Monday, January 29, 2007
Friday, January 26, 2007
as a large tuna struck a bait and swam off. This occurred at a location
just off the inlet- a place so close to shore it makes one marvel at giant bluefin
swimming in 8-10 fathoms of water. Menhaden were plentiful in this area
and the temperatures were extremely cool.
But, as luck would have it- with only two boats on the ocean at the time
of the strike, the fisher without the fish, dragged a planer across the Leslie Anne's line,
and cut the monofilament close to the hook. Captain Stuve remarked it
was a 'good one'. This is the second day that a large fish was hooked or captured
close to shore- but for the entire fleet of less than 12 boats- slow fishing was the name of the game.
The TAG team hopes to get out one more time this weekend- if the winds
let up. A blast of cold arctic air has swept into the area and with any luck- schools
of bluefin are being pushed from the North to the South in this El Nino warmed winter.
With commercial season coming to a close- the bluefin may have gotten off easy
this January by keeping the secrets of their whereabouts from scientists and fishers alike.
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
Monday, January 22, 2007
Saturday, January 20, 2007
The bad weather that we have seen so much of this January continued in the past two days and the seas were unfortunately too rough for the TAG team to do any fishing. So we have been waiting on land for the seas to subside, where the sunny skies have really shown off the beauty of the
Friday, January 19, 2007
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
Sunday, January 14, 2007
Today could not have been more beautiful. Aboard the Leslie Anne with a veteran crew led by Captain Gary Stuve with owner Richard Worley aboard and guests Randy Repass and Richard Tilghman. The TAG Team, with veterans Dr. Barbara Block and Chuck Farwell of Stanford University and Monterey Bay Aquarium, caught the big fish of the day, on the edge of Cape Lookout Shoals near the shad boat buoy. The fish quietly took the bait and thought it would sneak away but the line came tight and the fish began to pull off the line. Richard Tilghman moved into the chair and persuasively pulled the fish toward the boat. After a 30' fight, Doug Roberts wired the fish to the boat and Chuck Farwell got the liphook in place in no time flat. To the delight of the entire team, Chuck got the fish in place and yelled "Pull". With four team members tugging on the line, the fish slid into place on the padded vinyl mat. There, glimmering in the summer like sun- was the bluefin, all 90", over 480 lbs. The team surgically inserted an archival tag, tied a double suture, and placed a pop up satellite tag on the same fish. After sampling for DNA, it took 5 TAG team members to turn the fish around and send the tuna out the door. In the clear warm water, with sargassum floating by- the bluefin swam away quickly. Everyone was enthused by nature's reward as the first fish of 2007 swam hard and fast away.
Thursday, January 11, 2007
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
Sunday, January 7, 2007
Friday, January 5, 2007
Thursday, January 4, 2007
Through the generosity of Mr. Richard Worley, the owner of the F/V Leslie Anne, and Dr. Tom McMurray, an alumnus of Duke University and advisor for the Duke Marine Lab, we’ve built a new foundation, TGF. Our goal is to continue doing rigorous science that will influence policy and management in a way that ensures the bluefin’s future. I personally think our involvement in this fishery is remarkably important at this critical time. All signs in the ocean indicate that the northern bluefin tuna are not doing well in the Atlantic, and I feel our team is providing the scientific data that are key to improving how the species is managed.
We need your help! We have approximately 80 tags to put in to reach the goal of 1000 bluefin tagged in the Atlantic, and we’re just not going to stop until we get there. I am here for all of you who care about bluefin tuna, both recreational and commercial fishers. I believe we can have a sustainable bluefin fishery in the North Atlantic, but we’ll have to get the eastern nations to believe us when we say that our fish are their fish. So let’s keep putting in those electronic tags, and if you see a fish with green and white external tags, remember to keep the tag or let us know immediately so that we can help remove the tag. Each tag has a story that remains critical for showing how bluefin use the North Atlantic.
At TAG 2007 you’ll see Dr. Andre Boustany, who finished his Ph.D and is now at Duke University working with Dr. Pat Halpin’s lab, taking a lead role. Andre’s move to North Carolina provides the State and Duke with a first rate leader from the TAG program here. I thank both Andre and Pat for helping to move the team forward in North Carolina. Mr. Richard Worley has once again donated the use of the Leslie Anne complete with Captain Gary Stuve and company, perhaps the most committed bluefin tuna taggers ever. Captain Dale Britt’s back with the Sensation, and for sure you’ll see us all out fishing. Please consider passing fish to us by calling Dale if you want an archival or pop-up satellite tag on your fish.