ISLAMORADA FL— SEPTEMBER 17, 2014— Islander Resort, a Guy Harvey Outpost, was officially unveiled this week by Dr. Guy Harvey before a crowd of Islamorada village officials, civic leaders, media representatives …
Finding Fish in Low Places
By Sue Cocking, Guy Harvey Outpost staff writer
More and more lately, it seems, we’re seeing You Tube videos and reading Internet posts about supposedly pelagic (offshore) fish being found in very shallow inshore waters.
–the lit-up striped marlin tailing near the surface inside the harbor at Cabo San Lucas, Mexico recently;
–the yellowfin tuna estimated at 100 pounds that was free-gaffed from a dock last year in an eight-foot-deep boat basin in Islamorada (apparently illegal under federal fisheries rules);
–at least two swordfish caught in the past ten years in Florida Bay in the Upper Keys;
–a whale shark found cruising in eight feet of water in Marathon’s Vaca Cut three years ago;
–a blue marlin appearing in the marina at Resorts World Bimini;
— a sailfish caught and released on the flats of Miami’s Biscayne Bay in 2008;
–and probably many others I’m not aware of.
What the heck is going on? Why all these reports of fish known to inhabit deep offshore waters showing up next to shore?
To Dr. Eric Prince, unit leader of Highly Migratory Species Biology at NOAA’s Southeast Fisheries Science Center in Miami, it’s no mystery.
“Climate change,” the scientist said in an email.
“It’s all about the changing environment, and you can expect a continuous stream of so-called ‘strange sightings’ of different species of fish in locations that do not make much sense,” Prince wrote.
He said lots of scientific papers are being published– including several by Prince himself– demonstrating “how climate change is causing major changes in the distribution of all kinds of aquatic fishes and invertebrates.”
So it looks like the aquatic parade of “News of the Weird” will continue for the foreseeable future.
Sue Cocking chronicles the Guy Harvey Outpost travel and adventure experience in regular blog posts on GuyHarveyOutpostNews.com/. For 21 years, Cocking covered the full spectrum of outdoors adventure opportunities in South Florida and beyond for the Miami Herald, including fishing, diving, hunting, paddling, camping, sailing and powerboat racing. She is a certified scuba diver and holder of an IGFA women’s world fly fishing record for a 29-pound permit.
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