Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Climate turns up heat on sea turtles

From an article by Moises Velasquez-Manoff in the Christian Science Monitor:

The ancient mariners need beach temperatures that are just right to hatch their eggs. If it's too warm, only females are born – and a species could vanish.

. . .Scientists worry that climate change, on top of ongoing stresses, could deal the final blow to these creatures. Ongoing threats include habitat loss, poaching, and being caught in nets and on hooks intended for other prey. Now, in a warming world, scientists also foresee stronger storms increasing erosion of the sandy beaches the turtles use to nest. Rising seas will inundate existing beaches, even as human development halts natural beach migration inland and upland. Shifting currents may alter the ocean's upwelling patterns, which turtles depend on for food.

Finally, there's global warming's most direct effect – more heat.

Turtles lack sex chromosomes. Their genes do not directly determine whether a hatchling comes out male or female. Instead, buried eggs take their cue from the ambient temperature. For leatherbacks, temperatures below 29.4 degrees C (85 degrees F.) produce a clutch that is mostly male; above that, it's mostly female. With a mere 2 degree C (3.6 degrees F.) increase, a nest will produce all females. A few degrees higher yet, and the "boiled" eggs don't hatch at all.

In order to maintain a viable breeding population, a cool, male-producing year has to come at least once every five to 10 years, says James Spotila, a professor of environmental science at Drexel University in Philadelphia. If male years begin to come only every 20 years because of climate change, the turtle could become extinct. . . .

Photo:(c) Wolcott Henry 2005/Marine Photobank


Monday, July 30, 2007

3 ocean-related job openings

From Beautiful Oceans:

Beautiful Oceans, a corporate framework for marine conservation, is looking to fill 2 positions for a week-long public coral reef education event in the Caribbean this fall (October 27 to November 3). The event will educate tourists (recreational scuba divers) in basic marine biology with the aim of raising awareness of the coral reef ecosystem.

MAJOR DUTIES: Applicants will take Beautiful Oceans online Science Instructor certification and assist Beautiful Oceans staff on the trip. As a Science Instructor you will help teach Beautiful Oceans courses to recreational divers and accompany them during observation and interpretation scuba dives. This position is for one week; it does not represent full time employment. Successful applicant may be considered for additional trips planned for 2008.
SALARY: Science Instructors receive $500US per trip. All expenses related to the trip (flight allowance covering round trip from most North American locations, accommodation, food, diving) are covered by Beautiful Oceans.

A second opportunity:
A Postdoctoral Research Fellow - Coral Reef Ecology position available at Central Queensland University (Australia). Applications close 10 August 2007.

For further information or to request a copy of the position description, including selection criteria please contact:

Dr Ashley Bunce
Deputy Director / Marine Ecology Program Leader
Centre for Environmental Management
Central Queensland University
PO Box 1319
Gladstone QLD 4680
Tel: +61 7 4970 7285
Fax: +61 7 4970 7207
An opportunity in Florida:
Position Number: 77070361
Closing Date: 7/26/2007
County: Pinellas County
Annual Salary Range: $55,029 annually
Announcement Type: Open Competitive
Closing Date: 8/03/07


Note: In addition to submitting the state of Florida Application Form through People First, Applicants must also submit their resume to the address below or fax to 727-823-0166, attention Personnel Office and reference position #70361:

FWC/Fish and Wildlife Research Institute
100 8th Avenue S.E.
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
E-mail: a.bunce@cqu.edu.au


Sunday, July 29, 2007

House lights draw baby turtle to pool

Lights are a problem for sea turtles everywhere, as illustrated by this article by Peter Frost from The Sun News (Myrtle Beach, USA):

HILTON HEAD ISLAND --One of the first baby sea turtles to emerge from beach-side nests on Hilton Head Island found its way into a swimming pool last week because bright lights from an oceanfront home confused the tiny loggerhead on its journey to the sea.

When Hilton Head code enforcement officer Connie Pratt visited the home the next afternoon to issue a warning for violating the town's lights-out on the beach policy, she found the baby turtle swimming in the chlorinated pool.

A group of teenage girls from New York whose parents rented the house for a week said they were unaware of the law, Pratt said, a common refrain among summer visitors.

Pratt rushed the turtle to the sea water, but there's little chance it will survive.

After loggerheads hatch from eggs buried beneath the sand, they have just enough energy to reach the Gulf Stream.

"He spent more than 12 hours swimming around in a pool," Pratt said. "But he was still moving, so who knows?"

Turtle experts estimate that one out of every 100 hatchlings makes it to their third day, and only one of every 10,000 eggs laid produces a turtle that survives to reproductive maturity at about 25 years old.

Baby turtles use the moon and other reflections to guide them into the ocean.

Bright lights from structures along the beach - prohibited by Hilton Head after 10 p.m. from May to October - can cause the infants to head in the wrong direction and almost certain death.


Friday, July 27, 2007

Saving coral reefs becomes a tourism priority

From an article by Bonnie Tsui in the International Herald Tribune:

Green sea turtles, cascades of glittering reef fish, blooming coral pillars — countless travelers have come nose to nose with a thriving undersea universe while on vacation. But increasingly, divers and snorkelers are swimming over bleached hunks of coral devastated by shore runoff or overfishing.

From the South Pacific to the Caribbean, coral reefs — which are among the most delicate of marine ecosystems — are bearing the brunt of climate change and other human-driven activities — including coastal development, deforestation and unrestricted tourism. Now, many in the tourist industry are trying to halt the damage.

And it is no wonder. The dollars involved in reef-based tourism are significant: Australia's Great Barrier Reef alone draws about 1.9 million visitors a year, supporting a $4.2 billion industry. According to the Nature Conservancy, the annual economic value of coral reefs to world tourism is $9.6 billion.

. . .[T]he world's second-largest barrier reef, the Mesoamerican Reef in the Caribbean, is seriously endangered by coastal development, runoff and pollution. The reef system stretches nearly 700 miles from the Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico to the Bay Islands of Honduras. . . .

"It took Cancún 35 years to develop to this massive size, and it took less than a decade for the Riviera Maya," said [Jamie Sweeting of Conservation International]. "But nature will not let you get away with it."


Thursday, July 26, 2007

Volunteer for Oceans for Youth

Oceans for Youth recruits volunteers and supplies them with materials, including a DVD, so that they can tell children about the wonders of the sea. Are you a possible volunteer?

Dear Oceans for Youth Volunteer,

Thank you for wanting to participate with Oceans for Youth. The main purpose of our foundation is to provide you with tools to help you make presentations in groups and schools -- to educate and excite youth about the oceans and about life beneath the waves. It’s a fragile environment, and it will be up to our next generation to understand and protect it. We hope that your efforts will help ignite a long-term interest in the marine environment.

Oceans for Youth DVD Part 1 contains fifteen programs that are suitable for presentations in groups ranging from age four to adult. The DVD comes with a presenter’s guide, and the following section of this web site, "Getting Started as an Oceans for Youth Volunteer," explains how to approach schools and venues for acceptance as a presenter.

This DVD is for presentation use by volunteers who have a genuine affection for the underwater world -- marine enthusiasts, environmentalists and naturalists, snorkelers and scuba divers.

Using this DVD will allow you to show viewers marine plants and animals in the world's oceans. It will help you create an opportunity for children and adults to discuss the characteristics of living things. In addition, the DVD will help you instill in viewers with a desire to explore the marine environment on their own. Oceans for Youth maintains that those who explore the underwater world come to appreciate it and will help protect it.


Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Job opening: Belize

From the Coral Reef Alliance:

The Coral Reef Alliance (CORAL) is seeking a part-time (8 - 12 hours per week for year 1) Consultant and/or Field Representative for our programs in Belize, Central America. The Consultant/Field Representative is responsible for carrying out the Coral Reef Sustainable Destination (CRSD) objectives in all project sites. These objectives include: increasing best environmental business practices in the marine recreation sector; building alliances between the tourism sector, marine resource managers and local communities; securing sustainable financing for ongoing conservation efforts; catalyzing community-based conservation projects to reduce local coral reef threats; helping to build conservation capacity of existing marine protected areas (MPAs); and implementing practical and realistic community benefit-sharing opportunities as a result of conservation. The Consultant/Field Representative will work cooperatively with the Regional Program Manager, and program staff to create an integrated strategy for achieving CORAL's mission.

This position will be based in Belize, Central America


Please do not call or fax.

Email a letter of interest describing why you are a strong candidate for this position, a resume or CV, and if available, a sample of your writing (either published or in-press) to the attention of Rich Wilson (rwilson@coral.org), CORAL Regional Program Manager.

Position is open until filled.


Tuesday, July 24, 2007

What is it about sea turtles?

The World Ocean Observatory just posted an amazing multi-media presentation on turtles. The beautiful Web site begins by asking:

What do they do to move us so deeply, perhaps more than any other marine creature? Sea turtle are at once emblematic flagships for the oceans, and umbrella species whose conservation requires the preservation of intact habitats ranging from tropical nesting beaches to sub-Arctic foraging grounds.
Link to Sea Turtles.


Monday, July 23, 2007

Bimini development's impact

View a chilling video about a large development in Bimini:


Sunday, July 22, 2007

Job opening: Resident Lecturer in Marine Resource Management

From the School for Field Studies (SFS):

Position Announcement
Resident Lecturer in Marine Resource Management
Center for Marine Resource Studies
Turks & Caicos Islands

Position Summary: The core functions of this residential field position are to teach critical, local environmental issues based on a challenging, problem-based, interdisciplinary curriculum and lead designated components of the Center's Five-Year Research Plan and as part of this, oversee and advise the student Directed Research projects that relate to these research lines.

Educational Requirements: Ph.D. and university-level teaching experience in Marine Resource Management, Stock Assessment, Tropical Fisheries Management, or related field.
Read the full position announcement on the SFS site.


Saturday, July 21, 2007

Fellowships in Coral Reef Management

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is pleased to announce the availability of four (4), two-year fellowship positions under the Coral Reef Management Fellowship Program. The positions will be located in Pago Pago, American Samoa; Adelup, Guam; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and Saipan, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI).

Background information:
The NOAA Coral Reef Management Fellowship Program was established to respond to the need for additional coral reef management capacity and capability in the U.S. Flag islands. The program matches highly qualified recipients of bachelor's and master's degrees with hosts from the coral reef management programs within the U.S. Flag Pacific and Caribbean Islands. This opportunity offers a competitive salary and professional development training as well as conference travel and relocation expense reimbursement. The program is funded and managed by the NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program in conjunction with the Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management (OCRM) and the Office of Response and Restoration (OR&R). Hosts for the NOAA Coral Reef Management Fellowship include the coastal and marine resource management agencies of American Samoa, CNMI, Guam, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Applications are currently being accepted for positions in American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico and CNMI.

To apply and for more information on the Coral Reef Management Fellowship Program go to: http://www.coralreef.noaa.gov/fellowship.html
or contact Marci.Wulff@noaa.gov.

Applications are being accepted through August 31, 2007.

Marci Wulff
IMSG at NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program
1305 East-West Hwy.
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Phone: 301-713-3155 ext. 176
Fax: 301-713-4389


Friday, July 20, 2007

Reefs at Risk +10; help do it right

From the International Coral Reef Action Network (ICRAN):

It's been 10 years since the last global Reefs at Risk report. This past decade has been hard on the world's coral reefs, and it's time for us to assess the impact of these threats once more.

We need your help to do it right.

Released in 1998, Reefs at Risk was the first global, quantitative assessment of threats to coral reefs ever conducted. By showing that almost 60% of the world reefs were threatened by human activities, Reefs at Risk was a global call to action, raising awareness of the link between human activities and coral reef threats.

Its maps, graphics, statistics and Geographic Information System data showed us that 35% of reefs were threatened by overexploitation, and over 30% by coastal development. It showed us the location of reefs facing these critical threats and sparked global priority setting efforts, hot spot analysis and a wide variety of conservation partnerships and initiatives. Its findings are still widely quoted today.

Following the 1998 report, the World Resources Institute (WRI) led two high-resolution analyses of human pressure on coral reefs in the Caribbean and in Southeast Asia. These regional analyses were 16 times more detailed than the global analysis. Through a partnership with 25 partners in each region, Reefs at Risk in Southeast Asia (2002 English, Bahasa) and Reefs at Risk in the Caribbean (2004 English, Spanish) showed threat levels and origins, the values of coral reef ecosystem goods and services, and estimated the potential losses from degradation.

Thanks to these studies, we were able to improve and refine our threat modeling approaches and developed an integrated database including over 30 data layers reflecting the location, condition, protection status and threats to coral reefs.

Building on what we've learned over the past 10 years, the International Coral Reef Action Network (ICRAN) and WRI are now leading a group of institutions to undertake a global update of the Reefs at Risk analysis during the International Year of the Reef 2008. In early 2006, ICRAN hosted a meeting in Cambridge, UK and joined forces with WRI, World Wildlife Fund for Nature, the Nature Conservancy, the UN Environment Programme, UNEP-World Conservation Monitoring Centre, WorldFish Center, and others to determine a plan to create a new global analysis.

As with the last global Reefs at Risk analysis, the centerpiece will be a series of map-based indicators of threats to coral reefs. As before, we will develop a globally consistent indicator of threats from coastal development, land-based threats, marine-based threats, and overexploitation, and present it in a comprehensive, informative and user-friendly guide.

We need your help to make sure that we create a Reefs at Risk that is useful to the widest audience possible.

Could you please take a few moments and provide us with your input? Many thanks!
Go here to complete the survey.


Thursday, July 19, 2007

Coral Reef Color

National Geographic's Web site has a terrific feature with multi-media presentations on the colors of the reef:

Gaze at the vivid yellows, blues, and psychedelic swirls of a single emperor angelfish and you'll sense the whimsy of evolution. Go on to explore its home in lush coral reefs and you'll soon hit sensory overload, assaulted by colors and patterns that range from sublime to garish. Coral reefs are unquestionably the world's most colorful places. But why?
Go to the site to find the answer(s).


Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Whale sharks cooperatively tracked through Honduras, Belize, and Mexico

From an article posted on UnderwaterTimes.com:

Scientists have suspected for years that whale sharks (Rhindcodon typus) travel from the island of Utila, Honduras up through the waters of Belize to Mexico as part of a long, annual migration, but no individual whale shark has ever been cooperatively tracked by researchers in each country. Different research teams may see the same individuals along the route year after year, but never before has a team of scientists “connected the dots” on this spotted animal to track them between a series of different research stations. In 2007, broad cooperative efforts between researchers and ecotourists in the three countries are producing a more detailed picture of the behavior of these rare and “gentle giants”.

Photo by Wolcott Henry via Marine Photobank.


Devastating coral disease caused by faecal bacteria

From a story by Gaia Vince on the NewScientist.com news service:

A disease that is devastating Caribbean coral reefs is caused by a bacterium commonly found in the human gut, US researchers have discovered.

White pox, one of the fastest spreading coral diseases, targets elkhorn coral, destroying tissue at a rate of between 2 and 10 cm2 per day, at each lesion. Reefs in the Florida Keys have lost about 85 per cent of their elkhorn coral to the disease. On some Caribbean reefs, the figure is as high as 98 per cent.

Scientists at the University of Georgia, Athens, US, analysed infected coral and identified a common faecal enterobacterium, Serratia marcescens, as the cause of white pox.

"When we started the research, I initially thought I was going to discover a new species of obscure marine pathogen. What we found was one of the commonest bacteria known to man," James Porter, professor of ecology at the University of Georgia, told New Scientist.

"Serratia marcescens is a bacterium found in the intestines of humans and other animals as well as soil and water. This is the first time that a common member of human gut flora has been shown to be a marine invertebrate pathogen. We haven't proved the source of the infection yet, but I suspect it is due to water polluted with human faeces," he says.


Help the success of the International Year of the Reef (IYOR 2008)

The International Coral Reef Initiative has designated 2008 as the International Year of the Reef (IYOR 2008). Coming at a crucial time for coral reefs, this year-long campaign of events and initiatives hosted by governments, non-governmental organizations, corporations, schools, and individuals around the world will raise awareness, promote conservation action and strengthen long-term constituencies for coral reef conservation. The Ocean Project encourages all our Partners to do more for reefs in 2008, and beyond.

If you would like further information on IYOR 2008, or want to get involved, please visit www.iyor.org.


Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Scholarships for three-day visit to the University of the Virgin Island's new MS program

Sylvia K. Vitazkova, PhD
Graduate Program Coordinator
Master of Marine & Environmental Science
VI-EPSCoR, University of the Virgin Islands
2 John Brewer's Bay
St. Thomas, USVI 00802
Tel: (340) 693-1427, Fax: (340) 693-1425
E-mail: svitazk@uvi.edu

The University of the Virgin Islands recently launched a new Master of Marine & Environmental Science degree program. You can learn more about the program on our website: http://mmes.uvi.edu/index.html. We will hold a three-day organized campus visit on October 11-14, 2007 to introduce the program to potential students and natural resource management professionals.

The visit will include tours of our St. Thomas facilities and an overnight trip to the Virgin Islands Environmental Research Station in St. John. All are welcome to apply to participate. Additionally, ten to twenty full scholarships will be available for students from CARICOM member countries or USVI residents who meet eligibility criteria. For more information, please visit our website: http://mmes.uvi.edu/re/index.html. The deadline for applications is August 24, 2007, so please print, post and forward to interested student and natural resource list-serves!


Monday, July 16, 2007

Reef fish may need decades to recover

From the Web site of The Coral Reef Alliance:

In the longest running study on how fish populations in coral reef systems recover from heavy exploitation, researchers from the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and others have found that the fish can recover, but they need lots of time – decades in some cases. The study appears in a recent edition of the journal Ecological Applications. . . .

Specifically, the study examined the recovery rates of eight dominant fish families in Kenya’s marine national parks between 1987 and 2005 using counts that measured fish diversity, size, and density. What the researchers found is that species diversity peaked and stabilized 10 years after a marine park was closed to fishing. The recovery rates of different families and species, however, occurred at different rates, partly as a result of competition for resources among different species. For instance, most parrotfish took some 10-20 years to recover, but then declined, perhaps as a result of competition from a variety of surgeonfish.


Friday, July 13, 2007

Follow sea turtles tracked by satellite

Seaturtle.org gives everyone a chance to follow loggerheads, greens, Kemp's ridley, hawksbills, and leatherbacks as they swim the waters of the Atlantic and Caribbean. It's truly amazing; the turtles travel hundreds, even thousands, of miles!


Thursday, July 12, 2007

Sign Reef Check's Declaration of Reef Rights

To sign the Declaration of Reef Rights go to Reef Check's Web site.

In honor of the International Year of the Reef in 2008, Reef Check is requesting you to sign our Declaration of Reef Rights shown below. We would like to present the Declaration along with a list of one million names to all coral reef country governments in January 2009. The purpose of this pledge is to highlight the high value of coral reefs and to encourage all people and governments to support coral reef conservation. After reading the pledge please fill out the form below and encourage your friends to sign up. You must include your full name, country and an email – but if you want to be kept informed about progress on the Declaration and coral reefs, please fill out the complete form. Thank you for supporting coral reefs.

Dr. Gregor Hodgson, Executive Director
Reef Check Foundation

Declaration of Reef Rights

Whereas coral reefs are the highest biodiversity marine ecosystem and provide food, economic and spiritual value for hundreds of millions of people worldwide,

Whereas coral reefs are the most sensitive indicator for tracking global climate change,

Whereas the earth is a blue planet -- 71 % of the planet’s surface is covered by the ocean and 50% of the world’s population lives within 60 kilometers of the coast,

Whereas coral reefs are over 100 million years old, are the largest living structures visible from space and protect our coastlines from storm and tsunami damage,

Whereas coral reefs are the basis for stunning white sand beaches, entire tropical islands and a major component of the largest global industry -- tourism,

Whereas life-saving new antibiotics and anti-cancer drugs have been derived from coral reef organisms,

Whereas I recognize that any action I take may have an impact on the ocean and its reefs,

As a citizen of planet earth, I pledge to abide by the principles of this INTERNATIONAL DECLARATION OF REEF RIGHTS

All coral reefs have the right to be free from:

Over-fishing and destructive fishing


Human caused coral bleaching and ocean acidification

Direct damage from divers, snorkelers and boaters

Damage due to poorly planned coastal development

Coral diseases

In recognition of these rights, I pledge to:

Ask if my seafood is sustainably caught and to only eat fish and shellfish that are from well-managed stocks and caught in a sustainable manner

Use products that will not pollute the sea and dispose of all wastes properly

Reduce greenhouse gas emissions and support efforts to reduce global climate change

Not disturb, damage or collect corals and other reef organisms

Ask tour operators, cruise lines, hotels and restaurants in coral reef areas what their policy is towards coral reef protection and to support reef-friendly businesses and best practices

Patronize tour operators that use mooring buoys or anchor away from living corals

Support environmentally friendly development that does not damage coral reefs.

Support government efforts to improve sewage treatment, promote sustainable land use practices and to protect and restore coastal open space and coral reefs.

Encourage my friends and family to sign this INTERNATIONAL DECLARATION OF REEF RIGHTS


Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Mangroves benefit the sea

Mangrove is the fundament-al species of the coastal-marine ecosystem. They are located in the tropics and subtropics of the planet and are on the coasts of Latin America, from México down to Peru.

Mangroves have great biotic productivity. They grow up at the intermediate tidal zones and in flooded areas. They can adapt to different degrees of salinity, because they are in contact with sea water and fresh water. They are located on sandy, muddy, clay soils, which have little oxygen and are sometimes acidic.

Ecologically mangroves supply important functions that allow natural balance: flood control; erosion control; purification of water running to the sea by retaining sediments and toxic substances; desalinization of water running to land; and providing a source of organic matter, storm protection, and microclimate stabilization.

It is important to emphasize that México has advanced in the protection of these ecosystems. Last February 1, a Decree was published in the federation official diary, by which an article is added in Vida Silvestre's General Law, which establishes the conservation of 886,760 hectares of mangrove that still exist in the country.

by Edith Sosa Bravo, Coordinator of CEA's Water Quality Program
photo by Humberto Bahena Basave


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

CEA restores Akumal dunes

Coastal Dune Revegetation
by Miguel and Rosario

As part of the activities to certify the property and beach of Akumal Bay, CEA has involved volunteers in the revegetation of the protected coastal dune on our property. One of our first activities has been planting sea grape.


Monday, July 9, 2007

Groups publish Voluntary Standards for Marine Recreation

You can see how well you and your marine recreation provider follow the standards published by The International Coral Reef Action Network - Mesoamerican Reef Alliance (ICRAN MAR). The preface explains the initiative to develop the standards:

The standards described in this publication represent the culmination of a grassroots conservation process within the marine tourism sector in Mesoamerica. This three-year process–The ICRAN Mesoamerican Reef Alliance (ICRAN MAR)–is an ambitious initiative to improve environmental business practices that minimize impacts to the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef (MAR). Together with tourism, fisheries and watershed components, ICRAN MAR utilizes a holistic approach that will maximize private sector commitment to sustainable business practices, develop local and regional conservation alliances, and support effective marine protected area management. In this way, the project serves to address the most significant threats to the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, while supporting the region’s economic future.
Connect to the complete standards through the Web site of The Coral Reef Alliance.


Saturday, July 7, 2007

Volunteers propose Akumal Bay patrol

From the bulletin board at locogringo.com:

As most of you know, I've met with Paul at the CEA, and discussed the difficulties of having only one kayak for the CEA's Akumal Bay Patrol. Angie Blinns & I had an idea, which I presented to Gary B. (shape shifter), and I also contacted Paul about it. There is the possibility of the CEA aquiring a second kayak, but due to the lack of sufficient numbers of CEA volunteers, it would be available for tourist volunteers to use to help patrol the bay, and make sure snorkellers and swimmers are following reef & turtle protection protocols. Guidelines for being a part of the bay patrol would be provided by the CEA. Gary B. will be meeting with Paul on his upcoming trip, and needs to know how much support this idea has. We, as tourists, are a part of the problem---but now, we can be an active part of the solution!! Would anyone be willing to donate a few hours of their vacation to help preserve an area that many of us love? The way I see it--I'm in the bay for most of my trips down there anyway, and it would be my pleasure to be doing something proactive for the bay. I hope my grandkids will be able to go down there and have as much enjoyment of the area as I have been fortunate enough to do. So, what does everyone think????

Read all the comments at LocoGringo.


Friday, July 6, 2007

Leatherbacks make big comeback in S. Florida this year

Though not exactly the Mexican Caribbean, any good news about turtle recovery needs to be posted far and wide.

From an article by Jennifer Gollan in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel:

They outlived dinosaurs, only to wind up on the endangered species list. Now, leatherback turtles are poised to make something of a mild resurgence this year.

With a few weeks to go in the nesting season, "Anecdotal reports show this could be a record year statewide for leatherback turtle nests," said Meghan Koperski, environmental specialist with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

The state record, 935 nests, was set in 2001, Koperski said. Florida began keeping records in 1989.

So far, 39 nests have turned up in Broward County, closing in on the record of 41 set in 1997, said Lou Fisher, a natural resource specialist for the Broward County Environmental Protection Department. The county started keeping track in 1981.

Five species of turtles nest in Florida: loggerhead, green, leatherback, hawksbill and Kemp's ridley.
Green and loggerhead turtles nest in Akumal. Hawksbills live in the waters off Akumal, but don't nest there. Leatherbacks are not common to the area.


Wednesday, July 4, 2007

"Clear cut" fish harvesting in Sea of Cortez

Let's hope that the horrific "clear cut" fishing techniques from the Pacific side of Mexico don't come to the Mexican Carribean.

As reported by SeaWatch, the consience of the Sea of Cortez, gill nets, hookah divers, and pistoleros de la noche are destroying the reefs and clearing them of every last reef fish.

Go to the Web page of SeaWatch, view the video, and send a message to Mexican officials: http://www.seawatch.org/mail_campaign/alert2.new.html

Want to post?
Ed Blume, a volunteer for Centro Ecológico Akumal (CEA), moderates the blog. Anyone wishing to post can contact Ed at ed@ceakumal.org.

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