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May news from BTT includes gulf oil spill update

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Latest news form the Bonefish and Tarpon Trust Latest news form the Bonefish and Tarpon Trust

The BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill could have disastrous effects on spawning tarpon if the limited data held on their spawning migration movements is correct.

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Bonefish & Tarpon Trust Newsletter
May 2010
In This Issue
Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill: Call to Action
Oil Spill Angler Reports
Possible Oil Impacts on Atlantic Tarpon
Annual Board Meeting and Tarbone Dinner
Michael Keaton appears in BTT PSA
Project Permit
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BTT is a non-profit, science-based conservation organization dedicated to ensuring that existing bonefish, tarpon, and permit populations, and the fisheries they support, remain healthy, while working to restore fisheries that have declined. Join here 
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BTT - Stewardship Through ScienceThe BP Gulf of Mexico oil rig disaster is obviously at the top news item of the month, and may become a memorable event for much longer, depending on the impacts of the oil as it reaches shore and affects marine life in the Gulf of Mexico and beyond. It is pleasing to see that many angler and citizen groups are already mobilizing to combat the onslaught of oil if it reaches their home waters, and in many areas there are plans of action in place. But this event also highlights that, despite our strong progress in recent years, there are still significant gaps in our knowledge of our fisheries and marine and coastal resources. Rather than lament the impacts of a disaster that has already occurred, it is BTT's creed to push forward with a call to action so that the next time our fisheries are faced with such a challenge, we are in a better position to protect the fisheries. As you might expect, this e-newsletter is dominated by items that focus on the oil spill, chief among them a call to action from BTT to recreational anglers to use this event for improving our fisheries. There are also links to how you can get involved to protect your homewaters. And, of course, some much lighter, but very important fare, including a photograph of some BTT Founding Members that will please many of you. And we are pleased that actor Michael Keaton, who was an essential part of Pirates of the Flats, has donated a PSA to BTT. Finally, Project Permit continues to gather steam, so if you chase permit in Florida, please take part in this important tagging program.

Tight lines,
Aaron Adams, Ph.D.
Operations Director
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Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill: Call To Action
Although it brings with it a host of potential devastating consequences for fisheries, habitats, and other natural resources in the Gulf of Mexico, Florida Keys, and southeastern United States, the ongoing BP oil rig disaster also provides an opportunity to improve how we manage our fisheries and coastal resources. The traditional mode of fisheries and resource management has been, by and large, reactive. Data aren't gathered until a potential problem is perceived. As you no doubt have gathered from the new reports about the ongoing flow of crude oil in the Gulf of Mexico, for the most part the eventual impacts to fisheries and other natural resources are unknown. In many instances, this lack of knowledge about impacts is because we have insufficient information on our natural resources to be able to predict impacts much less estimate impacts after the damage has been done. Read more.
Oil Spill Angler Reports
Impacts of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico are still unknown.  The Louisiana Bucket Brigade has implemented a social networking tactic to construct a database of anecdotal evidence pertaining to the spill.  Each location is logged and added to a map.  Concerned anglers can report a sighting or disturbance caused by the oil spill simply by calling or texting a hotline.  To view the map and full article click here.
Possible Oil Impacts on Atlantic Tarpon
Gulf oil spill could affect Atlantic tuna, tarpon, sea mammals

By Renee Schoof and Karen Nelson / McClatchy Newspapers
WASHINGTON - Oil from a ruptured drilling rig could harm all kinds of marine life in the Gulf of Mexico, from the Atlantic tarpon and bluefin tuna that have key spawning areas nearby to endangered sea turtles, commercial fisheries, migrating song birds and marine mammals. The spill gushed oil at the rate of about 210,000 gallons a day Thursday and was headed toward the wetlands and shrimp, crab and oyster nurseries of Louisiana, possibly arriving overnight Thursday. It's too early to know the toll yet, and the worst damage is expected when the oil hits wetlands and beaches. Still, experts say that one of the nation's biggest oil spills threatens many animals in the open water as well.

Of particular concern to BTT is that the spill is taking place just as tarpon spawning season is beginning, and if tarpon spawn offshore, as our limited data suggests, the oil slick could impact spawning.   Read the full article.

Annual Board Meeting and Tarbone Dinner
On April 22, 2010, Bonefish & Tarpon Trust hosted its annual Board Meeting and Tarbone Major Donor Dinner in Key Largo, Florida.  During the meetings, the Board discussed current bonefish, tarpon and permit research, filming of the sequel to Pirates of the Flats (Buccaneers and Bones), and the pursuit of legislation to make tarpon a Federal Game Fish.  Donors were invited to observe the Board Meeting as well as research presentations given by Dr. Aaron Adams, Dr. Jerry Ault, and Kathy Guindon.  The annual Tarbone Dinner took place at the Angler's Club and was privately funded.  Joined together over fantastic food and conversation were BTT members, founders, and fishing luminaries.  The event was an overall success. Photo of fishing icons at the event.
Michael Keaton appears in BTT PSA
Celebrated film star and avid fly fisherman Michael Keaton has agreed to appear in public service announcements for BTT.  Calling out the urgent need to support BTT's critical research on flats species, Keaton's message will be heard throughout coastal U.S. communities and beyond as the PSA campaign helps intensify BTT's efforts to heighten awareness of science based coastal conservation.  Click here to view the video PSA.
Project Permit
The Costa Del Mar permit tagging program in Florida is well under way.  Over 100 tagging kits have been handed out to permit anglers and many tags have been deployed.  If you would like to request a tagging kit click here.

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