"Hey, buddy, the restrooms are for customers only! ... I hate my job."
When "Play dead!" goes entirely too far.
Of course, there is a time and place ...
Look, lady, do I have to spell it out for you? ...
Tuesday, June 13, 2017: Typical Tuesday workload. I know you’re tired of reading that same moan every week right about now, but it’s oddly therapeutic, as the day winds down to production time -- followed by a slow and leisurely drive over to the spans to do some after-dark angling -- or, of late, some magnet tossing.
Speaking of magnet fishing, in just one week I retrieved three very nice fishing pliers from the bay bottom. All were mucked up when first brought up. However, the better quality stainless often used for fishing pliers quickly shined through after a quick wire wheel clean and a cotton wheel buff. Tom W. was there when I bought up a real nice pier of multiuse pliers. And, no, I’m not a hoarder, Thomas. I’m an advanced collectionist.
We’re into a mixed-bag weather pattern, with loads of sun … when it’s not storming. That translates into some nice chunks of angling time. Winds right into the weekend should be light -- to moderate, at worst. Some wetness will factor in, though from here on out – through summer – there will be less and less moisture associated with unstable weather, unlike what we saw through a very rainy May and early June.
I took a 63-degree ocean water temp today. Then, I’m sitting here hearing of some nearby ocean temps clear into the 70s (NOAA radio)! WTF? I guess there can be some close-in eddies of warmer water but into the 70s at this early date? If any of you boat anglers working LBI waters register ocean temps in the 70s, please let me know. Thanx.
Reed's helping to raise awareness for terrapins in town!
Burglars be thinkin' that even the Milkbone diversion trick might be out in this case ...
Must check out: https://exit63.wordpress.com/2017/06/11/on-the-record-piping-plover...
Maine Elver Fishermen Caught $12 Million Worth of Eels this Season
SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Bangor Daily News] by Bill Trotter - June 13, 2017
Maine elver fishermen netted more than $12 million in baby eels in the season that ended last week — the fourth-highest grossing year since 1994, officials said.
The season came to a close last week with 9,282 pounds of elvers caught in Maine, which is 334 pounds shy of the statewide catch limit, according to Maine Department of Marine Resources.
Maine, where more eels are caught than any other state, has a yearly statewide limit of 9,616 pounds on elver harvests, and by law the season ends either when that quota is reached or on June 7.
Maine’s 1,000 or so licensed elver fishermen on average earned just above $1,300 per pound this year, keeping the average price above $1,000 per pound for the fifth time in the past six years. The highest average price was in 2015, when fishermen earned more than $2,100 per pound but a cold spring resulted in fishermen catching only 5,200 pounds of elvers statewide.
The $12 million annual harvest value is the fourth-highest total for the fishery since 1994, according to DMR statistics. The highest-ever statewide harvest value was $40.3 million in 2012.
Maine’s elver fishery has been one of the state’s most valuable fisheries since 2011, when changes in global supply and demand made prices in Maine nearly quintuple, from $185 per pound to nearly $900 per pound. The baby eels, about 2,000 of which comprise a pound, are shipped live to East Asia, where they are raised in aquaculture ponds and later harvested for the region’s seafood market.
Elvers, herring and soft clams each made up about 2 percent of the state’s $721 million total worth of 2016 commercial marine species harvests. Lobster, by far the state’s biggest commercial fishery, accounted for $533 million of Maine’s marine landings last year.
Patrick Keliher, commissioner of DMR, said Monday in a prepared statement that a swipe card system that was enacted in 2014 to enable the state to closely monitor elver landings and transactions continues to bring stability to the fishery and to protect the resource. Soaring prices and catch levels earlier this decade, along with lax regulations at the time, resulted in high poaching levels and nearly resulted in interstate fishing regulators closing the lucrative fishery down.
“It has also resulted in the continued dramatic decline in violations associated with possession or fishing without a license,” Keliher said. “In 2013, the year before the system went into effect, there were 220 [violations]. This year, there were two. Clearly this system works to protect both the resource and economic opportunity for Maine.”
NOAA Cancels Proposed Limits on Marine Mammals and Sea Turtles Trapped in Fishing Nets
SEAFOODNEWS.COM [The Los Angeles Times] by Dan Weikel - June 13, 2017
The Trump administration announced Monday that it has canceled proposed limits on the number of endangered whales, dolphins and sea turtles that can be killed or injured by sword-fishing nets on the West Coast.
Although the restriction, proposed in 2015, was supported by both the fishing industry and environmental groups, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s fisheries division said studies show that the pending rule is not warranted because other protections have dramatically reduced the number of marine mammals and turtles trapped in long, drifting gill nets.
“The fishery was been under pressure for years to reduce its impact, and it has been very successful doing that,” said Michael Milstein, a NOAA fisheries spokesman. “The cap would have imposed a cost on the industry to solve a problem that has already been addressed.”
The decision brought immediate criticism from environmental groups that had joined the Pacific Fishery Management Council in an effort to further protect a variety of marine mammals and turtles.
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The list included endangered fin, humpback, and sperm whales; short-finned pilot whales and common bottlenose dolphins; as well as endangered leatherback sea turtles, loggerhead sea turtles, olive ridley sea turtles and green sea turtles.
“The Trump administration has declared war on whales, dolphins and turtles off the coast of California,” said Todd Steiner, director of the Turtle Island Restoration Network, which is based in Northern California. “This determination will only lead to more potential litigation and legislation involving this fishery. It’s not a good sign.”
Catherine Kilduff, a senior attorney for the environmental group Center for Biological Diversity, said the action is one of the first by the Trump administration to target protections for threatened species along the Pacific coast.
She noted that the president wants to dismantle other federal programs that protect endangered marine mammals.
The 14-member Pacific Fishery Management Council, which manages fisheries in California, Oregon and Washington, recommended that the federal government adopt the restrictions in 2015.
Under the proposal, if any two endangered whales or sea turtles are killed or seriously hurt within a two-year period, the gill net fishery would be closed for up to two years.
The fishery also would be shut down if any combination of four short-finned pilot whales and bottlenose dolphins were seriously injured or killed within a two-year period.
We’ve recognized that the fishery has done a lot to clean up its act.— Michael Milstein, National Oceanic and atmospheric Administration spokesman
After the fishery management council recommended the limits to the federal government, Milstein said, NOAA Fisheries studied the proposals and took public comment from people for and against the caps.
The NOAA analysis concluded that the costs of the protections far outweighed the benefits and that the fishing industry had implemented measures that greatly reduced the deaths and injury of protected marine mammals.
The precautions included better training for skippers of fishing boats, sound warnings or pingers attached to fishing nets and wider openings at the top of nets that gave whales, dolphins and turtles a better chance to escape.
NOAA statistics indicate that the deaths and injuries to protected whales declined from more than 50 in 1992 to no more than one or two a year by 2015. During the same period, the numbers for common dolphins steadily declined from almost 400 to only a few.
Meanwhile, the figures show that the deaths and injuries of endangered Pacific leatherback turtles dropped from 17 in 1993 to no more than one a year by 2015.
“We’ve recognized that the fishery has done a lot to clean up its act,” said Milstein, of NOAA.
He added that the Marine Mammals Protection Act and the Endangered Species Act still apply and that protection areas for loggerhead turtles and leatherbacks that are closed to gill-net fishing have been set up off the coasts of Oregon and California.
Kilduff said, however, that protections are still necessary because rare species, such as leatherback turtles, humpback whales and sperm whales, are still being killed and injured in gill nets.
There are so few examples of some species that if gill nets kill even one or two, the overall effect can be devastating, she said.
“Government scientists have said that West Coast fisheries can’t catch more than one leatherback every five years,” she said. “They estimate that four times that have caught just in the gill-net fishery alone.”
Steiner, of the Turtle Island group, argued that the deaths and injuries have dropped mainly because the gill-net fishing fleet in California has declined dramatically.
NOAA figures show that the number of vessels plunged from a high of 129 in 1994 to 20 in 2016.
“The numbers caught per set have not gone down,” Steiner said. “The California gill-net fishery kills more marine mammals than all other West Coast fisheries combined.”
Trump Administration Denies Protection for Endangered Species Killed by Gillnets
Rubber Algae Help Create Artificial Reef; Could Combat Ocean Acidification
SEAFOODNEWS.COM [e360.Yale.edu] June 13, 2017
A team of European researchers is testing whether tiny artificial algae can help protect coral reefs in the Mediterranean Sea that are threatened by ocean acidification due to climate change.
The small plastic structures are made of a non-toxic, highly elastic rubber, and are designed to mimic natural coralline algae. Like coral, coralline algae help form reef habitats for small invertebrates.
Coralline algae reefs play an important role in the case of ocean acidification, explained marine biologist and team member Federica Ragazzola at the U.K.’s University of Portsmouth. As waters become more acidic, coralline algae reefs made up of carbonate minerals will slowly dissolve, increasing the alkalinity of the seawater within the reef. By acting like a natural “anti-acid tablet,” the dissolving algae reefs protect the organisms living there from ocean acidification.
The researchers cemented 90 synthetic mini-reefs into place in May in the Gulf of La Spezia in northwest Italy. Already, they say they are seeing evidence of microorganisms beginning to colonize the artificial structures. Ultimately, the reefs would be made from biodegradable plastic so that they would gradually disappear, leaving natural coralline structures in place.
Addressing climate change in your own back yard
Much has been said about recent responses to the issue of climate change, so there’s no need to add to that conversation. However, coastal professionals and residents understand that, ultimately, sea level change and other consequences of a warming climate are not political realities, but scientific ones.
More important, they are personal realities… and doing something in response to climate change, finally, comes down to a personal response.
So what can you, as coastal dwellers and advocates, do to counter sea level rise?
You certainly have heard the usual responses – lessen your carbon footprint, waste less, etc. – but there are issues and concerns unique to the coast that can best be addressed by those who live and work along our shores.
- Support science, not emotion. Urge – demand, in fact – that your elected and appointed officials make decisions and plans based on facts rather than fears. Ask for the facts behind the feelings, be respectful of others’ opinions but concentrate on data, and urge that the community conversation be remain centered in reality, not rhetoric.
- Look at your community’ unique vulnerabilities, and develop a plan to deal with them in a timely manner. Then implement that plan, rather than letting it sit on a shelf. If your community has not prepared a vulnerability study, make sure it does.
- Look at your beach management practices for their responsiveness to altered sea level and other challenges and changes to coastal conditions. Also look for your community’s ability to respond to storm damage in a very timely manner… because, after a 100-year storm occurs your beach will be vulnerable to a lesser storm. Your coast needs a rapid-response plan to return to good enough health to withstand the next barrage.
- Be aware of subtle changes in your coast. Some of the signs to look for are the floods that are becoming more regular and persistent, the changes in flora and fauna that might be precursors to larger problems ahead, the altered habitat both next to and beneath the waters.
- Help your community develop a coastal resilience plan if one is not already in place. Help them update and refine it if the plan has already been done. And, finally, help them get it implemented.
- Support sound building standards that elevate and strengthen structures to withstand winds and waves – and that can enable those structures to operate using fewer dwindling resources.
- Review the zoning laws to make sure that they take into account building and/or rebuilding in vulnerable areas.
- In those areas where properties are most vulnerable, have a clear and objective discussion about options and timeframes. Be timely and clear-eyed in your assessment, and don’t take any option off the table without a thorough review. Think about the three Rs: Reinforce, rebuild, retreat.
- Look at what steps your community – and you and your businesses and your neighbors – are taking to lower greenhouse gas emissions and overall pollution sources impacting the coast and its waters (which are facing unprecedented challenges from all quarters). Use energy prudently (and from as green a source as you can get), and encourage reusing and repurposing rather than just rebuilding and replacing.
- Repeat after me: “Wide beaches, high dunes, elevated structures.” Then make sure your community is working toward that mantra if it’s not there already.
- Use every tool in your coastal toolbox to adapt to changing seas and coastal conditions – but use them wisely. Living shorelines must be able to move to be effective, hard structures must do no harm while they’re trying to stabilize a shoreline, engineering and science must take into account all users and all issues.
- Expand your community’s planning horizon beyond the typical 10-15 years, at least when it comes to the coast. What could that shoreline look like in 50 years? Where will mean high tide hit in 100 years? What will coastal structures and infrastructure have to do to be functional within that timeframe – and can they?
- Most of all, get involved and get educated. Climate and sea level change isn’t someone else’s problem – not when it’s happening right in your back yard (literally)!
That old phrase, “Think globally, act locally,” has never been more true. The impacts of climate change will be felt by each and every one of us – so that’s where the change in behaviors and beliefs need to come from if we’re going to lessen the scope and severity of that change to our lives and livelihoods.
Very few of us can have an impact on what happens in the halls of power here and around the globe. But we all can have a very real impact on what we do about it.