Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report
Friday, February 07, 2014: I’m disgusted with the new fluke regs. Sadly, there are many locals who won’t be just disgusted but busted. Fluking is bug business hereabouts, from tackle shops to boat rentals to charters. That little shift in who gets the fluke – loved by states to the north – literally takes food out of the mouths of many coastal folks.
Is there anything to be done? I really don’t know if legal challenges are practical or effective.
Regarding fluke, I’m doubly biased. Not only do I support the legions of anglers in this most popular of fisheries – drawing far more folks (fishing effort hours) than bluefish and striped bass combined – but I still feel there are quite likely too many fluke in the sea, when thinking in terms of a balanced ecosystem. They’re ravenous feeders yet are being nursed as if they’re first in line for conservation – and they thrive off of less-conserved/protected young-of-year species. I know that’s all a broken record on my part but I know I’m right about that over-nursing a species and the long-term damage it does.
In case you hadn’t read: At today’s meeting, the ASMFC voted in favor of regionalized management for fluke in effect reallocating some of New Jersey’s fluke quota and giving it to New York. Further, of the two regionalization plans being considered, they chose the worse one for New Jersey. Under the adopted plan, New Jersey will be in a region with New York and Connecticut. Under this plan we will have a 4 fish bag limit at 18” with a 128 day season. The NJMFC will now only be able to decide when the season will begin and when it will end. Under this plan New Jersey is only projected to harvest 906,348 fluke. If the other regional option had been chosen New Jersey would have had a 135 day season with a projected harvest of 947,337 fluke.
Further the ASMFC disregarded the will of the public. Hearings were held in various states and there was a public comment period where the vast majority of the public opposed the regionalized plans. Additionally, the ASMFC claimed they wanted to have similar sized regulations between bordering states but all they did was shift the problem. Last year New York had a 19” size limit and New Jersey had a 17 ½” size limit despite the fact that they were fishing similar waters. This year both New York and New Jersey will have an 18” size limit. However, Delaware will have a 16” size limit. How is that fair for our boats out of Cape May that fish similar waters?
The little bit of good news today was that the ASMFC voted not to have a closed season on winter flounder. Now we just have to wait for the NJMFC to adopt that measure.
The ASMFC also voted in favor of ad hoc regional measures for sea bass as we had last year.
I am hopeful that since New Jersey under fished its target quota that we might be able to have a somewhat longer season this year but that remains to be seen.
Holgate happenings: Still plenty of snowy owls. I counted five yesterday. The pros counted the same number today. Here’s a couple obligatory owl videos I took yesterday, late-day and low sun.
Seems the owls are feeding heavily on the nearby ducks – and other feathered edibles, including a bittern, which fell to Owl 1 (near entrance) and was photographed dining upon said bittern.
Here’s some peaceful brants dining away – nothing attacks them. Just a relaxing look at these cool geese, Yes, they are a type goose. http://youtu.be/Pk-gav1TB90 .
Replenishment chatter: I got further confirmation that a September start date for the Island-long replenishment is highly likely. The only new news is a rather small mom-and-pop dredging firm that has come into the picture. I’m trying to get more info on this new firm. Already in the bidding wars are Weaks Marine and Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Company.
Here are a tidbit looks at the latter two:
Founded in 1919 as a dredging and stevedoring company, privately owned Weeks Marine, Inc. is one of the largest marine and tunneling contractors in the United States and Canada. The company’s corporate office is located in Cranford, New Jersey with regional offices in Louisiana, Texas, Virginia, Hawaii, Ontario, and Quebec. Weeks has successfully completed projects throughout North America, South America, the Caribbean and the Pacific Rim and was recently ranked 86th on the "Engineering News-Record" 2011 top 400 contractors list.
Oak Brook, Illinois: Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Company's operations span the period between 1890 and the present day, and have helped shape community environments and transportation infrastructure around the world, including America's largest port cities. Great Lakes has played a major role in creating shorelines and waterways through both its dredging and construction activities. Through this effort, Great Lakes has grown to be America's largest dredging contractor and a major international competitor.
Sen. Cantwell requests ocean acidification research funding be included in Magnuson Reauthorization
February 7, 2014
During a Senate Commerce Committee hearing in late January, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) warned of ocean acidification’s impact on salmon fisheries and the jobs they support. To combat the problem, she called for new cooperative research between fishermen and scientists to be considered as part of the Magnuson-Stevens Act Reauthorization.
In a discussion with several Washington state witnesses, Cantwell highlighted why additional research is needed to understand ocean acidification’s potential to damage critical salmon food sources – including small crustaceans such as copepods. Witnesses raised concerns that copepods, key to healthy salmon populations, could find it harder to reproduce if their waters become more acidic.
“The reason I bring this up is because throughout this hearing we have had a dialogue about all the things we’re doing to try to protect salmon,” Cantwell said at today’s hearing. “And yet, I think we also have to realize there is this larger looming threat of acidification. While we’ve all been aware this is accelerating and having an impact on the oceans, I think this one has very big potential.”
During the hearing Cantwell asked Dr. Trevor Branch, a University of Washington fisheries professor, about his work on ocean acidification impacts on seafood. Cantwell found that there is significant uncertainty and additional scientific data is needed to understand how fish stocks and fishery jobs may be impacted by ocean acidification.
“How can we leverage the acidification research?” asked Cantwell. “How can NOAA leverage what’s being done at the University of Washington’s Center on Acidification research. How can we work cooperatively? We meet fishermen all throughout our region that are ready to help participate in collecting data and information.”
“I think the key is going to be figuring out what species are going to be affected and what species aren’t. And how to cope with ocean acidification in the future. And hopefully mitigate against the causes of ocean acidification as well,” said Dr. Branch.
U.S. again raises CITES-based complaint against Iceland's whaling
SEAFOODNEWS.COM NEWS [AFP] - February 7, 2014 -
WASHINGTON, The United States said Thursday that Iceland was violating an international agreement through its whaling, opening the possibility of economic sanctions over the controversial hunt.
The Department of the Interior, in a decision it is required to take under U.S. law, found that the Nordic country’s actions violated the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.
The certification was sent to President Barack Obama, who has 60 days to determine whether to impose economic sanctions on the NATO ally. After a similar decision in 2011, Obama declined to do so but ordered diplomatic measures to raise concern.
Iceland and Norway are the only nations that openly defy a 1986 global moratorium on commercial whaling. Japan kills hundreds of whales a year but says it abides by the moratorium by using a loophole that allows “lethal research” on the ocean giants.
Iceland consumes little whale meat but supplies the Japanese market. It increased its 2014 quotas to 383 whales, despite not achieving the hunt target the previous year.
Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, in a statement on the decision, credited the 1986 moratorium with helping whale stocks recover after commercial whaling “had nearly driven whales to extinction.”
Conservation and animal rights groups hailed the move and called for Obama to take action to stop Iceland’s hunt.
“Killing endangered fin whales is not only brutal, it’s short-sighted,” said Taryn Kiekow Heimer of the Natural Resources Defense Council.
“Iceland should not be allowed to ignore the fact that, regardless of some temporary financial reward, this practice is simply unsustainable and cruel,” she said.
Happening tomorrow. Good cure for cabin fever.
: Fishing Seminar in Tuckerton 2-8-14
I was asked by a friend to pass this on as it is a fundraiser for the Sunshine Foundation and it benefits kids with severe illnesses.
The Southern Ocean County Chapter of the
Sunshine Foundations presents
5th Annual Fishing Seminar
Saturday February 8th 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Coffee and Donuts for early arrivals
Lunch – Sub Sandwich from Gourmet Deli
Redman’s Lodge –143 W Main St., Route 9 – Tuckerton
Topics and Invited Speakers:
Bob Ackerman – Kayak Fishing
Olaf Jensen, PhD – Rutgers professor – Sea Bass Tagging Study
Coast Guard & Coast Guard Auxiliary
Greg Kucharewski – Surf Fishing
Captain Adam Nowalsky – President NJ Chapter RFA
Wreck Fishing and update on new fluke regulations
Fluke Fishing in Great Bay – Fred Waltzinger
Party Boat Fishing & Etiquette – Jimmie Stones
Reserve Tickets at $20 by calling Skip at 609-709-8038
Or Tom at 609-296-3774
$25 at the door without reservations