In Case You Missed It - December 12, 2014 News

Our weekly coverage of the latest industry news, conservation notices and more.

25th Annual Presidential Sailfish Tournament - ICYMI

25th Annual Presidential Sailfish Tournament

Competitive sport fishermen from across the country will gather at Cheeca Lodge & Spa for two days of intense sailfish action during the 25th Annual Presidential Sailfish Tournament, January 15-18, 2015. Winners will take home beautiful trophies, including an original sculpture by Roge Fowler, and the bragging rights that come with catching and releasing the most sailfish. Over its illustrious history, Cheeca’s Presidential Tournament has grown to become one of the largest and most prestigious sailfish tournaments in South Florida. It is the second leg of the prestigious Florida Keys Gold Cup Sailfish Championship, which culminates with the Islamorada Fishing Club Sailfish Tournament, January 21-22, 2015. The Gold Cup Championship boasts $25,000 in prize money for the winners. The 2015 Presidential will be the most elegant and exciting tournament in its distinguished history. It will kick off with registration at 5:30 p.m. followed by a cocktail party and buffet dinner at 6 p.m. on Thursday, January 15. Fishing days are Friday and Saturday, January 16-17. The awards banquet takes place at 6:30 p.m. on January 17. January is peak sail fishing season. In keeping with Cheeca’s mission to conserve and protect valuable Keys resources, all sailfish caught during this tournament are released to fight another day. Only circle hooks can be used. Entry fee is $695 for the first angler; additional anglers are $645, with up to four anglers per boat. After January 7, 2017, entry fee for the first angler is $750, and each additional angler is $700. Anglers participating in the Presidential will receive a 20 percent discount off regular room rates. For more information and entry forms, please contact Julie Olsen at (305)517-4449 or e-mailjolsen@cheeca.com
Costa Announces New Vice President of Product Development, John Sanchez

Costa Announces New Vice President of Product Development, John Sanchez

Costa Sunglasses announced today the addition of John Sanchez as vice president of product development. Sanchez will work closely in transition with Costa's current vice president of product development, Ed Moody, who announced his retirement from the company, effectiveApril 1, 2015, after 23 years of service with the brand. Sanchez most recently held the position as President of Zeal Optics. Prior to that, he garnered more than 23 years of experience in product development, operations, manufacturing management and international sales with eyewear brands including Maui Jim, Serengeti, Bolle’, and at Bausch & Lomb with Ray-Ban. He holds a bachelor’s of science degree in Industrial Engineering/International Business Studies from Texas Tech University in Lubbock, and has completed the Executive Leadership Development Program from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. Moody announced his retirement from Costa internally this week. In addition to his current role with the organization, which he has held since 2005, Moody worked as vice president of operations from 1993 to 1997, vice president of sales from 1992 to 1993 and executive vice president from 1997 to 2005. He has played a large role in the company’s growth and expansion, and is credited with bringing Costa’s 580™ color enhancing lens technology to market. “Ed may have announced his retirement from Costa, but he will always be part of our family, and a key part of our brand’s legacy,” said Chas MacDonald, president of Costa. “John is a worthy candidate to step into Ed’s role, with an incredible background in our industry. He and Ed will work closely together over the coming months to ensure a smooth transition, with our shared commitment to continue building and enhancing the clearest sunglasses on the planet for our customers.” Sanchez joins Costa’s team based in Daytona Beach, Fla.
Guy Harvey-Designed Outback Bowl T-Shirt Sales to Help Restore Oyster Habitats in Tampa Bay

Guy Harvey-Designed Outback Bowl T-Shirt, Sales to Help Restore Oyster Habitats in Tampa Bay

For the sixth consecutive year the Outback Bowl has chosen celebrated marine wildlife artist and conservationist Dr. Guy Harvey to design the game’s official program cover and t-shirt. The Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation (GHOF), which earlier this month coordinated a Gulf of Mexico Fisheries Symposium at the St. Petersburg Campus for USF, announced today it will pledge a portion of its revenues from 2015 Outback Bowl t-shirt sales to help rebuild critical oyster populations in coastal areas of Tampa Bay. This year, the GHOF through Native Sun Sports, the Outback Bowl’s official merchandiser, has pledged $1 from the sale of each Guy Harvey Outback Bowl t-shirt to Tampa Bay Watch, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection and restoration of the marine and wetland environments of the Tampa Bay estuary. “We are grateful to once again be working with the Outback Bowl to create the official design for use on their program and Bowl t-shirt for what has become one of the country’s most exciting bowl games to watch,” said Steve Stock, President of Guy Harvey Inc. and Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation. “This year we will give back to the community through a program that not only touches the heart of our mission to support marine science research, but is a model for successful community outreach and education.” Tampa Bay Watch and its oyster restoration program have restored natural shorelines and improved water quality in parts of Tampa Bay. The group’s strong education and grassroots community outreach draws thousands of volunteers. Dr. Guy Harvey, celebrated internationally for his marine wildlife artwork and his support of many ocean conservation initiatives, is counting on support from Outback Bowl fans to help raise awareness and funds by purchasing an official Guy Harvey-designed Outback Bowl T-Shirt. Shirts may be purchased online athttp://www.OutbackBowlGear.com/ “Tampa Bay is the largest open water estuary in the state of Florida and is designated as an estuary of national significance,” said Harvey, who holds a Ph. D in marine biology. “I’m honored to be able to help support the efforts of Tampa Bay Watch, which has played a key role in mobilizing the Tampa community to participate in restoration and conservation activities.” Monies raised through the t-shirt give back program will be dedicated to Tampa shorelines to provide habitats for oysters. Also called Reef Balls®, the oyster domes allow oysters to attach to a hard structure so they may grow into adults. According to Tampa Bay Watch, oyster communities help stabilize shorelines, provide hard bottom habitats for fish and wildlife resources and promote water quality improvements in the Tampa Bay ecosystem. These newly created oyster bars and seawall reefs benefit Tampa Bay in many ways. They promote water quality benefits through biological filtering of the water (one adult oyster can filter up to 10 gallons of water per hour), provide habitat for small organisms, prevent further erosion, and create foraging areas and sanctuary for many species of fish and wildlife. The oyster domes—24” in diameter, 18” tall and weighing approximately 100 lbs., have been an integral part of Tampa Bay Watch’s restoration programs for years and have been previously installed along Bayshore Blvd., MacDill Air Force Base and Ballast Point Park. Tampa Bay Watch has built and installed over 11,000 oyster domes throughout Tampa Bay since the program began in 2000.
West Marine Announces 2014 Marine Conservation Grants

West Marine Announces 2014 Marine Conservation Grants

West Marine, the largest omni-channel specialty retailer exclusively offering marine gear, apparel and footwear, today announced the recipients of their annual Marine Conservation Grants program**. **Grants are being awarded to organizations who are working to "improve and protect marine habitat," which is a key part of West Marine's mission. The Marine Conservation Grants _are _a component of West Marine's BlueFuture® initiative to help create a sustainable future for our planet. The focus of this year's awards is on projects that enhance marine habitat, engage anglers in data collection and educate anglers about barotrauma. The efforts of the eleven recipients are focused in California, Washington, New York, Louisiana, Florida, Texas, Georgia, North Carolina, Massachusetts, Michigan and Hawaii. 2014 West Marine Conservation Grants:
Congressional Leaders Step Up to Protect Traditional Fishing Tackle

Congressional Leaders Step Up to Protect Traditional Fishing Tackle

A provision to prohibit federal funds from being used to regulate lead fishing tackle and ammunition under the Toxic Substance Control Act was included in the omnibus federal spending bill released yesterday. The American Sportfishing Association (ASA), which strongly supports this action, has been working for the past several years on passage of similar legislation that will provide a permanent exemption for traditional fishing tackle. “We applaud Congressional leadership, and House and Senate appropriators, for protecting the nation’s 60 million anglers from unjustified restrictions on fishing equipment that anglers have safely used for decades,” said ASA President and CEO Mike Nussman. “On multiple occasions, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been petitioned by anti-fishing organizations to federally ban fishing tackle containing lead based on its impact on wildlife, a position that is not based on sound science.” Nussman further said, “While the EPA has consistently rejected these petitions, we have advocated all along for a permanent fix to prevent an unnecessary ban from being approved. This temporary legislative fix supports and reinforces the EPA’s previous decisions and will aid us in our efforts toward a permanent solution, hopefully through inclusion in a Sportsmen’s Package bill in the 114th Congress. Continuing efforts to set aside the EPA’s rulings through petitions and lawsuits demonstrate a clear need for a permanent, legislative solution.” The spending bill's text exempting lead fishing tackle and ammunition from regulation under the Toxic Substances Control Act can be found here. More information on ASA's continuing efforts against bans on lead fishing tackle can be found on ASA's issue webpage. The omnibus spending bill, which is a short-term measure to keep the federal government operating for the near future, is expected to be signed into law in the coming days.
Environmental Advocate, Angler, Jim Barry Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

Environmental Advocate, Angler, Jim Barry Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

Jim Barry, a lifelong native of Palm Beach County, has been awarded the West Palm Beach Fishing Club’s highest honor, its Lifetime Achievement Award. Barry was presented the prestigious award during the club’s recent 80th anniversary celebration at its historic headquarters in downtown West Palm Beach. Anyone who enjoys boating, fishing, diving, snorkeling or wildlife viewing in Palm Beach County owes a debt of gratitude to Jim Barry. Jim is a retired public servant of 41 years working for Palm Beach County’s Health Department and Department of Environmental Resources Management (ERM), where he served as the county Environmental Director for 22 years. He is a local boy who spent much of his youth fishing on the Palm Beach, Lake Worth and Juno piers and paid his own way through college by commercial fishing to obtain his degree in marine biology from the University of Miami. Jim’s accomplishments have been far reaching. In the early 1980’s he met with the late John D. MacArthur on multiple occasions and was the principle force in convincing the eccentric land baron to preserve an environmentally sensitive area we now call MacArthur Beach State Park. Around that same period Jim spearheaded the effort to get the first mangrove protection ordinance passed, the first of its kind in Florida. The ordinance would become a template for other coastal counties throughout the state. Jim was at the forefront of the successful effort to get the Juno Beach fishing pier rebuilt in a fashion that balanced its environmental impact on marine turtles with the need for increased public fishing access. Jim Barry’s fingerprints are on some of the Lake Worth Lagoon’s most significant restoration projects, including Munyon Island (45 acres), Peanut Island (79 acres) and Snook Islands (80 acres). He is one of the original members of the Palm Beach County Artificial Reef & Estuarine Enhancement Committee where he continues to serve today. Most importantly during his tenure as the county’s Environmental Director he helped develop a funding mechanism for habitat restoration projects and created a culture of environmental innovation at ERM that continues to this day. Arguably, Jim Barry may be one of the most influential environmental stewards that Palm Beach County has ever known, especially as it relates to the management of marine and estuarine fisheries, protecting and restoring wetlands, and improving water quality. “I venture to say that the only other person who has had a greater impact on the environmental resources of Palm Beach County may very well be Mother Nature herself,” said WPBFC President Tom Twyford. “His positive impact on the resources of the region cannot be understated.” The same attention to detail that Jim gave to countless environmental projects; he now applies to his art. He has made highly collectible knives for over 40 years, many of which feature elaborate scrimshaw drawings. In recent years he has developed a passion for creating highly detailed pencil drawings. He enjoys the challenge of creating depth and contrast with just a pencil. Fellow WPBFC member Dr. Ray Waldner, an ichthyologist and biology professor at Palm Beach Atlantic University, describes Jim’s drawings this way, “Jim is a perfectionist. He gets every membrane. There’s art and there’s biological illustration. Jim crosses that border.” Over the past decade Jim has created multiple pieces of original art for the WPBFC's annual Palm Beach County KDW Classic and _Silver Sailfish Derby. _He has logged thousands of volunteer hours making these works of art for the Fishing Club. Unlike many other wildlife and marine artists, Jim has had no formal training. Instead he draws upon a lifetime of experiences spent on and under the water to find inspiration. The inscription on the WPBFC’s Lifetime Achievement award, which features a patina bronze sailfish crafted by sculptor A.J. Obara, Jr., reads as follows, ‘To honor an individual who has demonstrated exceptional commitment to sportfishing and conservation. Their vision and perseverance inspired others and promoted recreational fishing and its role in the historical development of South Florida’. The WPBFC Lifetime Achievement award has only been presented on four occasions. Jim Barry joins a select list of award recipients. Past recipients include longtime WPBFC President Johnny Rybovich, past club director Frances Doucet and marine scientist Frank Mather who is recognized as the ‘Father of Cooperative Game Fish tagging’.