jaymanntoday

Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Tuesday, May 08, 2018: Thanks to the couple/few folks who contacted me about a couple/few just-keeper stripers taken in the surf

A hostile mail deliverer gets his jollies: 

Incoming mail owns kid by the door

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This week's "What the hell did you expect, dude?" awards ...

 First-place goes to Coach Myers: 

Baseball nutshot

Second place goes to ... this guy.

Puppy bites guys nose

And, finally, third-place to ... numbnuts

Epic fence back flip nut shot

Tuesday, May 08, 2018: Thanks to the couple/few folks who contacted me about a couple/few just-keeper stripers taken in the surf, all on clams. The nighttime take of bayside bass is highly hot-or-miss, though the hotter hooking stints are just that … followed by absolutely no action.

Please take care around the bridges. I was told of a fall-in incident that ended just fine but not before the currents carried the faller-inner a goodly bit southward, proving bay waters can be tricky. As the adage goes, when you fall into the water you're no longer an angler but a swimmer. Big difference. 

project area map graphic

Image result for Causeway bridge long beach island Nj

I have yet to try fishing the top of the newly face-lifted Hochstrasser bridge – to see if that protruding concrete ledge gets in the way. Anyone?

Not that you want to hear it but some of the feedback from the bass burst in the Raritan area was almost unimaginable. One boat with two anglers had five fish over 40 pounds; two of those over 50. I was also shown a beach-caught bass over 50 pounds. As the fish crow flies, those waters are so close that our lack of stripers makes no sense.

Below: Beach fish via www.app.com. see https://www.app.com/story/sports/outdoors/fishing/hook-line-and-sin...;

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That said, this week and upcoming weekend will surely see bass in the suds and – it has to happen soon! – boat bassing from roughly Barnegat Inlet (hopefully) northward to Seaside. As of today (minor boat radio chatter) it remains quiet – as in dead quiet, even on the troll.

If I had to catch a striper today, I’d think in terms of waters on and around High Bar Harbor. This sun has to b warming up the flats, inviting bass out of the still very chilly inlet waters.

I’ll be the first to openly worry about the lack of big blues … so far. Let’s just say it’s the cold spring effect. However, states to our south are hardly knocking the choppers. Outer Banks anglers caught moderate amounts of small bluefish on a consistent basis when little else was available. While that seemingly doesn’t bode well for us, I recall that the past couple springs, when we were nailing wave after wave of big-as blues, the NC folks were bitching about having no big blues. Yes, I’m grabbing at straws, while noting that west bay folks are getting small blues using bait on assorted street ends. Those fish are skinny as all get-out, which used to be typical of spring-run blues coming in off the ocean – having either camped out in food-lacking deeper water for the winter or have swum for miles after long-distance trekking. No, there is still not overwhelming certainty about where blue go in the off season, though it seems they head all over the board, so to speak.

I'm betting many of you can get the gist of this abstract from the latest paper I'm reading on bluefish. It not only hints at the ongoing uncertainties about the species but offers a tantalizing bit of info on how the larger females might school together.  

"The Bluefish Pomatomus saltatrix is a highly migratory species that is composed of different stocks and populations along its nearly cosmopolitan distribution. The Bluefish is the only member of its genus and family, and high migration rates could prevent vicariant speciation across its wide geographical distribution. However, the extent of gene flow between distant populations is unknown. We employed two mitochondrial genes (cytochrome‐c oxidase subunit I and cytochrome b) and eight nuclear microsatellite loci to study population structure and infer dispersal of this important commercial and recreational fish across its Northern Hemisphere distribution. Higher gene flow estimates for nuclear loci (of biparental inheritance) than for mitochondrial loci (of maternal inheritance) suggested sex‐biased dispersal, which could be explained by greater female homing or fidelity to spawning sites and greater dispersal of males. Males could contribute more to transoceanic connectivity of Bluefish populations in the North Atlantic Ocean, thus shaping the observed pattern of spatial genetic structure of the Bluefish in its Northern Hemisphere distribution."

(You need to pay -- or be a member {I am} to read the whole paper at https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/00028487.2014.935480)

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The black drum are running small … but are at least they’re showing, a bit. Drumfish of a good-eating size, i.e. small (up to 10 pounds), are passing through the Little Egg Inlet vicinity, heading into the back bay, quickly. Clam chunks fished on a simple bottom rig with a trailing 6/0 to 8/0 beak hook – a setup not unlike a fluke rig – work for smaller early fish. More elaborate leaders, even egg-sinkers, are needed when the big gals arrive, able to go 100 pounds, all be that wishful thinking.

Image result for small black drumfish

Above: On this day over 40 years ago, on September 15, 1975, angler Gerald Townsend launched his twelve foot boat from Delaware Bay and took his wife Joan out for a relaxing afternoon of surf fishing. They went out to the point of Cape Henlopen State Park to catch bluefish but had no idea what was in store for them. Using only 25 lb Trilene monofilament, Gerald cast into deep water that lies just off the point. He was using cut mullet with a single hook bottom rig.

It was the first fish that took the bait. When he set the hook it just kept on going, peeling almost all the line off his conventional reel. For about 30 minutes he battled this mystery fish. He said at the time “having good equipment paid off using my trusty PENN Squidder 140 and Hatteras Heaver surf rod." He was able to single handedly beach the fish. In his account of the catch, he wasn’t sure at first what he had caught. “When a fish gets that big it just doesn’t look the same,” he said. He just knew it was the biggest fish he had ever caught from the surf.

When the fish was first weighed on an uncertified scale it weighed 114 pounds. The weighmaster at the tackle shop had enough insight to realize that Gerald’s fish just might be a world record of some kind. The funny thing was the fish was so big, he too wasn’t actually positive that it was black drum. The weighmaster called the Director of the Delaware Sportfishing Tournament, Frederick Bonner, who also qualified as a fisheries biologist. Bonner positively identified the fish as a black drum and rushed the fish to the Delaware Division of Weights and Measures in Dover for a certified weight. The fish’s weight was confirmed at 113 lb 1 oz. At the time, black drum were numerous in Delaware Bay but they usually were a spring run fish and few people fished for black drum in the fall. It was a real surprise for a fish of this magnitude to come in and exceed the prior record of 111 lb caught by G. Hopkins off Cape Charles, Virginia, USA on May 3, 1974.

#joinIGFA #fishIGFA Only In Delaware #TBT#ThrowbackThursday PENN Fishing Berkley Fishing

How about this more recent catch ...

(Gwen Frazier poses with the potential state- and world-record black drum she caught and released ... )

Image result for world record black drum fish

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While I’m always hesitant to mention white perch fishing, it’s happening. Just play nice with folks usually crowded into very small prime areas.  

Image result for white perch new jersey

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A bird-feeder rarity I came across in Little Egg ... though, the way he's looking at me, this blue grosbeak seems to think I'm the rarity. 

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Atlantic HMS

May 8, 2018

bluefin tuna

Atlantic Bluefin Tuna General Category Fishery:  NOAA Fisheries Adjusts Daily Retention Limit for Beginning of June-August 2018 Subquota Time Period to Three Fish

NOAA Fisheries is adjusting the Atlantic bluefin tuna (BFT) General category daily retention limit from the default limit of one to three large medium or giant BFT (measuring 73” or greater) per vessel per day/trip for the beginning of the June 1 through August 31, 2018 time-period.

NOAA Fisheries takes this action after considering the regulatory determination criteria regarding inseason adjustments, which include considerations about the amount of available quota, effects of the action on the continuation of the fishery, availability of BFT on the fishing grounds, the value of information obtained from the fishery, and the effects of the adjustment on the stock and on accomplishing the objectives of the 2006 Consolidated Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Fishery Management Plan and amendments.  NOAA Fisheries also considered general input from the HMS Advisory Panel.  This action should provide opportunities to harvest the available U.S. BFT quota without exceeding it; prevent overharvest of the 2018 General category quota; and collect a broad range of data for stock monitoring purposes.  NOAA Fisheries anticipates that General category participants in all areas and time periods will have opportunities to harvest the General category quota in 2018, through more proactive inseason management such as retention limit adjustments and/or the timing and amount of quota transfers (based on consideration of the determination criteria regarding inseason adjustments), as practicable. 

Who is Affected?

This action applies to General category permitted vessels and to HMS Charter/Headboat category permitted vessels with a commercial sale endorsement when fishing commercially for BFT.  It is effective for all areas except for the Gulf of Mexico, which is designated as BFT spawning grounds and where NOAA Fisheries does not allow targeted fishing for BFT.  Regardless of the duration of a fishing trip, the daily retention limit applies upon landing.  For example, whether a vessel fishing under the General category limit takes a two-day trip or makes two trips in one day, the daily limit of three fish may not be exceeded upon landing.

NOAA Fisheries will actively monitor the BFT fisheries closely.  Dealers are required to submit landing reports within 24 hours of a dealer receiving BFT.  General category and HMS Charter/Headboat category vessel owners are required to report their own catch of all BFT retained or discarded dead, within 24 hours of the landing(s) or end of each trip, by accessing the HMS Permit Shop, using the HMS Catch Reporting App, or calling (888) 872-8862 (Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.).  NOAA Fisheries will closely monitor General category catch rates associated with the various authorized gear types (e.g., harpoon, rod and reel) during the June through August period and actively adjust the daily retention limit as appropriate to enhance scientific data collection from, and ensure fishing opportunities in all respective time-period subquotas as well as ensure available quota is not exceeded.

NOAA Fisheries regulations at 50 CFR 635.21(a)(1) require that all BFT that are released be handled in a manner that will maximize survivability, and without removing the fish from the water.  For additional information on safe handling, see the Careful Catch and Release brochure.

This notice is a courtesy to BFT fishery permit holders to help keep you informed about the fishery.  For additional information, call (978) 281-9260, or go to the HMS Permit Shop.  Official notice of Federal fishery actions is made through filing such notice with the Office of the Federal Register.

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Salmon, Shrimp or Tuna: Which Type of Seafood is Healthiest?

 

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Today Show] by Bonnie Taub-Dix - May 8, 2018

Fishing for better health? Look no further than the seafood counter at your local supermarket.

For years we’ve been hearing about the benefits of eating seafood, particularly when it comes to the connection between omega-3 fatty acids and heart health. More recently, studies have shown that eating seafood may support brain health, too, including reducing incidences of depression and boosting mood. In addition to being a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, seafood also provides selenium, iron, B vitamins and a host of other valuable nutrients.

As far as protein goes, many types of seafood have a relatively high protein-to-calorie ratio, packing in around 7 grams protein per ounce.

Today, Americans are eating more seafood than in previous decades, but a recent survey showed that only one in ten consumers meets the goal of enjoying seafood twice a week, as recommended by The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion's Dietary Guidelines. Although many people are aware of the health benefits of different types of seafood, not everyone knows which is best for his or her diet — or how to select the right piece of fish at the grocery store.

Other barriers related to seafood consumption include some beliefs that seafood has a higher price tag than other forms of protein (which is sometimes true) and confusion over the best way to cook different types of fish.

If you want to incorporate more seafood into your diet — whether it’s fresh from the seafood counter, canned or frozen — there’s a wide range of types and price points that can fit every palate, budget and diet.

Here are some of my family’s favorite seafood choices, along with some easy recipes to satisfy a variety of tastebuds.

Salmon
Salmon is a flavorful, fatty fish that's rich in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Salmon is also a good source of vitamin D, which is important for healthy bones. The daily recommended value of vitamin D is 400 IU for adults and children ages 4 and older. A 3-ounce serving of salmon contains 570 IU of vitamin D. It’s not easy find naturally-occurring vitamin D in a lot of foods (but you can also find it in fortified dairy and non-dairy milks) so salmon is a great choice.

Canned salmon with bones is an excellent source of calcium, too, and it helps enhance the absorption of vitamin D. Fish bones, you say?! Yes, it's actually perfectly fine for both kids and adults to eat the soft bones in canned fish. If you're concerned at all, you may further crush up the bones for kids or create salmon cakes.

Fish can be canned with water or oil, which one you choose may depend on whether you're watching your caloric or fat intake. When it comes to canned salmon, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Canned Pacific Salmon Standard of Identity actually prohibits the addition of water. Canned salmon is actually cooked in the can, so any liquid in the final product comes from the natural juices of the flesh when the salmon is cooked.

Whether you're looking to jazz up your salmon for summer barbecues or you’re just popping it in the oven, this fatty fish is a versatile choice that holds up well to variety of marinades, sauces and preparations.

Tuna
Tuna helps your heart in a variety of ways. Besides containing omega-3 fatty acids, tuna is also rich in niacin (vitamin B3), which helps lower cholesterol levels. Sushi lovers will be happy to know that fresh yellowfin tuna contains almost 16 milligrams of niacin per a 3-ounce serving. Just go easy on the rice and mayo-based spicy sauces. The same amount of canned tuna boasts an impressive 11 milligrams of niacin.

While fresh yellowfin tuna steaks can often retail for over $20 a pound, canned tuna is an inexpensive way to stock up on lean protein all year long. Canned light tuna packed in water (drained) provides around 73 calories and 0.8 grams of fat for a 3-ounce serving, while the same amount of tuna canned in oil (drained) will give you 168 calories and 7 grams of fat. Looking to make a classic tuna salad? For a healthier alternative to mayo, try mixing water-packed tuna with mashed avocado, another heart-healthy food that adds a creamy compliment to any fish.

Cod
Cod is a mild-flavored fish with white flesh, similar to haddock and pollock. It's a meatier type of seafood, so it can hold up well to many different types of preparations without falling apart, and it's one of the leanest sources of protein weighing in around 15 grams for a 3-ounce serving with only 0.5 grams of fat. Cod is also an excellent source of vitamin B12, with one serving containing a little more than 30 percent of the recommended daily value.

Cod is like a blank canvas that pairs well with any sauce, whether you prefer a citrus-style marinade or a creamy sauce on top of a crispy fried fish sandwich.

Sardines
If you don’t ditch the bones in sardines, your bones will thank you because you'll be getting about 40 percent of your recommended daily value of calcium per serving. Since most of us don't get enough calcium, sardines are an excellent choice for many types of diets, especially those that can't handle dairy. Sardines are also an excellent source of vitamin B12, selenium and phosphorous.

When it comes to sardines, one 3-ounce can packed in oil clocks in at around 130 calories with about 8 grams of total fat, while water-packed sardines provide 90 calories with 3 grams of fat. Sardines are delicious right out of the can, served on top of a salad or mashed on top of a crusty piece of whole grain bread with a thick slice of tomato.

Shrimp
Whether they're medium-sized or jumbo, shrimp brings in big benefits. You’ll pick up around 20 grams of protein from just 3 ounces of shrimp and this portion size goes a long way in recipes. Besides protein, a serving of shrimp provides all of your daily selenium needs, which helps support thyroid function, heart health, boost immunity and fight inflammation. Shrimp also provides vitamin B12, choline, copper, iodine and phosphorous.

One of the most versatile seafood proteins, shrimp can be showcased in almost any dish from around the world. Craving Italian? Serve up shrimp with some spaghetti topped with a garlic-infused tomato sauce. If you love Mexican food, shrimp make a phenomenal taco filling.

Scallops
Scallops are a great source of magnesium and potassium, which are both important for heart and brain health. They also promote blood vessel relaxation, help control blood pressure and enable better blood circulation. A 3-ounce portion of scallops is only 75 calories, has around 15 grams of protein and less than a gram of fat.

Like many types of seafood, scallops don't take very long to cook and can easily be prepared in a few minutes on the stovetop. Bring out the naturally sweet, buttery taste of seared scallops with only a touch of salt, pepper and avocado oil in a hot skillet. Serve over wild rice or pair them with a colorful salad. For a more decadent take, try Al Roker's bacon-wrapped scallops.

Oysters
Get shucking if you’re looking to boost your iron intake. With their briny, ocean-forward flavor, oysters aren't necessarily for everyone but oyster devotees enjoy eating this delicious shellfish fried, baked and even raw right out of the shell. Oysters are very rich in iron, providing about 60 percent of your daily needs in just one serving. You’ll also find vitamin C, vitamin E and plenty of zinc in oysters.

As far as prep goes, you won’t need to do much cooking when it comes to eating oysters. Most people take delight in slurping them down raw (though if you've never shucked one before, it's probably best to take a class or leave it to the pros), along with the addition of an array of tangy sauces like mignonette or cocktail ... or just a hefty squeeze of bright lemon juice.

Clams
Just 3 ounces of clams provide a whopping 84 micrograms of vitamin B12 — more than 1400 percent of your recommended daily value of the vitamin. You’ll also find copper, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium and zinc in clams. Clams also provide iron and vitamin C — which all work in tandem as vitamin C helps enhance the absorption of iron.

Crispy baked clams oreganata style, topped with seasoned bread crumbs, garlic, oregano, parsley and olive oil, are always a timeless family favorite and can be served year round.

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ASMFC Warns Virginia of Enforcement Action After Legislature Fails to Comply with Menhaden Limits

 

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by John Sackton – May 7, 2018

A slow motion confrontation is brewing between Virginia and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission over Menhaden quotas.

The Virginia legislature failed to approve a lower cap on Menhaden harvest in Chesapeake Bay, which was mandated by the ASMFC.

The current menhaden cap in Chesapeake Bay is 87,000 metric tons; ASMFC voted to reduce this to 51,000 tons.

Outside of the bay, Omega Protein, which processes menhaden in Virginia, takes 85% of the total TAC of 216,000 metric tons.

In 2016, Omega harvested less than 45,000 tons in the Chesapeake Bay.

The 51,000 ton cap, with no rollover of unused harvest, is an attempt to respond to concerns over the decline of other fish in Chesapeake bay that depend on menhaden.  Reductions have long been sought by environmentalists.

The ASMFC has said it will wait until August when a special session of the Virginia legislature is expected, before taking any further action. However, action is unlikely.

The Fredericksburg Star reported that one General Assembly observer who asked to remain anonymous said  “There’s a lot of hostility towards the commission when these bills come up. The sentiment of some members is that we should be protecting Virginia. It’s not our goal to sacrifice our own fishery.”

The ASMFC says it is highly unlikely that the 51,000 ton cap would be exceeded by August.  If the legislature fails to act, the ASMFC could then appeal to the Secretary of Commerce, who could use federal authority to shut down menhaden fishing if it is over the quota.

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FDA's Restaurant Menu Label Requirements Go Into Effect

 

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [NBC News] By Maggie Fox - May 8, 2018

John Cortinas knows exactly how many calories he’s getting.

The 54-year-old government meteorologist is munching a salad at a Chipotle in Silver Spring, Maryland, where he says he carefully reads the calorie counts on the menu options.

“I am looking to make healthy choices,” he said. “I watch my weight,” Cortinas said, nodding to the diet soda he bought to go with his salad.

Cortinas said he is aware of and grateful for the Food and Drug Administration restaurant labeling requirements that went into final effect Monday. “I pay more attention to the low-calorie options,” he said.

It’s taken a long time to get here, but all restaurants with 20 or more outlets must post the calorie counts and other nutritional information on their menus. That includes movie theater popcorn and drinks in bars.

The 2010 Affordable Care Act required the labels, but the FDA has been negotiating with industry and Congress since then.

Many restaurant chains have been posting these calorie counts for years. Others have battled hard against them, and one year ago the FDA delayed the labeling requirements for a year.

As of Monday, there’s no more delaying.

“By having information about the calories in food, you can make more informed decisions about the food you eat — decisions that can help improve your overall health and that of your family,” the FDA said.

“And it’s just as important that you and your family have access to this information when eating out, as you do at home when you are able to look at calorie counts on food packages.”

Chipotle, which specializes in build-your-own burritos, tacos and salad bowls, provides a breakdown by ingredient. So the menu tells patrons that a burrito can supply anywhere from 740 to 1,210 calories, depending on the rice (210 calories), beans (130 calories), salsa (15 to 80 calories) or cheese (110 calories) you put in.

“What’s good is to understand not just the overall calories, but the calorie count of the components of what you are having,” Cortinas said.

Celis De La Cruz also appreciates the calorie counts. “I don’t do any of the carbs,” she said, as she dashed out of the same Chipotle in Silver Spring, Maryland. “Pretty much all I get are salads — lettuce and chicken,” added the 40-year-old analyst. “I am one of those people who can eat the same thing for lunch every day.”

The menu labels aren’t anything new in Silver Spring. The Washington suburb is in Montgomery County, which passed its own menu labeling requirements in 2010.

The idea behind the laws, both federal and local, is to help Americans control their weight. With 40 percent of the American population obese, and more than 70 percent either obese or overweight, the need is dire.

“For consumers who want to consume fewer calories, having calorie and other nutrition information available has the potential to save and improve lives,” said Susan Mayne, director of FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition.

Some studies have shown that menu labels don’t affect consumer behavior. Most of the customers at a Panera bread, around the corner form the Chipotle, said they did not pay attention.

“I just eat what I want to eat,” said one 30-something man, who declined to give his name, as he ate a bagel (300 or so calories) with peanut butter spread (250 calories).

But Allen, a 48-year-old IT security specialist who did not want to give his full name, said he had memorized the calorie counts at fast-food chains.

“I look at it to make sure it’s not overly high,” he said as he finished a sandwich in a Panera. “I like to keep it at around 500 calories, usually. You’ve got three meals a day and you get 1,500 to 2,000 calories for a day.”

He estimates his own sandwich provided 400 calories. “The chips are around 80,” he said. “It’s not that bad.”

A Panera Mediterranean veggie sandwich is the restaurant chain’s lowest-calorie option, with 440 calories, although the flatbread sandwiches come in at less than 400 calories. A steak and white cheddar panini racks up 940 calories.

It’s that kind of information that people really need to make choices, argues the Center for Science in the Public Interest. The CSPI has for decades published eye-popping annual reports on the calorie, fat and salt content of meals at popular restaurant chains and filed a lawsuit to try to force the federal government to enact the menu labeling law.

“Without it, it would be hard to tell that the Louisiana Chicken Pasta (2,330 calories) is much tougher on your waistline than the Four Cheese Pasta (1,190 calories) at The Cheesecake Factory,” the CSPI said in a statement released Monday.

“The numbers tell you that it's about 1,000-calories more. At Starbucks, a grande Caffè Mocha with whole milk and whipped cream (400 calories) has five times as many calories as a grande nonfat Cappuccino (80 calories).”

Cleveland Clinic nutritionist Kristin Kirkpatrick thinks the menu labels are a good first step.

“There's a lot more things I think we need to do because consumers are demanding more and more information from their food and their drink,” she said.

“But it definitely is going to reveal a little bit more and we'll see — time will tell if it will change behavior.”

Even when it’s a special treat, the menu calorie counts catch the eye, said Aaron Kimbrough, manager of a Ben & Jerry’s ice cream parlor in Silver Spring.

“It’s funny. Some people make jokes about it,” he said. “I had a woman this past weekend, she wanted one scoop of the lowest-calorie ice cream we have,” he added.

But Kimbrough said he doubted that calorie listing changed most customers’ behavior. “You know if you come in here, you are not looking to save calories,” he said, laughing.

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Study Finds Virus Killing Farmed Pacific, Atlantic Salmon Raises Risk for Wild B.C. Population

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [CTV News] By Jeff Lagerquist - May 8, 2018

Scientists have discovered that a highly-contagious virus impacting farmed Atlantic salmon also harms their Pacific cousins, and could pose a serious threat to British Columbia’s declining wild salmon population if it spreads from ocean pens to key migration routes.

The study, which will be published in the journal FACETS later this month, was done in partnership with the Pacific Salmon Foundation and Genome BC. Researchers looked at samples of farmed Pacific Chinook and Atlantic salmon, and confirmed the presence of the highly-contagious piscine reovirus (PRV) in both species.

“It’s the same strain of virus,” lead author Kristi Miller, the head of salmon genetics for Fisheries and Oceans Canada, told CTV News.

In Chinook salmon, the fish developed jaundice anemia. It’s a condition marked by the fish’s yellowish colour and organ failure. In Atlantic salmon, the virus can cause heart and skeletal muscle inflammation, or HSMI.

Researchers have linked the PRV strain to a surge of related disease outbreaks reported in Pacific salmon in Norway, Chile, Japan and Canada in recent years.

But Shawn Hall, a spokesperson for the BC Salmon Farmers Association, said the latest study needs to be “looked at with a critical eye.”

“Its conclusions are speculative at best,” he said, adding that the findings are “inconsistent” with those of other scientists around the world or what fish farmers see every day.

Hall pointed to previous research summarized in a report on the Fisheries and Oceans Canada website, which found that, unlike in Norway, “experimental exposures” of the B.C. strain of PRV to Pacific and Atlantic salmon in the province did not result in disease or death among the fish.

“This suggests PRV in B.C. has a low ability to cause disease (low virulence) for these species,” the report said.

Another report recently produced by the BC Salmon Farmers Association following a workshop with scientists to discuss the PRV issue said that, to date, HSMI has only been "described in farmed fish, globally (never diagnosed in wild fish)."

Hall said the fish on B.C. farms are “generally very healthy” and the association continues to participate in research on health of both wild and farmed salmon.

PRV is less of a problem inside B.C. fish farms, where feed can be medicated. In most cases, impacted fish are still fit to be sold and eaten by humans. The greater risk lies in the possibility of farmed adult fish infected with the disease spreading it through the water as wild juvenile salmon migrate past open nets.

“If the farmers say it doesn’t affect their bottom line, that is fine for them,” Miller said. “But we have something else at stake here. We have risk to the wild salmon.”

Washington state is set to phase out marine farming of Atlantic salmon and other non-native fish by 2022, under legislation signed by Gov. Jay Inslee.

The move follows the escape of up to 263,000 invasive Atlantic salmon into Puget Sound in late August, after net pens belonging to Canada’s Cooke Aquaculture Pacific collapsed.

“Escaped farmed salmon, which are most often infected with PRV, could also be a transmission vector for freshwater infections in wild fish if they enter rivers,” Miller wrote in the study.

Many wild salmon advocates in B.C. argue the province should follow suit with a similar plan to reduce risk. Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s 2018 Pacific salmon outlook suggests the decline in overall population will continue.

While most of the backlash against B.C.’s salmon farming industry has been directed at fish farms, there are also growing concerns that processing plants may be contributing to problems with disease.

Last November, CTV News obtained video footage that shows a farmed-salmon processing plant in the Discovery Passage channel off Vancouver Island discharging bloody effluent from a pipe under the water.  The pipe is connected to Brown's Bay Packing Co., a farmed Atlantic salmon processing plant near Campbell River, B.C. Water samples sent to the Atlantic Veterinary College for analysis revealed the presence of PRV.

A report tabled in Parliament by Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development Julie Gelfand on April 24 suggests the Department of Fisheries and Oceans is not adequately managing the risks associated with the growing salmon farming industry.

The report highlights lax enforcement of current regulations, as well as the absence of requirements to monitor the ocean floor beneath fish farms, and clear national standards for nets and equipment.

Gelfand’s report also found that only one of the 10 risk assessments of key diseases the Department of Fisheries and Oceans had committed to completing by 2020 has been done.

“We found that the Department was not monitoring wild fish health,” the commissioner wrote in her report.

Jay Ritchlin, the David Suzuki Foundation’s director general in Western Canada, worries that farms in waters where juvenile wild salmon grow up are prematurely exposing those populations to adult diseases.

“Diseases and parasites that might be considered somewhat natural in an adult population are being put in front of juvenile wild salmon in a way that never happened in evolution,” he said. “Given the numerous challenges that wild salmon face, every exposure to increased disease risk is a problem, and one we should try to mitigate.”

Ritchlin is among the growing chorus of observers calling for the industry to shift to contained farms, ideally on land, both to control farmed fish losses and prevent the spread of disease into the natural ecosystem.

He said the lives of B.C.’s wild salmon population likely hang in the balance.

“If these diseases get into the wild population we will likely never see those fish again. They will end up on the bottom of the ocean or in the belly of a seal, and they will lose out because they are not as fit as other wild fish,” he said. “They don’t have veterinarians.”

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Could a Seal Cull Help Cod Recover? It's Not So Simple, Scientist Says

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [CBC NEWS] by Evgeni Matveev - May 8, 2018

The equation seems simple: seals eat fish, fish are declining, kill the seals, fish recover. But experts warn that many factors need to be considered before drastic measures are taken.

With talk revived about ending the recreational fishery, some believe a seal cull would be a more effective way to help cod stocks recover. 

But is a cull the answer to our fish stock problem?

Overharvested to threatening levels in the 1970s, the harp seal population is back to 7.4 million. According to some estimates, they consume at least 50 times as much food as Newfoundland fishers harvest in a year.

Based on these numbers, fisheries consultant Bob Hardy says that seals are under-represented as a cause for cod and capelin decline.

"I think some action has to be taken with seals. I think the various levels of governments and various associations need to get together and they need to put a plan in effect to harvest, within the established quota, adult seals."

Eldred Woodford of the Canadian Sealers Association is taking an even stronger stance, and calling for an all-out seal cull.

Woodford said he'd prefer that the commercial hunt kept the population in check.

However, last year only 17.5 per cent of the seal quota was harvested, with a lack of global demand cited as the key reason. Canadian seal products also cannot be sold in numerous markets, particularly in the European Union.

Not a simple equation
But saving the fish stocks may not be as simple as removing the top predator.

Alejandro Buren, a research scientist at the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, says many factors are at play when looking at food web relationships.

Buren found that seals were not a major contributor to the slow cod recovery.

Instead, the main driver was capelin stocks. Capelin stocks, in turn, are regulated mostly by "bottom up" forces, such as food availability and habitat conditions, rather than "top down" forces, such as predation by seals.

One crucial "bottom up" force is wind.

Capelin famously deposit their eggs on shore, but they can't stay there for long.

"[The larvae] are on a ticking clock. If they don't get off the beach soon enough, they will deplete that yolk sac and eventually die. And the mechanism that facilitates the release [into the ocean], is the currents of offshore winds. So it needs to be the right kind of wind for those larvae to be released into the water column," said Buren.

But for the past 30 years the capelin have been spawning later and later, so the timing of spawning and strong offshore winds has not coincided. This resulted in lower recruitment, and therefore a smaller adult population.

Alberta wolf cull called 'total failure'
Something else to consider, is that major predator culls have been attempted before. The Albertan wolf cull has been ongoing since 2005 in an effort to protect the threatened woodland caribou.

Gilbert Proulx, an Albertan researcher who has extensively studied the wolf cull, says it was "a total failure."
The major problem, according to Proulx, was that the matter was not adequately researched beforehand.

"It was never demonstrated with scientific evidence that wolves were the cause of the decline in the caribou populations," said Proulx.

In the case of caribou, the decline was primarily due to habitat loss, so culling the wolves did little to recover the population.

Proulx said that he's not a seal or capelin expert, but urges that many factors should be seriously considered before drastic measures are taken.

Meanwhile, Buren added that he is not worried about further growth in the seal population.

"I don't have concerns, because right now the population is not growing," he said. "The population has been stable for a decade or so."

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