Island Marine

Island Marine (920)

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Federal authorities in Puerto Rico have detained eight Cuban migrants and a small Pekingese dog found on an uninhabited island near the U.S. territory.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection said Thursday that the group landed on Mona Island just west of Puerto Rico. Officials say that a child was part of the group and that the federal agency is temporarily caring for the dog.

Cubans are increasingly leaving their island amid fears they might lose a special status that gives Cubans automatic residency in the United States if they reach U.S. soil.

Federal agents have detained more than 150 Cuban migrants in the region so far this fiscal year. (AP)

MARIGOT, St. Martin - On Sunday, April 10, 2016 in the late morning, the Marine Department of the gendarmerie of Saint Martin uncovered on the Eastern coast the illegal underwater fishing of Queen Conchs.

Surprised by the intervention, the boater tried dump overboard much of the conchs caught illegally: several dozen kilos of conch.
After questioning the boater must now answer to justice for his crime.

Reminder of the regulations: the conch is a mollusk protected by the Washington Agreement and its fishing is regulated.

It is prohibited for recreational fishermen at any time and any place. However, it is permitted for professional fishermen, out of the nature reserve, from 01 September to 31 March each year for the northern islands on the condition that they respect the size limitations.

BRISBANE, Australia – A study by the University of Queensland (UQ) has found that new science-based fishery regulations are needed if coral reefs are to have a future in the face of climate change.

The study shows that Caribbean coral reefs are experiencing mounting pressure from global warming, local pollution and over-fishing of herbivorous fish. An international team, led by University of Queensland researchers, has found that tighter fishery regulations are needed to preserve corals of the Caribbean.

Researcher Dr Yves-Marie Bozec, from UQ’s School of Biological Sciences and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, said herbivorous parrotfish were needed because they eat seaweed, which can smother coral and prevent corals from recovering.

“While several countries in the Caribbean have taken the bold step of banning the fishing of parrotfish (including Belize, Bonaire, Turks and Caicos Islands), parrotfish fisheries remain in much of the region,” Dr Bozec said.

The research team analysed the effects of fishing on parrotfish and combined this with an analysis of the role of parrotfish on coral reefs.

“We conclude that unregulated fisheries will seriously reduce the resilience of coral reefs,” Dr Bozec said.

“However, implementation of size limits and catch limits to less than 10 percent of the fishable stock provide a far better outlook for reefs, while also allowing the fishery to persist.”

Study co-author Professor Peter Mumby from UQ’s School of Biological Sciences said a number of countries wanted to modify their fisheries to reduce impacts on reefs. “What we’ve done is identify fisheries’ policies that might help achieve this,” Professor Mumby said.

The new study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences today, argues that science should be used to revise current fisheries practices for herbivorous fish in the Caribbean.

The authors have provided tools to help fisheries managers make such changes.

“Ultimately, the more we do to maintain healthy coral reefs, the more likely it is that fishers’ livelihoods will be sustained into the future,” Professor Mumby said.

“We already know that failure to maintain coral habitats will lead to at least a threefold reduction in future fish catches.”

PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - On March 29, 2016 the Minister Of VROMI Honorable Minister A. Meyers was given a tour of the Simpson Bay Lagoon by Mr Tadzio Beervoets of the St. Maarten Nature Foundation.

The Minister got a first-hand look at areas that are mostly affected by sewage especially in the southern part of the lagoon which, is in the vicinity of Pineapple Pete towards Tropicana Casino due to insufficient water circulation.

In addition, the Minister indicated that the ministry is busy with an assessment to determine whether the various Marina's constructed or under construction are in compliance with the lease agreement.

Furthermore, various shipwrecks were observed which would inquire the input of various ministries.

In closing, the Minister expressed that working collaboratively with the Nature Foundation is fundamental especially moving forward with the location and construction of the sewage/ water treatment facility for the Cole Bay district that is vital for the community and residents in the area.

Simpson Bay, St. Maarten - The St. Maarten Yacht Club Regatta Foundation (SMYCRF) has raised 1804 dollars for the St. Maarten Sea Rescue Foundation (SSRF) during the 36th St. Maarten Heineken Regatta.
 
The SSRF offers assistance to sailors and mariners in need of help. With two vessels and a well-trained group of volunteers, they ensure safety on the waters of St. Maarten.
 
They are also responsible for the inspections of private vessels on St. Maarten. Before a vessel can be registered, it needs to be inspected by the SSRF. The non-profit organization is fully ran by volunteers and solely relies on donations. 
 
'Without the support of organizations like the St. Maarten Sea Rescue Foundation, we wouldn't be able to organize this event.' States Michelle van der Werff, Regatta Director. 'Maintaining safety with 200 boats out racing every day, is key for the event. We are very thankful that organizations like Sea Rescue, the Coast Guard, the French SNSM and the Dutch Marines are present on the water and ensure that competitors can have a safe and pleasant time on our Caribbean waters."
 
This year, the Regatta volunteers got very creative, by organizing a competition around the favourite drink of the average sailor; the famous Bloody Mary of the St. Maarten Yacht Club. The question was how many Bloody Marys would be ordered on the Friday of the regatta at the St. Maarten Yacht Club. All proceeds went directly to Sea Rescue.
 
Other initiatives to raise money were sailors that donated their bow number deposits and selling event posters.

COLE BAY, St. Maarten - As part of the Save our Shark Project funded by the Dutch National Postcode Lottery, the Sint Maarten Nature Foundation has uncovered numerous shark related products, including shark fin soup, being sold at various establishments around Sint Maarten.

Over the past few weeks, the Foundation conducted an inventory about shark products being sold at restaurants, supermarkets and individual stores at various locations on the island. “Unfortunately, we have found different products containing shark being sold on our island, including shark fin soup, shark steaks, shark liver oil, shark cartilage pills, ray wings and shark oil.

There is no accepted scientific evidence showing any positive health benefits of shark fin soup or shark products, like liver oil and cartilage pills. The promotion of these products is a marketing strategy; in fact studies show that shark has among the highest levels of the toxic methyl-mercury and other dangerous toxins which can cause serious health effects. 021

Even small quantities of shark meat can contain large quantities of poisonous methyl mercury. Warnings are issued especially for pregnant women and young children,” read a Nature Foundation Statement.

Globally, human pressure has resulted in 100 million sharks being killed annually, primarily for products such as the ones uncovered by the Nature Foundation.

The cruel act of finning sharks, which often involves cutting the fins off of live sharks, and selling shark products, is pushing sharks to the brink of extinction, including in the waters surrounding Sint Maarten:

“We have been partnering with the prestigious Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC and the Pew Charitable Trust to find out whether or not the products are made from local St. Maarten Sharks.

This is very important because since October the 12th of 2011, it is prohibited to wound, catch, land, or kill sharks, rays and skates in the territorial waters of St Maarten. So if Genetic Results come back positive for Sharks caught in local waters, laws were broken,” continued a Nature Foundation statement.

Sharks are not frightening or dangerous but an important contributor to the ecosystem and important to the local community as they attract valuable dive tourism. Sharks also keep the reefs clean of unhealthy fish, keeping the ecosystem in balance. “If we do not have sharks we will lose our coral reef ecosystem and everything which depends on that such as fisheries, dive tourism, beach tourism and the very things which make us a unique island in the Caribbean.

Unfortunately, of the thirty three shark species living in the Dutch Caribbean, a third is categorized by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature as vulnerable to extinction, another third is near threatened, and four species are already (critically) endangered with extinction.

The Nature Foundation therefore advises the public to not purchase any shark product and requests stores and restaurants to stop selling any shark product.

The Nature Foundation will be issuing official letters to stores and restaurants in this regard.

As part of the Save our Sharks Project there is also an online petition running, encouraging local decision-makers to increase conservation measures for local sharks and to ban the selling of shark products. The petition can be signed at http://saveoursharks.nl/en/events/petition/

NEW YORK, NY – After a successful first edition in 2015, The Island of Flowers will again host world class competitors at Martinique Surf Pro from April 17th to 24th.

This World Surf League (WSL) Qualification Series event will take place along the northeastern Atlantic shores of Martinique, in the town of Basse-Pointe. It is one of the best surf spots, cherished by the experts, locals and visitors because of its powerful and long reef break waves. Organized by Martinique Surfing (www.martinique-surfing.com) in partnership with the WSL Qualifying Series, 155 international surfers are registered to date from the United States, Europe, Brazil, Japan and the Caribbean, to compete in one surfing’s best kept secret destinations, to earn WSL Qualifying Series points toward advancing to the WSL Championship Tour.

“I simply had to return to the Martinique Surf Pro”, said Joshua Moniz, winner of the 2015 Edition. “Last year, I had a great time and the waves were incredible. I really enjoyed this competition and exploring the island, so I couldn’t miss this second edition. Seeing such great waves at Basse-Pointe was a huge surprise. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting that and I couldn’t have imagined how much fun I would get from these waves. In fact, we don’t often get the opportunity to enjoy such conditions in the Qualifying Series.” 

“Martinique counts about 14 recommended surfing spots from North to South, and offers ideal surfing conditions in warm waters”, said Muriel Wiltord, Director Americas for the Martinique Promotion Bureau. “But the Island has much more to offer, blessed with a rich culture, a strong heritage, breathtaking natural beauty and most importantly, its warm and generous people. Martinique Surf Pro puts Martinique under the spot light as a not-to-be-missed surf destination and beyond...”

For more information on the first Martinique Surf Pro, visit www.martinique-surfing.com.

For more information on travel to Martinique, please visit www.us.martinique.org. For the latest, up-to-date Martinique Promotion Bureau press kit, journalists are encouraged to visit www.martiniquepresskit.com.

The 2016 edition of Antigua Sailing Week is set to be one of the world's most cosmopolitan regattas and there is still time to join in the thrill of sailing and partying at one of the world's best sailing regattas. Several charter options have become available for both the Bareboat fleet and the CSA racing fleet.
 
Antigua Sailing Week has always attracted the big entries, and this year's current list includes 28 competing yachts at 50 feet and over. Tony Langley's TP52, Gladiator stands out amongst the fast, professionally crewed yachts.  Owner/driver Langley counts multiple world champion, Cameron Appleton and Volvo Ocean Race winner, Jules Salter amongst an all-star crew.  Classics from yachting history include Kialoa III, which was one of the most well-known of Jim Kilroy's maxis and best remembered for her line honours victory in the 1975 Sydney Hobart when she broke the race record which stood for 21 years.  Piet Vroon, with over 25 Fastnet races under his belt, is a recent entry with his new Tonnerre 4 which has already proven to be tough to beat on the water.
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Volvo 60 Ambersail - Credit Tim Wright/photoaction.com
 
The entry list for the 2016 Antigua Sailing Week is bristling with proven winners including 2016 St. Maarten Heineken Regatta winners, El Ocaso, Ambersail, Dingo, Scarlet Oyster and Wild Devil. Past Antigua Sailing Week champions on the list include: Lee Overlay Partners, Scarlet Oyster, Biwi Magic, Caccia alla Volpe, Quokka and Sleeper. This year's competition at Antigua Sailing Week looks as hot as ever.
 
Recognised as one of the best sailing locations in the world, Antigua is bracing itself for an influx of sailors and yachts from at least 22 two different countries. The largest number of yachts by country will be Great Britain joined by crews from Antigua, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, St. Maarten, South Africa, Sweden, Trinidad and the United States of America. Over 1,000 sailors will be making the journey to the mecca of Caribbean sailing for a week of superb racing and fantastic parties.
 
Round Antigua Race & Guadeloupe to Antigua Race 
The regatta offers two stand-alone long distance races, prior to five days of coastal and round the cans races. The 42-mile Guadeloupe to Antigua Race, (Friday, April 22) and the 54-mile Round Antigua Race, (Saturday, April 23). The Round Antigua Race is a classic with competitors who experience ocean racing on the windward side of Antigua and dramatic views of the island's fabulous coves and beaches. The circular course gives the teams an opportunity to get every sail out of the bag before the main regatta. Both of the races are open to boats of all types, whether or not entered in Antigua Sailing Week. The long distance races provide an opportunity for crews to gain several hours of practice in preparation for the week ahead.
 
Five Days of Racing & Parties
Antigua Sailing Week's full week of racing starts on Sunday, April 24 and concludes Friday, April 29. Racing takes place around laid marks and point to point courses in the world famous sailing grounds off the south coast of Antigua. Daily prize givings are held at the Presidente Beer Garden at Antigua Yacht Club, which provide great opportunities for sailors to meet other teams. The Final Awards Presentation and after party is held in the historic surroundings of Nelson's Dockyard. Wednesday, 27 April is the Presidente Lay Day Beach Party with fun and games on Pigeon Beach, featuring the Nonsuch Bay RS Elite Challenge.  Eight invited teams will race for a top prize of one weeks' bed and breakfast accommodation including use of sailing equipment at Antigua's luxury sailing resort, Nonsuch Bay Resort.
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Pinel - Sunsail fleet Credit Tim Wright/photoaction.com
 
Bareboat Charters
Regatta sponsor Sunsail has just released more charter options including two Sunsail 44i yachts and one Sunsail 50, both of which could fit nicely into bareboat one-design classes. German charter company KH+P has supported Antigua Sailing Week for over 25 years and has late availability for race crews and/or spectators on Oceanis 45 bareboat models.
 
CSA Racing Charters
In the CSA Racing classes, Yuri Fadeev's 80-foot Maxi, Weddel still has individual places available. Andy Middleton reports that Grand Soleil 43 Quokka, winner of class at Antigua Sailing Week 2013, is available. Individual places are available or a team of up to seven people would make the proven winner available at a discount.  David Ballantyne's J/133 Jings! currently has five charter guests but can take up to seven more at a discounted price.
 
Don't miss out on Antigua Sailing Week.  There are several charter options available - visit the dedicated race charter page at http://www.sailingweek.com/v4/race-charters 
 
Flights
Flights are still available via Virgin Atlantic. The Official Exclusive UK Airline Sponsor of Antigua Sailing Week operates three flights weekly between Antigua and London flying Tuesday, Friday and Saturday. Virgin Atlantic is offering preferred rates to participants of Antigua Sailing Week and friends/family. Contact and mention "ASW travel request" to qualify for these preferred rates.
 
Shipping
For those owners looking to ship yachts back to Europe after Antigua Sailing Week, exclusive yacht transport sponsor, Peters & May has organised a special service from Antigua to Southampton, Genoa and Palma after the regatta with loading windows from 5th-20th May.  For more information:  .

TORTOLA, British Virgin Islands - The BVI Sailing Festival Round Tortola Race for the Nanny Cay Cup and Nanny Cay Challenge started promptly at 09:30 on Tuesday morning in seas a little rougher than normal due to last week's high winds, and an easterly breeze of 18+ knots.

The trimaran Triple Jack, owned by Richard Wooldridge and Steve Davis (BVI), charged off the start to an early lead in the CSA Multihull class, making its way around the island in corrected time of 3:46:38, taking first place overall in the 2016 Nanny Cay Cup.

Woolridge commented: "It was a beautiful day for it, the wind was perhaps a little more than forecasted, blowing a good 18 at the start and gusting 20+. We had a very fast trip down the north side with the spinnaker up, jousting with SPOOKIE and while they started after us, it was great finishing before them. We did break our main halyard on the last beat up from West End and there was also a large cruise ship in West End which made tacking through the Narrows interesting."
 
Davis said: "Having raced Triple Jack since 1998, improving our performance over the years has been a combination of racing conditions and doing a lot of work on the boat as she was built in 1979. She's like an old MG so we do have to be a little careful!"
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Trimaran Triple Jack, owned by Richard Wooldridge and Steve Davis (BVI) win the 2016 Nanny Cay Cup © Todd VanSickle
Penalized by an over early in the start of the CSA Racing Class was not enough to hold back TP52 SPOOKIE, owned by Steve and Heidi Benjamin (USA) from taking first in class. More significantly, however, SPOOKIE broke the Monohull Nanny Cay Challenge record in an elapsed time of 3:08:43, a whopping 21 minutes off the previous record of 03:29:44, set in March 2013 by Peter Corr's Aiyana, an Alia 82. With a new record under his belt, Steve Benjamin, SPOOKIE's skipper, was one happy guy when his boat pulled into the dock after a fantastic ride around Tortola.
 
"We were really trying to get inside that record for the Nanny Cay Challenge," Benjamin explained. "Once we got into the lead after our over early start, we beat all the way to the top of the island, fetched the rocks at the top then set a fractional code zero and took off on a screaming reach which was beautiful and proceeded to get lifted on starboard as the wind went right, so we set our 4A, our bigger spinnaker. I guess we hit 21 knots, saw gusts to 23 and had a beautiful run down the back side of the island, making it in one jibe and planing a lot of the time. It was really fantastic!"
 
The team will certainly enjoy their Nanny Cay Challenge prize: a jeroboam of "Drappier" champagne, sponsored by Tico, a BVI distributor, dinner for 15 crew at Peg Legs restaurant at Nanny Cay, and a donation of $250 to benefit BVI youth sailing, which the team has generously matched.
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Steve and Heidi Benjamin's TP52 SPOOKIE  © Todd VanSickle
In the Racing class, John Bamberger's Canadian Farr 45 Spitfire was also over early at the start, having to return to the line along with SPOOKIE, while the remainder of the 11-strong fleet took off in a tight bunch. TP52 Team Magnitude - Conviction, skippered by Doug Baker (USA) initially took the lead before being caught by SPOOKIE and finishing second in class. Quokka-Performance Yacht Charters, the Grand Soleil 43 skippered by Christian Reynolds, took third.
 
Renato Faria and his Brazilian team steered his Dufour 500 Ventaneiro 3 to an early lead and first place in the CSA Cruising Class, followed by Peter Hopps' British Sigma 38, Sam of Hamble who have competed twice before with Patricia Nolan's Moorings 445, Seabiscuit from Tortola.
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Winner of the Bareboat class with Sunsail 441, Warvor, sailed by Willem Ellement, NED © Todd VanSickle/BVI Spring Regatta
Warvor, the Sunsail 44i skippered by Willem Ellemeet and his team from the Netherlands took first in CSA Bareboat, with Larry Caillouet's Sunsail 50, Mary Jewell from Kentucky, USA in third place in the competitive Bareboat fleet.
Wednesday takes the fleet racing to Scrub Island, located off the north east end of Tortola, for the Scrub Island Invitational. Race start time is 1000 and the exact course will depend on weather and conditions. An afternoon of relaxation and fun is planned for crews, their families and friends on the island.
TORTOLA, British Vergin Islands - Life couldn't be more perfect for the crews of 54 boats competing in Tuesday's Nanny Cay Cup (Round Tortola Race) with the breeze forecast in the upper teens for the first race day of the 45th BVI Spring Regatta & Sailing Festival. Registration opened at noon today under blue sunny skies, the famed BVI trades keeping the heat at bay.
 
The Nanny Cay Cup not only sets the scene for a week of great racing with spectacular views of Tortola throughout the 31-nautical mile race, additionally, the teams can also race for the Nanny Cay Challenge - a perpetual challenge for the fastest mono and catamaran record around the island.
 
For racers to set a new elapsed time as they make the circumnavigation, starting and finishing at Nanny Cay, they must beat current records: Monohull record (3hrs 29mins 44secs) set at the 2013 Sailing Festival by Peter Corr's Aiyana, an Alia 82; Multihull record (2hrs 33mins 40secs) set in 2015 by BVI's Triple Jack, the trimaran owned by Richard Wooldridge and Steve Davis.
 
The Challenge has fantastic awards up for grabs if a team breaks either of the current records: a jeroboam of "Drappier" champagne, sponsored by Tico, dinner for 15 crew, and a suggestion to donate $250 towards a BVI charity of choice.
 
Spookie, winner of the 2015 Nanny Cay Cup, a Carkeek HP40 owned by Steve and Heidi Benjamin from Norwalk, CT (USA), is back with high hopes to retain the Cup.  They are psyched to put their best effort into taking the monohull Challenge record. Racing with them is Olympic silver medalist Peter Holmberg, one of the Caribbean's best known sailors who may help them set that record. Either way, the 15-strong Spookie crew loves the sailing conditions, scenery and atmosphere at Spring Regatta, especially when it's snowing back home.
 
Possibly the youngest sailors in Tuesday's fleet are Leon (11) and Robert Puche (10), all the way from Berlin, Germany. Their dad Werner will be skippering the Leopard 48 Slow Motion, which he bought 18 months ago to keep based in Tortola so they can enjoy events like Spring Regatta. "We're really looking forward to racing here and are only disappointed in that we have to leave early as the kids have to be back in school next week," Werner said. This is the first time for the family to be at the BVI Spring Regatta.
More first timers, Renato Faria, from Brazil, will be racing his Dufour 500 Ventaneiro 3, with friends from Brazil and Germany. A harbor pilot from Rio de Janeiro, Faria is used to sailing various Olympic class boats so he's not sure how racing Ventaneiro 3 will work out. "She's really a cruiser, but we'll try to race with her - we're looking forward to the best racing in the Caribbean and will keep the boat here to cruise and race in the future."
 
Team Slovakia, on board Arthur, a Beneteau First 40, have been in town for a few days now, taking time to soak up the beaches and a few cocktails while getting to know their way around the prevailing conditions. The group of seven friends are under the tutelage of Spring Regatta veteran Chris "Jacko" Jackson, owner's rep for Arthur. "This is a great regatta for these guys," Jackson said, "Everything's in one location, it's a two-minute walk to the parties from the boat, flat water and great sailing - what more could they want?"
 
Bob Phillips, Regatta Chairman, has chaired the BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival for 19 years so has a pretty good idea how conditions may shape up tomorrow. "We're looking at 15-20, pretty usual trade winds, maybe a little higher than normal. Of more importance is the direction - usually it's from the east which means a dead beat for the first part of the race...may not be record breaking conditions but it'll be close!"
 
The challenge is out! Start time for the CSA-Multihull class is 0930, CSA-Bareboat class at 0935; CSA-Cruising Class at 0940, and CSA-Racing class at 0945. NOR link

To enter or for more information go to: http://www.bvispringregatta.org/
Use the hashtag #BVISR @springregatta
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