Marine Mammal Observers

I have been asked to write a training program for citizen marine mammal observers for the Jersey Shore. There is a tremendous amount of interest in the safety of marine mammals at this time. From the shore much information can be gathered by trained observers. Looking into setting up observation stations along the coast. Off to Allenhurst to discuss details of the project this afternoon.

Why Investigate Sea Serpents?

While doing historical fisheries research I have come across hundreds of sea serpent and sea monster stories. Many scientists have dismissed them off hand and in doing so lost out on very valuable fisheries observations. By mining the sea serpent data I have been able to identify historical sightings of marine life including rare whales, basking sharks, Sturgeons, oarfish, and many others.

The Navesink Sea Serpent

Today I am kicking off my new project on mysterious sightings and creatures of the Jersey Shore. I am going to start the investigation with the Navesink Sea Serpent. For many years people have seen something strange in the waters of this picturesque estuary. But what have they been seeing? At least one of the sightings was pretty likely Basking Shark. Some of the others may be attributed to the Atlantic Sturgeon. One of the most documented of the sightings describes an animal that is very close to the Oarfish. During this investigation, we will be looking into the individual sightings in hopes of bringing them to a reasonable conclusion. We will also be looking deep in the historical fisheries records in trying to locate credible sightings of oarfish in New Jersey and New York Waters.

Deadly Wash-ups

Fishing line, Netting, lures, and hooks are deadly wash-ups on the beach. I found this one in the surf at Sea Bright this morning. Please remove these deadly items when you see them. They cause pain, suffering, and death to countless marine birds and wildlife. I also found a couple interesting things today including a deep water mud starfish in perfect condition (likely brought in by dredging) and a 64 million year old seashell.

Please Follow the Rules

Everyday, during the fishing season, I see people fishing that are ignorant of the rules and regulations. If you fish in the ocean please register as a salt water angler. It is free and it is the law. And PLEASE follow the rules, the wildlife of the ocean belongs to all of us.

Fish Market Survey

I am currently working on a fish market survey of in NYC’s Manhattan and Queen’s Chinatowns. It is amazing the variety of species you find from all over the world. It is a great place for Fisheries Observers to hone their field identification skills. I am always astounded at the things that end up in these markets.

Notes from the Beach on Marine Mammal Deaths

It seems that the marine mammal deaths have quieted down. Or perhaps they are being kept quite a bit more. After the release of the details of the deaths by the government, it has left many beachgoers doubtful and distrustful of NOAA. As a protected species observer I have been on the beaches most days in order to collect data on species that wash up. There is something very strange going on off the coast. and it seems the public has decided that the deaths have something to do with the offshore wind development projects. NOAA has done everything to discourage this hypothesis and as a result landed themselves at odds with the public. The vast majority of people I see on the beach want the wind projects stopped. This is from all sides of the political spectrum. NOAA has waded into a political firestorm and I don’t think they even know how mad the public is with them. I think this is not over and I think there is much not being told the public. Perhaps it is time for an independent investigation by World Wildlife Fund or another conservation agency to see what results the can find. I am sure if NOAA has nothing to hide they will welcome an outside investigation.

Two More Dead Whales & a Dolphin. Time for Action?

Two more dead humpbacks this week so far. One was found floating in the Ambrose Channel and the other a wash-up in Seaside. And in Absecon a dead dolphin washed up. I read the reports and have to say I am loosing any faith in NOAA conducting this investigation. The public trust level in NOAA on the beaches is really thin. Perhaps it is time to stop the construction on wind farms and conduct a environmental evaluation by a competent conservation groups. I am on the beaches every day and people are angry with Gov. Murphy and with NOAA. Very angry.

Giant Squid in New Jersey

Did you know that the Jersey Shore has had at least three credible sightings of Giant Squid? All three sightings were documented by experienced observers. The last two were reported by a federal marine fisheries scientist and witnessed by USCG officers during the 1960s.

Illustration of Giant Squid (Architeuthis) attacking Sperm Whale (Physeter macrocephalus)

Near Record Catch for NY Waters

TJ Minutillo of New York caught a close to 8-foot long. 400 lb. bull shark at Nickerson Beach in Long Island two years ago. He quickly had it authenticated and released it. What a catch! This is near the size of the suspect bull shark in the Matawan Creek attack of 1916.