Hurricane/tropical storm Lee wasn’t the damaging storm we expected. It left just enough distance that it didn’t have the damaging winds. It left most of the boats alone and provided some swell for the surfers.
The striped bass fishing has been good all week. That’s something the storm helped us with.
Fluke has slowed down following the storm. Just a reminder, the fluke fishery will come to a close on September 29th.
We should still have plenty of tuna fishing ahead throughout the fall. I haven’t been myself this week but the reports have been favorable. They’re out there.
We’ve got two more weeks of fishing for the Nantucket Inshore Classic. The storm last weekend and the one this coming weekend may pause the fishing for a bit but it just livens the fishing up once it’s safe to get back out on the water. Sunday morning after Lee passed through, the south shore beaches were lined with anglers hoping for the first post-storm bite.
You may remember that last month we, on Topspin Fishing, found an unusual vessel off of Great Round Shoal channel off Nantucket. It turned out to be a Saildrone, an unmanned science vehicle that uses solar and wind power to perform long-range autonomous data collection missions. After finding Saildrone #1074 out by itself in the ocean, we tried to find out what this drone was up to. The Saildrone was on a then-secret mission and was recovered later that same day off of Martha’s Vineyard. Contacting the company led us to be invited to their press event the next week. We couldn’t take off to Falmouth, but we were finally allowed to share what the mission was all about. According to Saildrone representative Jenn Virskus, the two Saildrone USVs that were deployed for this mission are equipped with ground-breaking acoustic technology to listen for North Atlantic right whales and other marine mammals. The goal is to create a monitoring network to detect, classify, and localize marine mammals in areas with offshore wind developments using autonomous vehicles, acoustic monitoring equipment, and machine learning technologies.
Construction and operation of offshore wind farms impact marine ecosystems. Many large whale species are highly dependent on acoustics to conduct important life functions and, therefore, sensitive to underwater noise. Traditional visual and acoustic methods for monitoring marine mammals require trained biologists to be deployed offshore on crewed vessels. Whale vocalizations are often very low frequency, making them difficult to detect and easily masked by man-made sounds.
The virtually silent saildrones were stationed in an area where several species of whales are known to be present. During the two-week deployment, the saildrones recorded numerous marine mammal vocalizations. You can listen to vocalizations captured by the saildrones here. These are purported to likely be common dolphins.
The mission was a pilot project conducted jointly by saildrone and RPS, a provider of protected species monitoring and mitigation compliance services. They believe that by providing timely information, Saildrone enables developers and operators to make informed decisions that can prioritize the protection of marine life.
“Saildrone’s passive acoustic technology allows us to gather vital information in a non-invasive and cost-effective manner, and combined with the mobility and endurance of our uncrewed platforms, provides unprecedented monitoring capability, facilitating research, conservation, and commercial enterprise,” said Saildrone CTO Brian Hernacki.
Outside of wind farms, these unmanned surface vehicles, powered by renewable wind and solar power, have surveyed various fisheries around the world, mapped the seafloor, and advanced hurricane research. We may be seeing more of them out and about in the coming years.
Lastly, for all of you fishing ladies, angler Tammy King is offering a beginners surfcasting clinic at 40th Pole on Wednesday, September 27 at 3:30 p.m. for female anglers ages 15+. The $20 fee goes directly to the Nantucket Anglers Club Scholarship Fund and is being matched by another donor. To sign up, contact Tammy through her social media (@fishgirlack).