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Tropic news. Volume 9. Issue 4.

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Title:
Tropic news. Volume 9. Issue 4.
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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Language:
English

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Caribbean ( LCSH )
Newspapers -- Caribbean ( LCSH )
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serial ( sobekcm )
Spatial Coverage:
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



TROPIC N EWS


DEPARTMENT OF PLANNING AND NATURAL
RESOURCES
January 1997


Look out for Lobster Collectors

The Bureau of
Fisheries staff is
working on a new
project which exam-
S ines the settlement
Sof lobster larvae.
.The western Atlan-
tic spiny lobster,
Panulirus argus, is
caught by both the
commercial and
recreational fishery
in the U.S. Virgin
Islands. There is agreement among older fisher-
men that lobster numbers have declined consider-
ably, especially in shallow coastal habitats. With
the results of the experiment, we hope to be able to
identify areas where lobsters prefer to settle and
thus help to assess management strategies.
Lobster population declines are probably caused
by the destruction of mangrove estuaries for
coastal development, over fishing, and pollution
which has lowered the water quality at lobster
nursery sites. As a result, fishermen must travel
further, spend more time and exert more effort to
produce a profitable catch.
The collectors are comprised of a PVC pipe grid
with air conditioner filter leaves. Lobster larvae
settle within the inner leaves of the collector and
grow until they are large enough to live in their
natural habitat. The collectors will be suspended at
varying depths and anchored with cinder blocks.
The collectors are placed in the mangroves over
sandy and rocky bottoms at several sites on the
south east and north east end of St. Thomas and
will be monitored at least twice a month. A few
collectors will be placed at open water sites around
the St. James islands. Fisheries staff hope to an-
swer several questions. Of the selected sites, is one
area more successful than another? Do some
months show higher rates of settlement than
others? Does settlement coincide with a particular
lunar phase?
The information gained from this study will be
especially useful in the management of our natural
resources.


DIVISION OF FISH AND WILDLIFE

Volume 9 Number 4


The Age of Fish
When fishermen talk about fish, they usually
talk about the size of the fish they have caught,
usually its weight and sometimes its length. The
size of a fish in a population is important in evalu-
ating the status of a group of fish and the effects of
fishing on that population. Rarely does a fisherman
ask about the age of a fish which has been caught.
The study of age and growth is important to fisher-
ies biology and the value of these characteristics is
important to develop an understanding of the life
history of any species.
The rate of fish growth is very important to
fisheries biologists and managers. The overall
health of a fish population can be seen in the rate
of growth in young fish. A sustainable fishery
needs young, fast growing fish, from which more
can be harvested. Fish that grow slowly and might
take over a decade to become sexually mature can
be easily over harvested. The other characteristic
to consider is age, as the two characteristics are
linked.
Studies of age and growth of Bermuda fishes
started at the Division of Fisheries about five years
ago. The first otholith (earbones) removed for study
were from a record-sized red hind (over 18 lbs and
72 cm total length) caught by a recreational angler.
This otholith was sectioned and examined under
the microscope. The age of this specimen was
estimated at 22 years making it the largest and
oldest red hind reported from the western Atlantic.
Work started earlier this year on the age and
growth of pelagic species such as wahoo and tunas.
Preliminary work appears to indicate that wahoo
are extremely fast growing, probably attaining a
length of over one meter in the first year of growth.
This research will provide important information
which can be used in helping scientists from the
International Commission for the Conservation of
Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) make assessments of
pelagic fish stocks.
Partially excerpted from Monthly Bulletin, Dept. of
Agriculture and Fisheries of Bermuda, Nov. 1996, Vol.
67. No. 11.

Quote
'The great use of life is to spend it for something
that will out last it"







Alternative Household
Product Tips

In our continued attempt to protect the environ-
ment, here are a few alternative products to use
around the house.
Air freshener: Set out 2-4 tablespoons of
vinegar or baking soda in open dishes. Boil herbs
or spices for natural fragrance. Use house plants to
purify air.
All purpose cleaner: Mix 1/2 cup ammonia.
1/2 cup white vinegar. 1/4 cup baking soda. 1/2
gallon water.
Carpet deodorizer: Sprinkle baking soda or
cornstarch on carpet (- 1 cup for a medium -sized
room,} vacuum after 30 minutes: or mix 2 parts
cornmeal with 1 part borax, sprinkle liberally, let
sit 1 hour, and vacuum.
Drain opener: For maintenance -- flush
drains with boiling water twice weekly to clear.
Use a handful of baking soda and 1/2 cup white
vinegar flushed with hot water or use 1/2 cup salt
and 1/2 cup baking soda flushed with hot water.
Floor cleaner: Use 1/2 cup white vinegar in
1/2 gallon warm water.
Furniture polish: Mix 1 teaspoon lemon oil
and 1 pint vegetable or mineral oil; or use olive oil.
Glass cleaner: Use alcohol first to remove
residue from commercial glass cleaner. Then clean
with a mixture of equal parts white vinegar and
water.
Warning: Chlorine bleach is toxic to septic
systems, plants and humans. Avoid using unless
absolutely necessary. Never mix chlorine bleach
with ammonia this forms a deadly chloramine


It's that time of the year again!
It's whale season
S again and we look
J. forward to seeing
hump- backed whales
passing through our
waters. Many are
observed with calves
which causes us to
believe that they are born in or near our area. This
is logical as the warmer mid Atlantic and Carib-
bean waters would be less of a traumatic shock to
the calves as they are born.
The whales are normally sighted off of the north
shore of St. Thomas but can be found in any water
off the V.I. Humpbacked whales are federally
protected under the Marine Mammal Protection
Act of 1972. The law prohibits the taking or "ha-
rassment" of whales in waters within U.S. jurisdic-
tion or by U.S. citizens or vessels on the high sea. A
distance of 300 yards must be maintained while
observing the whales.
Violations of the Marine Mammal Protection Act
can result in fines of up to $ 50,000, one year in
prison, and forfeiture of any vessel or gear to the
U.S. Government.
Anyone with sightings of whales is requested to
call the Division of Fish and Wildlife at 775-6762
or 772-1955 ( St. Croix).

This newsletter was funded by the US
Fish and Wildlife Service, Sport Fish and
S^T i Wildlife Restoration Acts, the Caribbean
o^i.. Fishery Management Council and the
Government of the VI.
Donna M. Griffin Editor
Ralf H. Boulon Jr. Chief of Environmental Education


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


Trees were saved by printing on recycled paper


I-,




Full Text

PAGE 1

.."". , DIVISION OF FISH AND WILDLIFE DEPARTMENT OF PLANNING AND NATURAL RESOURCES January 1997 Volume 9 Number 4 The Age of Fish Look out for Lobster Collectors When fishermen talk about fish, they usually talk about the size of the fish they have caught, usually its weight and sometimes its length. The size of a fish in a population is important in evaluating the status of a group of fish and the effects of fishing on that population. Rarely does a fisherman ask about the age of a fish which has been caught. The study of age and growth is important to fisheries biology and the value of these characteristics is important to develop an understanding of the life history of any species. The rate of fish growth is very important to fisheries biologists and managers. The overall health of a fish population can be seen in the rate of growth in young fish. A sustainable fishery needs young, fast growing fish, from which more can be harvested. Fish that grow slowly and might take over a decade to become sexually mature can be easily over harvested. The other characteristic to consider is age, as the two characteristics are linked. Studies of age and growth of Bermuda fishes started at the Division of Fisheries about five years ago. The first otholith (earbones) removed for study were from a record-sized red hind (over 18 lbs and 72 cm total length) caught by a recreational angler. This otholith was sectioned and examined under the microscope. The age of this specimen was estimated at 22 years making it the largest and oldest red hind reported from the western Atlantic. Work started earlier this year on the age and growth of pelagic species such as wahoo and tunas. Preliminary work appears to indicate that wahoo are extremely fast growing, probably attaining a length of over one meter in the first year of growth. This research will provide important information which can be used in helping scientists from the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) make assessments of pelagic fish stocks. Partially excerpted from Monthly Bulletin, Dept. of Agriculture and Fisheries of Bermuda, Nov. 1996, Vol. 67. No. 11. The Bureau of Fisheries staff is working on a new project which examines the settlement ... of lobster larvae. The western Atlantic spiny lobster, Panulirus ar~s, is caught by both the commercial and recreational fishery in the U.S. Virgin Islands. There is agreement among older fishermen that lobster numbers have declined considerably, especially in shallow coastal habitats. With the results of the experiment, we hope to be able to identify areas where lobsters prefer to settle and thus help to assess management strategies. Lobster population declines are probably caused by the destruction of mangrove estuaries for coastal development, over fishing, and pollution which has lowered the water quality at lobster nursery sites. As a result, fishermen must travel further, spend more time and exert more effort to produce a profitable catch. The collectors are comprised of a PVC pipe grid with air conditioner filter leaves. Lobster larvae settle within the inner leaves of the collector and grow until they are large enough to live in their natural habitat. The collectors will be suspended at varying depths and anchored with cinder blocks. The collectors are placed in the mangroves over sandy and rocky bottoms at several sites on the south east and north east end of St. Thomas and will be monitored at least twice a month. A few collectors will be placed at open water sites around the St. James islands. Fisheries staff hope to answer several questions. Of the selected sites, is one area more successful than another? Do some months show higher rates of settlement than others? Does settlement coincide with a particular lunar phase? The information gained from this study will be especially useful in the management of our natural resources. Quote "The great use of life is to spend it for something thR.t will out last it_"

PAGE 2

Alternative Household Product Tips I t's that time of the year again! It's whale season again and we look forward to seeing humpbacked whales passing through our waters. Many are observed with calves which causes us to believe that they are born in or near our area. This is logical as the warmer mid Atlantic and Caribbean waters would be less of a traumatic shock to the calves as they are born. The whales are normally sighted off of the north shore of St. Thomas but can be found in any water off the V.I. Humpbacked whales are federally protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972. The law prohibits the taking or "harassment" of whales in waters 'within U.S. jurisdiction or by U.S. citizens or vessels on the high sea. A distance of 300 yards must be maintained while observing the whales. Violations of the Marine Mammal Protection Act can result in fines of up to $ 50,000, one year in prison, and forfeiture of any vessel or gear to the U.S. Government. Anyone with sightings of whales is requested to call the Division ofFish and Wildlife at 775-6762 or 772-1955 ( St. Croix). In our continued attempt to protect the environment, here are a few alternative products to use around the house. . Air freshener: Set out 2-4 tablespoons of vinegar or baking soda in open dishes. Boil herbs or spices for natural fragrance. Use house plants to purify air. . All purpose cleaner: Mix 1/2 cup ammonia. i/2 cup white vinegar. 1/4 cup baking soda. 1/2 gallon water. . Carpet deodorizer: Sprinkle baking soda or cornstarch on carpet (1 cup for a medium -sized room,) vacuum after 30 minutes: or mix 2 parts cornmeal with 1 part borax, sprinkle liberally, let sit 1 hour, and vacuum. . Drain opener: For maintenance -flush drains with boiling water twice weekly to clear. Use a handful of baking soda and 1/2 cup white vinegar flushed with hot water or use 1/2 cup salt and 1/2 cup baking soda flushed with hot water. . Floor cleaner: Use 1/2 cup white vinegar in 1/2 gallon warm water. . Furniture polish: Mix 1 teaspoon lemon oil and 1 pint vegetable or mineral oil; or use olive oil. . Glass cleaner: Use alcohol first to remove residue from commercial glass cleaner. Then clean with a mixture of equal parts white vinegar and water. * Warning: Chlorine bleach is toxic to septic systems, plants and humans. Avoid using unless absolutely necessary. Never mix chlorine bleach with ammonia this forms a deadly chloramine 2:as:.. 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. Donna M, Griffin Editor Ralf H. Boulon Jr. Chief of Environmental Education BULKRA1E 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 (ST xo) Address Correction Requested ~ Trees were saved by printing on recycled paper