Milky White Flesh in Snapper - Update

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Post Options Post Options   Likes (1) Likes(1)   Quote krow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Aug 2023 at 7:46pm
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Titanium
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Cooked up both to test. Milky is pet food.
Wife and myself won't be trying it again. 
I very much doubt this yak about starvation but apart from this being the wettest year I can remember I have no clue to the reason so many are turning up. 
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Mc Tool Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Aug 2023 at 8:07pm
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Could it be that some fish have found something else to eat, I mean we hear of new invasive species arriving in NZ , or just the fact that water seems to be getting warmer ( traditional warm water fish are moving south ).
Could they have started eating something that doesn't agree with them ?
I wish I was young again .... Id be heaps smarter than this time
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"Could it be that some fish have found something else to eat, I mean we hear of new invasive species arriving in NZ , or just the fact that water seems to be getting warmer ( traditional warm water fish are moving south ).
Could they have started eating something that doesn't agree with them ?"

Agree McTool we have no idea and there are so many variables. Very much doubt lack of food is the issue. There would be schools of starving fish but I’m getting fatties then a milky amongst them. We need real scientists not commercial puppets to investigate 


The gods do not subtract from the allotted span of men's lives the hours spent on fishing - Assyrian Proverb
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote letsgetem Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Aug 2023 at 10:52am
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Last 3 trips, off Whangaparaoa - earlier, in August, 3 and 2 snapper all small, all milky, discarded all. I thought I had released all fish that were thin, but kept 5 that turned out to be milky.
Last, yesterday, 4 keepers 32-35, 1 milky discarded - 3 ok kept although still slightly milky.

So - perhaps getting better? but doubtful as far too  small a number to be statistically significant.

A bloke thought could be a lot more snapper, with insufficient food. I dont think so.

I suspect most likely due to climate change, sea here warming up, affecting some things adversely - possibly the snapper directly, but more likely some other things that snapper rely on for food? 
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (1) Likes(1)   Quote Grunta Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Aug 2023 at 3:45pm
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Out off Omaha and just clear of the inside cable-zone marker a few days ago. Four of us kept a dozen snaps (nothing to write home about - late 30's to mid 40's) -> 2 milky-ish and didn't look skinny but rest in good nick.
Online...
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote brmbrm Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Aug 2023 at 5:36pm
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Originally posted by Mc Tool Mc Tool wrote:

Originally posted by brmbrm brmbrm wrote:

  will do a "blind" taste test on the missus...

 
 and then try the fish ?LOL


Thanks for the suggestion.  pretty good.  Bit fishy maybe

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Originally posted by brmbrm brmbrm wrote:

Brought home 6 pannies on Thursday.  5 fine, 1 "a bit" milky and flesh fairly firm - half way in between OK and malnourished?They are going in the smoker tomorrow and will do a "blind" taste test on the missus.....

PS  Neighbours cats love the scraps, milky flesh or not


After spreading with cure and a day in the fridge the "milky-ish" one was less milky, seemed clear in places?  Smoked all 6.  The "milky-ish" one was less firm flesh but didnt taste different to the rest.

Don't think I would eat if really milky-looking, but maybe there are degrees of milkiness?  Really dont know why, given how important the snapper fishery is to NZ, the reasons for this are not well understood.  Never happened before?

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imo 2 things lost of fresh at sea floor inshore  and possible water temp to warm hence why the are finding snapper further south in numbers than before
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I have a theory which is likely to be unpopular with some. (Theory isn’t mine but from a friend who has worked with aquaculture for some time).

The idea is that it could likely be from barotrauma aftermath. Ie the fish is healthy enough to live but is struggling to swim due to a blown swim bladder. This would intern deplete the fat and muscle mass of the fish for sometime till it can recover. I believe these fish are still healthy enough to feed but have to put far more effort into doing so hence the reduced flesh quality.

This also aligns with with 99% of what I have observed. Being that it’s generally in smaller fish (likely released size), from deeper water, and the numbers of Milkys are higher in areas where more people fish.

The problem I am having after scrolling through numerous scientific papers, is that all the barotrauma research only seems to look at the immediate affects, mortality and the gut cavity.

This along with the fact that the swim bladder will likely have healed before the fish has regained muscle mass makes it very hard to prove.

I realise this may get some hate, but welcome your feed back and observations.
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Originally posted by demo demo wrote:

I have a theory which is likely to be unpopular with some. (Theory isn’t mine but from a friend who has worked with aquaculture for some time).

The idea is that it could likely be from barotrauma aftermath. Ie the fish is healthy enough to live but is struggling to swim due to a blown swim bladder. This would intern deplete the fat and muscle mass of the fish for sometime till it can recover. I believe these fish are still healthy enough to feed but have to put far more effort into doing so hence the reduced flesh quality.

This also aligns with with 99% of what I have observed. Being that it’s generally in smaller fish (likely released size), from deeper water, and the numbers of Milkys are higher in areas where more people fish.

The problem I am having after scrolling through numerous scientific papers, is that all the barotrauma research only seems to look at the immediate affects, mortality and the gut cavity.

This along with the fact that the swim bladder will likely have healed before the fish has regained muscle mass makes it very hard to prove.

I realise this may get some hate, but welcome your feed back and observations.

Another theory, that is all good by me. The questions I have is why is it so prevalent now? Especially in the Hauraki Gulf? People have been winching snapper from the depths for many years. These days at least those of us that fish light gear give snapper a better chance of survival. It takes me 2 or 3 times as long to raise a fish from 60m out west than it takes those using TLD15's with 15kg mono.

We see the odd fish with less than translucent flesh on this side than what Auckland's east coast sees.

On the Manukau it is very common to get milky flesh gurnard and kahawai mid summer onward in the harbour. It is reasonably common to get kahawai like that over the coast. I don't recall EVER catching a gurnard from the Tasman sea in poor condition at any time of the year apart from the odd pimply one. The coastal areas are less affected than a shallow harbour on very hot days.

That leads me to believe it is temperature related. Then again, we get very few poor condition snapper in the Manukau harbour. In the height of summer we see water temps of 27 degrees and most of our fishing is in that high temp shallow water.

So what does all that mean? 

I have no idea!


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It is an interesting one! My thoughts are that with lighter line more fish are surviving and not lying dead on the bottom once they get down.
Also what I am suggesting is not 100% down to barotrauma. As others have said they have observed this during spawning which could also be due to fish not feeding and loosing the same fat and muscle mass.

As for gurnard I have no real answer. Possibly stress and not eating due to snapper pushing them out? ( would like your thoughts on this)

As for why more now 🤷‍♂️ social media? The size limit going up? I am not sure but it seems like the most obvious answer to me so far!
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I don't hold with the catch and release theory. The last trip I did out of Waikawa, 70% of the fish were milky white. That's a really return high catch ratio. I've had other trips around 50% white flesh ratio. 
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Kandrew Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Aug 2023 at 10:26am
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Looks like the oyster season has the same problem with the quality down, they are blaming it not enough food for the oysters in the sea.

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/the-country/news/oyster-season-worst-i-have-seen-in-26-years/YLRD45YMEWYI3PCIFUFV5QD5JM/
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Kandrew Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Sep 2023 at 6:18pm
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Just wondering in the last couple of years the gulf has been full of small snapper’s some days I’ve been out I’ve thrown back heaps so no wonder there’s not enough food to go around.
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2 gurnard from kaiaua.1 milky hard to fillet 2 Nd no issues
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Think this might be pressure on the entire food chain - from things getting a bit warmer
- Terrible Bluff Oyster season blamed on lack of plankton
- Penguins starving at Oamaru
- Fiordland corals bleaching with high water temperatures
- Milky white snapper apparently starving
- Kingfish being caught out of Bluff
- Record sea temperatures with Fiordland recording Northland temps.

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Funny how the snapper from same place translucent.Just done one
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A mate of mine using a torpedo off Bayleys beach on west coast Northland caught 4 good snaps between 10 & 19 lb . Three were in mint condition & one was milky , but not inedable. I have caught the milky gurnard in Whangarei area in the past
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Amongst my catch today were 5 snapper  - which I wasn’t targeting but came up as bycatch. 2 good 2 mildly milky and one rubbish milky. I don’t believe they are starving as bio mass so small these days and food everywhere. Hate to think we have to catch and kill the small population historically compared to feed even a smaller bio mass. I’m behind environment or viral, being skinny and white fleshed is a symptom.

My bear bug is with all these so called scientists in the "Best managed fishery in the world” hahahaha the paid for scientists for hire can’t find what the issue is. Embarrassing 
The gods do not subtract from the allotted span of men's lives the hours spent on fishing - Assyrian Proverb
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