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Kate MacFall: Florida black bear hunt — bad idea last year; bad idea this year

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

On June 22, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will discuss whether to open another Florida black bear hunt. It was a bad idea last year, and it’s a bad idea this year, especially now that a group of knowledgeable Florida scientists has sent a detailed letter to the state’s wildlife agency. They make the serious point that the state doesn’t have the information it needs to responsibly hold a black bear hunt without potentially harming the populations. Florida’s…

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Mitch Perry Report for 6.17.16 — “Weiner” comes to Tampa

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Here’s something you don’t hear very often — if you’re intending on attending tonight’s Tampa Bay Rays — San Francisco Giants game at Tropicana Field, you better already have a ticket. The team announced earlier this week that they would make all open seats for the game available for their annual Pride Night for just $5, with all the proceeds going to the Pulse Victims Fund. And the team announced yesterday that the game is sold-out, with “around 40,000” fans…

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Gulf Cost snook fishery finally rebounds from devastating 2010 cold snap

in Apolitical/Top Headlines by

The number of snook along Florida’s Gulf Coast finally is where it was before a devastating freeze in January 2010 decimated the population, forcing the state to impose an unprecedented ban that hit hard the charter fishing and tourism industry from Tampa Bay south. Snook, widely considered Florida’s most popular nearshore game fish that drew sport fishermen from all over the world, are back in robust numbers along the state’s Gulf Coast, where the population took a big hit six…

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Tropical Storm Colin claims hundreds of sea turtle nests on Gulf Coast

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Besides the toll taken on the humans of Florida, Tropical Storm Colin claimed what may be hundreds of sea turtle nests buried beneath the sands along the state’s Gulf Coast, wildlife advocates say. “There was damage,” said Joe Widlansky, sea turtle biologist with Sea Turtle Trackers, a group in Pinellas County that monitors the marine reptiles and their nesting habits in the region. The nesting season just started last month, he said, and about 14 nests have been identified and…

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An open letter to the 3,200 people hoping to kill bears over the next week

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Dear Bear Hunters, It’s strange to me that you consider killing living things a sport. That you smile over the carcass of a once-living thing and revel in your kill both shocks and offends me. Killing animals for food is one thing – cows are cute, but I love me some steak – but to do it for “sport” just seems sick. But even though I don’t get it, I do understand that there is a time and a place…

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Today on Context Florida: Scott’s record of shame, Windows 10, hurricane gerrymandering and Lake Point

in Apolitical/Top Headlines by

Today on Context Florida: Diane Roberts tallies up Rick Scott’s scorecard of shame when it comes to the environment. Her personal favorite is the $174,078,574 in designated Amendment 1 money for salaries and overhead in the Department of Agriculture, DEP, FWC and the Department of State. The state is supposed to be paying salaries and insurance anyway, Roberts says, while pointing out that subsidizing the Department of Agriculture in its aiding and abetting of big polluters is just moronic. And contrary…

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Hunt lionfish this mini-season, save reefs, keep more lobster

in Apolitical/Top Headlines by

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is allowing divers to bring home an extra lobster per day during the state’s upcoming 2015 spiny lobster mini-season. The only stipulation, divers must also have harvested 10 or more lionfish on the same day. “Opportunities like this are a great way to get divers who are already in the water accustomed to removing lionfish,” said FWC Commissioner Brian Yablonski. “Our hope is that once lobster divers realize how easy it is…

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