities have seized and destroyed 363 illegal fishing vessels.
At a press conference in Jakarta, Minister Pudjiastuti reinforced that that “it is possible for the government of Indonesia to seize the F/V STS-50 to be utilized for the public good or to be demolished – as it did with the F/V Viking. The action decided upon this vessel is to be determined immediately”.
“The trans Indian Ocean chase and subsequent arrest of the F/V STS-50 demonstrates what is possible when governments, law enforcement and civil society work together to combat IUU fishing,” said Peter Hammarstedt. “Sea Shepherd is fully supportive of Indonesia’s no-nonsense approach to dealing with fish poachers and is greatly pleased that the F/V STS-50 is now in Indonesian custody. Sea Shepherd is also proud to have contributed to the chase through our partnership with the government of Tanzania, which allowed for Tanzanian authorities to gather intelligence from the M/Y Ocean Warrior that helped apprehend this notorious poacher.”
For more information about Operation Jodari: https://www.seashepherdglobal.org/our-campaigns/jodari-2/ ;
Eel Smuggling Ring Broken Up in Europe
SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Associated Press] By Aritz Parra - April 9, 2018
MADRID — Spanish and Portuguese authorities announced Friday that they have taken down a criminal network that has been making large profits by smuggling glass eels to Asia.
Authorities across the continent have been trying to tackle the smugglers, who take European glass eels to Asian countries, where they are raised into adults and their meat commands high prices for local delicacies.
The trading of the European eel has been restricted since 2009 under the rules of the CITES convention for the international trade of endangered wildlife. The European Union has banned all exports outside the bloc and regulated internal sales, although an underground black market in eels has thrived in recent years.
In the latest operation against the traffickers, four Chinese citizens, three Spaniards and three Moroccans were arrested in Spain in an operation coordinated by the European Union’s police body, Europol.
Spain’s Civil Guard said 1,014 pounds of glass eels were seized in southern Spain. Their market value, once the eels have grown into adults, was estimated at over 400 million euros, or $490 million. One kilogram of baby eels can yield 1.3 tons of adult eels, investigators say.
More than 100 tons of juvenile eels evade wildlife traffic controls every year in Europe, according to Andrew Kerr, chairman of the Sustainable Eel Group.
“That’s nearly one-fourth of the total European eel natural stock,” Kerr said Friday. “It’s the biggest wildlife crime action in Europe, and it’s hidden from everyone.”
Friday’s disclosure showed how the ring exported the baby eels bought in Spain through Portugal and Morocco and how the eels were concealed in suitcases or in cargo containers and sent to Hong Kong, mainland China, South Korea and other Asian countries.
Police also seized 364 suitcases possibly used to smuggle the eels, Civil Guard Col. Jesus Galvez told reporters Friday in Madrid.
Because eels can’t be bred in captivity, the wriggling glass eels – or elvers – are usually fished and raised to maturity in aquaculture companies in Asia, where pollution, climate change and poaching has diminished stocks of the Japonica Anguilla species.
Since the glass eel fishing season began at the end of the fall, Portugal has arrested 28 people and has seized 1 ton of glass eels in 18 raids.
Hugo Alexandre Matos, director of the Portuguese authority of food security, or ASAE, said several investigations remained opened.
Meanwhile, Spain has arrested or identified as suspects 89 people since November, snatching more than 2.3 tons of baby eels. The seized eels have been reintroduced to the wild, Galvez said.
The operations come as environmental crimes are on the rise globally and in Europe, said Europol’s chief for organized crime, Jari Liukku, who compared the benefits from illicit wildlife trading to those of drug, arms or human trafficking.
“Punishments are low and the conviction rate for environmental crimes is still low,” he said.
OPINION: If We Want to Keep Eating Fish We Need to Farm it Responsibly
SEAFOODNEWS.com [Vancouver Sun] By Jeremy Dunn - April 9, 2018
The B.C. Salmon Farmers Association recently held community meetings in Campbell River and Nanaimo - two centres of our industry in this province. Over and over again we heard passion for the role B.C.'s salmon farms play in protecting wild salmon and helping feed a hungry world, but also frustration with the misinformation about our industry being perpetrated by a small, but loud, group of opponents.
Here is one quote from a meeting that stood out: "I come from a long line of educated and intelligent women. I care deeply for the environment and all wildlife. If I thought for one second that fish-farming was having a negative effect on the environment I would walk away from this industry."
I'd like to address that frustration with some facts.
More than half the fish humans eat globally is farmed. In B.C., an average of 70 per cent of the salmon harvested each year comes from farms.
Imagine for a moment what would happen to wild fish if our farms disappeared. We'd either have to stop eating fish or would quickly wipe out B.C.'s already-pressured wild-salmon runs.
Wild fish stocks can't meet human demand.
If we want to eat fish we need to farm it.
There is no question B.C.'s salmon farms have an environmental impact and, frankly, that the issues raised by our critics need to be addressed. The reality is all farming impacts the environment, whether on land or water.
The trick is to farm responsibly, with environmental stewardship and protection of wild animals central to every decision. That is precisely what B.C.'s salmon farmers do. It's our passion.
Said one participant in our community meetings: "... I consider myself both a fishfarmer and an environmentalist."
Through ongoing research, consultation with coastal communities and First Nations, and significant investment in new technologies and equipment we've got a lot better at our work since the first farming nets were put into B.C. waters 30 years ago.
All salmon farms in B.C. have been voluntarily certified by at least one audited, third-party, environmental-standards program, and abide by strict environmental rules.
In 2015, our industry association founded the Marine Environmental Research Program, committing $1.5 million through 2020 to independently oversee research into better understanding interactions between wild and farmraised salmon, environmental dynamics and fish health. All our members carefully locate our farms in order to minimize their interactions with wild salmon and environmental impacts.
We have invested millions of dollars to address the issues raised by critics, and thus protect the environment and wild fish.
Over that time, salmon farming in B.C. has become a diverse, multi-dimensional industry. While Atlantic salmon is our core product, one of our members, Creative Salmon, raises organic Chinook salmon on the west coast of Vancouver Island. They employ more than 50 local people, many of them First Nations. Another raises sablefish, one Coho, another steelhead.
We are equally passionate about our relationships with First Nations. In the past decade, every new salmon farm proposed in B.C. has been put forward with the support of local First Nations, secured through dialogue. Upwards of 20 per cent of the 6,600 jobs supported by B.C.'s salmon-farming industry are held by people of First Nations heritage. Our members have deals with 20 First Nations. Seventy-eight per cent of the salmon farmed in B.C. is done so in partnership with First Nations.
Numerous people from First Nations attended our community meetings. Said one: "I am a First Nations person from the Broughton Archipelago area, this area is my ancestral, traditional lands. The company contributes greatly to the towns of northern Vancouver Island, with employment, suppliers and trades people. I would be very disappointed to lose my job or be laid off due to any further restrictions imposed on the industry."
That pretty much sums it up.