UMass Dartmouth marine scientists say they have documented a major increase in the scallop population on Georges Bank.
A video-based survey conducted by the School for Marine Science and Technology over nine weeks showed a 32 percent increase in the scallop population since 2012. That's an increase in scallop meat weight from 243 million pounds two years ago to 320 million pounds this summer.
"We are really excited about this," said Department of Fisheries Oceanography Chair Kevin Stokesbury.
On average, U.S. scallop stock is made up of 8 billion individual shellfish. This study discovered 20 billion additional juvenile scallops in the Nantucket Lightship and along the Southern flank of Georges Bank.
The scallops have not yet matured to commercial size, something Stokesbury said will help sustain the fishery for the next decade.
Read the full story at South Coast Today>>
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Kannad issues SafeLink EPIRB recall
Kannad Marine has issued a recall of all SafeLink EPIRBs due to a possible defect that could result in the beacon not operating in emergency situations.
The Coast Guard strongly recommends that all owners and users of the Kannad SafeLink EPIRBs seek replacement devices as soon as possible and NOT to use it as a primary Search and Rescue beacon onboard your vessel.
The SafeLink EPIRB’s yellow body plastic may prematurely age when subjected to specific environmental conditions which has the potential to impact on its long term effectiveness in the field. The Kannad SafeLink EPIRB model is the only Kannad Marine product affected.
For more information, view the full recall notice online.
AP wins Pulitzer for 'Seafood from Slaves' investigation
The Associated Press won the Pulitzer Prize for public Service on Monday for its international investigation of the fishing industry in Southeast Asia.
The reporting helped free more than 2,000 slaves, led to the arrests of a dozen people and the seizure of ships worth millions of dollars. The reporters traced seafood caught and processed by slaves to major U.S. retailers, which led to the introduction of legislation in the U.S. Congress to create greater transparency from food suppliers.
"The AP journalists accomplished two goals that had eluded others," AP Senior Vice President and Executive Editor Kathleen Carroll wrote in her nomination letter to the Pulitzer judges. "They found captive slaves, countering industry claims that the problems had been solved. And they followed specific loads of slave-caught seafood to supply chains of particular brands and stores, so companies no longer could deny culpability."
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Spinies, mud sharks, horndogs, dirty dogs, bonefish, net cloggers. Spiny dogfish (Squalus acanthias), so named for its venomous spines in front of each dorsal fin, has a lot of nicknames on the East Coast. Once upon a time it was the favorite species for Limey-style fish and chips. The dish was such a mainstay that massive factory trawlers from Jolly Old England parked themselves within sight of the U.S. East Coast targeting spinies and scooping up all manner of fish before the Magnuson Act pushed them out to 200 miles in 1976.
Forty years later, without a strong overseas market into which to funnel this abundant (some would say overabundant) fish, the Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen’s Alliance is using some Saltonstall-Kennedy grant funds in an attempt to rebrand the fish as Cape Shark.
I don’t need a fancy name to buy any wild fish. I’m happy to try them all. The only thing keeping me from eating more dogfish is accessibility. The fish markets around here just don’t sell them. Yet. So when the association offered me a free box of dog fillets, I jumped at the chance to make some classic fish and chips.
The fish part, anyway. I simplified a little and baked Russet and sweet potato fries in the oven to go with my beer-battered cape shark and homemade tartar sauce. You could go even easier and heat up some frozen fries. I won’t tell anyone. I also served this with a very simple and summery baby spinach and strawberry salad dressed with balsamic vinaigrette to lighten it up a bit.
2 pounds spiny dogfish fillets
1 cup flour plus 1/2 cup flour, divided
1/2 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh black pepper
1 12-ounce beer
1/4 cup cornmeal
Oil for frying
In a large bowl, blend 3 quarts of water and 1/4 cup of salt until the salt is dissolved. Soak your dogfish fillet in this mixture for 10 minutes. Use a timer so you don’t forget. Soak too long, and the flesh will start to break down.
In a medium shallow bowl, combine 1 cup of flour with the seasonings. Stir in the beer (I used an inexpensive American lager), and set aside.
On a large plate, combine 1/2 cup of flour with the cornmeal.
The frying process takes just 10-20 minutes, so don’t heat your oil until you’re almost ready to serve. In a high-sided skillet or Dutch oven, heat a couple inches of oil (I use a combination of vegetable and grapeseed oil — anything with a high smoking point) to 360 degrees. Set your oven temp to about 225 and place a cookie sheet with a wire rack on top.
Gently rinse your brined fish and lay it on paper towels until you’re ready to fry them.
When the oil reaches temperature, dredge the fish in the batter, allowing the excess to drip off for a few seconds. Then roll each piece in the cornmeal mixture and place carefully into the oil. Cook the fish in batches, so you don’t crowd your pan and risk pieces sticking together, about 5-8 minutes each, turning them over after about 3 minutes. As each piece is done, place it on the wire rack in the oven until ready to serve.
Serve with tartar sauce, malt vinegar and fries.
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup chopped bread and butter pickles or sweet relish
Splash of lemon juice
Whisk ingredients together and serve.
1 large russet potato
1 large sweet potato
2 tablespoons oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Scrub and slice your potatoes into large wedges, keeping the slices as even as possible for even cooking.
Place slices in a single layer on oiled cookie sheets or baking pans, brush the tops with oil and sprinkle on salt and pepper.
Roast for about 40 minutes, flipping halfway.
What’s on your list for summer reading? Well, let me suggest “A Mariner’s Miscellany” by Peter Spectre. It’s a collection of all things relevant and irrelevant concerning the sea, the whimsical and the serious; it’s about boats, ships, anchors, knots and ballast, the lore, poetry and language of the ocean and those who have traveled it.
Spectre has written several marine related books and did the yearly “Mariner’s Book of Days,” a nautical desk diary and calendar. He was also editor at International Marine, Wooden Boat and currently Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors. Those years spent writing about boats and correcting author’s notions of boats and the sea have endowed him with an eclectic mix of nautical knowledge.
For instance, does anybody know what “dogs running before their master” means? It’s a heavy swell in advance of a hurricane. That’s in the chapter “The Language of the Sea.”
In the same chapter is a listing of the “Different kinds of dead.”
Included is “dead horse” — a cash advance for wages to be earned, and “dead marine” — an empty beer bottle.
In the chapter “Bread is the staff of life; rum is life itself” is a recipe for Serpent’s Breath (a note says it’s enough for the entire crew):
1 bottle dark rum
1 bottle light rum
1 bottle Cognac
7 cups tea
3 cups lemon juice
1 ½ cups sugar
Stir the sugar and the lemon juice into the tea, then add the hard stuff. Allow the ingredients to meld for two hours — if you can wait that long.
If you are dumb enough to be at the wheel after sharing in that concoction, it won’t be long before you’re aground. But Spectre’s book tells you how to handle that situation in the chapter “Time and tide wait for no man.”
“If you should run aground on a falling tide and can’t get her off, climb over the side and scrub the bottom while you wait for the tide to return. Your friends will think you went aground on purpose.”
In the book’s 289 pages there’s a whole lot more, some of which you might know, most of which you never heard of. Check it out.
More Book Reviews:
The Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association released their board of directors election results last week.
The BBRSDA’s member-elected volunteer board provides financial and policy guidance for the association and oversees its management. Through their service, BBRSDA board members help determine the future of one of the world’s most dynamic commercial fisheries.Read more...
Former Massachusetts state fishery scientist Steven Correia received the New England Fishery Management Council’s Janice Plante Award of Excellence for 2016 at its meeting last week.
Correia was employed by the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries for over 30 years.Read more...