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Highly Migratory Species Report

by John Keogler

(from Jersey Coast Anglers Association May 2008 Newsletter)

 

Bluefin Tuna

NMFS has reduced US anglers permitted daily bluefin tuna catch to one school and one large school/small Medium per trip.

The European Union has demanded that their member states immediately end their overfishing of bluefin tuna in the Mediterranean and Atlantic Coast. Will they actually force their fishermen to end their overfishing of bluefin tuna? These countries have avoided their commitment to ICCAT for over 32 years. Any observance of the ICCAT European quota should be considered in the miracle category.

 

Atlantic Coast Gulfstream Event

There is a huge Gulfstream finger moving up the Atlantic coast’s 100 fathom line from Cape Hatteras all the way to the Hudson Canyon. Such a major finger of hot tropical water will affect spring weather. Such warm water provides a temperature break of over 30 degrees. Huge temperature breaks always provides good tuna fishing.

The first calm day was April 10 and several boats from NJ, MD and NY took a look. They all caught one bluefin tuna. A Beach Haven boat weighed in a 76.5 bluefin. This is the earliest anyone can remember a bluefin tuna being landed in NJ.

Normally eddies from the Gulfstream are modest in size from 5 to 50 miles in diameter. They always form offshore of Nantucket and move down the 100 fathom edge to Cape Hatteras where they are reabsorbed into the main stem of the gulfstream. But this gulfstream finger is something totally new. Will it stay around? It will surely change the migration of HMS fish species if it stays.

 

Bay Fishing

The local bays have experienced a major warmup. Reported temperatures between 55 and 60 degrees are normal. These are record warm numbers for our bays at this time of year. Most shore boatyards are not yet busy.

There have been good reports of stripers in the surf a few weeks back, but recent storms seem to have moved them. Other fishing seems to be yet to develop, but such warmth will cause fish species to show up earlier than normal.

 

TWIC and Charterboat Captains

The USCG announced that all captains and hazardous material truck drivers plus those working in US ports are required to obtain the new Transportation Worker Identification Certificate. Captains must obtain this new card by September 25, 2008. The USCG has stated that if you do not have this card by September 25 your license will be invalid until you obtain this card. Over 60 percent of those expected to apply have yet to do so. There is a good TWIC website. It clearly explains what is required.

 

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