Free Lionfish Workshop at Divers Direct July 8th, Fort Lauderdale

June 30, 2015 at 10:08 pm | Posted in Conservation, Diving | 3 Comments
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Divers Direct Lionfish 101

Free Lionfish Workshop

Thursday, July 8, 2015 6:30PM

Our Friends at Divers Direct are hosting a workshop on hunting Lionfish.  Please enlist in the army of divers and diners to help combat this invasive challenge.  If you love the ocean we need your help.
Participants will get an informative briefing on methods of hunting and safe handling while our GearUp Experts share proper gear for safe collecting and handling.

Seating for this popular event is limited,  so call 954-925-7630 to RSVP or stop by Divers Direct Ft. Lauderdale today!

Go here for all the information!

Divers Direct

180 Gulf Stream Way
Dania Beach, FL 33004

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Join Us for Sea Turtle Release Saturday at the Islander Resort, a Guy Harvey Outpost

May 1, 2015 at 1:57 pm | Posted in Conservation | Leave a comment
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The public is invited to join the Turtle Hospital for Miley’s release back to the wild on Saturday, May 2nd at 10:30 a.m. at The Islander Resort, a Guy Harvey Outpost M.M. 82.1 on the Oceanside.

The Turtle Hospital ambulance will arrive at  the Islander in Islamorada at 10:30 a.m. and Miley will be released off of the beach promptly at 11:00 a.m.  Miley was rescued off of Dove Key in early March where she was found floating and what rescuer’s described as “twerking”.  The rescuer’s named her Miley, after Miley Cyrus.

Loggerheads nest on beaches at or near most all Guy Harvey Outpost properties. It seems they know good fishing and diving spots.

Miley is a sub-adult Loggerhead sea turtle.  She arrived at the hospital on March 8th following a boat strike.  She weighs 117 pounds.  Loggerheads are the largest hard shell sea turtles and adults typically weigh between 180 and 440 pound.  They can grow to over 1000 pounds. Loggerheads are considered a “Threatened” species and are protected under the Endangered Species Act.  Following a treatment course at the Turtle Hospital that included broad spectrum antibiotics, lactulose, beano, vitamins, and a healthy diet of squid and fish, Miley is ready to hit the main stage.  Miley is swimming strong, healthy, and no longer “twerking”.  Bring your friends and help us to give Miley a proper send-off on Saturday!

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What Are Your Earth Day Plans?

April 21, 2015 at 11:40 pm | Posted in Bimini, Conservation, Diving, Fishing, GHO Fish, Islander, Old Bahama Bay, Southern Cross Club, St. Pete Beach | Leave a comment
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Each year we honor our planet with Earth Day. Many of us participate in organized activities. Organized or not the most important thing to do is, get off the couch, get outside and get into nature! Ideally, get wet, but GET OUTSIDE!

Image converted using ifftoany

Here are some Earth Day suggestions:

Get out early and listen to the birds. They have lots to say first thing in the morning.

Go for a sunrise beach walk. Take a bag with you and fill it with trash on your way back.

Take the dog to a new park. Heck, take the kids to the park too!

Go snorkeling in the nearest body of water. What is there to be discovered?

Count the turtle nests at Guy Harvey Outpost, St. Pete Beach

Lie on your back in the sand and let it the grains fill the voids to support you.

Go Fish!

Enjoy your church’s Earth Day activities.

Bike a new trail, take a different route.

Watch for the Green Flash at sunset from Old Bahama Bay, Bimini Sands, the Islander Bayside, St. Pete Beach, or the Southern Cross Club.


Go paddle boarding on new waters or your favorite water.

Get away from city lights; lie on your back and count stars.  (Island beaches are excellent for this.)

Walk through wet grass barefoot.

Paint a picture.

Plant something pretty in your yard.

Go Diving!

Feed your senses, close your eyes and smell the plants, the sea and the earth around you.

Get on your hands and knees and grab hold of mother earth. Give her a hug, she deserves one.

Join Guy at Jacksonville Beach this Saturday April 25th 9-11 am for the Jax Beach Clean-Up! Registration takes place in front of Seawalk Pavilion at the corner of 1st Street N. & 1st Ave. N. Jacksonville Beach. has lots of organized activities for you to choose from.

PLEASE take the time to get outside and enjoy your planet.

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Miami International Boat Show Events Feature Guy Harvey, Stu Apte, Wayne Bisbee & More

February 14, 2015 at 12:21 am | Posted in Conservation, Fishing, Florida, Panama | Leave a comment

The Big Game Room proudly inducts Wayne Bisbee into the Big Game Room Hall of Fame

Recognized for his outstanding contributions to the sport of big game fishing.  Wayne’s long history of conservation spans 35 years and he is currently working with governments and private organizations alike in several countries do develop tourism, sportfishing and other aquatic activities as primary, economically viable industries.  Wayne also founded Bisbee’s Fish & Wildlife Conservation fund whose mission is to conserve, restore and manage fish, wildlife and their associated habitats through science, education and the optimal use of the latest technologies.

Saturday, February 14 Big Game Room Presentations (except as noted)

12:00     USCG – Suddenly In Command

1:00       Stu Apte Roast   Legendary IGFA Hall of Famer Apte will roast in the hot seat with the heat provided by Capt. Rick Murphy(Sportsman’s Adventures), Sue Cocking (Miami

Stu Apte Tarpon short

Hearld Outdoors Writer),   Blair Wiggins (Addictive Fishing TV),  Chris Peterson (Hells Bay Boatworks), Pat Ford, Ray Van Horn (Gypsy Angler TV).   Styled like the Fryar’s Club and Dean Martin roasts, these well-known personalities will hurl playful zingers and one-liners at Stu before he gets his turn at the mic. This is not for the faint of heart as the repartee will be sharp as a wahoo’s tooth.

2:00      Dan KipnisGlobal Warming – Our Changing Oceans

4:00      Justin Schnute – SUDS – In Depth Look at Soldiers Undertaking Disabled Scuba (SUDS) Program

430pm -7:00pm Papa’s Pilar will host a rum tasting at the Guy Harvey Magazine booth (#4401) near the south entrance

5:30 Guy Harvey Presents: Panama Paradise, his latest documentary in the Big Game Room.  Dr. Harvey will discuss the movie and answer questions after the showing.

Panama Paradise Cover

Sunday, February 15

12:00    USCG – Suddenly in Command

2:00     Justin Schnute –  In Depth Look at Soldiers Undertaking Disabled Scuba (SUDS)

3:00     Dan Kipnis – Global Warming – Our Changing Oceans


JOIN the next Guy Harvey Outpost Fishing Expedition to Isla Mujeres Mexico.

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The Guy Harvey Great Shark Race – Competitive Conservation

February 5, 2015 at 6:45 pm | Posted in Conservation | Leave a comment
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Businesses and individuals can sponsor and name their own shark and watch online as it races other tagged sharks.

Davie, FL – February 2, 2015 – The Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation and the Guy Harvey Research Institute (GHRI) at Nova Southeastern University, one of the world’s leading shark research groups, are launching the Guy Harvey Great Shark Race (GSR). This race allows businesses and individuals to sponsor sharks through the purchase of satellite tracking tags. These tags enable researchers and the public to follow these sharks online in near real-time. Whoever’s sharks travels the furthest in six months wins a Florida Keys fishing vacation.

Great Mako Race 2015

The GSR kicks-off on April 2, 2015 after GHRI researchers return from an expedition to Isla Mujeres, Mexico to deploy satellite tags on mako sharks. The second leg of the race starts on June 1, 2015, when researchers will be in Grand Cayman to tag oceanic whitetip sharks. The Smart Position or Temperature (SPOT) tags utilize the latest in tracking technology to allow researchers and the public to follow the sharks online in near real-time.

According to the IUCN, one-third of open ocean shark species are threatened with extinction. The data gathered in this race allows researchers to better understand the migration patterns and habitat utilization of these apex predators. This information is key to knowing where these sharks live and which areas should be protected.

“This is a great way for people to get directly involved with this cutting-edge shark research,” says world renowned marine artist and scientist Guy Harvey. “Plus, participants can promote their support and have bragging rights as family, friends and business associates follow their own shark online.”

All participants will receive a custom GSR certificate featuring the name of their shark, limited edition GSR artwork signed by Guy Harvey and publicity to the 750,000+ Guy Harvey social media followers. The sponsor of the winning shark will receive a fishing trip for two at the Islander Resort, a Guy Harvey Outpost, in Islamorada, FL. Sponsors of tags that last one-year long receive a signed copy of Guy’s Book Fishes of the Open Ocean. For more information, visit

Aerial Oceanside

For those looking to catch their own shark to tag, Guy Harvey Outpost Expeditions is offering the opportunity to fish along-side the GHRI researchers and have a front row seat on the water as their shark is wrangled, tagged and released. For more information, visit or 800-513-5257 or

About Guy Harvey Outpost

Guy Harvey Outpost seeks to foster sustainable ecotourism with reciprocal benefits – both for customers and for the residents of these communities living amidst waterfront settings of unique heritage. The brand mission is to inspire guests to travel with friends and family to unique destinations, promote sustainable tourism and the stewardship of resources for the benefit of guests today, and those who follow in the years to come, and to engage guests in environmentally responsible and memorable recreational activities that instill life-long memories and shape individual growth. For more information, visit

About Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation

Founded by world renowned marine artist Guy Harvey, the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation funds scientific research and educational programs aimed at conserving the marine environment. It is the mission of the GHOF to help ensure that future generations can enjoy and benefit from a naturally balanced ocean ecosystem where fish, and other marine wildlife, flourish. For more information, visit

About Guy Harvey Research Institute

Established in 1999, the Guy Harvey Research Institute (GHRI) is a collaboration between the renowned marine artist, scientist and explorer, Dr. Guy Harvey, and Nova Southeastern University’s Oceanographic Center. The mission of the GHRI is to provide the scientific information necessary to understand, conserve, and effectively manage the world’s marine fishes and their ecosystems. For more information, visit

For Immediate Release 

Contact:               Greg Jacoski


                              (800) 288-1227  

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Flex Your Funny Bone with Capt. Joe Gonzalez

January 19, 2015 at 12:28 pm | Posted in Bonefish, Conservation, Fishing, Florida, Florida Keys, Fly Fishing, Marine Science, Sharks, Tarpon, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Miami native Capt. Joe Gonzalez has joined the Guy Harvey Outpost Outfitter program.  Gonzalez is a world class flats guide.  Joe is a modest gentleman who with a quick wit and an osprey’s eyes.  At Guy Harvey Outpost we keep out eyes open for excellent guides.

Ray Lombard's grin matches the size of his bonefish with Capt. Joe Gonzalez.

Ray Lombard’s grin matches the size of his bonefish with Capt. Joe Gonzalez.

With Joe’s accomplishments it is easy to see that he is at the top of the game.

* Capt. Joe has tagged over 1500 bonefish.  More than any other guide in the world.

* Capt. Joe has won Bonefish Tarpon Trust ’s Project Permit twice.

* Capt. Joe served on Bonefish Tarpon Trust’s Expert Bonefish Panel at the BTT Symposium.

* Capt. Joe is the second recipient of the Jose Wejebe Professional Guide Award.

Capt. Joe works with the University of Miami’s Bonefish Research team.

Capt. Joe Gonzalez is a regular on the salt water seminar circuit.  You will find him sharing his skills and techniques at the IGFA‘s Tarpon Tune-up and Saltwater Sportman ’s Seminar Series. You can also find Joe on TV on shows like Flats Class TV with CA Richardson, Bass2Bills with Peter Miller and Sportsman’s Adventures with Rick Murphy just to mention a few.

Fly and light tackle fishing are Joe’s forte. He focuses his efforts on Biscayne Bay, Flamingo and the Florida Keys. On the Funny Bone you will get shots at Tarpon, Bonefish and even the elusive permit. Add snook, redfish, trout and sharks on light tackle and it is “Game On!”  Given Joe’s knowledge of his quarry and his involvement with ongoing science projects we encourage you to participate in these programs and to learn a little bit extra while you are out on the water.


Capt. Joe is not just a great fishing guide, he is very sharp. Joe’s straight face belies the tales he tells; so be ready to have your leg pulled. And bring your “A” game if you want a lot of laughs.

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Weather you are an accomplished angler or need some tips on your technique; you will enjoy your time on the Funny Bone.

Tournaments, holidays and weekends get booked early so please plan ahead. Mid-week charters are easier to book and give you the added advantage of less competition on the water. Capt. Joe is on the Pro-Staff of AFTCOHell’s Bay Boatworks,  Raymarine Electronics, Costa Del Mar Sunglasses and Evinrude Motors.

To book a charter with Joe: or call 800.513.5257

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Guy Harvey Outpost Launches Fishing for the Future Tournament

January 9, 2015 at 3:38 am | Posted in Bahamas, Billfish, Bimini, Bonefish, Caymans, Conservation, Fishing, Florida, Florida Keys, Galapagos, Green Turtle Club, Guy Harvey, Guy Harvey Outpost Ltd., Islamorada, Lionfish, Marine Science, St. Augustine, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Running thru 2015, the innovative Fish for the Future tournament is open to anglers anywhere in the world, with divisions and awards for twenty gamefish species.  “With the iGHOFISH app we can now actually host a tournament with literally no limit on fishing boundaries, and in the process populate the foundations’ database with valuable catch data,’ noted Mark Ellert, President of Guy Harvey Outpost Resorts & Lodges.   Ellert announced the launch of the company’s new fishing app, iGHOFISH, created to serve as the record keeper for the tournament. “The iGHOFISH app is a perfect reflection of our Outpost brand focus on convergence of watersport recreation, marine science and conservation. It’s ‘must have’ gear in the tackle box of every Guy Harvey Outpost angler.”  Using software developed by the Snook and Gamefish Foundation, tournament catches will automatically populate the foundation’s database of over 130 inshore and offshore species.

Created initially by the Snook and Gamefish Foundation (SGF) as a snook species data collection process, their Angler Action program has expanded dramatically with its intuitive user-friendly format and ease of use. “Our fishery database now includes over 30,000 catches,” notes Brett Fitzgerald, Executive Director of the SGF. “We’re excited to have Guy Harvey Outpost help us expand our reach with recreational anglers, especially those committed to data-driven fishery management practices and policies.”

“This tournament and our iGHOFISH app are a way of making citizen science just as much fun as fishing,” commented Cliff Jensen, Director of Fishing Programs for Guy Harvey Outpost. “Not all of us who love to fish have a PhD like Guy Harvey, but with this iGHOFISH app every angler can make a difference by collecting data that helps put those PhD’s to work. That sounds like fun, maybe not for the scientists but certainly for the rest of us.”

There is no cost to enter the Guy Harvey Outpost “Fish for the Future” fishing tournament. The iGHOFISH app is free, and is available for iOS and Android phones.

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About Guy Harvey Outpost Resorts

 Guy Harvey Outpost Resorts is based in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. The company’s Signature Collection properties operate under the Guy Harvey Outpost brand name, with resorts currently in Florida’s popular destinations of St. Pete Beach and Islamorada. The newest Guy Harvey Outpost Resort will open on St. Augustine Beach in fall, 2015. A 30-unit Signature Collection eco-lodge is planned for construction in the Galapagos Islands, on the island of San Cristobal.

Members of the company’s Expedition Portfolio are independently operated and managed boutique sized hotels and lodges in remote destinations that offer superior service and amenities. Member hotels enjoy access to Outpost marketing and its reservation system and on-line booking engine. Expedition Properties include four in the Bahamas: Old Bahama Bay Resort & Yacht Harbour at West End, Bimini Sands on South Bimini, the Green Turtle Club and Blackfly Bonefish Lodge, both in the Abaco Islands. In the Caribbean: Fort Young Hotel on Dominica, the Southern Cross Club on Little Cayman and Hotel Playa Media Luna in Isla Mujeres, Mexico.  The award winning Iguana Crossing Hotel, Isabella, Galapagos Islands.

Through the company’s GHOFish program, Guy Harvey Outpost promotes scientific angling expeditions, tournaments and charters. Expedition Outfitters an invitation-only collection of top-of-class dive shops and guided or charter boat fishing outfitters.

The company was founded in 2007 by Mark Ellert, a veteran hospitality professional, and is co-owned by Dr. Harvey, Bill Shedd and Charles Forman. Shedd is the owner of AFTCO, recognized worldwide for its big-game fishing tackle and merchandise. AFTCO is the official licensee of Guy Harvey Sportswear. Both Harvey and Shedd are trustees of the prestigious International Game Fishing Association, IGFA, cofounded by Ernest Hemingway during his days on Bimini. Forman is a practicing eminent domain lawyer and early partner of Dr. Harvey in the growth of his licensing and publishing activities.

Snook Foundation Logo

About The Snook and Gamefish Foundation

Established in 1998 by Mr. William R. Mote, founder of the world renowned marine science organization Mote Marine Laboratory, the mission of SGF is to aid in the protection and preservation of current fish populations for future generations by facilitating coordination between anglers, researchers, and policy makers. SGF maintains an unwavering ethos of the conservation, preservation, restoration and enhancement of estuarine and coastal water habitats that define fishing – and SGF believes informed anglers are the key to realizing these goals.

SGF’s Angler Action program was designed with Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute and input from the TPWD Coastal Fisheries Division and its data is used by Florida’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission for conduction stock assessments. The program now stands on the threshold of creating a global network of angling data that will assist with stock assessments and functional habitat identification and use.


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Bonefish and Tarpon Trust Hosts Their 5th International Symposium

November 26, 2014 at 7:32 pm | Posted in Bonefish Bimini, Conservation, Fishing, Florida Keys, Fly Fishing | Leave a comment
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Bonefish and Tarpon Trust hosted their 5th International Symposium at the IGFA Hall of Fame and Museum in Dania Beach, Florida. Hundreds of conservation minded attendees turned out for the educational and event packed weekend, all with a focus on raising awareness about the conservation of bonefish, tarpon, and permit.

Scientists from the United States, Canada, Brazil, Belize, the Bahamas, and Cuba were on hand to present their latest findings on a variety of topics concerning the three slam species.  A number of fly and spin fishing clinics were held for the attendees to enjoy and there were also panel discussions with some of today’s most knowledgeable fishing guides and angling legends from around the world, sharing their insight and stories about bonefish, tarpon, and permit.

BTT 2014 Flies

Friday evening saw the inaugural BTT Art and Film Festival, where some of the biggest names in saltwater art and photography displayed their work and helped raise funds for BTT. The festival also featured screenings of many excellent short films, all competing for a chance to win prizes from Orvis and Costa and the title of Viewer’s Choice. In the end, “Knockin’ On The Door” by WorldAngling took home the win. The winner of BTT’s Best Conservation Message went to Marc Montocchio for his trailer of the film “Origins Of The Sky.”

The highlight of the film screening was the world premier of “90 Miles“, in which filmmaker Will Benson of WorldAngling highlighted his recent trip to Cuba with BTT scientists and showed the world that although the US has had differences with its neighbor to the south, we also share many commonalities including a love for fishing and a passion for the conservation of our environment.

BTT 2014 Bill Tom_McGuane

Bill Klyn presents Tom McGuane with the Curt Gowdy Media Memorial Award, photo: Pat Ford

Capping off the two-day event was a Saturday evening silent auction followed by the “Passing The Torch” Banquet. The banquet celebrated some up and coming members of the saltwater fishing community in a short “Passing The Torch” film. The film highlighted Paul Puckett, Jorge Martinez, Captain C.A. Richardson, Captain Will Benson, Meredith McCord and Oliver White for their support of BTT and their efforts to promote conservation of bonefish, tarpon, and permit.

During the banquet, BTT awarded three Conservation Stewardship awards to deserving members of the fishing community. The Flats Stewardship Award went to former FWC commissioner Ken Wright for his tireless efforts in securing the catch and release status of bonefish and tarpon in Florida, as well as the banning of the “Boca Grande Jig”. The Lefty Kreh Sportsman of the Year Award was presented to Costa Del Mar’s VP of Marketing, Al Perkinson, for his immense support of BTT through Project Permit, and the Curt Gowdy Media Memorial Award went to legendary author and Buccaneers and Bones star Tom McGuane.

BTT 2014 Al_Perkinson Aaron_Adams

Al Perkinson receives the Lefty Kreh Sportsman of the year Award from Dr. Aaron Adams. Photo Pat Ford

The American Fisheries Society also presented Bonefish and Tarpon Trust with the prestigious Conservation Achievement Award for the Fisheries Management Section.  This annual award recognizes an organization’s outstanding contributions to fishery conservation or fishery science. Upon receiving the award, BTT’s Director of Operations Dr. Aaron Adams noted, “BTT is extremely flattered and proud to receive this award from the American Fisheries Society. This award confirms the validity of our approach to fisheries conservation, and provides encouragement moving forward.”

The two day event saw roughly 350 registered attendees come through the doors and went on to gross nearly $117,000 for Bonefish and Tarpon Trust. Symposium Chairman Chris Peterson of Hell’s Bay Boatworks commented, “The scientific presentations were astronomically enlightening, the instruction sessions legendary, and the fellowship among like minded anglers…priceless.” BTT President Matt Connolly added, “Like me, I suspect that nearly all 350 Symposium attendees left inspired by the “Legends”, encouraged by the exciting scientific breakthroughs, and energized knowing their investment in BTT has delivered such dynamic returns in but three years! The many inspiring discoveries shared with us at the Symposium made it apparent that we must transform this emerging scientific knowledge into enlightened management of flats ecosystems throughout the Caribbean. It is a challenge BTT is now, more than ever, well prepared to meet!”

Photos courtesy of Pat Ford

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Google Takes Aim at Illegal Fishing

November 22, 2014 at 5:15 pm | Posted in Conservation, Fishing, Marine Science | Leave a comment
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Global Fishing Watch  Will Allow Real-Time Monitoring of Commercial Fishing Fleets World-Wide  – Lucy Craymer – Wall Street Journal – 17 Nov, 9:47 AM

Google has teamed up with mapping company SkyTruth and marine-advocacy group Oceana to create a new tool aimed at reining in illegal fishing world-wide.

A prototype of the technology called Global Fishing Watch was launched in Sydney. It will allow the public to view online where fishing boats are operating around the globe. The developers say they hope the tool will give governments, non-government organizations and the public the ability to monitor where illegal fishing is taking place.

While the technology can’t prevent instances of illegal fishing, making the information publicly available could help governments police commercial fishing, said Jackie Savitz, vice president of US Oceans for Oceana. In countries with governments less willing or able to prevent overfishing, the public will have more knowledge to pressure them, she said.

“Illegal fishing is something that we can hope to put a dent in with Global Fishing Watch,” said Ms Savitz. “What is cool is that the technology does most of the work.”

The technology is expected to cost $US3 million to $US5 million, and uses tracking devices already mandated on all large boats, filtering out the fishing vessels using recognized patterns.

In a statement, the developers conceded that illegal fishing operations can turn off their satellite trackers, which could limit the usefulness of the program.

Developed by Google and SkyTruth programmers, it uses Google’s data-analysis facilities to parse huge amounts of information and visualise where fishing is occurring around the globe.

The project was undertaken by Google Earth Outreach program, which works with nonprofits to find ways the Mountain View, California, company’s infrastructure can be used to meet global challenges. The Global Fishing Watch project stemmed from a demonstration at a developer conference showing how much data could be visualised in a browser.

“The data set we used was shipping because it was a beautiful data set, but as soon as we put it up there people started picking up patterns. And people started saying what if we could just pick out fishing? What would that mean? What would it enable?” said Brian Sullivan, project manager at Google Ocean & Earth Outreach program.

The developers said the program would be available for public use in 2015 or 2016, depending on funding.

Overfishing is a growing concern world-wide, with around 30 per cent of marine stocks overfished, according to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization.

Five years ago, a study published by the World Bank and U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization put the economic losses from poor fisheries management and overfishing at up to $US50 billion a year.

Concerns about fish stocks are leading countries with large ocean resources to find ways to safeguard the resources–often while struggling to patrol large areas of ocean with minimal equipment.

One such country is the small Pacific nation Kiribati, which plans to ban commercial fishing in the country’s Phoenix Islands Protected Area from January 1 2015, and suspend commercial fishing in a second area to allow fish stocks to be replenished.

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Bonefish & Tarpon Trust, KeysKeeper, and the Lower Keys Guides Urge the FWC to Make Barracuda a Top Conservation Priority

November 19, 2014 at 5:30 pm | Posted in Bonefish, Conservation, Fishing, Florida, Florida Keys, Islamorada, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Recently there has been a slow but steady realization by many South Florida fisherman that the Keys barracuda population is in decline. As a result, Bonefish and Tarpon Trust, KeysKeeper, and the Lower Keys Guides Association are teaming up to urge the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) to make barracuda a top priority on their list.  The Florida Wildlife Federation also strongly supports this effort to improve Barracuda conservation.

A survey of fishermen, fishing guides, and scientists in the Florida Keys and South Florida indicates that the decline in the barracuda population may be due to the unregulated commercial fishery and unregulated recreational harvest for barracuda. Much like tarpon, bonefish, and permit, there is little known about the barracuda. But, the limited data on barracuda that the FWC does have actually supports this observation. Their data shows that commercial landings of barracuda actually increased by 65% in 2012.

In addition to the importance of barracuda to the recreational flats fishery of the Florida Keys, they are also critical to the entire flats ecosystem. Next to sharks, barracuda are likely the top predator on the flats, so they should receive the same protection that FWC recently provided to many shark species.

Finally, since barracuda are known carriers of ciguatoxins and the commercially harvested barracuda become part of the South Florida seafood market (although frequently marketed as another species), there is considerable and growing concern about the health risks posed to consumers.

Before there is an irreversible population decline of barracuda, we believe management action is needed. BTT, KeysKeeper, and LKGA need your help to convince the FWC to follow the same process they used to address the bonefish, tarpon, and permit fisheries by obtaining the necessary data to better regulate the barracuda fishery, and to take the responsible and precautionary approach to implementing regulations that will protect the barracuda population while the necessary information is being obtained. Please visit to send the commission a note supporting the call for improved barracuda regulations and for the FWC to conduct a barracuda stock assessment. —– Bonefish and Tarpon Trust November 19, 2014

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