Left to right: Marine artist Guy Harvey, captain Anthony Medillo and Harvey's daughter Jessica with Jessica's 600-plus-pound swordfish caught near Isla Mujeres, Mexico.
• The Big Cypress National Preserve
will hold a public meeting from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Aug. 9 on revised draft alternatives for managing hunting in the park’s 147,000-acre “addition lands.” Hunting in the addition has been prohibited since the federal government acquired the lands in the mid-1990s. The National Park Service’s preferred alternative calls for adopting an adaptive management strategy to conduct public hunts in the addition under a cooperative agreement with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The meeting will be held at the Big Cypress Swamp Welcome Center, 33000 Tamiami Trail East, in Ochopee. Those who cannot attend may submit comments before Aug. 24 by mail to Superintendent, Big Cypress National Preserve, 33100 Tamiami Trail East, Ochopee, FL 34141-1000 or online at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/bicy.
• A federal judge in Fort Myers
has ruled that trails in the Bear Island Unit of the Big Cypress Preserve that were opened to offroad vehicles in 2007 must be closed. Judge John Steele
agreed with environmentalists who filed the lawsuit that the 2007 changes made to the preserve’s ORV trail network deserved another review under the National Environmental Policy Act. However, the affected trails already were closed last month as part of the preserve’s annual 60-day break from ORV use. When the annual closure is lifted on Aug. 3, the Bear Island trails that were added in 2007 will remain closed. The court ruling affects nearly 23 miles of trails in the Bear Island Unit. For more information, visit www.nps.gov/bicy
• Yukie Yokoyama of Singapore
won youth sailing’s Optimist World Championship that concluded last week in Boca Chica, Dominican Republic. But two South Florida youngsters placed in the top 10 in the fleet of 230 sailors. Miami’s Ivan Shestopalov
finished seventh, and Fort Lauderdale’s Nic Muller
was ninth. The two South Floridians teamed with Romain Screve
of San Francisco and Will Logue
of New York to finish second in the Nations Cup team competition.
• The 22-year-old daughter of marine artist Guy Harvey
has caught one of the largest swordfish ever taken by a female angler on rod and reel. Jessica Harvey
boated a broadbill of more than 600 pounds last week about 15 miles off Isla Mujeres, Mexico, after a three-hour battle. Harvey fished with her dad on Keen M Sportfishing, skippered by Anthony Mendillo
. The Harveys were in Mexico filming a documentary on the seasonal whale shark aggregation in the Yucatan region when they decided to take a break and go fishing.
• You might think the residents
of Cape Town, South Africa, would share a poor opinion of great white sharks after one of their citizens was bitten while swimming at the beach. But a study published in the academic journal Marine Policy found just the opposite. Researchers from the University of Sydney surveyed citizens before and after the non-fatal attack in September 2011 and found that public opinion about one of the ocean’s top predators was virtually unchanged. Said researcher Christopher Neff
: “These results show that the public is much more sophisticated at understanding shark attacks than previously thought. These results challenge the premise that governments need to punish sharks to relieve community anxiety.”
• The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
has convened a new online Florida Saltwater Fishing Panel, and all holders of a valid Florida saltwater fishing license are invited to become members. Anglers who sign up will be asked to complete one Web-based survey per month for one year about their fishing experiences. The surveys take 10 to 15 minutes to complete. Panelists will receive a coupon from West Marine for each survey they complete. FWC researchers said they will use the information to estimate the economic impact and value of saltwater fishing. They also will use it to determine the importance of fish hatcheries, to calculate fishing effort and catch rates and describe angler behavior. Visit www.fwcsaltwaterfishingpanel.com.
• percent volume of ethanol. The stickers tell boaters not to use E15 fuel in their craft. The NMMA says the Environmental Protection Agency is almost set to allow E15 into the marketplace, which could cause serious problems for marine engines. Ethanol blends of more than 10 percent can damage fuel tanks, lines and gaskets and cause a boat to stall and spew more hydrocarbon emissions. Susan Cocking