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Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Saturday, November 16, 2019: We’ve gone from “Cold enough for ya?” to “Windy enough for ya.”

Right: I get to check yet another species off my life-list of photographed birds. 

Saturday, November 16, 2019: We’ve gone from “Cold enough for ya?” to “Windy enough for ya.” As was forecast, it is truly honking out of the NNE. That ever so slight northerly angle might help reduce some of the predicted road and backbay flooding.

At that more northerly angle, the wind tends to blow out -- not in -- some of the excess bay water from an already 6- to 8-foot ocean (building to 10 feet, easily). As we all know all too well, when there is more east to the winds, it blows the high seas input into the bay -- and holds it there. That said, it looks like the winds could come more easterly as a massive storm detonates off Hatteras later today. They’ll see what easily amount to a tropical storm, though, technically, it’s an extra-tropical low, i.e. a winter storm.

It is of some (anecdotal) weather import that, for the moment, coastal storms seem to again be intensifying off the Carolinas, as they had done for hundreds if not thousands of years. In recent years, they had begun to explode off our northerly NJ coast, east of, say, Sandy Hook. That put us on the west wind side of huge oceanic storm system. The Island handles offshore west winds far better than flood-spawning onshores. Here’s hoping the overriding trend is for warming oceans to keep coastal lows going large just to LBI’s north. Yes, it might be a perk of warming oceans. This winter could be very telling along pick-a-trend lines.

You can forget surfcasting today, though I saw two buggies out there. The lines of those surfcasters had been carried parallel to the beach, pretty much washed ashore. The current isn’t just hard, its unconquerable. Think in terms of pounds of lead, not ounces. 

I’ll try the Holgate rip during today’s late-afternoon low tide. The north winds are at the back down there, making them somewhat tolerable. There will be no buggying/messing around from 8,000 feet southward during high tide. In fact, the entry point near the parking lot, where the pond has formed, could get iffy quickly.

Recalling better angling times, late yesterday I had a fun and informative session at the Nursery, aka the back cut of Holgate. A truly impressive nonstop flow of hardhead minnows was training inward. What made it informative is the way they were getting massacred by small bass. These minnows, which can grow as large as five inches long, have always been declared as useless gamefishing bait. “Nothin’ will eat them, not even the seagulls” has been the long-lived word. Well, nobody told the bass this.

Below: These hardheads are literally half out of the water. 

As I was getting ready to go clamming, I kept hearing telltale splashes right next to shore. These were significant splashes. They got my attention. I grabbed my Sony camera to capture images of the amassed hardheads. I also did a quick video, posted below. You can see just a couple of the many splashes. Further foregoing clamming, I tied on a smaller diving plugs – and the bass saluted. I took this pic of one 25-incher with a belly way-full of minnows. Again, no one told him that hardheads were inedible.

Here's a quick vid to confirm those splashes. Turn down volume when wind noise gets too loud. Splashes are at the end. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lhlZYooOmtc&feature=youtu.be

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Pollution Ranked #1 Threat to Seafood by Customers, Strong Support for Ecolabels


Source: Fish Radio with Laine Welch
By Laine Welch
November 15, 2019

This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch – Seafood lovers support well managed fisheries. More after this -

AFDF promotes innovative new products at the annual Alaska Symphony of Seafood competition. For event details, visit www.AFDF.org

IMS is offering special discounts on Refrigerated Seawater Systems through the end of the year.  Integrated Marine Systems.  Simple, reliable, built to last.  Visit imspacific.com

Seafood lovers around the world believe that the biggest threat to the oceans is pollution, followed by overfishing. Those are some of the top takeaways from a recent survey of over 25,000 people in 22 countries.

The survey was done by the public opinion research firm GlobeScan for the Marine Stewardship Council.

The non-profit MSC led the movement starting 20 years ago towards certifying fisheries that are managed sustainably. Sourcing seafood from ‘earth friendly’ fisheries has become a requirement of doing business by most seafood buyers around the globe.

The study found that 72 percent of seafood consumers want sustainability verifications at their supermarkets, but price is still the biggest motivator for buying decisions. A surprising gender divide showed that men are more motivated by price while women regarded seafood sustainability as more important. 

Seventy-two percent also agreed that buying seafood from sustainable sources will help save our oceans; 70 percent said people should switch their purchases to well managed fisheries.

Eighty-three percent of global consumers agreed that seafood needs to be protected for future generations, and 70 percent said they would like to hear more from companies about their sustainability purchasing practices.

In what the survey called “a climate of persistently low consumer trust in business globally,” trust in the blue MSC label has remained high at 69 percent, and understanding of the label has increased to 37 percent, up from 32 percent in 2016.

Younger consumers are even more tuned in to choosing sustainable seafood, with 41 percent of 18-34 year olds understanding what the Marine Stewardship Council label means.

That younger group also showed a slightly different profile, eating less seafood on average and worrying more about the effects of climate change on the oceans than their older counterparts.

Alaska uses a Responsible Fisheries Management) model based on the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations for its third party seafood certification.

Global consumers rated certification organizations third for their contribution to protecting the oceans, after NGOs and scientists. Governments and large companies rated as contributing the least.

MAN CRASHES CAR, GRABS TACKLE BOX AND LEAVES THE SCENE TO GO FISHING

This happened on Monday morning (Nov 4th, 2019), the Pittsburgh’s Action News 4’s crew reported after they made it to the scene of the crash. Apparently, the man lost control of his car for some unknown reason and flipped it upside down near the guard rails.

Witnesses to the crash gave testimony that after he flipped the vehicle he crawled out and proceeded to grab his fishing pole and tackle box in the back of the car. After collecting his gear they said he just walked away.

Man Crashes Car, Grabs Tackle Box And Leaves The Scene To Go Fishing | Country Music Videos

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(Follow-up)

Fish, Said to Have Humanlike Face, Roils The Web

By Gerren Keith Gaynor

A video of a fish with a face some say looks awfully human is driving the Internet crazy.

The video, shared on multiple social media platforms, purports to show markings on the fish that make it look like it's got a human visage.

The unusual sighting quickly went viral, generating much online chatter.

“That fish has a sexier jawline than most humans,” a Reddit user commented.

Another Reddit commenter wrote, “He‘s better looking than me.”

“That was probably a dude and cheated on his wife and then he got turned into a fish by a witch,” one highly imaginative (or highly superstitious) Facebook user wrote.

Then there was the person with this conspiracy theory: “Sounds like China's labs are doing cloning tests and mixing genetics for real.”

Turns out the fish in question may actually exist. The creepy-looking sea animal is actually a carp fish, according to Snopes, a website that specializes in debunking urban myths.

The fact-checking website said its findings suggest the video is real and not "digitally manipulated."

The video reportedly began circulating on a Chinese video mobile app, Douyin, and was also spread on the Chinese social network Weibo.

“We have been unable to locate the original source of this footage,” Snopes reported, “However, Ifeng News reported in April 2019 that a fish with a human face (possibly the same fish) was spotted in a pond outside of a local temple in Tsuruoka City, Yamagata Prefecture, Japan.”

Real or not, it hasn’t stopped social media from reacting wildly to the fascinating fish.

“That poor guy,” one commenter offered. “You know all his fish 'friends' make fun of him and call him 'PeopleFace' behind his back. He must have an awful time in school.”

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“GIVING TUESDAY”

Hosted by Friends of Southern Ocean County Animal Shelter
"GivingTuesday" kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving. We hope that you can donate to our local cause of helping the homeless pets of southern ocean county. All money raised goes towards our programs, such as TNR, kitten fostering, dog fostering, dog training, cat fostering & for food & medical care.
Tuesday, December 3, 2019, at 12 AM – 11:30 PM...

See More
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Getting in some stripering before the arriving wind storm ... 

Scallop Die-off Still a Mystery; Officials Consider Moving Juvenile Mollusks to Safety


Copyright © 2019 Newsday
By Mark Harrington
November 15, 2019

The catastrophic die-off of Peconic Bay scallops this year remains an unsolved mystery as public officials, scientists and environmentalists scour East End waterways for answers and ponder emergency fixes such as moving younger scallops to sanctuaries to save a fragile population.

Baymen and fisheries managers during the first week of scallop season confirmed a massive die-off of from 91 percent to 100 percent of the population in most of the East End bays known to host the mollusks, which had been on the rebound.

While biologists suspect the cause of the die-off was an imperfect storm of high water temperatures, reduced oxygen levels and the stress of spawning, officials confirmed they still don't know for sure what caused the die-off.

"The alarm has sounded," said Suffolk Legislature Presiding Officer DuWayne Gregory (D-Copiague), who Thursday called for a coordinated effort to study and address the problem because "we cannot fix what we do not understand."

Uncertainties abound. Officials noted, for instance, that water temperatures, which reached 85 degrees in some parts of the Peconic Bay this summer, were actually higher last year, when the scallop harvest blossomed to a recent high of more than 108,000 pounds. They also noted that oyster growers saw one of their best years this year.

But scallops, according to Cornell shellfish ecologist Stephen Tettelbach, are "more vulnerable to variables."

In addition to water temperatures, researchers and biologists are also looking at other external factors, such as water runoff from roadways and other potential toxins that could have affected ecologically sensitive scallops first. Cornell continues to work with the state Department of Environmental Conservation and Stony Brook University's marine program to study the die-off, he said.

Suffolk Legis. Bridget Fleming (D-Noyack) said a deeper concern could be that scallops are the "canary in the coal mine," suffering first what other species may be impacted by in the future if conditions worsen.

"This is an indication that there's something gone awry," she said, adding that the die-off must be closely studied. "Science matters and we need to take this very seriously."

Fisheries managers, meanwhile, are considering new solutions to salvage what remains of the juvenile scallops, which appear to have avoided the worst effects of the die-off.

The DEC said it is working to establish a "Scallop Salvage and Relay Permit" to relocate juvenile bay scallops into deeper, safer waters.

"The relocation of juveniles will protect them from washing up on the shoreline and increase their survival through the winter," the agency said in a statement to Newsday. The agency vowed to "expedite any additional resources and requests for Scallop Salvage and Relay Permits to protect and increase survival of juvenile scallops to support the viability of the scallop population for next year."

Commercial harvesting of the scallops continues, and Tettelbach said he's not advocating an end to the harvest because juveniles cannot be kept. Local markets are barely able to keep the adult scallops in supply. Braun Seafood in Cutchogue had sold out their day's allotment of around 12 pounds Thursday afternoon at a price that's climbed to $38 a pound from $34 last week. Last year it dipped below $15 a pound.

The Peconic Bay Estuary Partnership, which manages conservation of the waterway, is convening a scallop technical review committee to "try to understand what is going on in our waters," and how best to address the problem, said program coordinator Sarah Schaefer.

Suffolk Legis. Al Krupski (D-Cutchogue) and Tom Kehoe, a chairman of a Suffolk Country marine advisory subcommittee on aquaculture and commercial fishing, both noted the impact on local fishermen, restaurants, fish markets and families who have long harvested the bay scallops.

"We're concerned about the hundreds of families that depend on this fishery to jump-start their fall season," Kehoe said.

"It's just such a big part of the culture," said Krupski. "To see this happen to this population is really sad."

FDA Panel Endorses Wider Use of Fish-oil-based Drug for Heart Health


Copyright © 2019 The Washington Post
By Lenny Bernstein
November 15, 2019

A panel of experts unanimously recommended Thursday that the Food and Drug Administration allow wider use of a fish-oil-based drug to treat people at high risk for heart attacks and strokes even when they are taking cholesterol-lowering drugs.

The 16-0 endorsement of the FDA advisory committee puts Dublin-based Amarin Corp. one step closer to widespread distribution of Vascepa, a drug the company has said could be worth billions of dollars annually. The FDA, which usually follows such guidance, could make a long-awaited final decision next month.

'There's a definite need for additional therapeutic approaches,' said Kenneth D. Burman, chief of the endocrine section at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, who chaired the panel. Despite some side effects, he said, 'this seems a very useful new agent for addition to the armamentarium for the treatment of these patients.'

The drug, a purified version of the omega-3 fatty acid found in fish, is aimed at some of the more than 40 million people in the U.S. who take statins to control their LDL, or 'bad' cholesterol, and have adopted lifestyle changes, yet remain at risk of cardiovascular problems because of elevated triglyceride levels.

Triglycerides are another type of fat in the blood. When their levels are too high, generally more than 200 milligrams per deciliter of blood, the result can be deaths, heart attacks, strokes, unstable angina or the need for cardiac surgery.

A landmark 2018 study, led by a researcher at Brigham and Women's Hospital and sponsored by Amarin, showed that patients who took four grams of Vascepa daily fared 25 percent better in staving off those events than those given a placebo. The researchers spent more than six years following more than 8,000 middle-aged and older patients in 11 countries who had coronary artery disease or diabetes and at least one other risk factor, such as high blood pressure.

The drug already has FDA approval for patients with diseases that cause extremely high triglyceride levels. Allowing its use for more routine care, company officials and other speakers argued Thursday, would give doctors another tool to combat heart disease, the leading killer in the United States.

It also could be hugely profitable for the company, which has begun expanding its sales force and announced better-than-expected revenue for 2019, possibly from off-label use by physicians after the study results were announced.

In July, the company issued a statement saying that while it 'remains optimistic that Vascepa will generate billions of dollars in revenue in the years to come, the history of other therapies for chronic conditions suggests that growth builds over multiple years, and thus, the company is not prepared to provide quantified guidance regarding revenue levels beyond 2019.'

Though the approval was unanimous, panel members struggled with exactly who should take the drug. Many said they believed the research clearly showed a benefit for people with diabetes aged 55 and older who have at least one other risk factor for cardiovascular disease. But they were less convinced the study proved that Vascepa would help those with already-established cardiovascular disease.

In the end, they offered a wide variety of suggestions on age and triglyceride limits, among other things, that the agency will have to sort out before instructing doctors and patients on its use.

The panel also considered two safety issues. The study showed those taking the medication had minor internal bleeding slightly more often than people in the control group. There was no difference in serious blood loss events.

Minor bleeding may be a concern for patients taking blood thinners, but that could be addressed in labeling and instructions included with the medication, experts said.

'There is a small increase in minor bleeding but no increase in the kinds of bleeding we worry about the most,' said Deepak L. Bhatt, who led the study and spoke on behalf of the company Thursday.

The drug also causes short-term irregular heartbeats in a small number of patients, a concern for some members of the review panel, known as the FDA's Endocrinologic and Metabolic Drugs Advisory Committee.

In considering the study, the panel debated whether the mineral oil given to patients in the placebo group may have affected absorption of statins, exaggerating the difference in results between that group and the subjects given Vascepa. After lengthy discussion of that issue, many experts said they could not be certain whether that had occurred, but they were convinced of the drug's benefits nonetheless.

A Plastic Made From Fish Skin Just Won the James Dyson Award


Copyright © 2019 CNet
By Claire Reilly
November 14, 2019

Single-use plastics are choking our oceans and killing marine life, but one young designer from the UK may have found a solution, creating a plastic out of algae and fish waste that's just taken out the James Dyson Award.

The material, known as MarinaTex, is a clear, flexible bioplastic that is produced in sheets and designed to replace single-use plastics like plastic bags and food packaging. While it looks like conventional plastic, it's actually made out of agar -- a naturally occurring substance found in red algae -- and fish skin and scales left over as a byproduct from the commercial fishing industry.

The fish skin contains strong but flexible proteins, while the agar works as a binding agent to gel the material together -- both organic materials combine to create a bioplastic that is completely biodegradable.

It's not the first biodegradable packaging made from organic materials. At this year's London Marathon, UK company Skipping Rocks Labs served energy drinks to runners in edible drinks bubbles made from seaweed.

MarinaTex is the brainchild of 24-year-old University of Sussex student Lucy Hughes, who created the material as part of her final year product design course, before picking up the $35,000 top prize in the James Dyson Award.

While Hughes refined the formula for MarinaTex on the stove in her student apartment, she hopes to scale up the invention into a commercially viable product.

"Plastic is an amazing material, and as a result, we have become too reliant on it as designers and engineers," she said of her creation. "It makes no sense to me that we're using plastic, an incredibly durable material, for products that have a life-cycle of less than a day."

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