It has been a few weeks off of socialized media due to a hard drive crash during the last Microsoft update, and I like to give a big thanks to Mike 'ROADMASTER' for the computer work he did over a few days recovering all my data. Mike is definitely a guru in solving computer issues.
Before I go any further, I also like to thank everyone who sent me birthday wishes here. It is humbling to say the least, and the only two things better is in reaching your next birthday but also having cards given to you that have a US president like Jackson and Grant, or better, a Benjamin, fall out of them when opened. Thank you.
Fishery, fishery, fishery news to catch up on and thanks given to those who have passed along important information.....
#1 - Wolfish.....
It was just two years ago in which both myself and the late Captain Jeff Gutman spoke with NEFMC Council staff Jamie Cournane, PhD., on opening up wolfish for possession for both the for-hire and commercial fishing industries. I then went on to speak at the Recreational Groundfish Party/Charter Fishery -Limited Access Program hearing on allowing a 1 fish possession of Wolfish, and thankfully the results from the latest longline survey provides significant evidence that the stock can sustain controlled fishing harvest.
I like to thank Dr. Anna Mercer who kept me "in the loop" for the latest findings from the 'Cooperative Gulf of Maine Bottom Longline Survey.; Hopefully the NEFMC can finally develop catch advise in order to remove the stock from moratorium status to a limited seasonal harvest.
Info from the 2019 meetings can be found here:
https://s3.amazonaws.com/nefmc.org/1908 ... abqwwWQ8GQ
Also, this is important and for those in the for-hire industry who catch various groundfish – on Oct. 5th – online.:
MEETING NOTICE DEVELOPMENT OF A “STRAWMAN” FOR A POTENTIAL LIMITED ENTRY PROGRAM FOR PARTY AND CHARTER VESSELS IN THE RECREATIONAL GROUNDFISH FISHERY WEBINAR
https://s3.amazonaws.com/nefmc.org/2010 ... fLoawAJfTE
#2 – Locating the last of the WW1 shipwrecks sunk by German U-Boat Commander Hans Rose off Nantucket….
I do not believe that there is anything as exciting in discovering something that has such a high historical significance as that as a lost shipwreck. The excitement I had when I received the long-distance news from Joe Mazraani, Captain of D/V Tenacious and his dive-survey team on the discovery of the final resting location of the British cargo vessel West Point. The West Point has eluded some of the most noted offshore wreck fishing captains, and I can add that on one Voyager Nantucket wreck trip with the late Captain Jeff Gutman a few years back it was not where I originally believed to have sunk on a wreck hunt-search. With further research, I passed along the information to Captain Joe of the DV Tenacious who did locate the ‘true’ West Point.
What the scans and survey of the wreck did show that there was no noticeable recreational and more so, commercial mobile gear on the wreck. As strange as it may seem for one of the most heavily fished areas in the northeast, that being the Nantucket Lightship area, little in the way of ‘hang’ information could be found on a wreck whose LOA was 375 feet long.
Anyhow a big thanks over the years in putting these pieces of the puzzle together has to be given to Captain Mercurio of the YANKEE CAPTS and the late shipwreck researcher Tim Coleman. Without Captain Greg and Tim, the clue’s and time they personally put into researching and passed along made this all possible.
For those shipwreck mavens out there, based on the research done by Tim, and which I have compiled on “first to find and fish”
Hans Rose Nantucket causalities:
Christian Knudsen (Norway) – Capt. Steven Forsberg Sr.
Strathdene (UK) – Capt. Greg Mercurio
Bloomersdijk (Netherlands) - Capt. Frank Blount
Stephano (UK) – Capt. Paul G. Forsberg
West Point (UK) – Capt. Joe Mazraani (located and surveyed)
Nantucket Lightship Box large shipwrecks:
Nantucket Lightship (M.M.) – Capt. Paul G. Forsberg
Andrea Doria – Capt. Paul G. Forsberg
Stockholm Bow – Capt. Paul G. Forsberg
Republic – Capt. Paul G. Forsberg
Sagaland – Capt. Paul G. Forsberg
Pan Penn (inshore pc) – Capt. Paul G. Forsberg
Sebastian – Capt. Frank Blount
Further information and/or great reading if you buy the book:
U-550 & Pan Pennsylvania: https://njscuba.net/sites/site_u550.php#PanPennsylvania
Dangerous Shallows: In Search of the Ghost Ships of Cape Cod (2020): https://www.amazon.com/Dangerous-Shallo ... 1493042300
NANTUCKET: THE MYSTERY OF THE SHOALS & THE OFFSHORE WRECKS
AUGUST OF 1994 - "STEAKER CITY" - ONE OF THE FINEST OFFSHORE NANTUCKET WRECK FISHING TRIPS REMEMBERED
(Note: As we now have found out based upon the West Point being located, ‘STEAKER CITY’ was actually the wreck STRATHDENE…)
#3 – Recreational Golden & Blueline Tilefish app…..
Briefly I just want to remind everyone who fishes upon a ‘private vessel’ for either golden and blueline tilefish, to download the app. As you can see in the letter, I posted an image of the originally template that I quickly put together. From there, Francine and her team at Harbor Light software put together the app and information can be found here:
The bottom line is that the app is there to help protect the private vessel tile fishermen from high inaccurate MRIP guess-timates. Sign up on the NOAA website to get into the system, and then download the app to your phone. This was designed to help the fishing community, and since I was contacted about some possible changes to the management of the IFQ Golden Tilefish fishery, I would pay close attention to this page:
Once again there is talk about…… Limited Access Privilege Program (LAPP)…and I wonder what this has to do with a lightly participated recreational fisheries such as golden and blueline tilefish…..
#4 – RODA News, and both fishermen and electricity using consumers (all of us) should read this news…
Well, well and the news from the latest study on the number of jobs that “supposedly’ would be a result of Offshore Wind development. Let me just provide you with just one snippet from the latest study:
‘Potential Employment Impact from Offshore Wind in the United Stated - The Mid-Atlantic and New England Region’ - July 27, 2020
On page 19 – conclusion:
“Although offshore wind projects have a potentially beneficial role to play as part of U.S. energy portfolio, a careful investigation of the employment impact shows a surprisingly low number of positions at the more permanent level of actual operation and maintenance of the offshore wind electricity. In addition, the bulk of the jobs will be created overseas rather than here at home, and total domestic employment in manufacturing and construction is small when compared with employment in the manufacture of conventional equipment for power generation.
>>> There are no sound economic arguments to support an assertion that offshore wind investments will increase the total level of employment in the longer run when we hold macroeconomic conditions constant. The claim that the huge investments on offshore wind would provide significant job and economic benefits in the U.S. has been grossly inflated. <<<”
Better yet is on how we are now finding out once again about the Goodfellas-like, “F-U, pay me,” which all of a sudden has come up on the current Block Island exposed cable job….or is that “re-burying and covering up the original flawed transmission cable laying work.”
From SAVING SEAFOOD:
‘RHODE ISLAND: RATEPAYERS ON HOOK FOR PORTION OF BLOCK ISLAND WIND FARM CABLE MESS’
To wit: “The state’s primary electric utility will recover the expense through an undetermined surcharge on ratepayers’ bills…..”
https://www.ecori.org/renewable-energy/ ... am%20beach.
If you don’t see what is going on here, it seems that the Offshore Wind – both foreign wind entities and US based energy providers, are figuratively dabbling in “payola” from what we are now reading here:
‘Wind Farm Benefits Package Totals $29 Million for East Hampton Town’
https://www.easthamptonstar.com/governm ... 20a%20path
Keep up on the breaking news on Offshore Wind:
THE RESPONSIBLE OFFSHORE DEVELOPMENT ALLIANCE – ‘RODA’
#5 – A little Zoom-like meeting with George Lapointe about regional for-hire fishing activity….
For a number of fishermen in the NYS Marine & Coastal District, will be familiar with George who was the consultant hired by the NYS DEC to study (at this point in 2020 it was to catalog) the issues impacting licensed NYS commercial fishermen. George currently is working with the Northeast Regional Ocean Council (NROC) and Mid-Atlantic Regional Council on the Ocean (MARCO) to show for-hire captains map products that have been developed from VTR reports and through a project called Communities At Sea which uses VTR reports and then talks to captains from various ports to draw lines around the most fished areas from a particular port.
Needless to say that George went over fishing activities at various NY - Long Island fishing ports from a timeline starting in roughly 1996 to the latest data they have in 2015; and notice that 2015 VTR information is already half of a decade old and possibly not representative of actually fishing behavior as we come into the last quarter of the 2020 calendar year.
I provided information for the NY-NJ BIGHT fishing area (including northern NJ) and then went through what I knew of activities from the other major Long Island fishing ports in the past, and there is a good reason why especially if you know about one of the more important websites to follow:
MARCO: Mid-ATLANTIC OCEAN DATA PORTAL
http://portal.midatlanticocean.org/visu ... ayers=true
Also, here at the NORTHEAST OCEAN DATA PORTAL for commercial fishing activities and just click on the LAUNCH BUTTON > Commercial Fishing Activities:
https://www.northeastoceandata.org/tuto ... HDQW-r5RXM
George will be reaching out to other for-hire captains in the northeast, and hopefully if you are contacted that you can find 45 or so minutes to get online with him and help improve this type of information. It would be a good idea to get a computer camera (less than 50 dollars) and a set of headphones with a mic (Logitech makes one for less than 40 dollars).
#6 – A few last fishery issues that have come up…
Massachusetts and current commercial rockfish and bluefish landings…….
For those who are worried about how low the landings current may be, it is literally “much ado about nothing” especially in year that has experienced the double-whammy of constrained regulatory changes combined with the negative economic impact of Covid-19 business issues to both the fishing and restaurant industries.
Circle Hooks…. For some reason some people didn’t get the notice about the 2021 recreational fishing requirement that circle hooks, inline at that, will be mandatory when you fish for striped bass with bait. There seems to be worry from a few fishermen (the reason why I am bringing this up) that “to them” it will make it that much “tougher” to catch striped bass, which actually is not factually accurate.
For those who are worried about using hooks manufactured by some knockoff overseas hook manufacturer, or one of the more common and noted ‘big name’ hook companies, I would then highly recommend buying from:
QUICK RIG .com – ‘Charlie Brown Octopus Circle Hooks’ - (Check under products)
The Offshore Storm – TEDDY….
I have heard from a fishermen about the impact to the good fishing in our region, and I have told each one of them that they should not complain about the very reasonable weather conditions we have experienced in the northeast since early in June. I also added, and if you follow:
‘MIKES WEATHER PAGE’
You will see how we are having a very active storm pattern in a part of the ocean where tropical disturbances develop. I doubt anyone can complain at this point that a few days will be lost here and there through the rest of September and through October.
That’s where we are at right now, and I want to leave you all with this interesting quote of which you would be surprised on who had wrote it:
“America, you are at the very edge of the precipice. Please wake up! Take hold! Fight for your country, and be proud of your roots! Uphold your values. Stand for your flag and your anthem. Defend your history. Don’t relent in the face of those who seek to re-write it to serve their narrative and justify the destruction of your nation. You have much to cherish and protect for your sake, and ours.”
Pretty interesting, and to find out who, go here:
Until next time,
Steve EC Newellman