Daily Archives: December 23, 2018

Sonoma Coast fleet scrambling to get crab on the table for Christmas

A pair of dogs on board bark excitedly as the Karen Jeanne pulls alongside the high dock at The Tides Wharf, returning ashore after 35 hours to offload hundreds of live Dungeness crab for quick delivery to markets around the region. A crane at a neighboring dock already is lifting square bins, each piled with 600 pounds of clacking, frantic crabs from another commercial boat. A third vessel circles and settles into position to wait its turn beneath a gray, late afternoon sky. It’s nippy out, and a wind-blown evergreen tree strung with twinkle lights and tethered to the roof of a storage shed at the side of the dock suggests Christmas is near. But there’s no letup among the workers onshore or on the boats. They’re idle only when they need to wait for something else to happen before they can start on their own particular chore. Otherwise, everyone moves fast and efficiently, aware it’s crunch time. 21 photo’s, >click to read<20:42

Bob Leith: Christmas Day 1776 – ‘Victory or death!’

After the British chased George Washington and the Continental Army away from the New York are, the colonial troops retreated across New Jersey looking for safe encampment. Thomas Paine, who marched with the army as a volunteer, wrote his Crisis pamphlet by the light of campfires at night on a drumhead. “These are the times that try men’s souls,,,,” described the bleak condition of Washington’s army. The army’s numbers were dwindling daily, there was not enough food, many of the soldiers were naked, and the men had not been paid. >click to read<14:34

Agency encourages shrimpers to sign up for bycatch study

State fisheries officials have extended a deadline for Louisiana shrimpers to participate in a study that aims to monitor how much of other types of seafood get caught in trawlers’ nets. The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries opened the application process in September and initially had set a Dec. 3 deadline for shrimpers to sign up. The agency has now extended the deadline to Feb. 4. “The voluntary study was requested by the shrimp industry to collect bycatch data during commercial shrimping trips throughout state waters,” the agency says in a news release. “The study supports the sustainability certification of Louisiana’s shrimp fishery, permitting Louisiana shrimp access to additional markets.” >click to read<12:13

The changing face of Moss Landing

Weathered by age and the sea, rusted railings mark the path to Bay Fresh Seafoods, a one-room shop where fourth-generation Moss Landing fisherman Jerid Rold has just arrived with a writhing haul of hagfish – one of his few remaining profitable catches. Across the street stands the sleek and sophisticated Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute – a world-renowned center for advanced research in ocean science. Moss Landing, population 200, is rapidly switching identities. The historic town is seeing its commercial fishing roots disappear as Moss Landing secures its status as a prized destination for marine research and ecotourism. >click to read<11:01

Building blocks of ocean food web in rapid decline as plankton productivity plunges

They’re teeny, tiny plants and organisms but their impact on ocean life is huge.​ Phytoplankton and zooplankton that live near the surface are the base of the ocean’s food system. Everything from small fish, big fish, whales and seabirds depend on their productivity. “They actually determine what’s going to happen, how much energy is going to be available for the rest of the food chain,” explained Pierre Pepin, a senior researcher with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans in St. John’s. Pepin says over the past 3-4 years, scientists have seen a persistent drop in phytoplankton and zooplankton in waters off Newfoundland and Labrador. >click to read<10:16

Don Cuddy: Kathy Frey ‘believed she could, so she did’

Most people probably imagine that the waterfront is a man’s world and that is largely true. Yet there are some exceptions, and none perhaps more notable than the case of Kathy Frey. How else to account for this diminutive single mom, retired in 2013 after 30 years as a postal worker, subsequently finding herself on the deck of a tugboat, hooking up a barge loaded with 5,000 tons of sand. For an answer look no further than the stern of the 34-foot powerboat that she calls home. It’s called the Free Spirit. Growing up next to Sassaquin Pond and occasionally piloting a rowboat marked the extent of her connection to the water. After she retired a friend one day suggested she join the Coast guard Auxiliary. She did and “started doing things on boats.” >click to read<09:33