As this “Lights Out” poster from a couple of years ago, above, so beautifully illustrates — we have a lighting problem.
Paula Clark, of Mote Marine Laboratory, is doing a fabulous job, as are the Longboat Key Turtle Watcher members and the Mote turtles teams, but we’re missing a critical officer from the state. Randy Fowler (the town’s former building official) used to fill that spot exceedingly well. Since he retired, the replacement was part-time and just not as effective as it needs to be.
The troubles this season reflect that and, with this in mind, we have every reason to hope that next season we’ll show better numbers because we’ll have the amount of oversight that we’ve not had this time around.
Another factor that could affect the balance of the season and the seasons to come would be the study, conducted by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council, to reduce the number of sea-turtles deaths from baited hooks on fishing long-lines. The council voted unanimously to restrict Gulf long-line fishing to deep water (at least 210 feet) and to reduce by half the number of long-line fishing boats and the number of hooks per boat. These restrictions are now up for federal review and may be extended for another 180 days before the review is completed.
When all is said and done, we must all work together and harmoniously; all of us being man, commercial fishermen and the marine life on which all of us depend and need to respect.
Virginia Sanders is the spokesperson for the Longboat Key Turtle Conservation Program, serves on the Citizens Advisory Board of the National Estuary Program and is a Mote Marine volunteer.
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Hat's off to Dee Pelton, volunteers
Dee Pelton held a luncheon that will be tough to top.
Youth sailors descend on City Island
Approximately 250 people hit the water Saturday, April 20 through Sunday, April 21, for Sailfest. The regatta, Sarasota Youth Sailing's biggest fundraiser of the year, included four classes of competition — Optimus, 420, Laser and Multi-hull — and a barbecue feast.
Book club sunsets for the season
The Sunset Beach Book Club, in its 10th year, ended this season with a luncheon and discussion of the book “Gone Girl,” by Gillian Flynn, April 18, at Lazy Lobster. Discussion moderator was Ricki Carroll. Together, the group read five books this season.