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Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Monday, November 28, 2016: Late-fall perfection remains in firm control, at least through a big chunk of today.

 

UPDATE: South winds have begun, late-day. They'll be picking up. This should have a beach bite going by tomorrow. Unfortunately, there is also an out-of-the-blue groundswell arriving out of the east and north; -- three foot waves were showing with the rising tide. That wave action could stir things up a tad more than needed, nonetheless, think bait and two rods. Then, work a plugging rod to see what might salute, including possible red drum, Spanish mackerel and choppers -- so go with some steel leader and nix the teasers. 

Below: Come on, you can barely tell this ramp material from the beach sand ... maybe squint a little. Long Beach Township, Brant Beach. 

Commercial fishing boat sunk/burnt in BL overnight. It first came to me as a fishing boat burnt and sunk but that didn't sound quite right only because nobody saw it burning. Hell, a true burning boat could be seen from the mainland. As the sinking is investigated, I'll wonder out loud if the vessel began sinking and when water finally reached the electronics, a fire started right before final submersion. 

Steve George Mullet still in the wash.

Below: Frank Angelo
"What a day striper fishing. It was a little chilly this morning (22 degrees ) but warmed up nicely with glassy seas. We left little egg inlet and ran up the beach to Harvey Cedars where we ran into acres of striped bass on the surface. Most of them were big fish. We caught them all day and left them biting. There were also about 2 dozen whales out there today, some of them breaching."

Monday, November 28, 2016: Late-fall perfection remains in firm control, at least through a big chunk of today. Then, may the rains arrive. Outback creeks are at a crawl … during the height of paddling season. The dampness is also needed for hibernating wildlife to gauge how far to dig down for a safe winter sleep, though as recently as last week, I saw fence swift lizards still out and about.

The rain comes with some arriving southern mildness, as I wrote about last week. This Indian Summer – which is now official since we had the required night of freezing temps – is going to bug hunters as they load up for the always heavily-manned shotgun season for deer. Ticks and chiggers will be out there with vengeance. Add to the fact that a bagged deer is a veritable walking tick distribution center and the Lyme danger is in full bloom.

I had a couple folks ask about targeting redfish (red rum). If you’re surf fishing, you’re targeting them. Plugging has worked lately. They’ll go for baits – though they’re not big on heftier bunker chunks. I’ve caught them on shrimp (NC, Fla.)... but who’s going to be chucking Acme shrimp out there? No, seriously, who might br doing that … kinda just for fun?

If you’re out in the ocean fishing and such, how about those whales? Seeing them rise in a breach never gets tiring. Even the blows offer a rush akin to geyser-watching.

Speaking of that exhaling action, whales cannot breathe through their mouths. Their air intake and output is solely through either one or two blowholes, depending on species. A whale’s blow is not water. The exhaled air is so warmed and forcefully emitted that it is vapor, in some cases forced as much as 40 feet into the air. It’s much like the look of human breath hitting cold air.  

Repaired link: 

Beaches are still shewed up Brant Beach/Ship Bottom boundary area. Stay in the deeper tracks. Here's a look at the ripped up sand. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JeethoLOb7A

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With wild and hand-fed Ocean County deer now strategically snuggling up to humanity and its greenery, hunters have also been more inclined to do their own inching inward toward developed zones. 

As to allowable closeness to humanity when hunting with a firearm, the magic number for a NJ “Safety Zone” is 450 feet from a building or the furthest boundary of a school playground. For you more athletic-minded folks, that’s a football field and a half. For you walkabouters, that’s roughly 200 steps, though you, as a hunter, must have it down to the exact footage.

Nowadays, determining distance is made easier through a slew of devices that can map out exact distance based on GPS. Many smart phones have such apps.

On their own, such distance-measuring devices are called pedometers. There are dozens of them now available, mainly for runners and hikers and such. Pedometers can be useful when hunting.

Below: Please don't shot this gal and her pedometer ... even if she did scare the deer away. 

The Google maps have changed the face of hunting, in both a good way and not so good. The days of claiming you just lost track an wandered into a “No Hunting” zone are diminishing. Most hunters greatly prefer to know they’re in the right – on solid hunting ground, as it were. Handheld devices, including phones, can now show satellite views of exactly where you’re at … with building and roads labeled. 

What is a SAFETY ZONE? • The firearm SAFETY ZONE is the area within 450 feet of a building or school playground, even if not occupied. For bowhunters, the SAFETY ZONE around buildings is 150 feet but remains 450 feet from a school playground. See Safety Zone, page 27. • The SAFETY ZONE is the place where you, the hunter, cannot carry a loaded firearm or nocked arrow unless you have written permission in hand. • The SAFETY ZONE was established by legislation in 1946 as an area to place some physical distance, a buffer, between hunters and homeowners. • The SAFETY ZONE could be land where there is suitable wildlife habitat for adaptable species, like the white-tailed deer, cottontail rabbit and Canada goose. • The SAFETY ZONE is not a magic shield and cannot stop a misdirected projectile from entering the area around a home.

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This is the bonus tag Striper I kept 27 3/4" Thanksgiving Day out of the five I caught* The other photos I had posted were of one of our club members John who was fishing there also and he kept a 28" keeper.

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James Allen  
Great Day on the Ocean 

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Brian Coen added with Jon Coen 

A truly amazing week of fishing this past week. It's great to see a once depleted species thriving again. It's no secret that rod n reel fishing is not my forte:) but I'm proud to say that about a dozen people pulled bass over the side of the Hannah Jenny this week as everyday was lights out fishing. The calm seas, clear water and top water action made for a great combo.

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Im on it guys, anyone with orders I have u all onboard and started but just so you know I am dead serious when I say swamped , this is the time of yr I really have to hustle and hope I dont loose anyone in process. I tend to loose a name here and there and I am soooo sorry. This is just 1 order for 1 person 
) but if You think I may have lost you in the mix please dont hesitate to shoot me a message and see if I have you on my list.

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Please take a minute to read this since it could impact us in a couple ways. Firstly, the maladies mentioned here could come our way. Secondly, and even more menacing, our having the last healthy stocks of good shellfish --with everyone wanting them -- could lead to catastrophic overfishing.  jm.
New England without Clam Chowder?

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Cape Cod Times] By Matt Charetteand Hauke Kite-Powell - November 28, 2016  
 
From Connecticut to Maine, the chemistry and temperature of New England coastal waters are changing — and the shellfish we love to eat are at risk. If we don’t begin to take action, our fishermen may soon have a much harder time harvesting clams, oysters, scallops, mussels and lobsters.
 
Last month, shellfish beds in Maine, Rhode Island, the south coast of Massachusetts, and parts of Cape Cod were closed because of a marine phytoplankton bloom that produced potentially dangerous levels of domoic acid, a compound that can accumulate in shellfish and is toxic to humans. At the same time, high levels of another organism, a virus that can cause severe gastroenteritis in humans, closed oyster beds on the Outer Cape and prevented the popular Wellfleet Oyster Festival from offering raw local oyster products of any kind.
 
There is growing concern that these and other disruptions of the New England shellfish industry will become more frequent as the delicate balance of seawater conditions supporting life in the ocean is changed by human activity. Among these changes are rising temperatures of the atmosphere and the ocean, and a reduction in sea water pH, commonly referred to as “ocean acidification.”
 
Ocean acidification happens for two main reasons: First, the ocean absorbs about a third of the carbon dioxide generated by burning fossils fuels, and that carbon dioxide combines with seawater to produce an acid, lowering the sea water’s pH. At the same time, coastal development is flushing more nutrients from septic tanks and lawns into near-shore waters, fertilizing marine plant life. When those plants eventually die and decompose, they deplete oxygen from seawater and produce even more carbon dioxide, thereby further lowering coastal waters’ pH. Lower pH and related changes in ocean water chemistry threaten our seafood production by making it difficult for shellfish to build their shells and grow.
 
This isn’t a Chicken-Little scenario. It’s already happened in the Pacific Northwest, where, in 2005, low pH conditions led to massive die-offs of oyster larvae in Puget Sound hatcheries and forced the region’s multimillion-dollar shellfish industry to shut down, modify, and relocate some of their operations.
 
The regional economic and cultural stakes are significant. Massachusetts has 78 coastal communities whose economies are tied to the ocean. The state’s shellfish aquaculture alone was valued at $25.4 million and generated more than $45 million for the Massachusetts economy, according to a 2015 study by the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth Center for Marketing Research. The seafood industry as a whole contributes about $1 billion per year to the Northeast regional economy.
 
We are already seeing initial effects of changing ocean conditions off New England, with lobster and finfish populations shifting their ranges to the north and east. How quickly will these changes proceed in the years ahead? How will marine organisms and ecosystems respond to the combined stresses of lower oxygen, lower pH, lower food levels, and higher temperatures?
 
There is a clear and urgent need to invest more in research to answer these questions to safeguard our local seafood supply and the industry and cultural traditions tied to it. We’re probably not going to find a magic-bullet solution to neutralize the problem instantly, so we need to find ways to adapt to the changes while we tackle the larger underlying causes.
 
A key first step is to create or build upon existing monitoring networks to unravel the factors that drive water quality changes and use that information to develop appropriate coastal management plans. In Washington state, newly established networks are enabling hatchery managers to schedule production when water quality is good. Washington has also established a statewide commission to focus on the impacts of chemical changes in its coastal ecosystems. Maine has done the same.
 
Here in Massachusetts, state Rep. Tim Madden, D-Nantucket, sponsored a bill that would form a commission to direct our state’s response to ocean acidification. The bill was passed by the House in August and has gone to the state Senate. This special body would identify current and potential impacts of ocean acidification and other coastal water chemistry changes, devise ways to fill critical gaps in scientific knowledge, and set policies and procedures for responding to this threat to our aquaculture industry and commercial fisheries.
 
The news is not all bad, and aquaculture could be part of the solution. In Falmouth and other Cape towns, officials are evaluating alternatives to expensive centralized wastewater treatment and sewers, including using filter-feeding shellfish aquaculture to remove excess nutrients from impaired estuaries and restore water quality. This approach could save taxpayers money, while adding positive economic and recreational benefits to the region. It could even help bring back the bay scallop, a species that has largely disappeared from local estuaries because nutrient pollution killed off its native habitat, eelgrass.
 
Standing on the shore, it’s hard to envision that the ocean is changing in fundamental ways. But we should pay attention and get ahead of these changes before they cause trouble for the region’s seafood industries.
 
Matt Charette is director of the Coastal Ocean Institute at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and Hauke Kite-Powell is a research specialist in WHOI’s Marine Policy Center.
 
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SIRF Funds DNA Testing Project for Fast Identification of Fish Species

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] - November 28, 2016

Research Could Produce Potential Check on Seafood Fraud

The Board of Directors of the Seafood Industry Research Fund (SIRF) have funded research for the development of a fast, cost-effective identification of edible fish and fish products to prevent species substitution and fraud. The project will be led by Dr. J. Aquiles Sanchez, Ph.D. of the Department of Biology at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts.

The research seeks to develop a rapid means of seafood species identification using Closed-Tube DNA Bar Coding. Compared to difficult and expensive FDA DNA testing, the Closed-DNA system represents a convenient alternative that can be used with both laboratory equipment and, importantly, handheld devices. The project could benefit seafood companies, distributors, restaurants and consumers by providing a tool for protecting product from mislabeling and species substitution.

“The FDA has a strong interest in any new technologies and techniques that could potentially decrease cost and time of analysis while increasing throughput and ease of use,” said Jonathan Deeds, Ph.D. of the FDA Office of Regulatory Science. “Methods with the potential to be field deployable are of particular interest. For public health, it is vital that both domestic and imported seafood be safe, wholesome and properly labeled.”

The research would compile a reference database of DNA "barcodes" for species at high risk of mislabeling or substitution. Suppliers, distributors and retailers could use the method of authentication to maintain the quality of their brand and retain consumer trust.

Jamie Marshall, chairman of industry watchdog group The Better Seafood Board (BSB), views the SIRF DNA project as a potentially powerful tool in combating seafood fraud.

“Industries thrive or perish on their reputations,” Marshall said. “The seafood business needs more effective resources in defending itself against the bad actors who threaten the opinions and goodwill of its consumers. I look forward to following the study and learning about the practical applications it may have for product quality and authentication.”

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Global Warming Alters Arctic Food Chain, Scientists Say, With Unforeseeable Results


SEAFOODNEWS.COM [New York Times] by Carl Zimmer - November 23, 2016
 
The Arctic Ocean may seem remote and forbidding, but to birds, whales and other animals, it’s a top-notch dining destination.
 
“It’s a great place to get food in the summertime, so animals are flying or swimming thousands of miles to get there,” said Kevin R. Arrigo, a biological oceanographer at Stanford University.
 
But the menu is changing. Confirming earlier research, scientists reported Wednesday that global warming is altering the ecology of the Arctic Ocean on a huge scale.
 
The annual production of algae, the base of the food web, increased an estimated 47 percent between 1997 and 2015, and the ocean is greening up much earlier each year.
 
These changes are likely to have a profound impact for animals further up the food chain, such as birds, seals, polar bears and whales. But scientists still don’t know enough about the biology of the Arctic Ocean to predict what the ecosystem will look like in decades to come.
 
While global warming has affected the whole planet in recent decades, nowhere has been hit harder than the Arctic. This month, temperatures in the high Arctic have been as much as 36 degrees above average, according to records kept by the Danish Meteorological Institute.
 
In October, the extent of sea ice was 28.5 percent below average — the lowest for the month since scientists began keeping records in 1979. The area of missing ice is the size of Alaska and Texas put together.
 
Since the mid-2000s, researchers like Dr. Arrigo have been trying to assess the effects of retreating ice on the Arctic ecosystem.
 
The sun returns to the Arctic each spring and melts some of the ice that formed in winter. Algae in the open water quickly spring to life and start growing.
 
These algae are the base of the food chain in the Arctic Ocean, grazed by krill and other invertebrates that in turn support bigger fish, mammals and birds.
 
Dr. Arrigo and his colleagues visited the Arctic in research ships to examine algae in the water and to determine how it affected the water’s color. They then reviewed satellite images of the Arctic Ocean, relying on the color of the water to estimate how much algae was growing — what scientists call the ocean’s productivity.
 
The sea’s productivity was rapidly increasing, Dr. Arrigo found. Last year he and his colleagues published their latest update, estimating that the productivity of the Arctic rose 30 percent between 1998 and 2012.
 
But Mati Kahru, an oceanographer at the University of California, San Diego, was skeptical. As an expert on remote sensing, he knew how hard it is to get a reliable picture of the Arctic Ocean.
 
The ocean is notoriously cloudy, and algae are not the only thing that tinting the water. Rivers deliver tea-colored organic matter into the Arctic Ocean, which can give the impression that there’s more algae in the water than is actually there.
 
Dr. Kahru and his colleagues decided to take an independent look, scouring satellite databases for images taken from 1997 to 2015 — “every image available,” he said.
 
The scientists used a mathematical equation to determine how the color in each pixel of each image was determined by algae, runoff, and other factors. Dr. Kahru decided that Dr. Arriga was right: The Arctic Ocean has become vastly more productive.
 
Marcel Babin, an oceanographer at Université Laval in Quebec who was not involved in the new study, said that the researchers had done “very careful work” that confirmed the earlier studies. “It’s an important finding,” he said.
 
Not only is the Arctic Ocean producing more algae, but it’s doing so sooner each year. “These blooms are coming earlier, sometimes two months earlier,” Dr. Kahru said.
 
In fact, the bloom may be coming even sooner than satellites can record. On research cruises, Dr. Arriga and his colleagues have found that open water is no longer a requirement for algae to grow.
 
The ice has gotten so thin that sunlight reaches through it. “Now they’re not even waiting for the ice to melt,” said Dr. Arriga said of algal organisms.
 
If we stay on our current course, pouring more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, the Arctic will only get warmer, perhaps becoming ice-free in the summer. If algae can find more nitrogen and other nutrients in the ocean, its productivity may continue to rise.
 
Scientists can’t yet say what the ecological effects of this transformation will be. “It is probable it will have an impact on the whole food web,” Dr. Babin said.
 
Dr. Babin and his colleagues have been studying that impact over the past two summers on an expedition called the Green Edge Project, which has studied the ecology in Baffin Bay off the coast of northern Canada. They hope to present the first results of the survey next year.
 
Some species may thrive because they can graze on the extra algae. But if the ecosystem comes to life earlier in the year, many species may be left behind.
 
Fish larvae may not be able to develop fast enough. Migrating whales and birds may show up too late. A lot of the extra algae may drop to the sea floor by then, untouched.
 
“It’s going to be a different Arctic unless we turn things around,” said Dr. Arriga.
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Pew Mostly Disappointed with ICCAT Commission Outcomes But Does Support Science-Backed Decisions


SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] November 22, 2016 

The Pew Charitable Trusts was mostly disappointed with the results that came out of the 20th annual meeting of the annual International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) but did support the Commission taking efforts to base fishery management decisions on sound science.

“This year’s ICCAT was a missed opportunity for sustainable fisheries. Measures for bluefin and bigeye tunas, blue sharks, and Mediterranean swordfish did not heed scientific advice, and could lead to further depletion of valuable species. Despite this, the Commission’s adoption of harvest strategies for key stocks provides hope that management decisions will soon depend on precaution and science, rather than political maneuvering,” said Paulus Tak, senior officer, international ocean policy, The Pew Charitable Trusts

Our companion story today highlights the major recommendations that came out of this month’s meeting. Among them was the Commission’s first ever attempt to catch and bycatch limits for Mediterranean swordfish and some other billfish species.

One recommendation establishes a multi-annual recovery plan for Mediterranean swordfish, which is noted as being particularly important due to the current highly depleted status of the stock.

In addition, provisions for annual TACs for the management for North and South Atlantic swordfish stocks were stipulated for countries involved in the fishing of these stocks.

Finally, the Commission adopted a management recommendation for the Atlantic sailfish stock, something which has not been in place previously.

However, Pew said the recommendations don’t address the root cause of conserving the stocks.

“Despite calls from scientists to adopt a catch limit for blue sharks, and the independent review of ICCAT's performance stating to put in place such measures, the Commission has done nothing to conserve this stock. It is little wonder that more proactive intergovernmental bodies such as CITES and CMS are being increasingly seen by governments as more effective tools to protect and manage sharks,” said Luke Warwick, project director, global shark conservation, The Pew Charitable Trusts.
Pew was also disappointed with ICCAT’s recommendations to increase eastern Atlantic bluefin quotas and for not taking more measures to protect bigeye stocks.

“The decision to increase the quota of eastern Atlantic bluefin tuna sets a harmful precedent, and shows that ICCAT members’ commitment to science-based management is tenuous. In addition, by taking no additional action to protect bigeye, a stock which has suffered from the proliferation of FAD use in the Atlantic, ICCAT has allowed overfishing to continue, risking further depletion of this stock,” said Amanda Nickson, director, global tuna conservation, The Pew Charitable Trusts.
But Pew did support the Commission’s positions on setting harvest controls for the tuna fisheries.

One positive outcome is that the Commission did adopt a plan to implement harvest strategies for stocks such as bluefin and bigeye which, when implemented successfully, will allow the Commission to take swift action to recover stocks and ensure their profitability, sustainability, and long-term stability,” said Nickson. “The Commission also agreed to conduct important science to finally address the impact of FADs on the bigeye population.”

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Comment by Zippy on November 29, 2016 at 8:45am

Quote:  "Commercial fishing boat sunk/burnt in BL overnight".

Hi Jay:

Any Further information on this.......?

Comment by jaymann on November 29, 2016 at 10:06am

One of my writers is looking into the details ... Awaiting Coast Guard initial report. BL folks sorta hush-hush for some reason. 

Comment by Zippy on November 29, 2016 at 10:09am

Please keep us posted........thanks.

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