Large Sea Creatures – May 17, 2015

By May 18, 2015Fish Facts

Maybe not so much for seals, but it is a good sign for the health of the waters that after decades of decline, great white shark populations are surging in the North Atlantic. In 2012 scientists tagged one shark they named Mary Lee, a now world-famous 16-foot great white with over 49K followers on Twitter. The 3500 pound behemoth was reported cruising NY’s Jones Beach this week, but apparently decided to weekend on the Jersey shore. Last week in Rhode Island’s Narragansett Bay three beluga whales were sighted, very far from the arctic waters they usually roam. Sea to Table’s Eliza Heeks was also in Rhode Island last week. While visiting home, she spent some time with the Brown family men (she went to high school with one of them) who fish the waters off Point Judith. She reported that “the people of South Kingstown love dogfish”.

Across the world, a 21 foot long giant squid, reminiscent of Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, washed up on a New Zealand beach. Further north, two Indonesians and five Thais were arrested on charges of human trafficking connected with slavery in the seafood industry, Indonesian police said Tuesday. They were the first suspects taken into custody since the case was revealed by The Associated Press in a report two months ago.

Salmon season officially opened in Alaska on Thursday with the first Copper River fish from Prince William Sound. There was sad news from further north where native fisherman Bobby Andrew passed away on Tuesday. Bobby was a Bristol Bay elder who played a large role in protesting Pebble Mine. Anyone who has seen The Breach, a film about the plight of wild salmon now screening around the country, will recognize Bobby for his passion, as his interviews were among the most moving parts of the film.

Last week brought much better news to another star of The Breach. Canadian salmon activist Alexandra Morton, who has been working diligently for 20 years to stop some of the worst practices of salmon farmers, celebrated when a federal court in Canada struck down licensing rules allowing salmon farms to transfer diseased fish into open ocean net pens. “This is a great day for wild salmon,” said Margot Venton, the Ecojustice lawyer who represented Morton. “In my view government has tried to perpetuate a dangerous myth that this disease is no threat to BC’s wild salmon”.

Bobby Andrew, a Bristol Bay fisherman who became a spokesman for protection of the Bristol Bay watershed against potential adverse affects of large-scale mining, died while at Aleknagik, near Dillingham, on a fishing trip. He was 72.

Sea to Table fish tacos featured on the lunch menu at Ohio’s Wildflower Cafe

Our own Lindsay Haas was in Ohio last week, and met with our friends Todd & Jenna Hudson of Mason’s Wildflower Café. Lindsay was most impressed how they were getting more Ohioans to #eatbetterfish, but even more so with their dedication to creating a better food system. We are proud to be affiliated with these folks.

All the best,

from the Dimin Family and the Sea to Table team

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