Title: DIVISION OF FISH AND WILDLIFE ; FY2003 DFW ACCOMPLISHMENTS
CITATION PDF VIEWER THUMBNAILS PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/CA01300967/00001
 Material Information
Title: DIVISION OF FISH AND WILDLIFE ; FY2003 DFW ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: DIVISION OF FISH AND WILDLIFE
Publisher: DIVISION OF FISH AND WILDLIFE
Place of Publication: US Virgin Islands
Publication Date: 2003
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: CA01300967
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of the Virgin Islands
Holding Location: University of the Virgin Islands
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

Downloads

This item has the following downloads:

DFW2005GoalsandObjectives ( PDF )


Full Text





ORG 4971/4972 DIVISION OF FISH AND WILDLIFE (DFW)

FY2003 DFW ACCOMPLISHMENTS

The Division of Fish and Wildlife accomplishes projects through its three bureaus: the Bureau of
Fisheries, the Bureau of Wildlife, and the Bureau of Environmental Education and Endangered
Species.

Accomplishments of DFW's Bureau of Fisheries were as follows.
1. Habitat Assessment (F-7) Dataloggers were deployed in the waters of St. Thomas and
St. Croix. Units required extensive maintenance and repair. In addition, fish and benthic
census was completed in the Mangrove Lagoon.
2. St. Croix Backreef Embayment Survey (F-7) The draft report on this study was
reviewed and finalized by BF staff.
3. St. Croix Fish Census (F-7) The report for the semi-annual fish census was completed
in St. Croix in conjunction with the University of the Virgin Islands was completed.
4. Side Scan Sonar Survey (F-7) Four square miles of side scan sonar benthic surveys
were completed and ground truthing trips were completed. In addition, mosaics for
about 9 square miles were completed.
5. Fishing Tournaments (F-8) BF staff continue to act as weigh masters at all recreational
fishing tournaments in both St. Thomas and St. Croix and continued to collect data at
these events. A short survey was completed on St. Croix regarding the impact of the
expanded Buck Island national monument on recreational fishing.
6. Frederiksted Pier Construction (F-9) Pier reconstruction was completed. The two boat
ramps are still in need of repair.
7. Boat Access Repairs (F-9) Maintenance and repairs were completed on the boating
facilities at Altona Lagoon and Gallows Bay, St. Croix.
8. Boat Moorings (F-9) BF/STX staff inspected some of the existing mooring buoys. In
addition, eight mooring buoys were deployed and eight moorings were maintained
around St. Thomas/St. John.
9. Molasses Dock (F-9) Discussions continued with the V.I. Port Authority and a private
land owner (St. Croix Renaissance Group) regarding public access to this facility.
10. Water Island (F-9) The Department of Property & Procurement approved the transfer of
land to DPNR for construction of a boat ramp on Water Island.
11. Artificial Reef Construction and Monitoring (F-10) A lengthy response was provided to
Army Corps of Engineers inquires regarding the artificial reef permit application.
BF/STX conducted artificial reef monitoring trips and site selection trips. BF/STT
conducted monitoring trips to the St. Thomas artificial reef site.
12. Fish Aggregation Device (FAD) Deployment, Maintenance, and Monitoring (F-10) -
Two submerged FADs and a surface FAD were reported lost. FAD permit applications
for CZM and Army Corps of Engineers were approved. BF/STT conducted semi-annual
dive inspections of STT/STJ FADs. BF/STX contracted out semi-annual dive inspections
of St. Croix FADs. A replacement surface FAD was deployed in St. Thomas and 4
surface FADs were deployed around St. Croix.
13. Boat Infrastructure Grant (BIG) Supplies for mooring buoys were purchased by Island
Conservation Efforts so that some of the previously installed buoys could be repaired.









14. Strategic Plan (FW16) -Two separate opinion surveys were completed. One focused on
commercial fishers and the other focused on the marine recreational industry. A third
opinion survey focused on recreational fishing club members and is on-going.
15. Library Organization (FW-16) At BF/STT, more than 150 storage boxes were inspected
and technical reports were identified and separated. These were organized and filed by
subject and are the basis for the fisheries library.
16. St. Croix Building (FW-17) Preliminary investigations were completed to locate a
suitable building for DFW/STX.
17. State/Federal Commercial Catch Reports BF continued to receive catch reports from
commercial fishers. 2001-2002 St. Thomas/St. John and St. Croix commercial catch
reports were forwarded to NOAA-Fisheries. 2002-2003 commercial catch reports data
entry was on-going. A five year completion report was written documenting activities for
1997 to 2002.
18. Fishermen Booklet The "Recreational and Commercial Fisherman's Information
Booklet" was up-dated. In addition, the catch report information sheets were also
revised.
19. Commercial Fishermen Registration BF staff assisted the Division of Environmental
Enforcement in conducted annual registration of commercial fishers in July 2003.
Procedures for commercial fisher registration were also drafted.
20. Bio-Statistical Sampling BF staff sampled landings of select commercial fishers.
21. Inter-jurisdictional Fisheries Program BF/STX staff sampled landings of select
commercial fishers.
22. 1986 to 1992 Commercial Catch Reports All available commercial catch reports for
this period were identified and organized by year and fisher.
23. 1992 to 2000 Commercial Catch Reports -_All available commercial catch reports for this
period were identified and organized by year and by fisher. For St. Thomas/St. John data
files, verification is on-going. For St. Croix, 4 years of data files that had never been
proofed are being proofed.
24. National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Historical All
available 1974 to 1986 commercial catch reports were identified and organized into files.
Data entry and proofing was completed.
25. Division of Coastal Zone Management Fish Census BF/STX staff completed eight fish
censuses along the St. Croix coast in conjunction with the University of the Virgin
Islands.
26. Southeast Area Monitoring and Assessment Program (SEAMAP) Conch Survey The
report on the U.S. Virgin Island conch survey was completed.
27. Southeast Area Monitoring and Assessment Program (SEAMAP) Lobster Survey -
Pueruli lobster collectors were monitored for 12 months. In addition, juvenile lobster
attractors monitored during the same period. A draft report was completed and is now
being finalized.
28. Southeast Area Monitoring and Assessment Program (SEAMAP) Whelk Survey -
Literature was collected on whelk in the Caribbean. Commercial fishers were queried
regarding the location of whelk stocks. Various methods of sampling whelk were
reviewed. Trials were conducted using different sampling methodologies.









29. National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Spawning
Aggregations A study of grouper spawning aggregations on the Grumanic Banks south
of St. Thomas was contracted to the University of the Virgin Islands. Work is on-going.
30. National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Traps Surveys were
completed on the impact of fish traps on benthic habitats of the USVI.
31. National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisher Census A
census of USVI commercial fishers was on-going.
32. Fisheries Advisory Committees BF staff attended and prepared background materials
for both the St. Thomas/St. John and St. Croix Fisheries Advisory Committees monthly
meetings.
33. Caribbean Fisheries Management Council (CFMC) Meetings BF staff attended various
CFMC meetings. In addition, BF staff reviewed draft documents and provided advice to
CFMC as requested
34. Marine Reserve Signage Initial work was completed to design a sign to educate the
public regarding the marine reserve on the southeast of St. Thomas.
35. Coordination (FW14) -A variety of activities were completed under the Coordination
grant. These included, but were not limited to: (1) writing monthly reports; (2) soliciting,
compiling, and reviewing application packages for various staff vacancies; (3)
interviewing and selecting candidates for vacant positions; (4) participating in weekly
staff meeting; (4) inspection and organization of materials in old storage boxes; and (5)
review of old computers and archiving of old data files.
36. Hurricane Preparedness Two hurricanes came close to the U.S. Virgin Islands,
Hurricane Fabian and Hurricane Isabel. For both of these storms, DFW vessels were
secured, the grounds were cleared, and office equipment was protected.
37. National Cancer Institute BF staff assisted collection of marine invertebrate samples for
the National Cancer Institute's new drug development program.
38. Division of Coastal Zone Management (DCZM) Permit Application Reviews BF staff
completed review of 13 different CZM permit applications.
39. Other Technical Guidance BF staff responded to more than 20 requests for technical
advice and guidance on a variety of topics from both private and public sectors.
40. Special Projects BF staff were involved in various activities related to special projects
such as: (1) the retrieval of dead turtles and marine mammals; and (2) preparation and
review of numerous proposals and requests for funds that were not related to US Fish and
Wildlife Service Sport Fish Restoration funding.
41. DFW/STT Boat Dock Dredging Permits were obtained from the Division of Coastal
Zone Management (DCZM) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. A water quality
certificate was issued by Division of Environmental Protection (DEP).
42. DFW/STT Boat Ramp Architectural drawings were made. Permits were requested
from Division of Coastal Zone Management (DCZM) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
(ACOE).
43. False Entrance A proposal was forwarded to Division of Coastal Zone Management
(DCZM) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers seeking approval to open the channel that
was closed by a past hurricane.


Accomplishments of DFW's Bureau of Wildlife were as follows.









1. Technical Guidance Provided scientific information to the Division of Coastal Zone
Management (DCZM) and private landowners necessary for review of permit
applications and for use in making natural resource decisions.
2. Technical Guidance Continued work with the Caribbean Regional Response Team
(CRRT) in disaster preparedness by attending all CRRT meetings and providing
expertise in the event of a major oil spill or hazardous substance disaster.
3. State Wildlife Grant (SWG) T-l- Field work at the offshore release site for boas was
very successful. Over 40 boas were captured and individually identified. Reproductive
and habitat parameters were collected and are being analyzed.
4. Wildlife Conservation and Restoration Program (WCRP) Grant Population assessment
and habitat restoration were completed on Protestant Cay in order to enhance the
population of the endangered St. Croix Ground Lizard. Population surveys were
completed on Ruth and Green Cays.
5. Wildlife Refuges -Rat eradication was completed on Saba Island. Rat eradication efforts
will continue on Dutchcap and Congo Cays in order to preserve habitat and increase
breeding productivity at important seabird colonies.
6. Wetlands Grant, St. Thomas/St. John and St. Croix -Breeding bird surveys were
conducted at wetlands in the Virgin Islands in order to prioritize fresh- and saltwater
wetlands for protection, restoration, and ecotourism.
7. Wildlife Conservation and Strategic Plan The Bureau of Wildlife completed a draft
Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Plan.
8. Conservation of Columbids Historical and current population data on columbids (doves
and pigeons) was collected in order to possibly revise the hunting season and bag limits
for columbids in the Virgin Islands.
9. Sanctuary Signs- A bird-viewing platform and sanctuary sign were placed by the
Audubon Society in cooperation with DFW at the Frank Bay Wildlife Sanctuary on St.
John.
10. Personnel- The position of Wildlife Biologist III, St. Thomas, vacated by Floyd Hayes,
was filled by Dr. Renata Platenberg.

Accomplishments of DFW's Bureau of Environmental Education and Endangered Species were
as follows.
1. Endangered Species Leatherback turtle nests continue to be monitored annually. This
has resulted in increases in nesting activities and an increase in the number of hatchings
leaving the Sandy Point beach. Sea turtle strandings have also been investigated on both
St. Thomas and St. Croix.
2. Environmental Education Program The number of classroom presentations and
fieldtrips performed at schools and community fairs has increased. Requests for
information regarding USVI natural resources are routinely fulfilled. In addition, a
natural resources calendar was produced and distributed.
3. Animal Fact Sheets Summary fact sheets on 20 different species of animals in the U.S.
Virgin Islands have been produced.
4. Environmental Education Program Public participation in the International Coastal
Clean-up and in Coast Week have increased. Schools and community groups have
participated in beach cleanup and fairs that increase community awareness of US Virgin
Islands natural resources.









5. Partners for Wildlife A new grant was received to support a partnership between the
territorial government and private industry to protect and manage an endangered lizard
on St. Croix and to carry out habitat restoration and public outreach.
6. Hunter Education The first classes on hunting education in the US Virgin Islands were
held.
7. Sea Turtles A Section 6 agreement was signed between the National Oceanographic
and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries (NOAA-Fisheries) and the US Virgin
Islands to protect and manage sea turtles outside of their nesting beaches. A contract was
awarded to conduct population studies around St. Thomas and St. John.









DIVISION OF FISH AND WILDLIFE


FUNCATIONAL STATEMENT: The Division of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) is 100% federally
funded and provides scientific advice to the Commissioner of the Department of Planning and
Natural Resources on the condition of the wildlife, fisheries and marine resources of the U.S.
Virgin islands. DFW also advises the Commissioner of DPNR on the best strategies to sustain
these resources for all the citizens of the U.S. Virgin Islands. DFW is split into three bureaus:
the Bureau of Fisheries, the Bureau of Wildlife, and the Bureau of Environmental Education and
Endangered Species.


FY 2005 OBJECTIVES: Objectives of the Division of Fish and Wildlife are basically split into
three areas: (1) fisheries and marine resources, (2) wildlife resources, and (3) environmental
education and endangered species.

1. For fisheries and marine resources, DFW (through its Bureau of Fisheries) will: (1)
conduct assessments of fisheries and marine resources of the US Virgin Islands; (2)
enhance recreational fishing opportunities; (3) provide technical advice to public and
private sectors; (4) assist in public and private sector education programs; and (5) assist
in the management of fisheries and marine resources.

2. For wildlife resources, DFW (through its Bureau of Wildlife) will: (1) conduct scientific
research for the management of wildlife populations and their habitats; (2) manage 32
offshore island refuges; and (3) promote nature-oriented ecotourism by working
cooperatively with other government organizations and non-government organizations.

3. For environmental education and endangered species, DFW (through its Bureau of
Environmental Education and Endangered Species) will: (1) disseminate information to
increase public awareness of the importance of the natural resources of the Virgin
Islands; (2) monitor populations of endangered species; and (3) provide technical advice
on how to minimize and mitigate human impacts to endangered species and natural
resources.


ORG 4971/4972









ORG 4971 Bureau of Fisheries
DIVISION OF FISH AND WILDLIFE

Functional Statement: The Bureau of Fisheries is 100% Federally funded and provides
scientific advice to the Commissioner of the Department of Planning and Natural Resources on
the condition of the fisheries and marine resources and the best strategies to sustain these
resources for all the citizens of the U.S. Virgin Islands. The Bureau's work focuses on five basic
areas related to fisheries and marine resources of the U.S. Virgin Islands. The Bureau: (1)
conducts assessments of these resources; (2) enhances recreational fishing opportunities; (3)
provides technical advice to public and private sectors; (4) assists in public and private sector
education programs; and (5) assists in the management of these important resources. The overall
goal of the Bureau of Fisheries is to assess and manage the fisheries and marine resources in a
sustainable manner for the continued benefit of the people of the U.S. Virgin Islands.

FY 2005 Objectives
1. Complete National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries (NOAA-
Fisheries) projects including: (1) the State/Federal Cooperative Statistics Program Grant
for collection of commercial catch report data; (2) the contract to the University of the
Virgin Islands for surveys of the Grumanic Bank grouper spawning aggregation; (3) the
collection of bio-statistical information on a sample of commercial landings; and (4) the
support of commercial fishing effort reduction workshops.
2. Complete the NOAA-Fisheries Southeast Area and Monitoring Assessment Program
(SEAMAP) projects including: (1) fisheries-independent fish trap and line surveys; (2)
fisheries-independent whelk population surveys; (3) anchor fishing surveys; (4) data
entry of historic fisheries independent trap and line survey results; (5) data entry and
analysis of St. Croix backreef embayment conch survey data; and (6) repairs to the R/V
Sarima.
3. Complete NOAA-Fisheries Coral Reef Initiative (NOAA CRI) projects including: (1) the
gillnet and trammel net buyback program on St. Croix; and (2) the installation of marine
reserve education signage around St. Thomas east end marine reserves and wildlife
sanctuaries.
4. Complete Caribbean Fisheries Management Council (CFMC) projects including: (1) the
first census of commercial fishers in the USVI; (2) technical advice to the Caribbean
Fisheries Management Council on USVI fisheries issues; (3) technical support for the St.
Thomas/St. John and St. Croix Fisheries Advisory Committees; and (4) the demarcation
of the St. Croix mutton snapper spawning area closure during the closed period.
5. Complete US Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) projects including: (1) monitoring of
key coral reefs around St. Thomas using the Reef Check protocol; (2) surveys of the
benthic habitat at the Port Authority designated ship mooring area west of Frederiksted;
(3) benthic surveys of the area south of St. John using side scan sonar technology and
divers or drop cameras as well as construction of mosaics of benthic habitats; (4) data
collection on recreational fishing tournaments; (5) repairs to the Frederiksted boat access
facility; (6) pre-construction work on a proposed boat ramp on Water Island; (7) pre-
construction work on a proposed boat ramp on the east end of St. Thomas; (8) pre-
construction work on a proposed boat access facility at Molasses Dock in St. Croix; (9)
repair and maintenance of existing boat access facilities in the US Virgin Islands; (10)









development and monitoring of artificial reefs; (11) replacement of lost fish aggregating
devices (FADs) around the US Virgin Islands and periodic inspection and repair of
FADs; (12) technical advice to public and private sectors regarding fisheries and marine
resource issues; (13) completion of the strategic plan on fisheries management in the US
Virgin Islands; (14) completion of the marine resources portion of the Comprehensive
Wildlife Management Plan; (15) contracts to the Island Conservation Efforts (St. Croix)
and the Reef Ecology Foundation (St. Thomas) to monitor, inspect, and replace as
necessary day-use mooring buoys at recreational fishing and diving sites around the US
Virgin Islands; (16) acquisition of a new office site for DFW's St. Croix office; and (17)
fill vacant positions within the Bureau of Fisheries.


Performance Measures:

FY05 Objectives FY 2004 FY 2005
1. Complete National Oceanographic and Atmospheric
Administration Fisheries (NOAA-Fisheries) projects
Target 4 4
Actual
2. Complete the NOAA-Fisheries Southeast Area and Monitoring
Assessment Program (SEAMAP) projects
Target 6 6
Actual -
3. Complete NOAA-Fisheries Coral Reef Initiative (NOAA-CRI)
projects
Target 2 2
Actual -
4. Complete Caribbean Fisheries Management Council (CFMC)
projects
Target 4 4
Actual -
5. Complete US Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) projects
Target 17 17
Actual -









ORG 4972 Bureau of Wildlife
DIVISION OF FISH AND WILDLIFE

Functional Statement: The Bureau of Wildlife is 100% federally funded and provides
scientific advice to the Commissioner of the Department of Planning and Natural Resources on
the condition of the wildlife resources and the best strategies to sustain these resources for all the
citizens of the U.S. Virgin Islands. The Bureau of Wildlife submits grants proposals to the US
Fish and Wildlife Service Division of Federal Aid to perform scientific research for the
management of wildlife populations and their habitats. The Bureau of Wildlife also manages 32
offshore island refuges and promotes nature-oriented ecotourism by working cooperatively with
other government organizations and non-government organizations.

FY 2005 Objectives:
1. Complete U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) projects to include: (1) protection of
habitats on St. Thomas for the federally endangered Virgin Islands Tree Boa and to
locate additional offshore release sites for boas captured alive on St. Thomas; (2)
eradicate rats at important offshore seabird nesting colonies at Dutchcap Cay and Congo
Cay; (3) complete the Wetland Conservation Plan for Virgin Islands salt- and freshwater
wetlands; (4) complete the Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Plan; (4) assess the
possibility of extending the dove hunting season on St. Croix by obtaining reliable
population data; (5) manage habitats on Protestant Cay, St. Croix to increase the
population of the federally endangered St. Croix Ground Lizard; (6) study the ecology of
the St. Croix Ground Lizard on Green Cay, St. Croix in order to produce a management
plan for the species; (7) assess the past and present breeding status of the White-crowned
Pigeon on St. Croix, where it is currently listed by the territorial government as an
endangered species; (8) study the demography of the Least Tern, a species of special
concern that breeds on St. Croix, in order to assess population health and formulate
management recommendations; (9) study the effects of predator deterrent methods at
Least Tern colonies and the practicality of implementing such programs; (10) technical
guidance on natural resource issues to government agencies, organizations and the
public.


Performance Measures:

FY05 Objectives FY 2004 FY 2005
1. Complete U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) projects
Target 10 10
Actual









LORG 4971/4972 Bureau of Environmental Education and Endangered Species
DIVISION OF FISH AND WILDLIFE

Functional Statement: The Bureau's mission is to increase public awareness of the importance
of the natural resources of the Virgin Islands through the dissemination of information to all
members of our community. The Bureau also monitors populations of endangered species and
provides advice to the Commissioner of the Department of Planning and Natural Resources on
ways to minimize and mitigate human impacts to endangered species and natural resources.

FY 2005 Objectives
1. Complete U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS, funds from Pitman Roberts and
Dingell Johnson Acts) projects to include: (1) public awareness of the natural aquatic
resources of the Virgin Islands through classroom presentations, publication of
brochures, newsletters, web site, displays at various events in the Virgin Islands, and
production of videos; (2) development and expansion of the hunter education program to
provide people with hunting skills and knowledge of wildlife conservation, management
and increase public awareness of our terrestrial resources; (3) technical guidance on the
Landowner Incentive and Partners for Wildlife Programs to protect and manage critical
habitats for the indigenous and endangered species; and (4) technical guidance to public
and private sectors on the import and export of natural resources, including the issuance
of permits.
2. Complete U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) Endangered Species projects to
include the long-term enhancement of nest success and monitoring of nesting activities of
the endangered leatherback sea turtles at Sandy Point, on St. Croix
3. Complete National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries (NOAA-
Fisheries) grants including: (1) development of a systematic sea turtle monitoring
program to provide information on temporal and spatial sea turtle population densities
and the age structure of the turtles; and (2) technical guidance on endangered species to
public and private sectors.


Performance Measures:

FY05 Objectives FY 2004 FY 2005
1. Complete US Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS, funds from
Pitman Roberts and Dingell Johnson Acts) projects
Target 4 4
Actual
2. Complete US Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) endangered
species projects
Target 1 1
Actual -
2. Complete National Oceanographic and Atmospheric
Administration Fisheries (NOAA-Fisheries) projects
Target 2 2
Actual -




University of Florida Home Page
© 2004 - 2010 University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries.
All rights reserved.

Acceptable Use, Copyright, and Disclaimer Statement
Last updated October 10, 2010 - - mvs