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Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

"'Cause tramps like us, baby, we were born to run."  "Stop! ... Squirrel lives matter!" A quick reminder that you only have one more day to score a free T-shirt when you sign up for the 2019 LBI S…

"'Cause tramps like us, baby, we were born to run." 

"Stop! ... Squirrel lives matter!"

A quick reminder that you only have one more day to score a free T-shirt when you sign up for the 2019 LBI Surf Fishing Classic. Even when that offer runs out, you’ll still get a cap and a pizza slice.

The Classic committee had its final meeting prior to the event’s start this weekend. Everything is ready to rock.
The 65th Annual Fall Surf Fishing Tournament Dates: October 5 to December 8, 2019.
The related Surf Fishing will take place on Saturday at the Ship Bottom Fire Hall. Here’s the info:
Surf Fishing Seminar Saturday, October 5, 2019
10:00 AM 2:00 PM Ship Bottom Vol Fire Hall, 2006 Central Avenue (21st and Central).
The Opening Day Surf Fishing Seminar is a great opportunity to socialize with anglers and learn about the finer point of surf fishing. The anglers from Team Mullet give a comprehensive talk and demonstration to help all surf anglers. Kick off the tournament with free coffee and donuts!

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Weekly SandPaper column: https://www.thesandpaper.net/p/trouble-in-holgate-high-grasses-blue...

Thursday, October 03, 2019: Such a change. Yesterday’s 90s have melted away, making today’s low 60s seem that much chillier. But the chill is no sweat for fisherman used to fall-time casting; the winds are a bit more troubling.

We’re entering a SCA (small craft advisory) whirlwind. Winds will be pushing 20- to 25-mph gusts for days on end, swinging from N to Ne to E to S and around to the W through early next week, the whole time kicking it. Here’s hoping some calmer mornings will allow for boat angling.

Ocean water temps yesterday were as high a 73.6. That’s warm to a fault when thinking in terms of a fall cooldown spiking the bigger bass and blues to head this way. It’s easy to leak into the planet warming becoming a big autmna player. However, looking at publication from the first few Striped Bass Derbies and the number one gripe every event was ocean waters bing too dang warm. One 1956 mention by my writing mentor Dick Clements saw a 70-degree ocean reading … in November!

On the up-angling side, the smaller blues, kingfish, blowfish and some weakies are there for the taking. Many a surfcaster will be trading a promise of spending Sunday Chowderfest time with family in return for Classic sand time when not chowdering.

For those helping to launch the nine-week Classic, it will be way rough out there. Still, roughness has never kept bass and blues from feeding. In fact, it draws trophy them flush to the beach as bunker balls break up further out. I’ll quietly note here that the Classic allows beach, inlet and bayside fishing. As to the Causeway bridges, only the Ship Bottom ground at the East Trestle Bridge (Hochstrasser Bridge) is fair wampum.  

Of surfline import, most of LBI’s beachfront have a slew of slews. These nearshore troughs and cuts are all the further you need to reach, cast-wise, to be into serious fall fishing – providing there aren’t dry sandbars showing outside. I’m guessing the periods from mid-tide rising to mid-tide dropping will be top surfcasting times, i.e. a top-of-the-tide emphasis.  

Rip current advisories are being issued almost nonstop by the Weather Service after yet another rip-related drowning down Cape May way. I’ll again appeal to surfcasters to keep an eye on any nearby bathers. Should trouble be seen, go with 9-1-1. There is also a threat for surfcasters themselves when big surf bull-rushes the beach, as is being forecast. Tred safely.

Traffic signals from Ship Bottom southward will be put on blink this coming Monday. They are not being “turned off,” as goes the common expression. Speed limits have already been increased, including 40 mph on the Blvd. In Ship Bottom. Surf City Blvd. has settled in at 35 mph. Please keep close track as you go through different speed zones, especially 8th and 9th streets in Ship Bottom; as you come speedily onto the Island or begin picking up speed to head off. Those stretches are 40 mph, strictly enforced. It’s awful to have a fishing day ruined with a costly speeding ticket.

The public fishing, crabbing, relaxation area just west of the westbound Big Bridge on the Causeway is open. I saw a couple folks sitting there just gazing northward across the bay, thus I added the “relaxation” usage. I’ll be fishing that stretch to see if anything salutes. I’ve been told the crabbing there wouldn’t be that good. Hard to believe considering the area is well over 100 yards long, ending beneath the Big Bridge overpass to the east and the Hilliard Thorofare trestle bridge overpass to the west. It juts look like a fun area. There is also a small fishable bulkhead on the east side of the same Big Bridge. The 150-foot long area is not far from Vernon’s Boatyard watering hole. It does have some deeper water within casting distance. Both sites have adjacent parking.

Top meteorologist drowns after swimming in rough surf in spite of weather alert from his own employer

A high-ranking government meteorologist who oversaw nine key National Weather Service (NWS) offices drowned after swimming in rough surf near the beach town of Duck, North Carolina.

William Lapenta, 58, was swimming in the Sanderling area in Duck when emergency services were called to the scene for a swimmer that was no longer visible from the beach, according to a statement released by Duck local authorities.

“An ocean rescue supervisor who was off duty but in the area saw what he thought to be a swimmer in distress and alerted emergency services. Lifeguards on patrol responded within minutes upon receiving the call and pulled an unresponsive 58-year-old male from the water,” said the Town of Duck statement.

The man was then pulled from the ocean and life-saving measures were performed unsuccessfully on him. He was declared dead on the scene.

“While the exact factors that caused the death are unknown, Monday’s surf conditions and a rip current in the area were likely a factor,” said Duck authorities.

Lapenta had served as the director of the National Centers for Environmental Prediction and oversaw other NWS offices including the National Hurricane Center, the Storm Prediction Center, and the Climate Prediction Center, according to his NWS biography.

“I am deeply saddened to learn about the loss of my friend and colleague, Bill Lapenta. Bill was a brilliant scientist and mentor to many. He will be missed by all of us,” said National Weather Service Director Louis Uccellini in a tweet.

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Lots of quality tog to 10.65 lbs today. Beautiful day on the ocean, windy but nice and cool. With Bill Browne and Douglas Itjen

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Yesterday, when on the beach with Scott Mazzella, he noticed one of those interesting looking little jelly fish on beach 3. A little bigger then a quarter, but intricate.

(Jay Mann By-the-wind sailor ... not a jellyfish but a hydrozoan.)

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I want to preface this quick story by saying, every time I go fishing, no matter where, my 90 year old father-in-law asks if I caught swordfish, as it is his favorite fish to eat and sadly, I let him down each time, although there are not many swordfish caught in the bay.....

This past Friday afternoon my friend, Capt. Jimmy Zavacky of the Reel Determined, asked me if he could pick up some bait for an offshore trip and, would I like to join him. After some discussion with my boss, my wife Carole Ann, I eagerly accepted his offer. We left Saturday afternoon to head to the Wilmington. Onboard were myself, Capt. Jimmy, his son Patrick and Capt. Ray Lopez.

We had an uneventful, but nice trip out. The Reel Determined is roomy and very comfortable. It rode nicely and the conditions were smooth, very nice ride. Once on station we began to trawl for tuna until dark. We hit into mahi almost right away, catching several.

After catching a handful of mahi, Capt. Jimmy and Patrick selected a spot to begin a drift for the night. That was when the next stage of fun began.

We set several lines and began to wait. It did not take long, and a line came alive. Capt. Ray jumped on the rod and began to work. After a fun, but relatively short fight, he and Patrick brought in a nice swordfish. We quickly ascertained is was a keeper and into the box it went.

It was very exciting indeed.

The rest of the night was beautiful. Capt. Jimmy scooped up one of the squid that were all around the boat and used it to live line. Dolphin were all around us, stealing the morsels of chum pieces we were throwing off the back of the boat. Patrick broke out an electric grill and we feasted on steak and mashed potatoes. It was incredible to be out there for the night. The ocean was gorgeous and the stars were amazing. I finally had to shut my eyes and headed down to a berth and slept for a few hours.

I awoke to the engines running and we were at it again trawling around the lobster pots that were lined up across the Wilmington. Mahi were again abundant and we almost filled the box with them as we went for Big Eye tuna.

Capt. Ray, once again grabbed a rod that was screaming and began working. He quickly realized that he was on more than a mahi. After some work, he landed a big wahoo. Patrick quickly and efficiently “subdued” the fish so no one would be eviscerated by the wahoo’s exceptionally dangerous mouth and into the box it went.

No fishing trip would be complete without “The One That Got Away”. Things had quieted down after the wahoo was put away. Again Capt. Ray jumped on a screaming line. I put on the belt and he helped the pole over to me. I quickly ascertained that I was not the man for the job, as something BIG was on the other end and was taking out line despite my efforts and did not want to be the guilty party if we lost this one. I tapped out and Capt. Ray donned the “harness” and got to work. The fish was smart and headed for a nearby lobster pot, wrapped around the line and broke off.....

Well, it was finally time to go and we enjoyed an uneventful ride back, with some heavy eyes, sleeping on the way home. We all pitched in to clean up the boat and gear and the Reel Determined looked ready to head out again on her next adventure. I was fortunate enough to watch Patrick Zavacky fillet all of the fish with surgeon like precision. There was PLENTY of fish to be split up amongst the four of us.

Thank you so much Captains Jimmy and Ray and Patrick for an incredible fishing trip. And Charlie, yes, I have swordfish for you!!

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AccuWeather Special Report:
2019 US Winter Forecast

Get additional insights for your story—contact pr@AccuWeather.com to arrange an interview with an expert AccuWeather meteorologist.

AccuWeather Global Weather Center – October 3, 2019 – The wait is over. AccuWeather's annual winter forecast for the lower 48 is out. As 2019 comes to a close, an active winter season will get underway for the northeastern United States.

The Southeast, however, is more likely to be targeted by rain than wintry weather.

Meanwhile, ample snowfall in California will help stave off drought conditions come springtime.

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Northeast 

Despite a few cold spells across the Northeast during autumn, winter’s chill won’t arrive until at least the end of 2019. 

AccuWeather Expert Long-Range Forecaster Paul Pastelok said: “I think you’re going to see a touch of winter come in in December. But I think it’s full force will hold out until after the New Year.”

Once the wintry weather does get underway, an active season will be in store.

“Whether or not it’s snowstorms, ice storms or mixed events, I do feel this is going to be an active year for the Northeast,” he said. 

Above-normal snowfall could be in store for areas from New York City to Boston. 

Meanwhile, cities farther south, including Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, will be more likely to seea mix of rain and snow.

Southeast

While the Northeast braces for snow and cold, the Southeast is more likely to experience a wet couple of months.

Water temperatures from the Gulf of Mexico, to the Southeast and mid-Atlantic coasts are running higher than normal, Pastelok said.

As storms move into the east early on in the season, the warm water could generate a significant amount of rain.

However, it’s not out of the question that the region could experience a winter storm, similar to last season, which brings snow or ice to areas like Winston-Salem, Charlotte or Asheville. 

North/Central Plains and Midwest

A milder-than-normal weather pattern will kick off the season in December across the northern and central Plains states.

But it won’t last for long.

Arctic air is expected to surge into the region at points during the season, although it’s too soon to tell exactly where the coldest conditions will take hold.

Pastelok predicts near- to below-normal snowfall across the northern Plains, with near- to above-normal totals in the central Plains.

Farther east, in the upper Midwest and Great Lakes, cold air will encourage a number of lake-effect snow events. 

Residents will want to stock up on shovels, as an above-normal season for snowfall is in the offing.

Southern Plains

The southern Plains will experience a “back-and-forth” weather pattern for much of the winter.

Pastelok said: “When we say back-and-forth, we’re talking about extremes.” 

“In January, you may get a couple of chilly air masses, but it’s offset by December and February when the temperatures actually end up being above normal,” he said.

Early on, the region may see a few wintry events with snow and ice before milder air returns.

“The cold air will be lacking from time to time,” Pastelok said. “The best chance of getting any significant chill is probably in January for Dallas and Oklahoma City.”

Southwest and California 

A cool, unsettled pattern is in store for the Southwest and California this season.

“At times, these areas could also see back-and-forth conditions, between some periods of dry weather and some active weather in the early winter, which is not really typical,” he said.

In California, the winter will yield enough precipitation to stave off drought conditions into the spring.

“I think they will get ample snowfall, just enough that will fill those reservoirs up in the spring and early summer. It’s the late summer, of course, that becomes more critical,” Pastelok said.

A normal season in terms of snowfall will also translate to a decent ski conditions for resorts in California.

Northwest

In the Northwest, wintry weather will be more scarce than usual.

Strong high pressure over the region is likely to lead to drier conditions and above-normal temperatures.

“I can see some places this winter in the Northwest being about 20 to 40 percent lower on the snowfall compared to average,” he said. 

The deficit is likely to hinder the region’s ski season, and have knock-on effects into springtime.

“For those who rely on hydropower: if water levels are down, it could have an effect on cost.”
 

See the Full Report on AccuWeather.com >>

 

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Effective today, the Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office has a new website

We are very pleased to announce that as of today, we are formally launching a new website for the Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office, and our old website is offline.

What about my bookmarks to your website?

Everyone will be automatically redirected to our new homepage or associated topic page. We looked at our website analytics and created automatic redirects from frequently visited pages on our old website to the corresponding pages of our new website. For example, if you have our Atlantic spiny dogfish page bookmarked, you will automatically be sent to the Atlantic spiny dogfish species profile on our new site. However, be sure to update your bookmarks and links as you navigate through the new site.

Why are we making this transition?

NOAA Fisheries launched a new and improved website two years ago that was developed based upon feedback from our customers and taking a hard look at our website analytics. The goals of the new site are to captivate our visitors, make it easier for users to search for information and navigate through our website, make our website mobile friendly, and improve the quality of our content.

Not sure where to start? Check out this video tutorial.

Although the bulk of the work is done, we are still transitioning some lesser viewed pages. So please be patient with us! We appreciate continued feedback, and want to know if you have suggestions for improvement, find broken links, or simply can’t find something you’re looking for. 

Northern Region CPOs have been actively patrolling the Hohokus Brook in Glen Rock Borough, Bergen County, to combat the illegal taking of freshwater shellfish from prohibited waters. Twenty-six individuals have been issued a total of forty-nine summonses for taking shellfish from prohibited waters, taking clams in excess of 150 clams without a commercial clamming license, and unlawful possession of shellfish. In addition, a total of seven vehicles were seized and will be subject to possible forfeiture. CPOs Adam Merritt, Tyler Hausamann, Allen Sutton and Jordan Holmes, along with Lieutenants Steven Sutton and Joseph Kuechler all took part in the investigations.

Corbicula, the shellfish most often harvested in these cases, are an invasive species in New Jersey, and so this illegal activity is not significant from a conservation standpoint, but one of human health. The volume of clams harvested suggests commercial intent. Clams taken from waters classified as prohibited could seriously sicken unknowing consumers.

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WILD CAUGHT VS FARMED SALMON: WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?

What are the benefits of wild caught salmon over farmed salmon? And how do you know what you’re getting is actually wild salmon? Here, I explain the key differences so you can be a savvy salmon shopper and reap the nutritional rewards.

When you’re at the grocery store or fishmonger looking to pick up a nice salmon filet, you’ve probably seen both wild-caught and farm-raised options. And sometimes the only noticeable visual difference is the price tag—with wild-caught salmon varieties almost always clocking in higher.

That alone might be enough to sway your decision, but I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Farm-raised salmon is a totally different beast than wild-caught. And if you’re looking for health benefits and flavor, wild-caught is the way to go. 

WILD-CAUGHT SALMON

I typically purchase wild-caught Sockeye, Coho or King Salmon. Wild-caught salmon simply refers to any salmon caught in their natural environment. This can include oceans, lakes, and rivers, depending on the particular salmon species. Not only does this type of salmon generally have a more vibrant red-orange color and distinctive savory/complex flavor, but it’s far healthier.

One of the reasons wild-caught salmon is preferable to farmed salmon is because it has a higher (and thus healthier) ratio of Omega-3 to Omega-6 fatty acidsWhile both of these fatty acids are essential for optimal health, humans tend to ingest far too many Omega-6 fats. Mainly due to processed foods. And unfortunately, most folks aren’t getting enough Omega-3s.

The higher amount of Omega-6 fats found in farmed salmon means it doesn’t pack quite the anti-inflammatory nutritional punch of wild-caught.

The healthier fatty acid profile of wild-caught salmon is directly related to their diet. Wild-caught salmon are able to feed off of organisms found in their environment such as insects, invertebrates, plankton, other fish, and shrimp, while farmed salmon are often fed pellet feed containing a blend of grains, plants and fish meal.

Due to a surge in salmon popularity over the past 10 years, there have been some concerns over the sustainability of wild-caught salmon. As you might be aware, overfishing can be a very real problem.

The good news: Sockeye, Coho, and King salmon from Alaska are all certified sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council.

FARM-RAISED SALMON

While some farmed salmon is of an acceptable quality, the fish farming industry on a whole is riddled with problems. That means it’s really hard to know what you’re getting because there aren’t rigorous standards regulating salmon farms—so I always avoid it.

The problem with farmed salmon is two-fold: It’s generally not so great for you or the environment.

Most farmed salmon has been raised in high-density aquaculture tanks and fed the unnatural feed diet mentioned above. This leads to a variety of problems, in addition to the inferior fatty acid profile mentioned above.

Because these fish are in such close proximity to one another, there’s a greater risk of disease and infection, so they’re often dosed with antibiotics and pesticides. Unfortunately, this can then get passed on to you. In fact, research shows that farmed salmon contains higher levels of PCBs and dioxins (types of industrial pollutants) and chlorinated pesticides. Plus, farmed salmon is often farmed in areas of the world where salmon are not native, and when they escape (which happens), that can lead to the development of invasive populations that threaten other fish.

As far as taste goes, farmed salmon is generally mild in flavor and has a pink-orange hue; unlike wild-caught salmon, which tends to be more vibrant and flavorful.

4 TIPS TO EASILY FIND WILD-CAUGHT SALMON EVERY TIME

So, how do you know if salmon is wild-caught or farm-raised? It’s a pretty safe bet that if salmon is wild caught, your grocery store, fishmonger or the brand will prominently call that out. If it’s hard for you to tell, then it’s most likely farm-raised—and this goes for all fish and shellfish.

A couple other tricks to help you better determine if that salmon filet is farmed or wild:

  • Pretty much all Atlantic Salmon is farmed; so if you’re looking for wild-caught salmon, always avoid Atlantic Salmon.  
  • Fish farming is banned in Alaska, so all appropriately labeled Alaskan Salmon (including Sockeye, Coho, and King) is wild-caught salmon.
  • Sockeye Salmon, one of my favorite salmon species, is always wild-caught. This species has a unique diet and lifestyle that isn’t easily replicated by humans, so attempts at farming them have been unsuccessful.
  • Coho Salmon and King Salmon, two of my other favorites, can either be farm-raised or wild-caught. So when buying these, be sure to look for a wild-caught or Alaskan label.
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Without Government Aid, Fishermen in Mexico Return to Endangered Porpoise Habitat

Copyright © 2019 Arizona Public Media
By Kendal Blust
October 1, 2019

Since 2015, the Mexican government has paid fishermen living in the uppermost part of the Sea of Cortez compensation not to fish in an area inhabited by the little vaquita marina porpoise. It’s part of an effort to protect the nearly extinct marine mammal. Experts estimated there are only about 10 left.

But fishermen the seaside towns of San Felipe and Santa Clara say they haven’t gotten any help from the government since President Andrés Manuel López Obrador took office last December. So they’ll be back in the water this shrimp season starting this week.

“We can’t be without work,” said Lorenzo Garcia, president of the largest fishermen’s federation in San Felipe.

Fishermen from San Felipe and Santa Clara also bucked the fishing ban in March during chano fishing season. But Lorenzo said they hadn’t been back in the water since June, waiting on word from the Mexican government.

Officials met in Mexico City Monday to try to work out a solution, but Garcia says nothing has materialized so far.

But it isn't just the Mexican government that's making things hard for fishermen, he said. International nonprofit organizations spend a lot of time in the Sea of Cortez studying and trying to protect the vaquita, but he wants them to do more for fishermen who have been put out of work.

“But they aren’t thinking about us,” he said. “We know about the vaquita, and we’ve done what we can, but we have needs and we have to work.”

Many legal fishermen also feel like they get the blame for the vaquita’s demise, when it’s illegal totoaba poaching that should be the main focus, he added.

Totoaba are huge fish that are valuable on the black market in China for their buche, or swim bladder. But the nets used to catch the totoaba also ensnare other animals, including the vaquita. There has been some debate over how dangerous other nets, like those used to catch shrimp, are to the vaquita, but many believe any net poses too much risk with so few animals left.

Earlier this month, a group of scientists spotted as many as six vaquita in the upper Sea of Cortez, confirming that they are not yet extinct. But with the start of the shrimp season this month and the totoaba season amping in November, many experts worry there isn’t much time left to protect the few vaquita that remain.

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As Great White Sharks Disappear, Cape Town Searches for Reasons

September 30, 2019, 12:00 AM EDT Updated on September 30, 2019, 10:37 AM EDT 
  • Orcas, over-fishing, changed ecosystem are potential causes 
    Some scientists say too early to tell, predators may return

Capetonians don’t know who to blame for the disappearance of their great white sharks: The orcas that eat them, the fishermen who sell their prey to Australia for use in fish-and-chips shops or gradual ecological change.

The world’s biggest predatory fish haven’t been seen this year in False Bay, which lies off the city’s eastern coast, according to scientists and cage-diving operators. While the absence may be temporary it’s creating concern because, along with vineyards, the iconic Table Mountain and world-class restaurants the species is key to a $2.6 billion provincial tourism industry.

“Its unprecedented that they aren’t here,” said Gregg Oelofse, who oversees coastal management for the City of Cape Town. “To think that they may no longer be here is tragic. They are central to Cape Town’s identity.”

The loss of the two-ton sharks from False Bay, where they are famed for leaping out of the water in pursuit of seals, prompted the city to put out a press release in August noting their disappearance, drawing the ire of state officials.

The sharks support a cage-diving industry that provides employment for as many as 750 people, according to a city agency, and a vibrant documentary making scene. There’s concern that many of the thousands of tourists who view sharks off the city’s coast may go elsewhere.

National Tension

Spotters, who began monitoring the city’s beaches 14 years ago after a series of fatal attacks, haven’t seen a great white in 2019 after averaging 205 sightings between 2010 and 2016. Sightings fell to 50 last year. A number of whale carcasses that washed ashore had no shark bites, an unusual occurrence.

The national government criticized the assessment of the situation by Cape Town’s municipality.

“The department is unable to corroborate the City of Cape Town’s statements,” it said. “There is a need to focus all management decisions on information that is factual and scientifically sound,” it said, saying that cage divers and scientists have seen great whites in the bay.

The three cage-diving operators in False Bay, who lower tourists into the water around Seal Island to view the 4.5 meter (15-foot) sharks, say they have not spotted any this year and the about 40 tagged sharks haven’t been picked up by sensors in the bay.

The state fisheries department hasn’t released assessments of the impact of fishing on the stocks of the great white’s prey for several years.

Nicole the Shark

Papers written by the government’s own scientists noted the increasing scarcity of the sharks and a 2018 study said the smoothhound and soupfin types they eat were likely over-fished. The department didn’t respond to questions on the effect of so-called demersal shark long-line fishing that sees small sharks sent to Australia where they are sold as “flake.”

Still, great whites are a migratory species and are more common around the middle of the year in Cape Town. Also, scientists say fish stocks appear to be moving gradually east where the water is warmer.

“Great whites are highly migratory animals that can swim great distances,” said Bernard Seret, a marine biologist who worked as a shark specialist at the French National Museum of Natural History. “If they are still absent a year from now, scientists could start developing hypotheses. It’s much too soon to draw any conclusions.”

In 2005, a great white shark -- named Nicole after Australian actress Nicole Kidman -- that had been tagged in South Africa, swam to Australia and back.

The arrival four years ago of two male orcas, known as Port and Starboard as their dorsal fins are bent to the left and right respectively, may have had an effect. The two orcas hunt large sharks, whose livers they tear out and eat before discarding the rest of the carcass.

Port and Starboard

There have been instances elsewhere including California’s Farallon Islands where great whites have temporarily left after being preyed on by orcas, according to Alison Kock, a marine biologist at the Cape Research Centre. There is evidence of them eating both great white and sevengill sharks in False Bay, she added.

“Port and Starboard came to the island one Sunday, smashed a few sharks and the sharks didn’t come back for three weeks,” said Stef Swanson, the owner of Shark Explorers, one of the cage-dive companies.

For the cage divers, who charge as much as 3,500 rand ($234) a trip, the disappearance is a disaster.

“With the white shark crisis, many of those clients have canceled their bookings,” said Swanson, the web page of who’s company -- like its two rivals -- features a great white, noting that bookings are down 50%. “At the end of the day the client wants to see the white shark. It’s part of their bucket list.”

Safer Swimming

While the effect on tourism is worrying, scientists and the city’s tourism body, Wesgro, say of more concern could be the impact on the ecosystem.

Already there have been changes. Seals are swimming more openly away from the island, sevengill sharks have emerged from the kelp forests and bronze whaler sharks have been seen swimming near beaches.

“White sharks influence hundreds of species in the bay, either through direct predation or by the fear of predation,” Kock said. “Their continued absence will likely result in more ecological changes, many of which we can’t predict.”

— With assistance by Pauline Bax

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