Red Tide causes concern along Florida coast
Florida’s southwest coast experienced a flare-up of the toxic red tide algae this week, setting off concerns that it could continue to stick around for a while. “Red Tide is currently present on the beach and is forecasted to remain in the area in the weeks to come,” the Indian Rocks Beach Homeowners Association said in a letter to the public. Red tide, a toxic algae bloom that occurs naturally in the Gulf of Mexico, is worsened by the presence of nutrients such as nitrogen in the water. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission warns people to not swim in or around red tide waters over the possibility of skin irritation, rashes and burning and sore eyes. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission on Friday reported that it had found red tide in 157 samples along Florida’s Gulf Coast, with the strongest concentrations along Pinellas and Sarasota counties.
Florida boating is deadlier and holiday waters were packed. Cops were ready for the worst
Police were out on the water in full force across South Florida over the long Memorial Day weekend. They were looking for safety violations, hazards, impaired boaters, anything that could get people hurt or killed.
Miami boat driver charged after Rickenbacker weekend hit-and-run that killed a father
A Miami man has pleaded not guilty to a single charge of leaving the scene of a boating accident with an injury after what Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers described as a fatal hit-and-run boating crash.
Rules planned to save right whales loom over lobster fishers
The North Atlantic right whale numbers only about 360, and scientists have said the animal’s small population of breeding females could spell doom for the species. The National Marine Fisheries Service is developing new rules to reduce the possibility of entanglement in fishing gear, which can kill the whales. AdThe coming restrictions have sparked a rancorous debate between environmentalists and lobster fishermen over the proper way to save the whale. It’s holding public hearings about the proposed rules in New England, including one for southern Maine on Feb. 23 and one for northern Maine on Feb. 24. AdThe right whales were hunted to near extinction during the commercial whaling era.
Florida’s new python-sniffing dogs have 1st success
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation is beginning a new program to use dogs to sniff out invasive pythons. We’ve got to try new approaches and the detector dogs is just one area where we’re doing that,” commission Executive Director Eric Sutton. He showed commissioners pictures of the dogs during a virtual meeting, including one with Truman standing behind the massive snake he found. Trainers use python-scented towels and live pythons with surgically implanted trackers to teach the dogs to pick up a snake’s scent. The dogs were trained for more than a month before going out in the wild, according to the agency’s website.
Glazed or jelly? Doughnuts lure city-roaming bear into trap
A juvenile black bear roams through Fort Myers, Fla., Tuesday morning, May 26, 2020. A black bear roaming around a Florida city proved no match for the doughnuts that lured the animal into a humane trap. Wildlife officials say bears tend to move more in the spring in search of mates and, as always, food. Brown said the bear was relocated to a state-managed wildlife area. Authorities estimate there are about 4,000 black bears in Florida.
Native turtle trafficking ring busted in Florida
(CNN) – Two men have been charged for poaching thousands of Florida turtles and selling them illegally, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. More than 4,000 turtles comprising a range of native species were illegally captured and sold over six months, the commission said. “The illegal trade of turtles is having a global impact on many turtle species and our ecosystems,” said Eric Sutton, the FWC’s executive director. After receiving a tip in February 2018, the FWC launched an undercover investigation where they discovered a ring of traffickers who were selling wild turtles to reptile dealers and distributors. “Wild turtle populations cannot sustain the level of harvest that took place here,” said Brooke Talley, the FWC’s reptile and amphibian conservation coordinator.
Florida officials investigate why panthers seen stumbling, falling
In trail footage released by the FWC, one animal can be seen falling down. (CNN) – There have been two confirmed cases of neurological damage in a panther and bobcat in Florida as of this month, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). The agency is investigating the cause of the disorder in the animals that is impacting their ability to walk. In trail camera footage, the animals can be seen stumbling and falling down almost unable to use their back legs. In total, the FWC said they have seen eight panthers (mostly kittens) and one adult bobcat in various degrees of this condition.