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Tropic news. Volume 6. Issue 10.

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Title:
Tropic news. Volume 6. Issue 10.
Series Title:
Tropic news
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United States Virgin Islands. Department of Planning and Natural Resources. Division of Fish and Wildlife.
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United States Virgin Islands. Department of Planning and Natural Resources. Division of Fish and Wildlife.
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Caribbean ( LCSH )
Newspapers -- Caribbean ( LCSH )
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serial ( sobekcm )
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North America -- United States Virgin Islands
Caribbean

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University of Florida
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TROPIC NEWS


DEPARTMENT OF PLANNING AND NATURAL
RESOURCES


DIVISION OF FISH AND WILDLIFE


Volume 6 Number 10


Sportfishing Tournament Updates

The following is an update on various summertime
sportfishing tournaments held here in the Virgin Is-
lands:

The Father's Day Inshore Fishing Tournament
was hosted by the Frenchtown Civic Center and held on
Sunday, June 12. Fifty eight boats and 206 anglers
participated in this event. Two hundred twenty five fish
were landed totalling 1815.6 pounds. Of these, 71 were
kingfish with a total weight of 797.4 pounds. The largest
kingfish weighed 25.2 pounds.

The 31st Annual July Open Tournament was
hosted by the V.I. Gamefishing Club and held on July 2,
3, and 4. A total of 24 boats and 83 anglers participated
in the three divisions. The minimum allowed weight for
landing a blue marlin was 350 pounds.
The offshore division had 63 anglers on 19 boats
fishing for the "Big Five": white marlin, blue marlin,
sailfish, wahoo, and allison tuna. Marlin fishing was
slow this year with only 14 blue marlin and one white
marlin caught during the three days of the tournament.
All were released except for the tournament winning
blue marlin caught by Johnny Fulgueira of'Lady Lou'
which weighed in at 391 pounds after a one-half hour
fight.
The inshore division had 16 anglers oh five boats
fishing for all species except the "Big Five". A total of
109 fish weighing 885.3 pounds were caught in this
division during the tournament. The largest kingfish
caught weighed 25 pounds, the largest dolphin 6.5
pounds, and the largest barracuda 16.5 pounds.
In the onshore division, four anglers 15 years and
younger caught 167 fish weighing 13.6 pounds.


Kingfish


The Bastille Day Kingfish Tournament was
hosted by the Northside Sport Fishing Club and was
held on Sunday, July 17. Three hundred ninety nine
anglers participated on 113 boats. A total of314 fish
were caught weighing 2,047 pounds. Fifty one kingfish
weighing 526.11 pounds and 138 barracuda weighing
1,068.33 pounds were caught. The winning kingfish


The hawksbill turtle, Eretmochelys imbricata can be identified
by the overlapping scutes (plates) on its carapace (shell) and its hawk-
like bill. This sea turtle feeds on sponges and lives near reefs where it
finds sponges and overhangs under which to rest. This turtle reaches
250 pounds in weight and 35 inches in carapace length. The hawksbill
turtle is the most common nester in V.I. waters. They will nest on any
beach having sand and vegetation to nest under. This species is highly
endangered due to take of eggs, meat and shell for jewelry and other
ornamental work.

Help Is On The Way
The most serious threat to hawksbill sea turtles has
been the take of turtles for their shells. The greatest
importer of hawksbill shell has been Japan where they
"traditionally" use it.to manufacture jewelry and other
decorative items. Although Japan is a signatory to the
Convention on International Trade in Endangered
Species (CITES), they have taken an exemption on
hawksbill turtles to be able to continue to import it. Last
year, Japan imported approximately 35 tons of shell
(this is roughly equivalent to about 7,000 turtles!!). Most
of the shell imported by Japan has come from the Carib-
bean where it is exported by non-CITES signatories.
Interestingly, these exporting countries have small
hawksbill populations that could not produce the
amount of shell being exported. Thus, much of the
exported shell must be coming from black market
sources in signatory countries.
Recently, bowing to international pressures from
CITES countries, Japan has agreed to stop all further
imports of hawksbill shell. By the end of July 1994 the
impetus to slaughter thousands of Caribbean hawksbills
for export to Japan should cease. This ban on trade
should significantly improve the chances for hawksbill
turtle survival and recovery worldwide. With the enact-
ment of this ban, the most serious threat to hawksbills
will be loss of nesting habitat as more and more beaches
become the sites for hotels or other development
projects.

QUOTE
"This curious world which we inhabit is more won-
derful than it is convenient; more beautiful than it is
useful; it is more to be admired and enjoyed than used."
H. D. Thoreau


July1994


.. -i c)8_-11.--E1_--,,f:L. '. -.,: X. .c-"~l







Summer Nesting
In the V.I., summer is bird nesting season. Although
many birds migrate north to breed, a number of resident
species nest here. The season begins with courtship.
This is the time when song birds such as the Yellow
Warbler sing, Pigeons coo, and the Red-tailed hawk
does its long, gliding, soaring flights. Courtship and nest
building usually occur in April and May.
Once the eggs are laid, the bird incubates them to
regulate the temperature of the developing embryo. A
temperature around 98 degrees F is best. The develop-
ing chicks are more sensitive to heat than cold. The
afternoon sun can kill an exposed embryo in as little as
20 minutes. For this reason it is important not to dis-
turb nesting birds.
In most species the male and female take turns
incubating. The non-incubating bird is usually feeding
away from the nest. In many species, the male incubates
more than the female just after egg laying. This allows
the female to feed more and regain weight lost in pro-
ducing the eggs. Many species go through an elaborate
"changing of the guard" ceremony when one takes over
incubating from the other. This behavior has fascinated
many bird watchers and scientists. Adults must incu-
bate the chick until its down feathers grow out and it is
able to regulate its own body temperature.
Different species of birds are born more or less
developed depending on the balance of food availability
and quality, and predation. Some are born well devel-
oped and need little incubation while others must be
incubated for long periods of time. Faster development
depends on the mother having had high rates of quality
food consumption prior to egg laying and the chick
having the same after hatching. The birds with shorter
incubation fledge (fly) faster and are less vulnerable to
predators.
By late August the survivors will have fledged, the
nesting season will be over and this year's recruits will
be flying over the V.I.

Trees were saved by printing on recycled paper


An Ecological Story
The following story (as reported in Science magazine)
demonstrates how a seemingly simple solution to a
problem can lead to a disruption of ecological relation-
ships and creation of a much larger problem:
A small village in Vietnam had problems with ma-
laria. The US Army sprayed DDT to control the mosqui-
toes which transmit the malaria. The DDT also weak-
ened the cockroaches, making it easier for the geckos to
catch them. The geckos then died from the DDT which
allowed the thatch beetles to proliferate. This resulted
in a weakening and collapse of many roofs. The village
cats ate the dying geckos and also died from the DDT.
This caused rats to move in and eat the villagers food.
Cats were imported from the city but these cats had
fleas from city rats which were carrying typhus. The
village rats became infested with the city fleas which
infected them with typhus. The rats became sick and
would bite the villagers, thus infecting them with
typhus fever. The villagers now had malaria, typhus
fever, collapsing roofs, and no food. In the end the
villagers had to abandon their village and build a new
one ten miles away (without the Army's help).

Our Top Female Angler
Ruth Gomez, a Fisheries Biologist with the Division,
recently won Top Female Angler honors at the Hull Bay
Bastille Day Kingfish Tournament. Three hundred and
ninety nine anglers participated on 113 boats. Fishing
from Dean Greaux's Reel M' In, Ruth landed 60.26
pounds offish for the largest female total in the seven
years of this tournament. Ruth, with 17 of the 20 fish
caught on the boat, caught her bonito and barracuda on
the south side of St. Thomas/St. John from Frenchcap
Cay to Ram Head on St. John. Congratulations, Ruth,
on some fine angling!


This newsletter was funded by the US
Fish and Wildlife Service, Sport Fish and
Wildlife Restoration Acts, the Caribbean
Fishery Management Council and the
Government of the VI.


GOVERNMENT OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
OF THE UNITED STATES

******
Department of Planning and Natural Resources
Division of Fish and Wildlife
6291 Estate Nazareth 101
St. Thomas, USVI 00802-1104
(809)775-6762 (ST.T.). (809)772-1955 (ST.X.)


BULK RATE
U.S. POSTAGE PAID
CHARLOTTE AMALIE, V
PERMIT NO. 35


Address Correction Requested


1 I~C~LCI~


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Full Text

PAGE 1

DIVISION OF FISH AND WILDLIFE Volume 6 Number 10 Sportfismng Tournament Updates The following is an update on various summertime sportnshing tournaments held here in the Virgin Islands: Th~ Father's Day Inshore Fishing Tournament was hosted by the Frenchtown Civic Center and held on Sunday, June 12. Fifty eight boats and 206 anglers participated in this event. Two hundred twenty five fish were landed totalling 1815.6 pounds. Of these, 71 were kingfish with a total weight of 797.4 pounds. The largest kin gfi sh weighed 25.2 pounds. The hawksbill turtle, Eretmochelys imbricata , can be identified by the overlapping scutes "(plates) on its carapace (shell) and its hawk" like bill. This sea turtle feeds on sponges and lives near reefs where it finds spongesand overhangs under which to rest. This turtle reaches 250 pounds in weight and 35 inches in carapace length. The hawksbill turtle is the most common nester in V.J. waters. They will nest on any beach having sand and vegetation to nest u~der. This species is highly endangered due to take of eggs, meat and shell for jewelry and other ornamental work. The 31st Annual July Open Tournament was hosted by the V.I. Gamefishing Club arid held on July 2, 3, and 4. A total of 24 boats and 83 anglers participated in the three divisions. The minimum allowed weight for landing a blue marlin was 350 pounds. The offshore division had 63 anglers on 19 boats fishing for the "Big Five": white marlin, blue marlin, sailfish, wahoo, and allison tuna. Marlin fishing was slow this year with only 14 blue marlin and one white marlin caught during the three days of the tournament. All were released except for the tournament winning blue marlin caught by Johnny Fulgueira of 'Lady Lou' which weighed in at 391 pounds after a one-half hour fight. The inshore division had 16 anglers on five boats fishing for all species except the "Big Five"..A total of 109 fish weighing 885.3 pounds were caught in this division during the tournament. The largest kingfish caught weighed 25 pounds, the largest dolphin 6.5 pounds, and the largest barracuda 16.5 pounds. In the onshore division, four anglers 15 years and younger caught 167 fish weighing 13.6 pounds. Help Is On The Way The most serious thre~t to hawksbill sea turtles has been the take of turtles for their shells. The greatest importer of hawks bill shell has been Japan where they "traditionally" use it.to manufacture jewelry and other decorative items. Although Japan is a signatory to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CYfES), they have taken an exemption on hawksbill turtles to be able to continue to import it. Last year, Japan imported approximately 35 tons of shell (this is roughly equivalent to about 7,000 turtles!!). Most of the shell imported by Japan has come from the Caribbean where it is exported by non-CITES signatories. Interestingly, these exporting countries have small hawksbill populations that could not produce the amount of shell being exported. Thus, much of the exP.orted shell must be coming from black market sources in signatory countries. Recently, bowing to international pressures from CITES countries, Japan has agreed to stop all further imports of hawks bill shell. By the end of July 1994 the impetus to slaughter thousands of Caribbean hawksbills for export to Japan should cease. This ban on trade should significantly improve the chances for hawksbill turtle survival and recovery worldwide. With the enactment of this ban, the most serious threat to hawksbills will be loss of nesting habitat as more and more beaches become the sites for hotels or other development projects. The Bastille Day Kingfish Tournament was hosted by the Northside Sport Fishing Club and was held on Sunday, July 17. Three hundred ninety nine anglers participated on 113 boats. A total of314 fish were caught weighing 2,047 pounds. Fifty one kingfish weighing 526.11 pounds and 138 barracuda weighing 1,068.33 pounds were caught. The winning kingfish QUOTE "This curious world which we inhabit is more wonderful than it is convenient; more beautiful than it is useful; it is more to be admired and enjoyed than used." H. D. Thoreau

PAGE 2

An Ecological. Story The following story (as reported in Science magazine) demonstrates how aseerriingly simple solution to a problem can lead to a disruption of ecological relationships and creation of a much larger problem: A small village in Vietnam had problems with rna~ laria. The US Army sprayed DDT to control the mosquitoes which transmit the malaria. The DDT also weakened the cockroaches, making it easier for the geckos to catch them. The geckos then died from the DDT which alloyved the thatch beetles to proliferate. This resulted in a weakening and collapse of many roofs. The village ca,ts ate the dying geckos and also died from the DDT. This caused rats to move in and eat the villagers food. Cats were imported from the city but these cats had fleas from city rats which were carrying typhus. The vill~ge rats became infested with the city fleas which infected them with typhus. The rats became sick and would bite the villagers, thus infecting them with typhus fever. The villagers now had malaria, typhus fever, collapsing roofs, and no food. In the end the villagers had to abandon their village and build a new one ten miles away (without the Army's help). Our Top Female Angler Ruth Gomez, a Fisheries Biologist with the Division, recent1y w°r:t Top Female Angler honors at the Hull Bay Bastille Day Kingfish Tournament. Three hundred and ninety nine anglers participated on 113 boats. Fishing from Dean Greaux's Reel M' In, Ruth landed 60.26 pounds offish for the largest female total in the seven years of this tournament. Ruth, with 17 of the 20 fish caught on the boat, caught her bonito and barracuda on the south side of St. Thomas/St. John from Frenchcap Cay to Ram Head on St. John. Congratulations, Ruth, on some fine angling! Summer Nesting In the V.I., summer is bird nesting season. Although many birds migrate north to breed, a number of resident species nest here. The season begins with courtship. This is the tiD;1e when song birds such as the Yellow Warbler sing, Pigeons coo, and the Red-tailed hawk does its long, gliding, soaring flights. Courtship and nest building usually occur in April and May. Once the eggs s.re laid, the bird incubates them to regulate th~ temperature of the developing embryo. A temperature around 98 degrees F is best. The developing chicks are more sensitive to heat than cold. The afternoon sun can kill an exposed embryo in as little as 20 minutes. For .t.his reason it is important not to disturb nesting birds. In most species the male and female take turns incubating. The non-incubating bird is usually feeding away from the nest. In many species, the male incubates Iri~I'e than the female just after egg laying. This allows the female to feed more and regain weight lost in producing the eggs. Many species go through an elaborate "changing ofth~ guard" cerem()ny when one takes over incubating from the other. This behavior has fascinated many bird watchers and scientists. Adults must incubate the chick until its down feathers grow out and it is able to regulate its own body temperature. Different sp~cies of birds are born more or less developed depending on the balance of food availability and quality, and predation. Some are born well developed and need little incubation while others must be incubated for long periods of time. Faster development depends on the mother having had high rates of quality fo{)d consumption prior to egg laying and the chick having the same after hatching. The biras with shorter incubation fledge (fly) faster and are less vulnerable to predators. By late AUgll.'>t the survivors \vill have fledged, the nesting season will be over ana this year's recruits will be flying over the V.I. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Trees were saved by printing on recycled paper This newsletter was funded by the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Acts, the Caribbean Fishery Management Council and the r.nv~rn~ent nf tne VT BULK RA'IE U.S. POSTAGE PAID CHARLOTI'E AMALIE, V PERMIT NO. 35 GOVERNMENT OF mE VIRGIN ISLANDS OF mE UNITED STATES ****** Deparunent of Plamling and Natural ResOurces Division of Fish and Wildlife 6291 Estate Nazareth 101 St. Thomas, USVI 00802-1104 (809)775-6762 (ST.T.). (8(1})772-1955 (ST.X.) Address Correction Requested