Tags: Bahamas, conservation, Green Turtle Club, Guy Harvey Outpost, Lionfish, marine conservation
This is Part II of a 3-part report by Capt. Ned Stone, Director of Programs for Guy Harvey Outpost, following his participation in the Green Turtle Club’s 5th Annual Lionfish Derby. Read Part I here.
Following Derby registration Lad Akins of Reef Environmental Education Foundation (REEF) gave an excellent presentation on the Lionfish invasion and some words of wisdom for the divers.
The Lionfish invasion is well known. What to do about it is not. One of the actions REEF has devised is a series of Lionfish Derbies. Designed to raise awareness and to remove as many Lionfish from a given area as possible these events are fun and social as well. REEF conducts population studies before and after the Derbies and five years in the Derbies appear to be affecting local populations as the size of the average fish caught is trending smaller. Let’s be clear here; these are barely control mechanisms and NOT eradication.
Lionfish spines along their backs, lower jaw & ventral (belly) have poisonous venom. The venom is not fatal unless you have an allergic reaction. It is however extremely painful. Do your research so that you are sufficiently knowledgable before you start hunting. www.REEF.org is a great resource for information.
Avoid handling lionfish un-necessarily. Invest in good gloves. Medical waste “sharps resistant” gloves are ideal. Hex Armour, Sharpsmasters II for example. Follow REEF’s recommendation for handling Lionfish. If you are snorkling you can exchange spears with a pal in the boat. Your team mate can use the lid and side of the cooler to remove the Lionfish from the spear without ever coming near the spines.
Clyde Butcher’s Awe-Inspiring Photo Exhibit – July 13-Sept. 4 at the Islander Resort in Islamoarda – Sparks Photo ContestJuly 9, 2013 at 6:06 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
Islamorada, FL – July 10, 2013 – Celebrated Florida landscape photographer Clyde Butcher and his “Preserving Eden” exhibit will open July 13th at the new Florida Keys Discovery Center, located on the grounds of the Islander Resort, a Guy Harvey Outpost in Islamorada. With over 30 photographs, most in the artist’s signature large format black and white, the exhibit uses Butcher’s own words as well as ecology-themed story boards to put the Everglades and other Florida environs into a conservation context, said Matthew Woodside, curator at the South Florida Museum in Bradenton, which developed the traveling display.
To coincide with the opening of the exhibit Guy Harvey Outpost Resorts & Lodges announced the launch of its “Share YOUR Adventure” photo contest on Facebook, with prizes for the best adventure travel photos. Commenting on the timing of the launch Outpost President Mark Ellert noted, “Guy Harvey and Clyde Butcher are synonymous with the visual arts and conservation. Here we have two great artists with one resonant message: celebrate and conserve this great ecosystem called the Everglades.”
When asked what transforms a photograph into art, Butcher responded, “I think it’s obviously the person behind the camera who creates the art. Art doesn’t come from fancy equipment. It comes from a way of seeing the world.” Clyde Butcher’s powerful black and white photographs explore his personal bond with the environment. The exquisite beauty and depth of his work draw the viewer into a relationship with nature. A large format camera allows him to capture elaborate detail and textures that distinguish the intricacy of the landscape.
Beginning August 1st, aspiring artists and Guy Harvey fans will be encouraged on Facebook to post photos of their memorable travel experiences. Grand prize winners of the Outpost photo contest will be showcased in the Guy Harvey magazine and receive sportswear, travel gear and accessories from program partners including AFTCO, Go Pro, Sixt Car Rental, Divers Direct and others. Details at facebook.com/GuyHarveyOutpostIslamorada are forthcoming.
Robin Schlaudecker, general manger of the Islander Resort, a Guy Harvey Outpost noted the Florida Keys Discovery Center and Theater is being designed with the help of the Guy Harvey Outpost organization to showcase the history and environmental conservation efforts underway throughout the Keys. “Photography and art are powerful communication tools. We intend to use both as we transform the Islander facilities at Oceanside and Bayside into the newest member of the Guy Harvey Outpost family.”
Despite new guestroom interiors, extensive upgrades to the lobby and other public spaces, the conversion will not change Islander’s character. Resort owner David Curry and marine life artist Guy Harvey are both committed to enhancing Islander’s signature casual Keys’ ambiance that has made the resort so unique and popular including the resort’s iconic signage.
The sign marks the entrance of Islander, a Guy Harvey Outpost Resort, at mile-marker 82. With 139 guestrooms, suites and two-bedroom townhomes for extended stays, the Islander Outpost offers the best in casual Keys’ hospitality with its expansive beachfront, pools and 14-slip marina basin.
The exhibit is free, and open to the public from July 13 to September 4, 2013. For more information about the artists, visit www.GuyHarveyOutpost.com and www.ClydeButcher.com. For property information or reservations, visit www.GuyHarveyOutpostIslamorada.com. For more information about the exhibit, contact Matthew Woodside at 941-746-4131, ext 37, or email@example.com.
Tags: Bahamas, conservation, Guy Harvey, Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, Guy Harvey Outpost, Lionfish, marine conservation
This is Part I of a 3-part report by Capt. Ned Stone, Director of Programs for Guy Harvey Outpost, following his participation in the Green Turtle Club’s 5th Annual Lionfish Derby.
Filed by Capt. Ned Stone
Guy Harvey Outpost HQ, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
July 3, 2013
I caught the 12:30pm Lauderdale flight to Treasure Cay. Grabbed my bag at gate check and was through immigration and customs in 10 minutes. A couple of ladies asked me how to get to Green Turtle. I said “Come on, let’s go.” We piled into the second van in line and before the taxi’s air-conditioning had fully engaged we were unloading at the ferry dock. The ferry arrived shortly and our bags were stowed before we could say “Thank you.” We dropped some folks in town and a couple others along the way but were checked in at the Club in time for a grilled Mahi sandwich before 3 o’clock.
The Rum Punch, last year’s International Winners invited me to join their team. Boat name aside these guys were serious. I was on the dock at 0525 and we were underway at 0545. With an hour’s run north we were in the water by 7am. We spread out along the lee shore of Allen’s Cay and started the hunt. I had been assigned a pink mask and a pink pole spear. I needed to kill something quick to re-claim my “Man Card.” I saw lots of juvenile Nassau Grouper, a big octopus, a couple of lobster and plenty of snapper but no lionfish on the reef.
Jenna, our ever ready driver repositioned us down current. Val got one right off the bat. George got one too; so things were looking up. Well sort of, I was filled with conflicting emotions. When we can’t find them, that IS a good thing, right? But charged with testosterone and on a mission; I needed to score. In a Derby you really do keep score. A hundred yards later I spied the enemy. There were two proud sentinels guarding their fort. My blood pressure jumped. I grabbed my nose, dove, pulled my pole spear back and let fly. A single spine of my paralizer had him; my shot was a bit high and left; a little too eager. I pulled back to get his comrade before he could get away. This time I took an extra second and lined up – center mass. Got him! But the thrust shook the first guy free and he was gone deep in the reef.
Further along I spied a small lionfish. I lined him in my sights, and pulled the trigger. He was just too small. He got pinned to the reef with holes in him but when I pulled the spear back all those feathers went to work squirting into the reef
Our catch count was holding at 5 fish. We were running low on time and energy. We stopped at Spanish Cay dock where the owner said “Killed three yesterday. Take another look.” Over I went and was just about done when I spied the enemy out on a dolphin pile. I needed to make one more kill. This time I got in close and lined up the spear just outside his fin tips and let her go. Three divers, a blond helms-lady, and a lot of saltwater, Six dead lionfish, priceless!
Fortunately we had lots of help from Bahamian and international teams; combined we captured a total of 1204 of the enemy.
Tags: Bahamas, bonefish, Fred Garth, Guy Harvey Magazine, Guy Harvey Outpost, Old Bahama Bay
Fred Garth, Editor-in-Chief of Guy Harvey Magazine, caught this 11.2 pound bonefish off the West End of Grand Bahama on January 6, 2013, while fly fishing out of the Old Bahama Bay club with fishing guide Tommy Rolle, who is the son of legendary guide Bonefish Folley.
The Rolle family has been fishing the waters of the Bahamas for almost a century. Tommy has been guiding since he was 11 years old, and his brother Carl is also an active guide. Their father, Israel “Bonefish Rolle” Folley, was perhaps the Bahamas greatest fishing ambassador. He passed away in August at age 91.
Born in the island of Andros, Bonefish Folley learned his trade in Bimini and eventually settled in West End as the tourism industry began to grow. During his life, he fished with many celebrities and dignitaries including Ernest Hemingway, Curt Gowdy, Martin Luther King and President Richard Nixon.
Folley is immortalized in song by Bahamian musician Phil Stubbs who sings about the man who is meek and lowly, he is the one and only Bonefish Folley. The song is still heard on radio stations throughout The Bahamas. In 2006, Old Bahama Bay Resort and Yacht Harbour dedicated a restaurant in his honor and it is a must-stop for boaters who want to view the photos and memorabilia of this great fisherman.
Tags: conservation, Guy Harvey Outpost, hook removal, IGFA, sustainability
If you’re not going to photograph your fish or document it for record purposes, the best method is to not remove the fish from the water. In-water releases can be aided by the use of de-hooking devices that eliminate the need to boat the fish and keep hands safe distances away from the fish. If the fish has swallowed the hook, it is much better for the angler to cut the leader as close to the fish as possible, rather than trying to forcibly remove the hook.
If a fish needs to be removed from the water to remove the hook and/or document it for record purposes, anglers should use either their hands or knotless, rubberized landing net. Most small to moderately large sized fish can be landed by hand. Ideally, this should be done with wet hands or soft, wet gloves to minimize slime and scale loss. Lip gripping devices may be used to help subdue fish. However, they should not be used to hoist fish vertically out of the water, as this can cause damage to jaw muscle and bone as well as to internal organs. The best method for removing fish from the water is to grip the fish or the lower jaw and support the fish’s underside. Again, the point is always to hold fish horizontally and not vertically.
Tags: circle hook, conservation, Guy Harvey Outpost, IGFA, sustainability
Modifying the types of hooks you use can significantly affect a fish’s chances for survival after it is released. When fishing with natural bait (dead or alive), IGFA strongly encourages the use of non-offset circle hooks. Extensive research on species from salmon to sailfish has demonstrated that circle hooks gut hook significantly fewer fish without sacrificing catch rates. Lures that have treble hooks should have the barbs bent down or removed to facilitate easier hook removal.
Interested in the science behind circle hooks? Read Circle hooks, ‘J’ hooks and drop-back time: a hook performance study of the south Florida recreational live-bait fishery for sailfish, Istiophorus platypterus published inFisheries Management and Ecology in 2007.
Tags: Bahama Bucks, Bahamas, Grand Bahama Island, Guy Harvey, Guy Harvey Outpost, Old Bahama Bay
$100 Value for just $50, no purchase limits!
The temperatures are plummeting and soon the snows will be falling. Come winter, everyone knows it’s better in the Bahamas.
Santa and the elves have gone down island, working overtime printing Bahama Bucks at Old Bahama Bay. Fifty dollars gets you a $100 Bahama Buck! Stuff your stockings with Bahama Bucks till you run out of family and friends, or spend ‘em to double down on your someone special!
It’s not everyday you can trade in a $50 bill for a C note! Call it debt relief! Call it magic. We call it Bahama Bucks. They’re real enough. Use them to pay for your next vacation at Old Bahama Bay. Call Santa today for details – 800.513.5257. But hurry, the printing press shuts off on New Years Eve!
Tags: Art, Contender, EcoBoost 400, Guy Harvey, Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, Guy Harvey Outpost, Homestead, NASCAR
MIAMI, FL—NOVEMBER 12, 2012— Homestead-Miami Speedway is again giving away a uniquely South Florida “trophy” to its NASCAR Sprint Cup Series EcoBoost 400 race winner. It’s a Bay Boat, equipped with a 250-horsepower, 4-stoke Yamaha engine, built by Homestead-based Contender Boats.
New for 2012 is that marine wildlife artist and conservationist, Dr. Guy Harvey has designed a wrap for the boat that features checkered flags, sailfish and marlin. All 43 drivers in the Ford EcoBoost 400 field will have a chance to win the prize boat.
“Our relationship with Contender Boats started in 2011, and now includes another natural in Guy Harvey,” said Homestead-Miami Speedway President Matthew Becherer. “It’s fantastic to bring together these two iconic and uniquely South Florida entities that have collaborated to design and outfit this one-of-a-kind boat for our race winner.
In addition to the design for the boat wrap, Dr. Harvey and Homestead-Miami Speedway are teaming up for other fan elements:
* Dr. Harvey has designed the cover of the official Ford Championship Weekend program, which will be on sale at the track during race weekend.
* Dr. Harvey has also designed commemorative posters and t-shirts that will be for sale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, both during the race and beyond. Proceeds from the sales of the t-shirts will be donated to the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation and Homestead-Miami Speedway’s Driving for a Cause Foundation.
* South Floridians and out-of-town guests in for the race will be able to enjoy NASCAR stock cars that include Guy Harvey Custom Wraps.
“We’ve long believed that our fans and NASCAR fans share a passion or the outdoors,” said Dr. Harvey. “We know our message of marine conservation and sustainable fisheries will find a receptive audience within NASCAR’s ranks.”
Tags: conservation, Guy Harvey, Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, marine science, stingrays, turtle farm
I recently had an opportunity to meet with Sir Richard Branson, founder and chairman of the Virgin Group. Sir Richard was in Grand Cayman to deliver the keynote speech at the recent “Alternative Investment Conference”, which was held at the Ritz Carlton Hotel on Grand Cayman. The event was organized and hosted by Michael Ryan and also featured such notables as former U.S. President George W. Bush and former world’s number one golfer Greg Norman.
After the conference, I was able to meet with Sir Richard for a few minutes to discuss the potential for collaborating with the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation. I gave Sir Richard a quick overview of the GHOF and briefed him on several of the projects the Foundation has supported, with specific details on studies involving tiger sharks, mako sharks, bluefin tuna and billfish.
I elaborated on the role that GHOF research has played in highlighting the importance of the Bahamas archipelago to many species of sharks. In a collaborative effort with the Bahamas National Trust and the Pew Environmental Group, we convinced the government of the Bahamas to protect all sharks from commercial exploitation within their 200 mile EEZ.
Here in the Cayman Islands, the GHOF in involved in a multitude of research projects that includes Nassau grouper conservation, lionfish eradication and recruitment, and climate change studies at CCMI in Little Cayman. We are also actively engaged in shark research and blue marlin migration studies.
Documentary film making has also been a priority, so during the last year the Guy Harvey Expeditions team of producer George Schellenger, Jessica Harvey and myself have been on location nine times to conduct shoots in Panama, Nova Scotia, Little Cayman, Cocos Island (Costa Rica), the Bahamas and Isla Mujeres (Mexico). Our group made three trips to Isla Mujeres in 2012, teaming up with Captain Anthony Mendillo and crew to complete shoots on sailfish, mako sharks and whale sharks. Sir Richard was particularly interested in the sailfish and whale shark work as he has visited Isla Mujeres on several occasions, also guided by Captain Anthony. We discussed the limited research done on sailfish and whale sharks and the opportunity to collaborate with the Georgia Aquarium research team in future research and conservation efforts.
I went to some length explaining the value of catch and release sport fishing to Caribbean island and Central American economies. I emphasized the need for a regional approach as many of the large pelagic species cover great distances that cross several jurisdictions. This requires a coordinated effort in management and conservation as one country’s regulations may not be the same as its neighbors.
I also discussed the need for research work on all the species mentioned, as without the scientific data one cannot make management decisions and thus achieve sustainability and conservation. Fishing is the method by which we access many of these creatures for study, underwater photography, tagging and genetic work. Sir Richard was not keen on fishing but acknowledged it is a useful tool in this arena.
We moved on to some more local issues, the hot topics being the condition of the Cayman Turtle Farm and the issue regarding stingray conservation through law. Sir Richard was concerned that turtles could still be fished by local licensed fishermen, given that turtles are protected world-wide. I pointed out that none of the current license holders have continued with this activity. The turtle farm itself needed to be divested I said, and turned into a better marine attraction whose focus was more on turtle replenishment, research and husbandry than on the consumption of the turtle meat. Our belief is that there are hundreds of thousands of turtle lovers who would be willing to donate $5 or $10 towards a satellite tagging program that would allow the turtles to be set free so that they can provide information about migrations and long distance journeys.
The treatment of the stingrays in the Caymans is another sore point for many locals. The resident stingray populations have been sabotaged and removed by unknown persons for at least the last two years, and our census studies have shown a 50% reduction in the population during that time (a decade of research by the GHOF and the Dept of Environment has provided the base line information about this population). Four tagged stingrays were recently discovered in the Dolphin Discovery tourist attraction. Though the four tagged rays were released, the owners of the attraction have refused to release six untagged rays. Sir Richard said it should be very simple to change the law and have stingrays enjoy full protection from poaching given their ecological importance and their value to the island. After all the people of the Cayman Islands and millions of visitors have an enjoyed and benefited from this unique experience for the last 30 years.
The proposed expansion of marine parks by the Dept of Environment was a good move and Sir Richard commented that fishing has been known to improve in areas adjacent to marine parks. He said there are models out now that show countries need to protect 40 – 50 % of their shallow reef areas to ensure long term survivability. I commented that the Cayman Islands were a world leader in the formation of marine parks and in the protection of the spawning sites of the iconic Nassau grouper.
Sir Richard was very gracious and listened to many of our comments and suggestions. The meeting was much appreciated by all involved and the GHOF look forward to collaborating with Sir Richard and his foundation on several projects. It is our collective responsibility to conserve the marine environment and maintain the biodiversity of the planet.
Fish responsibly, dive safely. Guy Harvey PhD.