Tuesday, September 30, 2014: I have to lead with this very upbeat report from Mike K. : (First bass of fall) Hit a TW green popper right at my feet. Scared the crap out of me. Looked to be about 26 inches but very heavy. Fat. Got him back in the water quickly so didn't weigh him or take a picture. Seeing so many spearing that I thought I'd go green this morning. Tom makes gorgeous plugs. I'm lucky enough to have 2 or 3. They are works of art. When the sun got up I switched to bloodworms and clobbered the kingfish.
Sure, it’s good to hear about stripers but that cheery kingfish catch could be great news for folks trying for take-home fillets but can no longer think or target fluke. I’m among those. Now to make up – or buy – some kingfish rigs. Believe me, that is one specialized rig design that gets the job done far better than using larger hooks and floats hoping kingfish will take it all in. Small matters with kingfish, not just hook size but also (smaller) float size, be it red or green. I feel the use of larger pompano-style rigs draws in too many larger bluefish. They tend not to share.
I’m also glad to hear the bass was plump. Hopefully that is a trend, though it could also be a local bass that has been happily feeding here for weeks now.
The weather is going to get breezy but slightly less so than first forecasted. There will be a few20 mph gusts but, overall, between now and Friday, it’ll be far from windblown. Boating is on the cuff, to be sure, relegated to bayside.
I’m going out on a limb by suggesting we just might see some storm stripers this blow’round. We’re due, i.e. it’s October, and Mike’s above report goes along with some other reports of bass getting more active. While plugs are a blast with suds stripers, clams quickly become the hatch.
As for those arriving kingfish, five-foot waves are not the best news for panfishing, though the lee sides (southsides) of jetties might be protected enough. If you can get down to the LBI south tip, there might be a kingfish flow inside the Rip. There is currently a very long, wide and well-marked slew from the Rip convergence zone eastward to where the beachline turns north, maybe 150 yards of shallows extending 50 yards out. If the blues aren’t too aggressive, kingfish have been known to gather there. GULP! worms and similar fake-o baits seem to work well with kingfish but I’m going to dig some local bloodworms. I’ll do a little video to show how it’s done.
My favorite kingfish rigs simple and highly effective:
DON’T PUSH ME!: Is global warming fueling the weather -- or is the internet?
In the past, we only heard tell of wild and wicked weather, from near, far and around the world. Such sky upheavals have been spoken of for hundreds of years. Now, all weather, worldwide, is seen online, in living breathing realness -- often as if what we’re seeing is happening for the first time, ever.
Such real-time looks at the planet’s workings provides shrapnel for global alarmists, willing to take credit for anything that happens in the sky -- and I mean anything. Be it cold, hot or in-between, it’s somehow a never-before-seen aspect of global warming. When it comes to global warmists finding bad, it’s all good.
There has got to be a way of convincing those now marketing global warming that is does not help the better-planet cause to constantly wear “The End Is Near!” signs around their necks. It actually annoys people to the point they become unsympathetic, even suspicious, about even worthy efforts to reduce abuses of the skyways.
The worst side of global warmism is its militant dictating of where to people should live, i.e. where they must abandon their current lives. Such strong-arm methods are tantamount to terrorism -- holding global warming to heads of people and openly threatening, “You better get outta here or else!”
You push people too far, especially in this country, they’re gonna push back … real hard. Lost during such a skirmish will be critical efforts to clean up our environment.
Adding sensibility to seafood warnings:
NGO's turn to EPA to push mercury standard that would counter FDA advice to eat fish
SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Risk Policy Report] by Maria Hegstad Sept. 30, 2014
EPA is facing calls from observers to consider pursuing a holistic risk-benefit calculus to project the estimated risks to the public from exposure to methylmercury (MeHg), in lieu of the agency's plan to update its 13-year old Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) assessment of the substance that the public is exposed to by eating otherwise beneficial seafood.
During a recent EPA National Forum on Contaminants in Fish in Alexandria, VA, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) official suggested that a broader "net effects" approach could be more useful to the agency than a traditional reference dose (RfD) -- the maximum amount of a substance that EPA estimates can be ingested daily over a lifetime without associated adverse health effects occurring.
"If you use a net effects approach, do you even need" an RfD, asked Tony Lowery, the program coordinator for NOAA's National Seafood Inspection Laboratory, speaking at the EPA forum.
Ned Groth, a retired Consumer Reports toxicologist who consults for advocacy groups on mercury and seafood issues, asked, "Is it even practical to set a new RfD? Or [is it better to] take a second approach?"
In response to the suggestions, Vincent Cogliano -- acting director of EPA's IRIS program -- said the agency is pushing ahead with its planned update to the 2001 MeHg risk assessment in it pending five-year plan of environmental contaminants that will be re-assessed or added to the IRIS database. "We want to do assessments with the most important" chemicals and contaminants," Cogliano said of the five-year plan. "Either way, mercury and methylmercury are high on that list. These are assessments that we expect to take on in the future."
Cogliano indicated that IRIS assessors have been considering very preliminary questions for the anticipated MeHg study update. Staff is considering questions like "which agents should be evaluated," as well as "which exposure routes" and "most important, what key issues should be addressed," Cogliano said. He noted that staff is considering whether to assess MeHg alone, or to also include organic Hg, inorganic or total Hg in the assessment.
Cogliano spoke little about the upcoming assessment, and instead urged forum attendees to tell him which of the options would be most helpful to them in their risk assessment and risk management activities.
The comments at the Forum follow the recent release of EPA and the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) updated joint draft advisory for pregnant women and children on how much fish to consume and what types of fish to consume. FDA performed a risk-benefit analysis to underpin that advisory, which provides a first-time floor or minimum amount of fish which should be eaten weekly as well as a maximum limit. Environmental groups have long expressed concerns about FDA's approach and have urged EPA to tighten its IRIS assessment as a counterbalance to FDA's emphasis on the benefits of eating fish.
"I'm a believer in integrated assessments. It's the only way to go," Groth said in public comments after Cogliano spoke. "But it's very hard to do. The IRIS program does risk assessments; I'm not sure who does benefits [assessments]. I think they are to be done separately and then put them together. I think the key question is net effects and for whom?"
Groth also suggested that instead of a traditional IRIS update that EPA consider performing an approach using the dose-response-based estimation of risk approach, an approach similar to that EPA uses when assessing the human health risks of carcinogens. Most recently, the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) encouraged EPA to use this approach in its long-running efforts to re-assess the human health risks of exposure to arsenic in the environment.
"We'll have to see," Cogliano replied to Groth's questions. "That [approach] is what we're trying to do with arsenic," he noted, but did not say whether the agency would pursue an alternative to the IRIS update.
Gary Ginsberg, a toxicologist with Connecticut's Department of Health, said the broader risk review suggested in place of the agency pursuing a traditional IRIS review is "very hard to do," like analyses of lead or other non-carcinogenic agents assessors would seek to review using a risk-specific dose approach.
An agency source explains that the risk-based approach is similar to how EPA assesses the human health risks of carcinogens. Rather than setting a distinct level below which no associated non-cancer health risks are anticipated over a lifetime of daily exposures, a risk-specific dose provides a slope. This means that a dose can be determined for a specific risk level, such as the 1 in 1 million or 1 in 10,000 excess cases of cancer used by agencies to set policies.
The idea would be to use human "epidemiology studies to estimate the dose-response relationship," the source says. "We have fish eating populations and levels, can we take those and create realistic dose-response -- depending on how well the levels [of fish consumption] are characterized," the source adds.
This is the approach that NAS urged EPA to adopt when assessing the human health risks of exposure to low levels of arsenic, particularly in drinking water. The agency source indicates that this approach is likely easier to use in that case, compared to the ongoing MeHg assessment update. "With arsenic, it's perhaps a little easier, because [the studies are] done on reasonably stable populations with a single water source. It's uniform over time. The question is, is the mercury concentration [in American seafood] stable over time?"
One possible further complication for EPA's update to its MeHg assessment is the presence of the co-contaminant polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in fish. PCBs are a ubiquitous environmental contaminant that EPA is also looking to re-assess in the IRIS program in the near future.
In a separate talk, Cogliano outlined some preliminary research he has done into the question of whether the toxicities of mercury and PCBs are additive -- meaning they have combined effects on human health -- and should be assessed together for the IRIS database.
Cogliano noted that NAS in its 2008 report "Phthalates and Cumulative Risk Assessment: The Task Ahead," urged EPA to simplify its policies for performing cumulative risk assessments, and look together at all contaminants that act upon the same target organ, regardless of their biological mode of action. The report specifically cited mercury and PCBs as an example of contaminants that should be assessed together, Cogliano noted.
Cogliano outlined some preliminary literature searches he has performed on the question, saying that he was "surprised by the results in the animal tox studies . .. they point to some kind of complex interaction."
His early conclusion is that "there is some evidence of additivity or more complex interactions," between mercury and PCBs in toxicity studies. "The effect modification [of the two contaminants together] is worth considering when we do our new dose-response [analysis] of mercury," Cogliano said.
Groth subsequently cautioned that it is "going to be very complicated to sort it all out. Since we get nearly all of our mercury [exposure] from fish, we also need to include the benefits of [eating] fish."
Cogliano replied, "That is one of the complications. . .. That's why it is important to have an assessment of toxicity so we can compare differing levels of Omega 3 [oils, in different types of fish. The oil is a nutritional benefit of consuming fish]. It's not what we in the IRIS program have done."
Plenty of fish in the seas - despite prophets of doom say Western England papers
SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Western morning News] Opinion (Editorial) September 29, 2014
Plymouth UK - The prophets of doom would have it that eating fish from the sea is akin to dining on endangered species and visits to the fishmonger are only a step up from driving a gas guzzling 4x4 and running the lawn sprinkler right through the summer months. The warnings on apparently unsustainable varieties of fish seem to get louder by the day. So how refreshing to be able to report today that catches of the most popular species – and those we are therefore warned to steer clear of – are actually on the up.
Haddock, cod and whiting landings at the Westcountry’s three main fishing ports were up 10% year on year in 2013, the latest fish landing figures reveal. In Plymouth, Newlyn and Brixham – among the busiest fishing ports in the UK – landings generally are looking healthy and in line with quotas.
As Pete Bromley, harbour master at Sutton harbour and manager of Plymouth Fisheries says: “This report confirms fish stocks in the Western Approaches are fit, healthy and being fished at a sustainable level. ” There is, of course, no room for complacency on fish stocks and no justification for a free-for-all at sea. The examples of over-fishing leaving coastal communities with no stock to fish are clear for all to see. The South West, where fishing has been a way of life for generations, does not want to be in put that position.
But at the same time it would be quite wrong – and damaging to the fishing industry – to allow those who overstate the threat to our stocks and try to frighten people off eating fish with claims of unsustainability, to get away with it. We have always said that the best people to judge the sustainability of fish stocks are the fishermen themselves. Those who have invested in the industry have a vested interest in ensuring they fish in such a way that does not deplete stocks. The fact that they now have a greater say in managing the fishery is a big step in the right direction, as is the change in the Common Fisheries Policy that, from 2016, should mean the end of dumping over-quota fish to feed the gulls.
Fishing is a precarious business; stock levels ebb and flow for many reasons. But here in the Westcountry where we have a mixed fishery, our fishermen are best-placed to make a judgment on stock levels and adjust their effort accordingly. Proof, if it were needed, that they do just that, comes from these figures which show that responsible fishing can be both profitable and sustainable for the long term
If you haven’t seen this, no fake photography here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yV907wCcWCc
Bite started around 11:00 pm and ended abruptly at 2:30 am. 3 bass hit black Bomber about 0-2 feet from sand. Multiple hits, few lost fish, also 2 Hickory Shad on sand eel teaser. Going again tonight. Tight lines everybody.
Scientists Find Extreme Weather Events Fueled by Climate Change
Anastasia Pantsios | September 29, 2014 4:49 pm | Comments
It’s hard to say for certain that some extreme weather events were caused by climate changebut scientists are pretty confident about the connection in other cases. That’s the conclusion of a report released today by the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, which included 22 studies by 20 research groups who assessed 16 different weather events that took place in 2013.
Brush fires in Australia add to the woes caused by extreme heat waves there. Photo credit: Shutterstock
The report, Explaining Extreme Events of 2013 From a Climate Perspective, says that the cause and effect is particularly clear in the cases of heat waves such as the record-setting temperatures in Australia in 2013. The studies found that climate change made such heat waves both more likely and more intense. Five unrelated research teams concluded separately that greenhouse gases driving climate change were the underlying cause of the temperatures that scorched Australia, killed hundreds of people and tens of thousands of bats and disrupted the Australia Open tennis tournament in January, Australia’s summer, with temperatures reaching 108 degrees. Two said they felt they could say so with virtually 100 percent certainty.
One of the report’s editors, U.K. meteorologist Peter Stott, said at a press conference, “It’s almost impossible to imagine how you could have such temperatures in a world without climate change.”
Despite that, Australia’s current government under prime minister Tony Abbott has been turning back the clock on clean energy initiatives, repealing its carbon tax and proposing to roll back its renewable energy target.
Heat waves in New Zealand, Japan, China and Korea were also found to be clearly impacted by climate change. One study found that Korea’s June-to-August 2013 heat wave was ten times more likely to occur if global warming is factored in.
Meanwhile, the studies included in the report found a less clear connection between man-made climate change and weather events such as the floods caused by exceptionally heavy rainfall in Colorado in September 2013, the June 2013 flooding and landslides in India due to heavy precipitation, the October 2013 blizzard in South Dakota and the prolonged California drought, now in its third year. Many of the studies found that these could have resulted from natural changes in weather patterns and that some were even less likely to occur as a result of climate change.
Three studies came to differing conclusions on whether the California drought had its roots in warming weather. The report’s lead editor, scientist Stephanie Herring of the National Climatic Data Center, called drought “a highly complex meteorological phenomenon” with a pair of studies looking at the influence of warmer ocean temperatures unable to conclude that there was a connection, while a third study said warming could be the cause of low rainfall.
“With natural variability playing a substantial role in individual events and given the complexity of the weather and climate processes involved, many challenges still need to be overcome to authoritatively assess how climate change has affected the strength and likelihood of individual extremes,” the report cautioned.