Sign up for a fishing and offshore wind workshop
Join the free online workshop “Recreational Fishing and Offshore Wind Energy: Understanding Changing Behavior” on Wednesday, February 7, from 5pm-7:30pm (ET).
“The purpose of this effort is to advance our shared understanding of the impacts and changes in recreational fishermen’s behavior due to the exponential growth of wind energy,” said webinar organizer Jennifer McCann, director of U.S. Coastal Programs at the Coastal Resources Center, URI Graduate School of Oceanography and director of Extension Programs for Rhode Island Sea Grants. Navy and identify strategies to respond to research and monitoring needs. During this initial webinar, we will communicate some current research and monitoring strategies, identify gaps, and develop strategies for mechanisms to fill these gaps.
This effort is part of the NOAA/URI CRADA to promote collaborative research and ocean planning solutions on the interactions of offshore wind energy development and marine ecosystems, including humans and coastal communities.
Registration by February 5 is required for this free, public event to help with logistics. To register, visit http://tinyurl.com/bde497rf.
Confirmed webinar participants: Emma Chaiken, Economist, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management; Doug Christel, Fisheries Policy Analyst, GARFO/NOAA); Tony DeLernia, Captain, Recreational Fisheries Liaison, NYSERDA – Contractor; Walt Gullett, School of Marine Science, University of Maine; Todd Gilfus, Associate Professor of Environmental and Natural Resource Economics (ENRE), University of Rhode Island (URI); Jeff Kneebone, Senior Scientist, Fisheries Science and Emerging Technologies Program, NE Aquarium; Julia Livermore, Deputy Chief of Marine Fisheries, RI Department of Environmental Management; Travis Lowry, Fisheries Liaison, Vineyard Wind; Andy Lipsky, Cooperative Research Branch Chief, Narragansett Laboratory Director, NEFSC/NOAA; Dave Monte, Captain, No Fluke Charter Fishing & Tours; Scott Steinbeck, Economist, NEFSC/NOAA; Tiffany Smith, Associate Professor, U.S. Coast Guard Academy; Scott Travers, executive director of the Rhode Island Saltwater Anglers Association; and Jeff Willis, executive director of the RI Coastal Resources Management Council.
Kill sharks to reduce Looting is not the answer
Shark depredation, the complete or partial consumption of hooked fish by a shark before landing it, is an increasing source of human-wildlife conflict in recreational fisheries. This summer and fall, and for the past three to four years, we’ve gotten enhanced reports of nearshore shark catches off Newport, Narragansett and the Sakonnet River area. Along with this, we have seen an increase in shark predation with anglers reeling in summer flounder (fluke) and striped bass only to find the fish had been bitten by a shark.
Last week, a UMass Amherst-led study was published in the journal Marine and Coastal Fisheries titled “Depredation Rates and Spatial Overlap between Great Hammerheads and Tarpon in a Recreational Fishing Hotspot.”
Reports of shark depredation in catch-and-release tarpon fisheries in the Florida Keys, specifically at Bahia Honda, a recreational fishing hotspot and a known pre-spawning site for tarpon aggregation, are increasing.
Highlights appear in the study summary below, and the entire study can be found in Depredation rates and spatial overlap between greathammers and tarpon in a hot recreational fishing area – Casselbury – 2024 – Marine and Coastal Fisheries – Wiley Online Library.
The study indicates that culling or killing sharks is not the solution, but rather reducing fighting times and ending fighting prematurely when sharks are present should be explored. Here are the highlights.
Methods. Using visual surveys of fishing in Bahia Honda, scholars have determined rates of depredation and motives for depredation. Using acoustic telemetry, scientists simultaneously tracked 51 tarpon and 14 large hammerhead sharks (also known as great hammerhead sharks) Sphyrna mokarran, the most common shark that preys on tarpon, to determine their habitat and spatial overlap in Bahia Honda.
a result. During the visual survey, 394 tarpon were hooked. The total observed shark predation rate and immediate post-release predation rate were 15.3% for tarpon that were fought for longer than 5 min. Survival analysis and decision trees showed that the risk of depredation was highest in the first 5-12 minutes of combat and on the outflow. During the spawning season, Great Hammerheads shift the use of their acreage at Bahia Honda to overlap with their primary Tarpon use areas. Great hammerheads have restricted space utilization for outgoing current compared to incoming current, which may lead to increased shark-angler interactions.
Conclusion. Bahia Honda is of obvious ecological importance to both Tarpon and Great Hammerheads as pre-spawning populations and feeding grounds. The observed depredation and post-predation mortality raise concerns about fishery conservation.
Efforts to educate anglers to improve best practices, including reducing fight times and prematurely ending fights when sharks are present, will be essential to increase tarpon survival and reduce conflict between sharks and anglers.
RISAA Annual Banquet, February 17,
“This year we are holding our annual banquet on February 17, 2024 at the Quonset “O” Club, 200 Lt. James Brown Road, North Kingstown, RI,” said Scott Travers, Executive Director of the Rhode Island Saltwater Anglers Association. Risa). Cocktails and appetizers will start at 5pm with dinner at 6pm
“We welcome all our fellow members to come and celebrate the 2023 Annual Tournament winners and other award recipients. We will have raffle items available including two charter flights and much more! said Travers.
Tickets are available now on the RISAA website. Go to the Members Area and click on the Member Home page to get your tickets now. Contact Scott Travers at 401-826-2121 or email@example.com for more information.
Where is the sting?
Freshwater trout and salmon fishing in stocked ponds continues to be good with a big bass bite as well. For a complete list of trout ponds in Massachusetts, visit the Mass Wildlife at Trout Stocking | Mass.gov and in Rhode Island visit www.dem.ri.gov/fishing, or call 401-789-0281 or 401-539-0019 for more information about stocking trout.
Saltwater fishing was limited due to high winds and storms. However, anglers continue to catch schooling striped bass and the occasional keeper in salt pans and estuaries. If you want to try your hand at cod fishing, call ahead to make a party boat reservation, and the ships will set sail as soon as the weather clears. Visit www.islandcurrent.com and www.francesfleet.com. Full-day rates for ships generally range from $130 to $135 per adult and around $80 for those under 12.
Dave Monte holds a captain’s license and a fishing license. He serves on a variety of boards and committees and has consulting work focused on clean oceans, habitat conservation, conservation, renewable energy, fisheries and client issues. Send fishing news and photos to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.noflukefishing.com.
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