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Home » Tag Archives: Gulf of Mexico

Tag Archives: Gulf of Mexico

Sharks Among Us

White shark (Carcharodon carcharias). FILE PHOTOS

STEPPING STONES Bob McConville Master Naturalist It’s hard to believe that 2015 is already halfway complete. Sitting here contemplating the first 6 months of the year and then the last 12 months total, I realized that it has been 1 full year since I was right where the Gulf of Mexico meets the Caribbean Sea and that’s where my wife and I were swimming….with Whale Sharks! About the size of a small school bus, it was quite an experience to be in the migratory route of these plankton eating giants. It got me thinking about the Gulf Stream current, other migrating ... Read More »

THE TURTLES ARE COMING! HERE’S WHAT YOU CAN DO TO ENSURE WE HAVE A SAFE SEA TURTLE NESTING SEASON

The sea turtles have returned to Collier County. While sea turtle nesting season doesn’t officially start until Friday, May 1, the first Collier County turtle nest appeared on Marco Island earlier this month. Nesting season will continue through October.   The greatest threats to both adult and hatching sea turtles are caused by man. But there are things we can do to protect the sea turtles as they nest and hatch.   To protect nesting females and the nests and hatchlings themselves, turn off lights that shine on the beach, including your cell phones. If you can see your shadow, ... Read More »

Signing up to participate in the Gulf Reef Fish Survey becomes mandatory April 1

Attention Gulf reef fish anglers: You’ve asked for better data and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has listened and taken action. Now the FWC needs your help. Signing up to participate in the Gulf Reef Fish Survey becomes mandatory April 1, so sign up today. The easy, no-cost process will help the FWC paint a clearer picture of how many people are targeting Gulf reef fish, like red snapper and gag grouper, and what anglers are seeing on the water. The Gulf Reef Fish Survey is for anglers (including those 65 and older) fishing in the Gulf ... Read More »

Waterways Committee Addresses Invasive Lionfish

Lionfish. SUBMITTED photo

By Pat Newman Wanted! Lionfish! Dead or alive! This invasive species has been spotted in canals around Marco Island, as well as in off-shore waters. The city’s Waterways Committee, chaired by Jim Timmerman, brought the issue before City Council in February, alerting members to the problem fish, and was given the go-ahead to “move forward” in creating a solution. Waterways member Rodger Parcelles pointed, out the “unique situation” being in the 10,000 Islands and the threat of this non-indigenous species taking hold, at the Waterways Committee recent meeting. Raising public awareness through informational signs, obtaining information from other Florida cities ... Read More »

Sold! for $7.5 Million

View of the open Gulf of Mexico from the pool at 1549 Heights Court. SUBMITTED photoS

By Noelle H. Lowery noelle@coastalbreezenews.com Cathy Rogers is Marco Island’s most accomplished realtor right now. The reason: After three years of marketing and advertising one of the island’s premier Gulf-front properties — 1549 Heights Court — Rogers recently closed the $7.5 million sale of the sprawling, luxury home. It is the highest priced home sale on Marco since 2008, when a home sold for $7.7 million. To date, the highest priced home sold on the island changed hands in 2007 for $9 million. “Although I do all types of real estate, it is very much an accomplishment to not only ... Read More »

Gag Grouper closed for season

Gag grouper will close for recreational harvest in most Gulf of Mexico state waters Dec. 4, with the last day of harvest being Dec. 3. All Gulf federal waters will close Dec. 3, with the last day of harvest being Dec. 2. These closures help maintain sustainable gag grouper populations in the Gulf of Mexico. State waters off Franklin, Wakulla, Jefferson and Taylor counties were open from April 1 through June 30 and were not open during the July 1 through Dec. 3 season. Monroe County is also excluded from the July 1 through Dec. 3 season because it follows Atlantic rules ... Read More »

Red grouper conservation measures approved by FWC

At its meeting in Key Largo on Nov. 20, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) approved lowering of the red grouper recreational bag limit from four to two fish per person in Gulf of Mexico state waters, excluding Monroe County. The Commission hopes that this change will mean an increase in the length of the recreational red grouper season in federal waters, which closed early this year because the recreational catch limit was exceeded in 2013. A two-fish bag limit was initially requested by Florida anglers and for-hire captains to help maximize fishing opportunities for red grouper, especially ... Read More »

Trifecta of Success

Sea Turtle Lady Mary Nelson and assistant Morgan Scarborough  post a new Loggerhead Sea Turtle nest on Sand Dollar Island “spit”. PHOTOS BY JEAN HALL

PROTECTING & PRESERVING Nancy Richie NRichie@cityofmarcoisland.com A trifecta of success unfolded this summer on the Marco Island beach. Humans, shorebirds and sea turtles were all successful in their use, productivity and healthy impact to our beautiful beach. It is increasingly a tricky balance of the increased recreational use versus the protection of the natural beach. In the past couple weeks, when a typical seasonal northwest fall weather front blew over southwest Florida in combination with a full moon phase, it naturally washed sea squirts and other live organisms up on the beach from the near shore Gulf of Mexico. This ... Read More »

The Elusive Green Flash

The Sun photographed behind the Golden Gate bridge. Notice the red rim on the bottom and a green rim on top. SUBMITTED PHOTO

SOUTHERN SKIES By Mike P. Usher usher34105@earthlink.net Have you ever seen a green flash? A green flash will sometimes happen at the moment of sunset; it usually requires an unobstructed horizon like the Gulf of Mexico. Essentially, they are a mirage effect that happens under certain atmospheric conditions. Light from the Sun is refracted (bent) as it passes through the atmosphere. Blue light is refracted more than green light, and red light is refracted the least. In addition, blue light is heavily scattered by the atmosphere, which is why the sky is blue. Essentially, this refraction gives us three images ... Read More »

September “Outta’ the Woods”

By Tony Young Even though you can hardly tell, summer is almost over. Kids have returned to school, football is back on TV, and hunting season has already been going on for a month now in south Florida. Finally, the time of year we’ve been waiting for is here. And although some of us still have to wait just a bit longer for our season to come in, most of us have already finished our preseason scouting, and we’ve hung our tree stands along well-traveled deer trails, next to a mature oak that’ll soon begin dropping acorns. I don’t know ... Read More »

Acting MIPD Chief 1st Responder in Water Rescue

Chief Al Schettino. FILE PHOTOS

By Noelle H. Lowery noelle@coastalbreezenews.com It was late afternoon when the 911 call came in. A man reported that his 81-year-old wife — Eileen Stuart — and her blue floatation device had been swept out of Caxambus Pass by a swift moving current. On vacation, the Hernando, FL, couple had been floating together just off the beach nearly an hour before, but as the tide began running out of the pass, she was not able to make it back to the beach. Onlookers kept watch from the beach, and 45 minutes later, the woman was nearly half a mile out ... Read More »

Florida Fishing and Seafood Industries Faces Major Threat from Foreign Illegal Fishing in Gulf

It seems that every week brings another story of U.S. Coast Guard or other maritime law enforcement giving chase to foreign fishermen who have entered into U.S. waters in the Gulf of Mexico to fish illegally. Foreign illegal fishing in the Gulf, mostly by Mexican crew in boats called lanchas, accounts for thousands of pounds worth of seafood and is a significant threat to Florida’s fishing and seafood industry, says Will Ward, a member of the Board of Directors of the Gulf Fishermen’s Association and CEO of Captain’s Finest Seafood in Clearwater. “I have visited extensively with business owners, recreational and ... Read More »

Red tide causes large fish kill in northeast Gulf of Mexico

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has confirmed a large-scale offshore fish kill in the northeast Gulf of Mexico. Citizens have reported observations of thousands of dead and dying bottom-dwelling reef fish, including grouper, hogfish, white grunt, triggerfish and snapper, as well as sea turtles and crabs, to the FWC’s Fish Kill Hotline. Water quality is poor in the region with several reports of black water. On July 23, FWC Law Enforcement took scientists to collect fish, water samples and water quality data from six locations offshore of Hernando County. Sample analysis confirmed a bloom of the Florida ... Read More »

On The Move

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By Coastal Breeze News Staff Local businesses are hiring and promoting folks more and more these days. Here are some of the latest appointed to new positions:   Marco Beach Resort Gets New GM The Marco Beach Ocean Resort announced it has appointed Joseph Fisher as general manager. Fisher will be responsible for all day-to-day operations of the all-suite hotel. Fisher brings a wealth of hotel management experience to the Marco Beach Ocean Resort, ranging from hotel operations to food and beverage. Most recently, he served as director of food and beverage for the Waldorf Astoria, a four-star luxury property ... Read More »

Caves of the Yucatan Peninsula and Florida

Bob and Cathy explore an underground  cavern in Mexico. SUBMITTED PHOTO

STEPPING STONES  Bob McConville  Master Naturalist In early June of this year, my wife, Cathy, and I took the opportunity to visit the Yucatan Peninsula area of Mexico. The marine life and geology of this region are positively fascinating. In addition to snorkeling with whale sharks — the largest fish on the planet — we ventured inland to Mexico’s jungles to learn more about the ecology. What we found was absolutely surprising. This portion of the peninsula sits right where the Gulf of Mexico meets the Caribbean Sea. The closest land mass is Cuba, and just north of that is ... Read More »

Red Tide ‘Not Present’ — For Now

These ominous blood-red tides are caused by a large accumulation of algae in coastal waters and are especially common along the coast of Florida. While disconcerting, only some are harmful to marine life: these are known as HABs, harmful algal blooms, and can even pose a risk to humans.

By Melinda Gray melinbrya3@yahoo.com This time last year, Marco Island and other Southwest Florida coastal communities were reeling from the negative effects of a prolonged red tide bloom. Reports of the bloom began in December 2012 with Marco Island presenting “very low” to “low” concentrations of red tide, and by mid-February 2013, those concentrations crept up to “medium” status. The 2013-2014 season has been a very different story. Currently, the Collier County Natural Resources Department is reporting that Karenia brevis, or K. brevis — the naturally-occurring dinoflagellate that causes “Florida red tide” — is “not present” in samples of water ... Read More »

Celebrate Our Nation’s Birthday by Respecting Our Beach

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PROTECTING & PRESERVING Nancy Richie NRichie@cityofmarcoisland.com One of the best holidays in our country is the 4th of July! Our nation — turning 238 years old — knows how to put on a party, right? It is a day to reflect why our nation is so great, how we are the luckiest citizens on earth, and be thankful for all those that have and do ensure that the United States remains the “land of the free.” It has always been such a big, happy, fun-filled holiday for my family growing up in California in a small town and then raising ... Read More »

Swimming with the Largest Fish on Earth

The mouth of this whale shark is nearly 4 feet wide. It filters plankton and small fish from the sea water to obtain protein. SUBMITTED PHOTOS

Stepping Stones Bob McConville Master Naturalist This column is dedicated to Marine Biologist James Livacarri, whose passion, knowledge and smile deeply in spire tens of thousands of visitors to Marco Island. May your seas always be calm, and may the road rise up to meet you. May all of your journeys be pleasant, and may you and your family remain continually blessed. Thank you, my friend! I couldn’t believe my eyes! Our boat was right along side the largest fish in the world. The captain cautiously edged the vessel forward until we were about 30 feet in front of the ... Read More »

Deciphering Changes to Federal Gulf Fisheries

Red Snapper

By Noelle H. Lowery noelle@coastalbreezenews.com Just as the weather, water and fishing were heating up in the Gulf of Mexico this spring, officials with NOAA Fisheries implemented new recreational fishing closures and accountability measures for six popular Gulf reef species — red snapper, red grouper, gray triggerfish, greater amberjack, hogfish and Spanish mackerel. The reason: Federal recreational catch limits in the Gulf were exceeded in 2013 for red snapper, red grouper, gray triggerfish and greater amberjack, while the combined commercial and recreational catch limits for hogfish and Spanish mackerel also were exceeded. If you are one of the thousands of ... Read More »

The Gulf Stream: A Migratory Highway

A newborn loggerhead, less than 2-inches long, gets ahead start towards the Gulf Stream current that will take it thousands of miles before returning to Marco Island 20-plus years from now. PHOTO BY BOB MCCONVILLE

Stepping Stones Bob McConville Master Naturalist Over the next few months, there will be a lot of attention given to the loggerhead turtles that nest on our local beaches. Not so much fuss will be made once the eggs have hatched, but many people are very aware of the absolutely magnificent, nearly impossible journey that these youngsters take. It is nothing short of a miracle. Some of them will catch the Gulf Stream current just off our shoreline, grab a transfer into the Atlantic Ocean and continue up the coastline until they turn east toward Europe and Africa. But they ... Read More »