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DAMAGED FISH-ATTRACTING DEVICES POSE DANGER

Nov. 30, 2001 – Seven "fish attracting devices," floating yellow mechanisms about 5 feet across, have been set up in V.I. waters to improve the odds of fishing enthusiasts and commercial fishermen getting a good catch. But some boaters are using the devices as moorings and are damaging them, government officials say.
Each of the devices consists of a 58-inch diameter yellow steel ball equipped with a radar reflector and a strobe light. Boaters are tying up to the devices — three off St. Thomas and four off St. Croix — and breaking off the radar reflectors and lights, according to Ruth Gomez, fisheries coordinator at the Planning and Natural Resources Department's Fish and Wildlife Division. Without radar and lights, the devices pose a hazard to navigation, she said.
The devices are intended to attract tuna, dolphin and wahoo. "They are not designed to be used as a mooring ball," Gomez said.
Planning and Natural Resources Commissioner Dean Plaskett said in a news release that the devices are made of materials that are available only off island. Therefore, he said, it might take up to six months to repair or replace those that are damaged.
DPNR asks that anyone who see someone tampering with one of the devices report the person's vessel registration number to the DPNR Enforcement Division at 773-5774 on St. Croix or 774-3320 on St. Thomas, or to the Fish and Wildlife Division at 773-3450, ext. 261, on St. Croix or 775-6762 on St. Thomas.

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Nov. 30, 2001 - Seven "fish attracting devices," floating yellow mechanisms about 5 feet across, have been set up in V.I. waters to improve the odds of fishing enthusiasts and commercial fishermen getting a good catch. But some boaters are using the devices as moorings and are damaging them, government officials say.
Each of the devices consists of a 58-inch diameter yellow steel ball equipped with a radar reflector and a strobe light. Boaters are tying up to the devices -- three off St. Thomas and four off St. Croix -- and breaking off the radar reflectors and lights, according to Ruth Gomez, fisheries coordinator at the Planning and Natural Resources Department's Fish and Wildlife Division. Without radar and lights, the devices pose a hazard to navigation, she said.
The devices are intended to attract tuna, dolphin and wahoo. "They are not designed to be used as a mooring ball," Gomez said.
Planning and Natural Resources Commissioner Dean Plaskett said in a news release that the devices are made of materials that are available only off island. Therefore, he said, it might take up to six months to repair or replace those that are damaged.
DPNR asks that anyone who see someone tampering with one of the devices report the person's vessel registration number to the DPNR Enforcement Division at 773-5774 on St. Croix or 774-3320 on St. Thomas, or to the Fish and Wildlife Division at 773-3450, ext. 261, on St. Croix or 775-6762 on St. Thomas.