I had dinner with a friend the other night. A fellow lover of the ocean… we discussed my love from the top and his from the bottom (a diver, TheSharkToothGuy). Our conversation led to how marine life in the Gulf has been impacted over the course of the year. The most recent impact being a result of Tropical Storm Debby. Reportedly, diving has changed dramatically due to her impact.
TheSharkToothGuy went diving this past week in an area known for its abundant sea life. However, he reports that it turned out to be less than an ideal situation. A plain of empty Conch shells were cast in one section. Another section of the gulf floor was strewn with “dancing crabs”… swaying back and forth in the tidal wash (dead, probably while seeking refuge from the storm or due to the storm). A group of bait fish that would blacken out the sun was down to a few hundred. He spent one tank/dive popping open damaged or entangled crab traps to remove Hogfish, Cobia, Grouper and other fish that were either caught in the traps or sought refuge during the storm.
The damage from the storm was intense from below the water. It has been a long time since a storm hung over our small area for so many days without moving on. The changes below are reportedly noticeable. Help ensure survival of our fish populations by following conservation-friendly catch and release practices. Things will recover, but right now need our help.