Citation
Tropic news. Vol. 2. No. 5.

Material Information

Title:
Tropic news. Vol. 2. No. 5.
Series Title:
Tropic news
Creator:
United States Virgin Islands. Department of Planning and Natural Resources. Division of Fish and Wildlife.
Publisher:
United States Virgin Islands. Department of Planning and Natural Resources. Division of Fish and Wildlife.
Publication Date:
Language:
English

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Subjects / Keywords:
Caribbean ( LCSH )
Newspapers -- Caribbean ( LCSH )
Genre:
serial ( sobekcm )
Spatial Coverage:
North America -- United States Virgin Islands
Caribbean

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University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
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Copyright United States Virgin Islands. Department of Planning and Natural Resources. Division of Fish and Wildlife.. Permission granted to University of Florida to digitize and display this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.

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TROPIC


NEWS


DEPARTMENT OF PLANNING AND NATURAL RESOURCES
DIVISION OF FISH AND WILDLIFE
UNITED STATES VIRGIN ISLANDS


Leatherbacks Return !

Every year, from mid-March to mid-July,
Lhul endangered giant leatherback turtle
returns from northern waters to lay their
eggs on Sandy Point and several other beaches
on St. Croix.
The leatherback.is the largest sea
turtle living today. It may grow up to eight
feet long and weigh 1500 pounds. The leather-
back is the only sea turtle that does not
have a hard top shell, instead it is protect-
ed by thick black skin with seven long ridges.
The leathery skin gives the turtle it's name.
The leatherback travels great distances-
from the northern coasts of South America to
the eastern coast" of North America and have
even been seen feeding as far north as Nova
Scotia, Canada. The leatherback's favorite
food is a jellyfish most sea animals avoid-
the poisonous Portuguese man-of-war. Like
all sea turtles, the leatherback has no teeth
and uses its strong beak to catch food.
Since 1981, the Division of Fish and
Wildlife has been conducting an ongoing nest-
ing biology study on these great creatures.
The numbers of turtles that come to nest on
Sandy Point has varied from 19 to 48 turtles.
The turtles generally return to nest on a
two year cycle. Quite a few leatherbacks have
returned to Sandy Point on a regular cycle.
Since 1984, Sandy Point has been a protected
Wildlife Refuge for the leatherbacks. Sandy
Point is the second largest nesting site in
the United States !
Within one season, each individual turtle
lays an average of 5 nests, each containing
an average of 82 yolked eggs (ones with the
potential to develop into turtles). Research
is being done on the additional 35 or so
yolkless eggs that they lay. In 1989, 137
nests were laid on Sandy Point, with 6500 to
6600 hatchlings released.
The Division of Fish and Wildlife hopes
to learn more about this mysterious species
through thi.. study. Measurements and weights


from recaptured turtles are done to estimate
growth rates. The largest leatherback at
Sandy Point weighed in at 999 pounds.
Depth recorders have been attached Lu
some of these turtles and they have been
found to dive to depths of 1500 feet and
stay there for up to 30 minutes Why do they
dive that deep ? Where do they go for two
years before returning to Sandy Point ?
How long does it take these turtles to mature
and return to nest ? ( Other turtles take
from 20 to 50 years before reaching repro-
ductive age). These are a few of the question
that the Division of Fish and Wildlife hopes
to answer.
The study is made possible through
Earthwatch volunteers, which walk the
beach all night, every night from early
April to mid-July. The volunteers are
coordinated and supervised by the
Division of Fish and Wildlife using U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Endangered Species Funds
If anyone sees a leatherback in the
water or on the beaches in the Virgin
Islands, please contact Ralf Boulon, at
the Division of Fish and Wildlife
775-6762.

Angler Erhics

The following list of ethics is from.
the Sportfishing Institute. It is part of
their Future 21" campaign which is planning
now for good fishing in the 21st century.

1. Keep only the fish needed
2. Do Not Pollute- properly dispose of trash
3. Sharpen angling and boating skills
4. Observe angling and boating regulations
5. Respect other anglers' rights
6. Respect property owners' rights
7. Pass on knowledge and angling skills
8. Support local conservation efforts
9. Never stock fish or plants into public
water
0. Promote the sport of aneline


VOL


1 V


NO 5





Planning the Future of Billfishes

The National Coalition of Marine Con-
servation has asked us to announce the
availability of the publication Planning the
Future of Billfishes. Part 1- Fishery Stock
Synopses, Data Needs and Management," edited
by Richard H. Stroud. This is a handsome,
hardcover volume (361 pages) which contains
the most complete, up-to-date information
on the biology and habits of the billfishes,
the recreational and commercial fisheries in
the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans,
the latest assessments of the health of the
stocks throughout their trans-oceanic range,
and an in depth discussion of efforts to
conserve billfishes, emphasizing the need
for stronger national and international
management programs. The cost of this book
is $ 30.00. For more information write to:

National Coalition for Marine Conservation
Post Office Box 23298
Savannah, GA 31403



Everybody needs beauty as well as bread,
places to play in and places to pray in,
where nature may heal and cheer and give
strength to body and soul."

John Muir


"Hur ri care: Te -jn een 'Tr ac. e d"


A documentary has been produced showing
the effects of hurricane Hugo on the marine
environment, here in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Directed by Dana Fagan, it will be hosted by
Lee Carle from radio station Lucky 13 and
narrated by Dr. Laverne Ragster from the
Marine Science Program at the University of
the Virgin Islands. The documentary was
produced with the assistance of the Division
of Fish and Wildlife, Puerto Rico's Corp-
oration for the Development and Administation
of the Marine, Lacustrine and Fluvial
Resources (CODREMAR), and it was supported
by the Caribbean Fishery Management Council.
The premier showing will be March 16,
1990 and the Governor, senators, commission-
ers, and the media have been invited to this
exclusive showing.
"Hurricane: The Unseen Tragedy has
actual film footage hours before, during,
and after the storm. The purpose of the film
is to help increase the awareness of the
community about the fragility of our marine
resources and the neccesity for protection.
A spanish version of the film will also be
produced.


SThis newsletter was funded by the
4)h U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,
^ AtsSport Fish & Wildlife Restoration
'ORX% Acts.

GOVERNMENT OF
THE VIR IN ISLANDS OF THE UNITED STATES
-0-
Departmren of Planning & Natural Re:ources
DIVISION OF FISH AND WILDLIFE
101 Estate Nazareth
Sr. Thomas, Virgin Islands 0002




Full Text

PAGE 1

,~~ ~ ~ Q 0 N T' ~, -TROPIC ~. -= :~~::::=~ RESOURCES DEPARTMENT OF PLANNING AND NATURAL DIVISION OF FISH AND WILDLIFE UN I TED STATES VIRGIN ISLA N D S 5 II VOL NO teatherbacks Return! from recaptured turtles are done to estimate growth rates. The largest leatherback at Sandy Point weighed in at 999 pOlmn"';. Depth rccordcra have been at tal;ll~d Lu some of these turtles and they have been found to dive to depths of 1500 feet and stay there for up to 30 minutes! Why do they dive that deep? Where do they go for two years before returning to Sandy Point? . How long does it take these turtles to mature and "return to nest? ( Other turtles take from 20 to 50 years before reaching reproductive age). These are ~ fe\v of the question that the Division of Fish and Wildlife hopes to answer. The study is made possible through Earthwatch volunteers, which walk the beach all night, every night from early April to mid-July. The volunteers are coordinated and supervised by the Division of Fish and Wildlife using U.S. Fish and Wildlife Endangered Species Funds If anyone sees a leatherback in the water or on the beaches in the Virgin Islands, pl~ase contact Ralf Boulon, at the Division of Fish and Wildlife 775-6762. The following list of ethics is from. the Sportfishing Institute. It is part of their II Future 21" campaign which is planning now for good fishing in the 21st century. Every year, from mid-March to mid-July,' LilL!' eud~ngered giant lealilerback tllrt1 EO. returns from northern waters to lay their eggs on Sandy Point and several other beaches on St. Croix. The leatherback, is the largest sea turtle living today. It may grow up to eight feet long and weigh 1500 pounds. The leatherqack is the only sea turtle that does not have a hard top shell, instead it is protected by thick biack skin with seven long ridges. The leathery skin gives the turtle it's name. The leatherback travels great distancesfrom the northern coasts of South America to the eastern coast" of North America and have even been seen feeding as far north as Nova Scotia, Canada. The leatherback's favorite food {s a jellyfish most sea animals avoidthe poisonous Portuguese man-of-war. Like all sea turtles, the leatherback has no teeth and uses its strong beak to catch food. Since 1981, the Division of Fish and Wildlife has been conducting an ongoing nesting biology study on the~e great creatures. The numbers of' turtles that come to nest on Sandy Point has varied from 19 to 48 turtles. The turtles generally return to nest on a two year cycle. Quite a few leatherbacks have returned to Sandy Point on a regular cycle. Since 1984, Sandy Point has been a protected Wildlife Refuge for the leatherbacks. Sandy Point is the second largest nesting site in the United States! Within one season, each individual turtle lays an average of 5 nests, each containing an average of 82 yolked eggs (ones with the potential to develop into turtles). Research is being done on the additional 35 or so yolkless eggs that they lay. In 1989, 137 nests were laid on Sandy Point, with 6500 to 6600 hatchliligs released. Th~Division of Fish and Wildlife hopes to, learn more about this 1:IIysterious species through t~",i,3 study. Measurements and weights 1. Keep only the fish needed 2. Do Not Polluteproperly dispose of trash 3. Sharpen angling and boating skills 4. Observe angling and boating regulations 5. Respect other anglers' rights 6. Respect property owners' rights 7. Pass on knowledge and angling skills 8. Support local.conservation efforts 9. Never stock fish or plants into pu:,>lic water O. Promote the sport of angling

PAGE 2

Planning the Future of Billfishes The National Cpa1.ition of Marine Con, servation has asked us to announce the availability of the publication Planning the Future of Billfishes. Part 1II Fishery Stock Synopses, Data Needs and ~lanagement,11 edited by Richard H. Stroud. This is a handsome, hardcover volume (361 pages) which contains the most complete, up-to-date information on the biology and habits of the billfishes, the recreational and commercial fisheries in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans, the latest assessments of the health of the stbcks throughout tQeir trans-oceanic range, and an in depth discussion of efforts to conserve billfishes, emphasizing the need for stronger national and international management programs. The cost of this book is $ 30.00. For more information write to: National Coalition for Marine Conservation Post Office Box 23298 Savannah, GA 31403 A documenta.ry has been produced showing the effects o~ hurricane Hugo on the marine environmerit, here in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Directed by Dana Fagan, it will be hosted by Lee Carle from radio station Lucky 13 and narrated by Dr. Laverne Ragster from the Marine Science Program at the University of the Virgin Islands. The documentary was produced with the assistance of the Division of Fish and Wildlife, Puerto Rico's Corporation for the Development and Administation of the Marine, Lacustrine and Fluvial Resources (CODREMAR), and it was supported by tll~ Caribbean Fi~hery Management Council. The premier showing will be March 16, 1990 and the Governor, senators, commissioners, and the media have been invited to this exclusive showing. "Hurricane: The Unseen Tragedy has actual film footage hours before, during, and after the storm. The purpose of the film is to help increase the awareness of the community about the fragility of our marine resources and the neccesity for protection. A spanish version of the film will also be produced. " Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and places to pray in, where nature may heal and cheer and give strength to body and soul." John Muir ~\.,>a &: ~ ~ ~ ~ 2~~ IJ))~ t1'1 .p~ O ~ ~b ~~ RA This newsletter was funded by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Sport Fish & Wildlife Restoration Acts. COVERNW.ENT OF THE VIR~!N ISLANDS OF THE UNITED ST/,TES -0Deparlmenl of Planning & Nalural P;e:ources PIVI!:rON OF FISH AND WII.Dlll'e 101 Est~te Nazareth St. Thomas, Virgin Islands OO~O2