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A SEA GRANT ADVISORY SERVICE
Virginia Institute of Marine Science, Gloucester Point, Virginia 23062
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Virginia anglers should have the mer flounder which had strong year
best croaker fishing season in years classes during the last three years.
according to finfish specialists at Early season catches of croaker and sum-
the Virginia Institute of Marine Sci- mer flounder seem to confirm this fore-
ence whose population assessments of cast.
various species of fishes have enabled
them to make annual predictions of sup- Continued high abundance is forecast
plies that will be available to fisher- for bluefish and stocks of menhaden ap-
men. Based on information from winter pear stable at a high level of harvest.
and summer trawl surveys, catch statis- An increase is expected in catches of
tics, and sport and commercial fishing small and medium size black sea bass.
samples, scientists have assessed the
outlook for 1975. Year classes of spot in 1973 and 1974
were average, but good catches of two
Chesapeake Bay fishermen can expect and three year olds are forecast for
increased catches of croaker as a result this year due to recent mild winters
of mild winters and successful spawns that have allowed greater survival and
during the past four years. Continued faster growth. An abundance of six-to-
good catches also are expected for sum- Continued on Page 2
Page 2 Vol. VII, No.4
eight inch spot should make for excel-
lent fall fishing. University of Delaware Offers
As predicted by VIMS, this year's 'Marine Environment Studies'
commercial catch of river herring in
Virginia waters was slightly lower than "Marine Environment Studies", a
in 1974. The downward trend for river multidisciplinary collection of learn-
herring, chiefly alewife and blueback, ing experiences designed to increase
is predicted to continue through 1978, the knowledge of the general student
based on assessments of young herring about ~he marine environment, is avail-
which make up the adult stocks several able from the University of Delaware.
The collection includes materials
Except for continued scarcity in the for all grades, K-12, with an emphasis
James River, populations of white perch on the middle school and high school.
seem to be recovering from the low lev- Some lessons can be used for instruc-
els noted during the last few years. tion of college students or adults.
The forecast for 1975 is for an increase
in abundance. "Marine Environment Studies" may be
purchased as a set or by individualunits.
Low spawning success during the pe- For a price list and further
riod from 1971 through 1974 has lowered information, direct inquiries to Dr.
the supply of striped bass and fisher- Carolyn Thoroughgood, Marine Advisory
men should expect a decline in pan and Service, 313 Robinson Hall, University
medium sizes. Weakfish (gray trout) of Delaware, Newark DE 19711.
have experienced low to average year
classes since 1971. Fewer pan-sized
weakfish will be available but supplies
of fish three pounds and over should
remain about the same this year. Sci-
entists say catches of large and pan
weakfish will decline in two to three
years unless there is a strong year Disaster Relief Notice Amended
class in 1975 and 1976.
Applications for disaster relief
The outlook for scup in 1975 is poor loans for damage resulting from high
and the supply of American eel, although wind in Virginia on April 3 and 4,
difficult to assess, appears stable. 1975 will be accepted by the Small
There appears to be no puffer available Business Administration from disaster
to the fisherman. victims in six additional counties
and adjacent affected areas.
No specific estimates were made for
black drum, spotted seatrout, channel According to the May 23,1975 Fed-
bass and cobia. eral Register, disaster victims in
Accomack, Gloucester, Mathews,
Northampton, Northumberland, Westmore-
land and adjacent affected areas may
file for disaster relief.
Applications may be filed at the
Small Business Administration, Dis-
trict Office, Federal Building -Room
3015,400 North Eighth Street, Rich-
mond VA 23240. Closing date for ac-
cepting applications in the addition-
ally designated counties is July 14,
May/June 1975 Page 3
Fish as easy and convenient to use one meal which the housewife could use
as hamburger may soon be available to in tested recipes provided on the pack-
the homemaker, according to the Depart- age or in recipes she might developherself."
ment of Commerce's National Oceanic
and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
A variety of products including fish
Through experiments conducted by cakes, chowders, salads, fish in spa-
NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Ser- ghetti or marinara sauce, fish and rice,
vice's Utilization Research Center at fish stew, and fish and beef was pre-
Gloucester, Mass., minced fish with pared at the Utilization Research Cen-
the same texture as hamburger has beenproduced.ter, tested by families, and found to
be highly acceptable. Those testing
the fish commented on the convenience
The minced fish has the same nutri- of the blocks and the absence of a
tional value as beef, is lower in fat "fishy" smell.
content, and is cheaper to produce
since it can be made from a variety of "The one-pound frozen block of minced
fish species that are not being used fish is adaptable for use in most fish
to the fullest extent. recipes and as an extender for hamburg-
er," said Mendelsohn. "It is convenient
Joe Mendelsohn, project director at requires no preparation for use directly
the NMFS Center, said that minced fish into many recipes, and is very econom-
in one-pound frozen blocks is a highly ical when compared to other fish pro-
acceptable market form and has commer- ducts. "
cial potential for both retail and in-
In the early 1970's a new technology Offshore Angler's Guide Available
was begun with the introduction of a
meat-bone separator machine to the fish- A handy 32-page booklet covering
ing industry. The machine removes the many of Virginia's offshore sportfish
bone, skin and scales from the fish that has just become avai1ap1e from SouthCarolina.
have been headed and eviscerated and Entitled "A Sportman's
produces fish flesh resembling hamburger. Field Guide to the Bi11fishes, Mack-erels,
It produces more edible flesh from a Little Tunas and Tunas of South
fish than can be obtained by hand or Carolina", the booklet identifies 21
machine filleting, thereby making it spec;i.es of fish.
cheaper to produce.
Distinguishing features of the spe-
As a result of this technology and cies are outlined along with a detailed
a shortage of whole fillets for conven- drawing of each fish. Drawings of fin
tional frozen blocks, fish processors features and liver structure are in-
began using minced fish to produce l3~ cluded and a glossary defines all ter-minology.
to l8~ pound blocks which they use to
produce fish sticks and portions.
One free copy of the field guide can
"Because of the previous success ex- be obtained by addressing a request for
perienced in processing large blocks Educational Report No.3 to the South
into sticks and portions, the market Carolina Wildlife and Marine Resources
potential for a small one-pound frozen Department, Marine Resources Division,
fish block suitable for home use was Office of Conservation and Management,
investigated," said Mendelsohn. "A Recreational Fisheries Section, P. o.
package would contain enough fish for Box 12559, Charleston SC 29412.
Coastal Zone Management
Coastal Zone Management by which the interests of all state
(CZM) is envisioned by many sectors (state, regional, local, public
as a method to substantially and private) can be articulated to help
increase the number of sound formulate the Commonwealth's coastal
decisions concerning the use management goals as well as to help de-
~-~i of coastal and marine resources, sign the management program needed to
~ ~- to help resolve use conflicts
attain these goals.
and to provide the best possible balance
between environmental quality and eco- In order to make the involvement more
nomic growth. Many Virginians are ask- meaningful and to create a greater un-
ing the Divi~ion of State Planning and derstanding of the problems, pressures
Community Affairs (DSPCA) and the Vir- and issues associated with the manage-
ginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS), ment of Virginia's coastal resources,
the two agencies responsible for devel- public information will be provided
oping Virginia's CZM program, how the through brochures, pamphlets, mass media
program will be developed and what ef- conferences, public hearings and other
forts are being made this year. suitable mechanisms. Formal feedback
networks are being created to insure
Basically, the three-year CZM pro- wide access to decision makers respon-
gram planning effort can be divided sible for the development of Virginia's
into three major tasks: CZMprogram.
.A comprehensive statewide assess- Currently a CZM Regional Advisory
ment of the current situation in Committee (RAC) has been created in
Virginia's coastal zone. each of the nine coastal regional plan-
ning districts to serve as a formal fo-
A determination of the type of cus for public education and involvementactivities.
coastal zone (in terms of a bal-
ance between environmental quality
and economic growth) that best
represents the interests of the ASSESSMENT OF ACTIVITIES
Commonwealth and its citizens.
During the first year, ten coastal
The development of a CZM program zone assessment reports will be pro-
that most effectively promotes duced; nine at a regional (RAC) level
the attainment of the desired and one at the state level. With staff
coastal zone objectives. support from DSPCA, each RAC will pre-
pare a regional assessment report that
While this approach seems simple, will include the following items:
the development effort will be a com-
plicated and arduous process. A description of the region's
coastal zone in terms of geogra-
In Virginia the first year's plan- phy and susceptibility (fragility)
ning efforts are primarily directed to development.
towards the completion of the statewide
assessment of Virginia's coastal zone. An assessment of the pressures
This yea~'s program includes five on- for and desirability of develop-
going work elements. ment of different -types in theregion.
PUBLIC EDUCATION AND INVOLVEMENT .An assessment of the potential
impacts of such development.
The prime activity in this first
year is the development of a process
An assessment of existing methods
May/June 1975 Page 5
to adequately deal with develop- of 1975. Ongoing Shoreline Situation
mental pressures and impacts. studies are designed to supply an as-
sessment of important parameters and
VIMS personnel will be available for characteristics of Virginia's entire
technical support for this activity. shoreline in an effort to help plan-
ners and managers make the best pos-
In a similar fashion, DSPCAwill sible decisions for the utilization
prepare a state coastal zone assess- of this limited and valuable resource.
ment report. When completed, any To date, four county studies have been
existing statewide approach to resource published, two are in press and four-
management within the coastal zone can teen are in varying stages of comple-
be evaluated and studied to determine tion.
how state policy affects and interre-
lates (supplementary and complementary) DSPCA and VIMS are jointly investi-
with concurrent actions taking place gating the availability and suitability
at the regional and local levels. of existing graphic (mapping) displays
and methods for the presentation of
The combined results of these as- the coastal zone data being generated.
sessment reports will provide a basis While this is not a major effort, it
for many recommendations that will be is an important one since it will help
made in the second and third planning make the data more accessible to plan-
years relative to Virginia's coastal ners and the public.
zone planning objectives and manage-
ment techniques. At VIMS, the Marine Environment and
Resources Research and Management Sys-
tem (MERRMS) is being expanded to pro-
DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS vide Virginia with a centralized coast-
al/marine resources management informa-
In order to support the public edu- tion clearinghouse. The information
cation and coastal zone assessment is available to any state agency, or-
work elements as well as to provide a ganization, or individual at little
basis from which user impacts upon or no cost. Ultimately, this service
coastal resources can be evaluat~d, a will augment public education and in-
substantial data gathering program has volvement efforts.
DSPCA is currently developing and WETLANDS MANAGEMENT NEEDS
compiling socio-economic and fast landdata.
The types of information being Resulting from the implementation
compiled include, but are not limited of Virginia's Wetlands Law, this work
to, population characteristics, econo- element is being conducted at VIMS to
mic base analyses, land use data, provide continuing support and guidance
transportation patterns, and natural to local wetlands boards and the Vir-
resource data. The resultant product ginia Marine Resources Commission rela-
will be both a graphic and written in- t~ve to problems of Wetlands manage-ment.
ventory of the physio-sociological This project is being supported
conditions existing in Virginia's by Virginia's CZM program to enhance
coastal plain. wetlands protection efforts and to
determine the most effective method to
VIMS is conducting two major inven- incorporate wetlands planning and man-
tories of coastal resources. The Tidal agement into the more comprehensive
Marsh Inventory effort is designed to coastal management planning program.
locate and describe, in physical and
biological terms, all of the Common-
wealth's wetlands. The information COORDINATION AND ADMINISTRATION
is analyzed and published in county
level publications. While only three As a result of the comprehensive
county reports have been published to nature of Virginia's coastal zone man-
date, ten will be in print by the end agement planning effort, a concerted
Continued on Page 6
Page 6 May/June 1975
effort is being made to upgrade the of the program is therefore critically
lines of communication between DSPCA, dependent upon meaningful citizen in-volvement.
VIMS and other state agencies involved
in the management of the Commonwealth's
coastal resources. In addition, im- For further information about Vir-
proved communication networks are being ginia's CZM program or how you can be-
developed between Virginia and the come involved, contact:
neighboring states in the Mid-Atlantic
region, part1cularly Maryland and North Ronald L. Schmied
Carolina to monitor and interact in CZMAdvisory Specialist
their coastal zone management efforts. Department of Advisory Services
Improved intra- and interstate communi- Virginia Institute of Marine Science
cation and coordination will provide Gloucester Point, VA 23062
for a more coherent coastal zone plan- 804/642-2111, Ext. 190
ning and management effort in Virginia.
Virginia has embarked upon an ambi- Roxanne Pross
tious coastal zone management planningeffort. Commerce and Resources Section
Primary emphasis is being Department of State Planning and
given to involving all sectors of the Community Affairs
state in this process in order to pro- 1010 James Madison Building
duce a management program that is re- 109 Governor Street
sponsive to the needs of the Common- Richmond, VA 23219
wealth and its citizens. The success 804/770-7652
VIRGINIA INSTITUTE OF MARINE SCIENCE
Gloucester Point, Virginia 23062
ADDRESS CORREC:TION REQUESTED