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Tropic news. Volume 7. Issue 12.

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Title:
Tropic news. Volume 7. Issue 12.
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.
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English

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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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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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Full Text



TR OPIC NEWS


=- DEPARTMENTOF PLANNING AND NATURAL
RESOURCES
September 1995


DIVISION OF FISH AND WILDLIFE


Volume 7 Number 12


FISH AGGREGATING DEVICES

The Department of Plan-
ning and Natural Resources Tire Bouy
- Division of Fish and Wild-
life is in the process of con-
structing FADs for placement '
around St. Thomas and St. -
Croix. These devices are i re filled with
designed to take advantage of polyurethane
the "aggregating" behavior of oam
pelagic fishes. It has long _
been known that pelagic fish
are attracted to floatinghain
structures in the sea such as -
seaweed, logs and other
flotsam. polypropylene line
The U.S. Virgin Islands
has a well developed recre-
ational fishing industry and Chain
the implementation of FADs
could improve fishing success
and increase local interest in
pelagic fisheries resources.
The simple design and
economy of materials make the subsurface units cost-
effective for both recreational and commercial fisher-
men.
Inshore subsurface FADs have been monitored by
the Virgin Islands Division of Fish and Wildlife since
1981. These studies have since been expanded to deter-
mine the effectiveness of various FAD designs and
location on fishing success in the U. S. Virgin Islands
and to make recommendations on future FAD deploy-
ments.
The long term commitment of FADs by the USVI
government has maintained a high level of interest on
the part of the local fishing community. The continued
use and investigation of FAD design and placement
combined with adequate management should provide
improved fishing in the territory.


QUOTE

"In the end we will conserve only what we love,
we will love only what we understand, we will under-
stand only what we are taught."

Bob Dioum
Sengalese Conservationist


Animal of the Month

Cassiopea xamachana: Upside down Jellyfish

This most
unusual jellyfish
has been named
after the mytho-
logical Cassiopeia,
who proclaimed
her beauty to be
greater than that of
the Nereids (sea
nymphs). As
punishment for her
vanity her beloved
daughter, Androm-
eda, was chained to ..
a rock to become
prey of a sea
monster. Androm-
eda was eventually
saved by Perseus,
but the Nereids had
their revenge in the
end. When Cassio-
peia died, the gods
elevated her to
become one of the
constellations. The -
Nereids arranged
for the constellation to be placed so high in the northern sky that
for half the year it would be upside down-a most ignominious
position for a queen. Her predicament has been memorialized in
the name of the beautiful Upside down jellyfish, Cassiopeia
xamachana.
Cassiopeia, a common jellyfish of Florida and the West
Indies. Perhaps the most spectacular common medusa. The
mouth is surrounded by frilly extensions (oral arms); these
branch into thousands of lacey extensions lappetss), which look
like edges of many petticoats and contain thousands of yellow-
brown zooxanthellae. In adequate light Cassiopeia can survive
entirely on products of the algal photosynthesis. This jellyfish
swims in the normal position (mouthdown) but flops over when
it settles, exposing underside to the sun. In areas with an abun-
dance of soft sediment, hundreds may cover the bottom of
mangrove embayments. Cassiopeia is harmless with a mild sting,
brown or olive and white in color. This species generally grows
to a length of 30 cm (Ift.) across.
Locally, the Upside-down jellyfish is especially abundant in
the mangrove areas around Patricia Cay, Cas Cay and Bovoni
Cay.







Marine Mammal Sighting Summary

This season had a very slow start with few reports in January
and February. Fortunately, March saw a considerable increase in
whales transiting our waters and saved what was appearing to be
the lowest season since this sighting project started in 1980.
This season saw a variety of whale species that differed
somewhat from those last year. Sperm Whales (5 adults, 2
juveniles), 2 possible adult Goosebeaked whales, an adult Orca,
and one Pilot made up this year's variety. Spinner dolphins were
reported, and they all appeared on the same day (23 adults, 12
juveniles). Dolphin sighting reports are not indicative of abun-
dance in our waters, as most sightings go unreported. The
emphasis is on reporting movements of the great whales.
This year a greater number of marine mammals were found
stranded than in most previous years. On October 22, 1994, 6
Atlantic Spotted Dolphins were found stranded on Scott Beach,
Cancel Day, St. Jouln. Foitlately, 2 cauped alive. An unidelti-
fied dolphin was found dead on Lovango Cay on November 2,
1994. A dead Goosebeaked whale was discovered on great St.
James Island on December 1, 1994. Necropsies on the Atlantic
Spotted Dolphin did not provide any clues as to the reason for
their stranding. Nor were there any indications as to why, the
Goosebeaked Whale stranded.
Forty-nine (49) reports of marine mammals sightings were
submitted to either the Virgin Islands Division of Fish and
Wildlife or the National Marine Fisheries Service in St. Thomas,
U. S. V. I. between October 1994 and May 1995. Of the 49
reports received 41 indicated Humpback whale sightings 2
Sperm whale sightings, 2 Spinner dolphin sightings, 1 Orca
whale sighting, 1 Goosebeaked whale sighting, 1 Pilot whale
sighting, and 1 Unknown whale sighting. In 17 instances reports
were assumed to be possible duplicate sightings because they
were made on the same day and around the same location.
There were between 68-70 adult Humpbacks and 15 Hump-
back calves spotted this season. The amount this year is surpris-
ingly below the last 14 seasons' average of 107 adult s and 18
calves. This is the lowest season since 1989-1990 when 45 adults
and 9 calves were seen. Prepared by Cherri Espersen
Trees were saved by printing on recycled paper


Bastille Day Tournament


The Northside Sportfishing Club Annual Bastille Day
Kingfish Tournament was celebrated on July 16, 1995. There
were 104 boats with a total of 314 anglers in this year's competi-
tion. For the first time there was a minimum 15.01bs weight
placed on the Barracuda. Also, the prize for the smallest King
mackerel was eliminated. A total of 77 fish were caught weigh-
ing a combined weight of 923.901bs. Twenty-one of the total fish
caught were Kingfish weighing a total of 294.27 lbs. Below are
weights of the largest entries:
Category Weight
Kingfish 35.38 lbs
Dolphin 10.90 lbs
Bonito 8.37 lbs
Barracuda 30.19 lbs
Jack 30.05 lbs
Tuna 19.70 lbs
Mackerel 7.73 lbs

Fishing was limited to desig- -
nated waters around St. Thomas ~E f
and St John. Fishing times were Kingfis
5:30 am -12:00 noon with all boats
being in Hull Bay by Noon for weigh-in or risk disqualification.
Fish caught on the south side were collected by Division of Fish
and Wildlife to be sent to the Food and Drug Administration
(FDA) in Dauphin Island, Alabama for ciguatera testing
This year's tournament was sponsored by Coors Light and
Yamaha Outboard Motors.. Award ceremony was held at Larry's
Hideaway at Hull Bay. Prizes included Cash, jewelry, dinners,
vacation getaways and many other goodies. Congratulation to all
winners!


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.I.
PERMIT NO. 35


Address Correction Requested


I




Full Text

PAGE 1

DIVISION OF FISH AND WILDLIFE Volum~ 7 Nllmh"r 12 FISH AGGREGATING DEVICES Animal of the Month Cassiopea xamachana: Upside down Jellyfish Tire Bouy ~~ ~~~~~ ~ tire filloo with polyurethane foam OIain Chain The Department of Planning and Natural Resources Division of Fish and Wildlife is in the process of constructing FADs for placement. around St. Thomas and St. Croix. These devices are designed to take advantage of the "aggregating" behavior of pelagic fishes. It has long been known that pelagic fish are attracted to floating structures in the sea such as seaweed, logs and other flotsam. The U.S. Virgin Islands. has a well developed recreational fishing industry and the implementation of FADs could improve fishing success and increase local interest in ",.".pelagic fisheries resources. The simple design and economy of materials make the subsurface units costeffective for both recreational and commercial fishermen. Inshore subsurface FADs have been monitored by the Virgin Islands Division of Fish and Wildlife since 1981. These studies have since been expanded to deter. mine the effectiveness of various FAD designs and location on fishing success in the U. S. Virgin Islands and to make recommendations on future FAD deployments. The long term commitment of FADs by the USVI government has maintained a high level of interest on the part of the local fishing community. The continued use and investigation of FAD design and placement combined with adequate management should provide improved fishing in the territory. QUOTE This most unusual jellyfish has been named after the mythological Cassiopeia, who proclaimed her beauty to be greater than that of the Nereids (sea nymphs). As punishment for her vanity her beloved daughter, Andromeda, was chained to a rock to become prey of a sea monster. Andromeda was eventually saved by Perseus, but the Nereids had their revenge in the end. When Cassiopeia died, the gods elevated her to become one of the constellations. The -"-~". Nereids arranged for the constellation to be placed so high in the northern sky that for half the year it would be upside down-a most ignominious position for a queen. Her predicament has been memorialized in the name of the beautiful Upside down jellyfish, Cassiopeia xamachana. Cassiopeia, a common jellyfish of Florida and the West Indies. Perhaps the most spectacular common medusa. The mouth is surrounded by frilly extensions (oral arms); these branch into thousands of lacey extensions (lappets), which look like edges of many petticoats and contain thousands of yellowbrown zooxanthellae. In adequate light Cassiopeia can survive entirely on products of the algal photosynthesis. This jellyfish swims in the normal position (mouth down) but flops over when it settles, exposing underside to the sun. In areas with an abundance of soft sediment, hundreds may cover the bottom of mangrove embayments. Cassiopeia is harmless with a mild sting, brown or olive and white in color. This species generally grows to a length of 30 cm (1ft.) across. Locally, the Upside-down jellyfish is especially abundant in the mangrove areas around Patricia Cay, Cas Cay and Bovoni Cay. "In the end, we will conserve only what we love, we will love only what we understand, we will under. stand only what we are taught." Bob Dioum Sengalese Conservationist

PAGE 2

Marine Mammal Sighting Summary Bastille Day Tournament The Nonhside Sportfishing Club Annual Bastille Day Kingfish Tournament was celebrated on July 16, 1995. There were 104 boats with a total of 314 anglers in this year's competition. For thenrst time there was a minimum 15.01bs weight placed on the Barracuda. Also, the prize for the smallest King mackerel was eliminated. A total of 77 fish were caught weighing a combined weight of 923.90Ibs. Twenty-one of the total fish caught were Kingfish weighing a total of 294.27 lbs. Below are weights of the largest entries: CategoQ: Weight \ Kingfish 35.38 lbs Dolphin 10.90 lbs Bonito 8.37 lbs Barracuda 30.191bs Jack 30.05 lbs Tuna 19.70 lbs . Mackerel 7.73 lbs .-""' ~... -Kingfish This season had a very slow s~ with few reports in January and February. Fortunately, March saw a considerable increase in whales transiting our waters and saved what was appearing to be the lowest season since this sighting project started in 1980. This season saw a variety of whale species that differed somewhat from those last year. Sperm Whales (5 adults, 2 juveniles), 2 possible adult Goosebeaked whales, an adult Orca, and one Pilot made up this year's variety. Spinner dolphins were reported, and they all appeared on the same day (23 adults, 12 juveniles). Dolphin sighting reports are not indicative of abundance in our waters. as most sightings go unreported. The emphasis is on reporting movements of the great whales. This year a greater number of marine mammals were found stranded than in most previous years. On October 22, 1994,6 Atlantic Spotted Dolphins were found stranded on Scott Beach, C.\l1ccl D.\y, Sl. Juhli. ru(lwILtlcly, 2 C:.I.;UVW ulivl:. All UlliUl:lllified dolphin was found dead on Lovango Cay on November 2, 1994. A dead Goosebeaked whale was discovered on great St James Island on December 1, 1994. Necropsies on the Atlantic Spotted Dolphin did not provide any clues as to the reason for their suanding. Nor were there any indications as to why, the Goosebeaked Whale stranded. Forty-nine (49) reports of marine mammals sightings were submitted to either the Virgin Islands Division of Fish and Wildlife or the National Marine Fisheries Service in St Thomas, U. S. V. I. between October 1994 and May 1995. Of the 49 reports received 41 indicated Humpback whale sightings , 2 Sperm whale sightings, 2 Spinner dolphin sightings , I Orca whale sighting, 1 Goosebeaked whale sighting, 1 Pilot whale sighting, and 1 Unknown whale sighting. In 17 instances reports were assumed to be possible duplicate sightings because they were made on the same day and around the same location. There were between 68-70 adult Humpbacks and 15 Humpback calves spotted this season. The amount this year is surprisingly below the last 14 seasons' average of 107 adult s and 18 calves. This is the lowest season since 1989-1990 when 45 adults and 9 calves were seen. Prepared bv Cherri Espersen Trees were saved by printing on recycled paper Fishing was limited to desig. nated waters around S l Thomas --and St John. Fishing times were 5:30am -12:00 noon with all boats being in Hull Bay by Noon for weigh-in or risk disqualification. Fish caught on the south side were collected by Division of Fish and Wildlife to be sent to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in Dauphin Island, Alabama for ciguatera testing This year's tournament was sponsored by Coors Light and Yamaha Outboard Motors.. Award ceremony was held at Larry's Hideaway at Hull Bay. Prizes included Cash, jewelry, dinners, vacation getaways and many other goodies. Congratulation to all winners! This newsletter was funded by the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Acts, the Caribbean Fishery Management Council and the C'.nv..rnm..nt nf t1 VI BULK RATE U.S. POSTAGE PAID CHARLOTTE AMALIE, V.I. PERMIT NO. 35 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 CST.X.) Address Correction Requested