Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Tuesday, September 12, 2017: Talk about calm winds. With fluke season over, the need for a drift breeze has gone. ...

Below: This could easily pass as a hoarder's home ... worthy of  TV show intervention. "Sir, you have to realzie you have a hoarding problem. We love you and we're here to help clean up this mess."

These rooms belonged to Pablo Picasso. The estimated value of the mess seen here has been "likely underestimated" to be a quarter-billion dollars. What's more, it's believed just such a cleanup was done. Many pieces in these photos were never again seen. 

Hermit crab finds the perfect home ... Predators and humans flee from him. 

Tuesday, September 12, 2017: Talk about calm winds. With fluke season over, the need for a drift breeze has gone. The ocean water is very clean and mildish, at 70 degrees.  

The calmness yesterday came back to bite me like I’ve never seen. I was late-daying at the Holgate south end and began a trek toward the mudflats, only reachable by foot. No sooner had I began pounding through shoulder-high grasses than I was put upon by so many gnats I began breathing them in. I had to pull my shirt collar over my mouth. Sure, I had put on bug spray but this was more a gnat overwash. I had a visible cloud of them over my head, which translates into hundreds of them.

Ever wonder what no-see-ums are, technically? Well, there’s no guessing, without microscopic verification. Even then, there are as many as 5,000 species of these minute biting flies. Not that it matters what they have for a scientific name. Knowing they can bite like a bug ten-times their size is enough to simply hate them as nonspecific no-see-um gnats.

Back to Holgate, there were some nonmigrating “mud mullet” in the bayside shallows, though not nearly plentiful enough to make it worth battling the biting bugs, which soon included some greenheads.

Virtually no one was fishing in Holgate Rip; only two guys along the entire frontbeach.

I cast a plug 27 times and couldn’t draw a hit, short of swipes by thousands of little snapper blues – the real tiny ones. In the crystal-clear water, I could see a dozen of those nippers following my plug right up to the beach. Obviously, no plastic tail could survive.

Here’s a look at terns diving on spearing at the Rip. Only tiny blues in the mix.


SURF ACTION: We are seeing a strong swell, most likely from distant and meandering Hurricane Juan. He is forecast to stay in the mid-Atlantic, eventually doing a large loop-d-loop out there. His wave action could be around for a goodly number of days to come.

A Cat1, Jose won’t be generating monster swells. However, astronomic conditions remain favorable for swell transmission.

As with most hurricane swells, waves will pulsate -- sometimes seemingly tuning off for 30 minutes or more. Then they return … with vigor. This means that mariners fishing near shoals might arrive during a down swell period, not realizing large breaking waves could soon have their number. We have had many boating tragedies from just such an off-an-on swell showing.

And, no, they are not “rogue waves,” a whole other – and wholly deadly – open-ocean phenomenon.

Waveriders sometimes refer to sudden large waves during a swell as set waves. Back in the day, we’d more dramatically call them “clean-up sets,” since they cleaned the water of anything floating thereabouts, like surfers.

We’re having a hideous year for drowning along the entire Jersey coastline. Here’s hoping fall bathers have heard it’s not a year to trifle 


Jay Mann is at The SandPaper.
It was troublingly painful revisiting 9/11 yesterday, far more than I thought it would be. 
I was among many transfixed by programs showing enhanced footage of the Day of Terror. So many channels had specials that it was akin to binging on 9/11. 

And I over did it. I was sickened; more so now than immediately after it happened. Maybe it’s the sink-in concept, though some of the footage has been made more poignant through editing – and introducing never seen images, including slow-motion images of the jumping victims.  

Out of all the terror and death on 9/11, nothing sticks with me more than the sound of the bodies hitting the roof above fire officials in the Marriott; many of those first-responders soon to die themselves. 

Then, something even more sickening hit me: Through world-wide communications, these same 9/11 programs were surely being watched in near and distant nations where radicalized Muslims flourish. How many radicals were openly celebrating while revisiting the death and destruction of that day; even becoming more empowered by examples of what their hatred can bring? 

The world has become numbingly complicated.
Image result for jumping man sculpture 9/11

Irma has started here in Florida. Went out to the bay and saw two objects out where the water receded, so we took off our shoes and walked out through the shells to find two beached manatees. One wasn't moving, the other was breathing and had water in its eyes. My friends and I couldn't move these massive animals ourselves, and we called every service we could think of, but no one answered. We gave them as much water as we could, hoping the rain and storm surge come soon enough to save them 


Pete Sykes invited you to join this group.
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Bob Cope to NJFFFR New Jersey Fishermen Fight For Fishermen's Rights
OK it's been a few days since the fisheries meeting The powers to be have been kind enough to pin a post at the top of the page to send a letter to Booker and Menendez to support this bill already in congress These two sat back and let Schumer make a back door deal to get us regionalized and take some of our Fluke quota away I sure hope that everyone took the 2 minutes to do this and told everyone they know to do it Getting this passed is the start to being able to fish under current stocks Just Do It!!!


I thought u might be interested in the attached photo of a large (bluefish) that I caught from my deck in Holgate last nite. Notice that there is a small fish jutting from his mouth at the same time that I have him hooked (white bucktail). I caught it while it was swimming around my "green light" just below my deck. I subsequently released the fish.

Jerry Gomer




Global Fish Trade Projected to Hit All-Time High in 2017

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Fish Radio with Laine Welch] September 11, 2017

Global fish trade is projected to hit an all-time high this year, boosted by an economic recovery of key European importers and high prices of popular fish such as salmon. Financial Times reports that the value of the world’s fish trade is expected to rise more than $150 billion this year as demand for salmon and shrimp increases, an increase of about 7 percent compared with 2016 and on course to eclipse the previous record of $149 billion in 2014.   

The global aquaculture market is expected to continue growing at four to five per cent a year over the next decade and should exceed the 100 million ton mark for the first time in 2025.

Salmon was second to shrimp as the most sought-after seafood product last week at Seafood Expo Asia, one of the continent’s largest trade shows. 

A survey of over 3,300 attendees at the Hong Kong event revealed that 41 percent wanted to purchase shrimp, followed by salmon at 40 percent. 

Scallops were third in demand (36 percent), fourth was abalone (34.6 percent), lobster ranked fifth (34.5 percent), crab came in sixth at nearly 34 percent, oysters finished in seventh place (30 percent), tuna was eighth (25.5 percent) cod was ninth with 25.3 percent. Squid rounded out the top 10 with over 24 percent of participants expressing purchasing interest.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations predicts that Asia will lead world seafood consumption by 2025. 


How a Tiny Portion of the World’s Oceans Could Help Meet Global Seafood Demand

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [The Conversation] Halley Froehlich and Rebecca Gentry - September 11, 2017

Seafood is an essential staple in the diets of people around the world. Global consumption of fish and shellfish has more than doubled over the last 50 years, and is expected to keep rising with global population growth. Many people assume that most seafood is something that we catch in the wild with lines, trawls and traps. In fact, aquaculture (aquatic farming) accounts for just over half of all the seafood consumed worldwide.

Today aquaculture is the fastest-growing food sector in the world. Most farmed seafood is currently produced in freshwater environments such as ponds, land-based tanks and raceways, but some producers are expanding to the open ocean.

Aquaculture dates back thousands of years, but has only recently become an essential part of our global food system. However, most of the world’s wild fisheries are already fished at their maximum sustainable yield, so aquaculture will have to be the primary source of our seafood now and into the future.

This means that we need to understand how to farm fish and shellfish sustainably. We do not have broad-scale understanding today about the ecological limits and potential of cultivating seafood in the oceans. As a first step, we recently published a study that estimated the offshore potential for aquaculture in marine waters, based on the growth performance of 180 farmed fish and shellfish species. We calculated that marine aquaculture could produce as much seafood as all of the world’s wild marine fisheries, using less than 0.015 percent of the space in the world’s oceans.

Conflicting views of ocean aquaculture

Total global wild catches have remained relatively unchanged for the past two decades. In 2015, 92 million tons of wild species were harvested worldwide – the same amount as in 1995. In contrast, seafood production from aquaculture increased from 24 million tons to 77 million tons during the same time period, and is still rising to help meet growing demand. In fact, it’s estimated that the world will need around 40 million more tons of seafood as soon as 2030.

Like all food production, aquaculture affects the environment and can be done in ways that are more or less sustainable. We want our science to help avoid destructive forms of aquaculture, such as converting mangrove forests into shrimp farms, and support more sustainable production. When it is done properly, aquaculture can be an efficient farming method with reduced impacts, compared to other types of protein such as beef, pork and even chicken.

Interestingly, some of our previous research shows that people in developed countries such as the United States – the world’s second-largest seafood consuming country, after China – tend to have more negative sentiment towards aquaculture than people in developing countries. This is especially true for offshore aquaculture in the open ocean.

The main concerns that we found did not focus on any particular species or impact. Rather, people were more worried about broad impacts on the environment and fishing. Just as unchecked fishing practices can damage ecosystems and wildlife, poorly sited and improperly managed fish farms can produce significant quantities of pollution and have the potential to spread diseases to wild species.

However, not all aquaculture is created equal, and many of these issues can be addressed through good siting and oversight of offshore farming. Several studies have shown that siting fish and shellfish farms more than one nautical mile offshore, where water is deeper and currents are faster, can significantly reduce pollution and improve the condition of farmed species when compared to nearshore production of the same species in the same region.

Using big data to map aquaculture’s global potential

Our recent study used publicly available open source data and previous physiological and growth research to model and map the potential of aquaculture in the oceans for fish and bivalves, such as oysters and mussels. In addition to accounting for the biological limits of each species, we avoided areas of the ocean that are used for shipping and oil extraction, as well as marine protected areas. We also avoided depths greater than 200 meters, as a proxy for the limitations of cost and current farm technology.

After two years of analysis by our expert working group, we found that 3 percent of the world’s oceans appears very suitable for marine aquaculture. This may sound small, but it is actually an extraordinary amount of area, spread across nearly every coastal country in the world – about four million square miles.

Moreover, we don’t even need to use that entire area to meet world seafood demand. If aquaculture were developed in only the most productive areas, the oceans could theoretically produce the same amount of seafood that is currently caught by all of the world’s wild-caught fisheries, using less than 0.015 percent of the total ocean surface – a combined area the size of Lake Michigan. This is possible because many aquatic species can be farmed very efficiently, and because farming in the oceans can spread in three dimensions, across the surface of the ocean and downward below the waves.

From a conservation perspective, this means there is tremendous flexibility in where we can develop aquatic farms sustainably. And there is plenty of space in the oceans to produce huge amounts of food, while still protecting vast areas.

Our findings are also encouraging for global development. Many regions that are likely to contend with high population growth and food insecurity, such as India, the Middle East and Pacific island nations, show particularly high potential for marine aquaculture, which suggests that we can produce food where it is most needed.

Even so, expanding sustainable marine aquaculture will depend on creating economic and regulatory policies that help the industry grow while also protecting the health of the marine environment and the local communities that depend on it.

A case for ocean optimism

Our study has provided some of the initial science for exploring sustainable marine aquaculture’s role in the future of food production, while also considering key conservation goals on land and in the water. To expand on this work, we recently founded the Conservation Aquaculture Research Team (CART) at the University of California, Santa Barbara’s National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis. Our future work will explore how climate change could impact aquaculture, and how aquaculture may impact people and nature compared to other food production systems.

We know that aquaculture will grow in the coming decades, but where and how this growth will happen depends on good governance, sustainable investment and rock-solid science. We hope to help guide aquaculture’s growth in a way that will feed a hungry world while also protecting our oceans.


How Chefs Are Bringing ‘Under-Loved’ Seafood to Restaurant Menus

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Eater] by Meg Wilcox - September 11, 2017

Every summer, tourists flock to Chatham Pier on Cape Cod, Massachusetts to watch commercial fishermen unload their catch. And for hundreds of years, it was cod that fishermen hauled into Chatham’s storied harbor — and cod that gave this coastal region its name.

Today, however, it’s dogfish and skate the fishermen are hauling, as warming waters, prior bad management, and a host of other factors have made cod increasingly hard to find in New England’s Gulf of Maine.

The fishermen are paid pennies for their catch — literally 20 cents per pound for dogfish — and the majority of the fish is whisked off to markets in Europe and Asia, where higher demand fetches better prices.

Tired of telling Chatham Pier’s tourists, “You have to go to Europe!” when asked what their catch was and where it could be bought, a group of fisherman launched Pier to Plate, a Cape Cod effort to shift the market away from cod and toward the lesser-known species that are more readily available in the New England waters, says Nancy Civetta, a spokesperson for the Cape Cod Commercial Fisherman’s Alliance.

“Pier to Plate is a way for the public to support local fisherman,” said Civetta. “The truth is, what used to be the bread and butter for Cape fisherman has changed. Now it’s dogfish and skate.”

Launched this year, the initiative provides the fish for free to chefs at participating restaurants, an idea that came from the fishermen themselves. “We all sat around and brainstormed, and the fishermen said, ‘Just give it away for free,’” Civetta said, at least until the effort gets off the ground. “Chefs still need to experiment with the fish, but they’re not going to do it out of pocket.”
Ultimately, initiative leaders hope Pier to Plate will help stimulate a domestic market for abundant local fish like dogfish and skate, raise catch prices, and improve financial prospects for the area’s small, day-boat fishermen. Civetta sees restaurants as one piece of the larger puzzle: once they establish demand, she hopes institutional buyers, like colleges and hospitals, will step in to move the volume of fish necessary to sustain higher prices for fishermen over the long-term. And eventually, she’d like to see dogfish and skate sold in grocery stores for everyday consumers.

Funded by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the initiative emulates the national Chef’s Collaborative “Trash Fish Dinners,” with one big exception — it prefers the label “under-loved” to “trash fish.”

Pier to Plate earned the Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen’s Alliance a Saltonstall Kennedy Grant from NOAA because, as John Bullard, Greater Atlantic Regional Administrator for NOAA, explained, it aligns with the grant’s goals of addressing the needs of fishing communities and building and maintaining resilient and sustainable fisheries. “Promoting the lesser-loved dogfish and skate, both of which are delicious, helps fishermen get more for their product and keeps that product local,” said Bullard.

“Under-Loved” Fish on the Menu
Around 30 Cape Cod restaurants, from beach stands to upscale eateries, and one fish market have joined the Pier to Plate program so far this summer. Wholesalers and traders that buy from small, community-based fishing boats, like Red’s Best, Seatrade, and Marder Trawling are also partnering to help market the under-loved species.

Thus far it’s been, “very, very successful — when restaurants substitute it straight up,” said Civetta. In other words, when restaurants stop offering dishes made with cod and offer dogfish or skate instead, consumers are eating it up.

Farland on the Beach, a beach stand that offers both gourmet cuisine and standard-fare lobster rolls, for example, is substituting cod with dogfish in its fish sandwiches and tacos, and Wes Martin, Farland’s head chef, says it’s selling well. “People want to support sustainably caught fish,” he said. “They are coming to the window, saying that they are eager to try it.”

Bigger seafood houses, whose menus include greater variety, as well as imported seafood not available in Cape Cod waters like salmon and shrimp, can find the under-loved species a tougher sell with diners, however.

“We have so much variety,” said Mac Hay, proprietor of several Cape Cod restaurants that are participating in the program. “There’s 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.”

While Hay isn’t serving dogfish through Pier to Plate, he is serving skate, and he said it sells well. “People will take to a new fish if they like it, and if you get behind it and make it a real option, not just once a week,” Hay said.

The difference between skate and dogfish points to a key factor in getting the public to take on unknown species: appearance matters. So, of course, do texture and taste.

Skate, a bottom-dwelling fish that resembles a stingray, can be filleted and pan-fried. It’s a stand-alone fish with mild flavor, and it sells fairly well. Dogfish, on the other hand, a small, bone-free shark, needs some dressing up.

“Dogfish doesn’t look like a fillet of fish,” agreed Andy Baler, a stalwart of Cape Cod’s fishing community, who recently opened Bluefins Sushi and Sake Bar, another Pier to Plate participant. “You have a long piece of meat, like a log. It doesn’t have the same texture. It’s unlike whatever else people are used to.”

“It’s oily, even though it’s a white fish, and you have to find a way to hide the oily flavor,” said longtime chef and owner of the upscale restaurant Terra Luna, Tony Pasquale. Even so, Pasquale said that it’s more fun to play with dogfish than with skate precisely because it is a challenge. “It’s a tough fight,” he admitted of the oily flavor, “but damn it, I’m not going to be beaten by a tiny Cape shark.”

Pasquale uses marinades and hot sauce to mask the sardine-like flavor, serving dogfish appetizers like escabeche, or fish-cake sliders with fiery aioli and Portuguese hot sauce. Baler at Bluefins also uses marinade, serving dogfish with an Asian-fusion miso citrus dressing.

Changing consumer preferences can also be tough when cod is still available in many traditional seafood restaurants. The majority of that cod is coming from Iceland or Canada, though some is still locally caught. It’s a disconnect for consumers, said Pasquale, adding, “At some point I’m not going to put cod on the menu. At some point it’ll be $50 a plate.”

Supply and Demand Dynamics — and a Model Initiative that Figured Them Out
While some chefs and restaurant owners embrace the idea of promoting locally caught, unknown species, others are leery of taking on a new species if supply can’t be guaranteed. And wild-caught species can have an unpredictable, lumpy production.

Hay cited the example of hake, cod’s lesser-known cousin. “We started pushing hake, and it took off like crazy, and then the price of hake took off, and demand went way up,” he said. “We could take 400 to 500 pounds a week between the three restaurants, fish markets, and wholesale shop. But the fishermen weren’t ready to do it consistently for us, so then it falls out of our regular routine. The chefs in the kitchens aren’t ordering it, and then all of a sudden the supply is back, but we’ve moved on because we’ve already printed our menus and they say cod; they don’t say hake anymore. They’re ready, and we’re not.”

“It’s a whole industry that can’t just shift on a dime,” said Hay.

Out of the Blue, a similar collaboration between fishermen and chefs in Portland, Maine, also struggled with the supply-demand dynamics for under-loved species. Piloted by the Gulf of Maine Research Institute (GMRI) in 2011 and also funded by NOAA, Out of the Blue did not give the fish for free to chefs. Instead, it developed a robust marketing campaign for participating restaurants.

“We had to reverse a vicious cycle,” said Jen Levin, sustainable seafood senior program manager at GMRI. “The fishermen weren’t harvesting because no one was buying. No one was buying because the fish weren’t on the buy sheets.”

By convening fishermen with chefs, working with suppliers, and garnering local and national media attention, Out of the Blue was able to break through. Six years later, though the program has been discontinued, many Portland restaurants still offer Gulf of Maine pollock, redfish, and dogfish.

But the biggest success, according to Levin, was getting institutional buyers involved. “The ideal thing is to harness chef power as thought leaders and parlay that into the broader movement, into sourcing from larger buyers,” said Levin.

She points to Sodexo’s 2015 commitment to source 100 percent of its whitefish for its institutional customers in Maine from Gulf of Maine species. It even recently introduced a breaded dogfish product, fish tacos, for college campuses.

Civetta hopes Pier to Plate will follow a similar trajectory and that institutional buyers will eventually join the effort too. A Cape restaurant may use 40 to 50 pounds of fish per week, she said, but a single fisherman is allowed to haul in 6,000 pounds of dogfish daily. Last year, fishermen barely filled half of their allowable quota because there wasn’t enough demand.

Already, one of Pier to Plate’s partners, Red’s Best, is in conversation with some universities.

“We hope the free samples turn into buying,” said Civetta, and she’s also encouraged that it’s already starting to happen as some year-round restaurants, like Bluefins and Farland, are incorporating the under-loved species into their menus.

Bluefins’ Baler said he’s committed to exposing everyone to local fish. “The fishing community needs that exposure,” he said.

“We’re all going to have to start eating a little lower on the chain,” added Pasquale.


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