Guy Harvey Magazine

FALL 2017

Guy Harvey Magazine is focused on fishing, boating, scuba diving, and marine conservation. Portfolios from the world's best fishing photographers, articles on gear, travel, tournaments, apparel, lifestyle, seafood recipes, sustainable fisheries.

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62 | www.GuyHarveyMagazine.com be eaten or dissolve, lowering the cost of using the trap. The CCS SIMS took his designs to the next step and had a prototype of the trap made in a local machine shop owned by student Kylie Tharp's family. They made some modifications and then later decided it looked more like a taco than a purse, so it became known to them as the "taco trap." Soon after, the CCS SIMS built a pulley system to demonstrate how the taco trap worked and took the design to the Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day in Tallahassee, Florida. While there, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation representatives also took interest in the trap, and as the conversation progressed, they told us that volunteer positions were available. We also learned that lionfish tastes delicious and many other ways people are trying to eradicate this species. With the help of the people at Diver's Den in Panama City, the CCS SIMS dropped the trap and three other FADs. The FADs consisted of five-gallon buckets with PVC pipes projecting out of the sides, and a board shaped like the "#" symbol attached to a cinder block. These designs were to test which FAD worked the best. The taco trap was dropped 82 feet to the bottom of the Gulf, a mile offshore on May 11. Our original plan was to wait two weeks, then retrieve the trap. However, due to weather, the trap retrieval was delayed until mid-June, bringing some bad news. When the CCS SIMS got back to it, it was gone. Whether the storms washed it away or it was caught by fishermen remains a mystery. This was discouraging, but when the other FADs were found, they stumbled upon six, fully grown lionfish hanging around the contraption. This raised excitement in the students as they found that the FADs worked. Dr. Steve Gittings continues to modify the trap designs and work with the CCS SIMS to test more traps, FADs and other ideas he has. Looking forward, we plan to make the traps easier to use so that people in the Caribbean and other remote locations can build these traps with local materials. Having inexpensive, simple traps will give them the opportunity to catch lionfish and provide food for the grill. This will help slow the spread of the species and Above: Student's bucket FAD with lionfish at 80 feet. Photo: Carlos Orozco, Diver's Den. Below: Captain JD Moore on the Wreckreation supports a recovered bucket FAD while Kylie Tharp watches. Photo: Katie Landeck, Panama City News Herald.

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