Great Barracuda - Sphyraena barracuda

Great Barracuda - Sphyraena barracuda

May 30, 2010

No Rest From The Spill

Photo credit: Cheryl Gerber
This is one of those "a picture says a thousand words". Imagine all of the animals that are awash in oil, but are not imortalized in the New York Times. Thousands, maybe millions. I pray this oil does not reach the Keys...
The worry keeps me up at night.

May 28, 2010

Taking a break from the Spill

I've found myself so remorseful over the oil spill lately, I decided to take a break! So, something delightful: sunrise over the Florida Keys. On this day, I caught 5 for 6 Tarpon. We had three to the boat by 8am. Six, by noon. Then went for a bit of flats fishing with snappers and Bonnetheads. Captain Pat was not only a great guide, but great company. Fish people speak the same language and love sharing information and insights. Ten hours of fishing is more than just fishing. It's a treasure trove of experiences and future memories.

May 27, 2010

Center for Biological Diversity files lawsuit!

I'm a little stuck on the oil spill...While waiting for good news, came across this. The Center for Biological Diversity has filed a suit against Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and the Minerals Management. Apparently, new wells have been authorized without environmental review. If the map is correct (and I have no reason to believe it is not), Salazar is indeed acting with blinders on. Isn't hind-sight supposed to be 20-20?

View underwater of spill

If it looked horrible above the water, take a look at it underwater. I can't imagine how any wildlife could survive an encounter with this.

May 26, 2010

Oil Ticker

Although this PBS ticker is an educated estimation by NOAA and BP, it is corroborated by other news outlets.
Having just returned from the Keys on an amazing fishing trip (more later...) I can attest to the worry folks down there have about this disaster. I've also spoken with folks on the Outer Banks. They, too, are very concerned. Businesses, if still in operation after such a poor economy, may collapse if this thing makes it to the shores of the Atlantic. Many businesses on the Gulf Coast have already closed. Coastal fishermen fish for a living. What kind of back-up plan can they expect to follow? Their entire life style would have to change! This would be the equivalent of some one taking away my paint and paint brushes. I'd be crushed.
So, we all wait with bated breath. Fingers crossed, this spill stays at sea. And that the current administration takes it to heart, ceases future exploration, and installs stricter oversight.

May 25, 2010

Vietnam shark hunt - Awful

Imagine how many sharks, and their future generations, will perish because of this knee-jerk reaction by the Vietnamese government. In my opinion, this approach is illogical, barbaric, and misleading. In addition to giving people incentive to kill sharks, this move only serves to fan the fires of fear. Random killing... what a shame.

May 18, 2010

Conservation International

Conservation Intenational has produced a beautiful, succint, and effective video. This short piece is not only artfully constructed, the message it sends is clear without seeming to lecture... educational eye-candy!

May 12, 2010

Skomer Marine Reserve, Wales

I came across a short article about the Skomer Marine Reserve located off the coast of Wales. It punctuates the fact that marine reserves are not only popular tourist attractions, but host an amazing diverstiy of marine life. When I think of coldwater fishes, I think of cryptic bottom-dwellers. The animals of this preserve are amazingly colorful, and opened my eyes! Take a look.

May 10, 2010

Cobia farming

I don't quite know what to think of this. These things are never as simple as they appear. And, if this farming turns out to be like the salmon farming in Chile, it could have a negative ending...

Hong Kong Restaurants take shark off the menu

Well, 12 restaurants in a city the size of Hong Kong is a only chip out of the iceberg. But, I'm happy for this little chip and the possiblities it represents. Click here to read.

May 8, 2010

Redneck Fishing Tournament

This is great! Apparently, the Redneck Fishing Tournament has been going on since 2005. It looks like a lot of fun, and it's for a good cause. If only catching Lionfish were this easy!

May 5, 2010

Saving Sharks - the simple explanation

I came across this photo by accident. It made me realize that the day may come when animals like this will no longer exist. They will only be a distant memory, an old photo. Why save the sharks? Dr. John McCosker gives the simplest explanation, without added emotion. His website says:

"In his decades-long career, McCosker has interviewed dozens of people attacked by sharks. Now he sees the tables turned. Sharks are under unprecedented attack by man. Tens of millions of sharks are being killed each year for the Asian sharkfin soup market. Their fins are hacked off and the sharks are dumped back into the ocean to die.

“It's tragic for sharks, and tragic for the ecosystem,” McCosker says. “Sharks are top-level predators for the ocean ecosystem. And the oceans are collapsing. When the sharks go, there are no controls,” says McCosker. “If there are no sharks, there are no safety checks.”

These safety checks protect the survival of the entire ecosystem. Once a top line predator disappears, the next species down the food chain expands in abundance and eats most everything that's below it in the food chain, and then their population crashes. The cascading effect can be seen today. As great whites disappear, sea lions have helped to decimate the salmon population.

“Eventually,” McCosker predicts, “we'll have nothing left in the oceans until we get to jellyfish.” If the sharks disappear, seals will soon have nothing to eat. As counterintuitive as it seems, that's why even seals need white sharks."

Oil slick grows

This picture describes it all.

May 4, 2010

Nassau grouper eats Lionfish

Photo credit: Lyle Gremillion
Apparently, this is the first recording of predation of the Lionfish by native grouper. This is indeed good news - for both the ecology of the reefs, and for the Nassau grouper: Lionfish populations are exploding, as numbers of Nassau grouper dwindle. The IUCN lists the Nassau as endangered. Click here to read about the natural history of the Lionfish. It's interesting that the grouper is swallowing the lionfish tail-first. This is not an unusual form of feeding, but it is curious here because the lionfish spines are highly venomous...