Feeds

Leaping sturgeon menace 'Swanee'

Florida boater victim count rises

Top three mobile application threats

Boaters on Florida's Suwannee ("Swanee") river have come under increasing risk of leaping sturgeon attack during the last 18 months as low water levels continue to provoke serious collisions between the "armoured fish" and unwary humans, the Telegraph reports.

Florida police say that this year has been "particularly bloody", with five victims to date including 50-year-old Sharon Touchton who was piloting a jetski when she impacted with a sturgeon, suffering skull fractures under her eyes, losing a finger and a tooth and almost biting off her own tongue in the process.

The Gulf sturgeon in question, which can reach eight feet in length and boast "sharp, bony plates that can cut flesh like knives", are not aggressive by nature, scientists claim, but the boffins are unable to offer an explanation for their acrobatics.

The sturgeon menace has been compounded by the aforementioned low water levels as boats and fish have to share increasingly restricted patches of river. Sturgeon strikes were previously uncommon, but ten people were injured last year.

This 2007 tally of casualties so far includes the unfortunate Touchton, plus 32-year-old Tara Spears "knocked unconscious and taken to the hospital" following a piscine impact, and six-year-old Taylor Lane Owen who suffered a broken leg when a sturgeon jumped onto the boat he was sharing with 20-year-old Kelly Clafin.

Major Bruce Hamlin, regional commander for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's (FWC) North Central Region, told the local NewsHerald.com: "The documented strikes for 2006 resulted in the worst year on record, with eight people directly hit by sturgeon and two injured when they swerved to avoid a jumping fish and hit a bridge piling.

"However, the numbers for 2007 show a trend that could top 2006. At this point last year, there were three documented strikes, with three injuries. People need to be cautious when on the Suwannee. I cannot emphasize that enough."

Some boat owners have suggested the sturgeon, which in spring migrate from the Gulf of Mexico to the Suwannee to spawn, might be "removed" to contain the threat, but although they were once exploited for their caviar and meat, they are now a protected, endangered species. ®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Fancy joining Reg hack on quid-a-day challenge?
Recruiting now for charity starvation diet
Red-faced LOHAN team 'fesses up in blown SPEARS fuse fiasco
Standing in the corner, big pointy 'D' hats
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
Opportunity selfie: Martian winds have given the spunky ol' rover a spring cleaning
Power levels up 70 per cent as the rover keeps on truckin'
KILLER ROBOTS, DNA TAMPERING and PEEPING CYBORGS: the future looks bright!
Americans optimistic about technology despite being afraid of EVERYTHING
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.