SEINE THE BAY DAY!
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 10, 2017
Join members of the all-volunteer Bayshore Watershed Council on Sunday, September 10, 2017 for Seine the Bay Day!
The event is FREE! Bring a friend or bring your family. Kids are welcome.
Seine the Bay Day is an annual late summer event. Volunteers will help drag a long net (called a seine net) through the water to discover what awesome sea creatures live in the shallow part of the bay. The catch is never the same; we may catch juvenile fish, shrimp, or even baby puffers or seahorses in the net. It will be a fun day.
Times and locations can be found below. Rain or strong winds will cancel the event.
Seining team members will be citizen scientists. All fishes, crabs, and other aquatic creatures will be identified, measured, and cataloged; and returned to the water.
In addition, watershed members will collect water temperature and turbidity information; and document the tidal stage, and note the aquatic vegetation in the area.
Cliffwood Beach - meet in the gravel parking lot near the beach entrance along Ocean Blvd. (Incoming tide)
Conaskonck Point - meet in the gravel parking lot where Front and Dock streets meet. (High tide)
Port Monmouth - meet in the gravely parking lot across from the Monmouth Cove Marina on Old Port Monmouth Road. We will seine near the mouth of Pews Creek. (outgoing tide)
Mouth of Many Mind Creek - meet at the end of Avenue A, near the beach entrance to the bay. On-street parking only. (outgoing tide)
The Joyous Homecoming for New York City’s Whales
Whales have returned to New York City’s coastline after a long absence
BY KATE KNIBBS
JUL 12, 2017, 9:30AM EDT
Last November, a humpback whale swam up the Hudson River. The animal was spotted slapping its fin near the Upper West Side and then splashing below the Statue of Liberty’s effervescent mint skirt. I read every story I could about this cosmopolitan animal, worried that it would die like the poor Gowanus dolphin. One whale expert kept appearing as a source: Paul Sieswerda, a retired aquarium curator living on Staten Island, who had nicknamed the Hudson whale “Gotham,” and who assured reporters that it was likely not lost but hungry.
Another humpback was spotted in January, this time in the East River, near Gracie Mansion. Once again, Sieswerda was called on as New York’s resident whale guy, and once again he noted that the whale was likely feeding. I wanted to meet this man who was watching the whales return, and so this past April, I took a bumpy bus ride to the tip of the city to meet Sieswerda on a sand-swept dock in the Rockaways.
Sieswerda is the founder and ringleader of a small, all-volunteer nonprofit called Gotham Whales, which is creating a database of whales spotted around the New York City area. Gotham Whales does most of its field work from the cozy observation deck of the American Princess, a sightseeing boat that tours the New York and New Jersey coastlines scouting for marine life.
The American Princess often departs from Riis Landing. The pier is lively during sunny summer afternoons, but on the steel-gray spring day we met, it looked desolate and postapocalyptic, with hurricane damage visible on empty salt-soaked buildings and a lonely food truck parked near the barren bus stop. I boarded the boat as rain began to fall; besides Paul and me, the group consisted primarily of ardent birders with fancy, long-lens cameras, as well as a tall, wan man in his early 20s carrying a hardcover copy of Moby-Dick. The Marine Parkway Bridge loomed overhead, with cars driving below peregrine falcons, which perched on boxes set up by the MTA as part of a conservation program. To the side of the landing’s pier, fishermen in waders cast lines into the bay as we set off.
Warmer waters from climate change will leave fish shrinking, gasping for air
Date: August 21, 2017
Source: University of British Columbia
Summary: Fish are expected to shrink in size by 20 to 30 per cent if ocean temperatures continue to climb due to climate change.
A new study by researchers at the University of British Columbia provides a deeper explanation of why fish are expected to decline in size.
"Fish, as cold-blooded animals, cannot regulate their own body temperatures. When their waters get warmer, their metabolism accelerates and they need more oxygen to sustain their body functions," said William Cheung, co-author of the study, associate professor at the Institute for the Ocean and Fisheries and director of science for the Nippon Foundation-UBC Nereus Program. "There is a point where the gills cannot supply enough oxygen for a larger body, so the fish just stops growing larger."
Daniel Pauly, the study's lead author and principal investigator of the Sea Around Us at the Institute for the Ocean and Fisheries, explains that as fish grow into adulthood their demand for oxygen increases because their body mass becomes larger. However, the surface area of the gills -- where oxygen is obtained -- does not grow at the same pace as the rest of the body. He calls this set of principles that explains why fish are expected to shrink "gill-oxygen limitation theory."
US, Canada to investigate deaths of endangered whales
By PATRICK WHITTLE, ASSOCIATED PRESS
PORTLAND, Maine — Aug 25, 2017, 3:22 PM ET
Marine authorities in the U.S. and Canada said Friday they will marshal resources to try to find out what's behind a string of deaths of endangered North Atlantic right whales.
The animals are among the rarest marine mammals in the world, with only about 500 still living. The countries will collaborate on a report that could help craft future regulations that protect the vulnerable whales, representatives said.
Representatives of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Fisheries and Oceans Canada both said ship strikes and entanglement in fishing gear have played roles in the deaths of the whales, and that other factors also could have played a role.
The goal of the countries is to find out more about why 13 of the whales have been found dead this year and respond with solutions, said David Gouveia, protected species monitoring program branch chief for NOAA Fisheries Greater Atlantic Region.
Northern Right Whales are no stranger to New York Harbor. Gotham Whale has reported seeing several right whales over the years. This species has the reputation of being an "urban" whale as it often likes to feed and migrate near a coastline along the east coast of North America.
Common Sea Star (Asterias forbesi)
Please Note: Scientists no longer call this sea creature a Starfish. It does not have fins, scales, eyes, or resemble a fish. Instead many people today call it a Sea Star. A more percise name for a beautiful animal.
Sea Stars Are More Brutal Than They Look
By DAVE TAFT
AUG. 23, 2017
The New York Times
From the perspective of a small organism like a clam or a shrimp, the Atlantic surf is probably a chaotic place of hostile instability. Shifting sands, blistering heat from an all-day sun, churning salt water; little wonder so many of the Atlantic shoreline’s residents gravitate to the small oases of coastal rock groins. Though some of the permanence of these carefully placed stones is illusory, they are a mecca for a variety of sea creatures. On hot days in August, they can be just as attractive to humans interested in gazing at sea stars.
The common sea star (Asterias forbesi) is an echinoderm related to sea urchins and sea cucumbers. As the name implies, they are covered with a remarkable skin flecked with raised bumps, which give the animal a rough texture – just rub your finger over any part of a starfish. Turn the sea star upside down, and what seems like a stiff, barely living creature reveals hundreds of tube feet that stretch and curl gracefully, and will even gently grab a finger if you offer it one. These tube feet are the animal’s sole source of locomotion and a deadly hunting tool.
Crawling deftly along the rocks or sand of the sea floor, sea stars find their prey – generally shellfish, like mussels or other bivalves — by following their scent.
STOP THE WILLIAMS FRACKED GAS PIPELINE THROUGH NY HARBOR!
MY TOP 5 FAVORITE BOOKS ABOUT NY HARBOR
1. Field Guide to the Neighborhood Birds of New York City by Leslie Day
2.Heartbeats in the Muck by John Waldman
3. The Fisheries of Raritan Bay by Clyde L. MacKenzie Jr.
4. Waterfront: A Walk Around Manhattan by Phillip Lopate
5. The Bottom of the Harbor by Joseph Mitchell