Well, here's hoping you now find yourself on the safe side of the Thanksgiving weekend, recovered from your self-induced food coma and with your sights squarely trained on rolling up 2019 once and for all.
And with that, you will have successfully navigated the second decade of the 21st century. How about that? Make it through another one and you get a set of commemorative Kyrie Irving coins.
We here at FishOn had a smooth and mostly uneventful Turkey Day. Even the disruptions weren't anything we couldn't resolve with some Taser rounds and a few well-placed tear gas canisters aimed at the kiddie table.
The kiddie table. It's where insurrection always foments first.
And now we turn our gimlet eyes to the horizon and whatever December and 2020 dare send our way. We are able and ready. We are resolute and undaunted. The world is our oyster. Pass the lemons and cocktail sauce.
To the items:
Get your groundfish, here
The term groundfish has always struck us with the ring of the improbable. Fish? Living on the ground? How can this be? We picture fish with feet, running in formation along the ocean bottom like the Ohio State band. No wonder we can't find any cod. They've all run away.
This will be a pivotal week for groundfishermen, and by extension we suppose, groundfish themselves. As you may have read last week in the pages of this newspaper, and online at gloucestertimes.com, the New England Fishery Management Council is expected on Wednesday to set catch quotas for the next three fishing seasons for 15 of the 20 groundfish stocks covered in the Northeast Multispecies groundfish management plan.
So, Wednesday will be an important day for the local fleet. The council is meeting in Newport, Rhode Island, from Tuesday through Thursday and we'll get the news you can use as quickly as we're able.
Blue whales on the big blue bayou
If we could have any creature for a pet, we'd have a blue whale. We love us some puppies, but blue whales are the cat's whiskers. They are the largest creatures ever to inhabit our little planet. They grow to almost 100 feet in length and tip the whale scales at upwards of 200 tons despite their trendy krill-only diet. They are excellent retrievers and don't shed.
Consider their enormity. Their hearts, from top to bottom, measure about 5 feet and weigh slightly more than Vince Wilfork. They pump about 58 gallons of blood with each beat.
Now marine biologists, in a paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, say blue whales may slow their hearts to as little as two beats per minute at the end of their feeding dives as a means of conserving oxygen.
"As a whale climbs back to the surface, it's heart rate rises again," according to a story in the New York Times. "By the time it reaches the surface, it's blood is moving much more quickly, reoxygenizing in preparation for the next dive."
The researchers were able to attach an electrocardiogram to a free-diving blue whale — no little feat itself — that told them that the whale's heart rate peaked at 37 beats per minute as it swam near the surface.
"That's about as fast as that heart can physically beat," Jeremy Goldbogen, a Stanford University biologist who helped lead the study, told the Times.
Our hearts are beating quicker just thinking about it. Not to mention all that krill. We like the jalapeno-flavored variety.
Misreporting our way back to you, babe
The New England Fishery Management Council on Tuesday also will hear two presentations on catch misreporting that surely will produce some spirited reaction.
The Coast Guard, as reported in Friday's editions of the GDT and online at gloucestertimes.com, will present its 21-page analysis on misreporting in the Northeast Multispecies groundfishery that concluded that up to 2.5 million pounds of regulated groundfish species were potentially misreported over a five-year period (2011-2015).
Also, NOAA Fisheries's Office of Law Enforcement will offer a presentation of misreporting uncovered specifically during the development of the criminal case against now-incarcerated New Bedford fishing titan Carlos A. Rafael.
Both should be corkers.
Rafael, 67, has passed the halfway point in his 46-month federal sentence at the Devens FMC prison in central Massachusetts. He went in on April 6, 2017, and is set to muster out on March 4, 2021, if he serves his full sentence.
What would Clarence Birdseye say?
Law enforcement types in Great Britain recently seized almost 100 kilograms of cocaine that was concealed in a load of frozen fish, with an estimated value of 10 million British pounds.
Now that's misreporting.
As always, no fish were harmed in the making of this column.
Contact Sean Horgan at 978-675-2714, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @SeanGDT