The Scuttlefish

Love the Ocean. Wish you were here.

Category: how to

Here’s What You Should Know About the Littlest Porpoise and What You Can Do to Help Them.


Above: The vaquita (Phocoena sinus). Photo: Flip Nicklin, Minden Pictures/Corbis.

The vaquita is a tiny endangered porpoise that exists within a narrow 1,500-square-mile patch of the Pacific Ocean around Baja, California with a dwindling population of less than 100 as of late 2014.

As is the case with many cetaceans that find themselves fouled in fishing nets, they’re not the target species. Oriental interest in the swim bladder of another endangered specimen, the totoaba (Totoaba macdonaldi), has fishermen in Mexico setting nets in waters shared by the vaquita.

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This Time-Lapse Video Captures the Spirit and Solitude of ‘Down East’, Maine

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Screenshot from Tate Yoder’s YouTube film.

‘Down East’ Maine might be considered ‘Up North’ for most of the United States but it is a beloved coastal corner of the world that extends from Penobscot Bay to the Canadian border, in its narrowest sense.

According to Down East, The Magazine of Maine the origin of the term in New England began in Boston. “When ships sailed from Boston to ports in Maine (which were to the east of Boston), the wind was at their backs, so they were sailing downwind, hence the term ‘Down East.’ And it follows that when they returned to Boston they were sailing upwind; many Mainers still speak of going ‘up to Boston,’ despite the fact that the city lies approximately 50 miles to the south of Maine’s southern border.

Down East reader Tate Yoder shot footage over a range of areas, times, days, and parts of the year to put together this time-lapse video of the Down East region.

Film by Tate Yoder.

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“Stories Beneath the Surface.” My First, and Probably Last, TedX Talk – and a Few Lessons Learned Along the Way.

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Umm, who am I, why am I here and what was I was supposed to say? Trying to keep it together on the TedX stage. Photo Courtesy: TedXUGA. 

This past winter, I received an email from a journalism professor at the University of Georgia. Dr. Scott Shamp was the director of UGA’s TedX program. As a writer and graduate of UGA’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, Shamp wondered if I’d be interested in giving a TedX talk. Maybe, he said, it could somehow revolve around an aspect of my book, Ghost Wave or some other story I’d covered in the past as a journalist. A TedX talk? Me? Jeez, that’s an honor. But standing in front of 500 people attempting to expound on some big “Idea Worth Sharing,” or wisdom I’d gleaned while traveling the road of life? I didn’t really have any big ideas and the whole prospect of passing on wisdom made me nervous. Who was to say that I had anything to say that folks would want to hear?

Would this be a titanic mistake?

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Offshore Oil and Gas Drilling in the Southeast Atlantic : What You Can Do – State by State. A Scuttlefish Feature. Part II.


 Residents of North Carolina’s Outer Banks gather in Kill Devil Hills to protest oil and gas activities off their coast. Photo courtesy of Randy Sturgill, Oceana. 

Today marks the fifth anniversary of the the largest petroleum spill in the history of the industry and the worst environmental disaster in United States history – the BP/Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

It has been 1825 days since the blowout and the longterm impacts on the Gulf of Mexico ecosystems and coastal economies continues to unfold. Still, deep sea drilling and surveying continues to expand along U.S. waters, and in early January the Obama Administration offered up a new swath of the nation’s coastline for oil and gas activities: the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast. Part I of this series is a Scuttlefish feture that dives into what you need to know about the who, what, why, when and where of oil and gas exploration and drilling in the the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast.

Here, in Part II of this series, TheScuttlefish asked Oceana to help bring you the ‘Top Ten’ actions you can take to protect your coast at both national and state levels now.

Pawleys public meeting

Public meeting on oil and gas activities in South Carolina on Pawley’s Island. As of April 16th, Oceana has helped over 50 coastal towns in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and New Jersey pass city ordinances and resolutions against oil exploration off their shores. On April 14, 2015, Oceana delivered more than 420,000 signatures to the director of the Bureau of Energy Managment in opposition to any oil and gas activities. Photography courtesy of Samantha Siegel.


 With the ‘top ten’ actions below, you can help avoid a disaster similar to the Deepwater Horizon blowout in your state. Photo by Daniel Beltra/Greenpeace.

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How to Fly with Fishing Gear (and Not Lose It)


Fishing gear is expensive, and flying with it is nerve-wracking. (Photo: imgkid)

TSA’s regulations for fishing do not distinguish any size limitation on fishing rods. Neither do airports, and it comes down to the discretion of the individual security personnel you meet.

While living in Taipei, I flew in and out of the same airport three times taking the very same 12 weight fly rod with my carry-on luggage each time. On my final flight out of the country, I was told that the tube was too large, and I’d have to go back through security to add it to my checked baggage. The line for security was long, long enough that I I’d have missed my flight. The supervisor came along and I convinced him to agree to mail the rod to a local friend. I even paid him extra for postage. It never showed up.

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This Is Why You Want to Take the Dark Meat Out of Your Fish


This is the secret to not only making fish taste better, but avoiding poisoning. Photo via Commuter Cruiser

I’ve always pulled the dark red meat (brown, once cooked) out of fish before cooking it, if not after. It’s what some people call the blood line, the set of nerves that make up a fish’s lateral lines, and it’s often what gives fish that undesired fishy or earthy taste. Certain fish, like bluefish and tuna, contain more of it than others, while milder fish like snapper and cod have relatively thin blood lines (in the past, I haven’t bothered to remove theirs). But there’s another, more critical reason to remove this dark pungent layer: it could be poisonous.

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How to Make a Beautiful, Lifelike Fishing Lure Using a Plastic Straw


Screenshot from JONG CHOOL DO‘s Youtube Video

Anywhere you go in the world, you’ll find fishermen doing extraordinary, sometimes unimaginable things to entice fish, but this has to be the most creative and elaborate homemade lure I’ve ever seen.


Screenshot from JONG CHOOL DO‘s Youtube Video

The artist uses the lure to outwit a cuttlefish in the video (below), but I’m sure these would work well on pretty much anything that eats shrimp, like bonefish, permit, and maybe even tarpon, too.

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Life In Salt. The Rescuers – Part II. When It All Goes Wrong.
A Scuttlefish Feature


“You don’t have time to panic and you don’t have time to freak out. You just have to function, because people’s lives depend on it.”  — Jonathan Hoover. Image Courtesy: Greg Long and Ryan Moss

When Jonathan Hoover stepped onto the yacht Mr. Terrible on December 21, 2012, at the Cortes Bank, all he knew was that a big wave surfer had gone down, hard. He didn’t even know Greg Long. Yet when he found one of the world’s best heavy water riders sprawled out on the stern convulsing and coughing up blood, emotions went out the window. Hoover had work to do.

What follows is the second part of my interview with lifeguard and ocean rescue boat operator Jonathan Hoover and his right hand man Ryan Thompson. You can read part I of the interview, which I originally wrote about in much briefer form for Surfer’s Journal magazine, by clicking here. At the end of this story, Hoover discusses some of his must-have tools of the trade. —CD


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