42nd ANNUAL ORIGINAL MARATHON
MARCH 10 & 11/2018
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Visitors and Guests,
Fishermen call this a “buoy bouquet.” It’s not a good thing; it means the traps underwater are hopelessly tangled by Hurricane Irma. VICKI GALE/Contributed
8 TRADITION 10 NUMBERS 14 RECIPE 22 MENU 24 MUSIC 26 SHOP 30 GIVING 32 PROFILE 34 CURRENTS
Turner family takes on the challenge.
The festival is described in numbers.
Struyf family shares bisque recipe.
Come for the food, stay for the feed.
Listen to country, big band and rock.
Vendors sell a wide array of goods.
Fishermen support local scholarship.
Learn about the ‘Art of Beer.’
Fishermen are rebuilding after storm.
keysweekly.com | MMXVIII
The Weekly Newspapers 9709 Overseas Hwy Marathon, FL. 33050 P. 305.743.0844 | F. 305.743.0866
Now in its 42nd year, what began with local commercial fishermen in Marathon as a way to get together and celebrate the fruits of their labor, is an amazing event that attracts more than 20,000 people every year. More than ever, this iconic event is needed post Hurricane Irma — which knocked us down, but not out — here in the beautiful islands of Marathon. With the help of many we have rebuilt and repaired most properties that were damaged, and I am proud to say about 95% or more of our local businesses are back up and running to serve you and ensure you have a great stay and experience in Marathon and the Florida Keys. The festival serves as an economic boom for our local businesses, especially post-Irma, by bringing in thousands of people from around the world. All in all, the Original Marathon Seafood Festival is a win-win for everyone here in Marathon and the Middle Keys via the $75,000 in event proceeds which find their way back to the pockets of local charitable organizations such as food banks, daycare centers, medical assistance, scholarships, youth sports, and many other worthwhile causes. So enjoy the live music, unique gifts, art, boats, games and rides, and most importantly … the freshest seafood in the world. Come on over and visit us both Saturday and Sunday, March 10-11 at Marathon Community Park. On behalf of the Greater Marathon Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, as well as our event co-organizers the Organized Fishermen of Florida (Marathon chapter), we hope you and your family have a wonderful time at the 42nd annual Original Marathon Seafood Festival. Sea you at the festival! Sincerely, Daniel Samess, M.S. CEO, Greater Marathon Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center email@example.com
GREATER MARATHON CHAMBER OF COMMERCE & VISITOR CENTER 12222 Overseas Highway, Marathon FL 33050 P. 305.743.5417 F. 305.289.0183
www.FloridaKeysMarathon.com www.MarathonSeafoodFestival.com www.RelocateToTheFloridaKeys.com
2018 Marathon Seafood Festival
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2018 Marathon Seafood Festival
HE TURNERS VS. THE HURRICANE
CONCH KEY FISHERMEN, THREE GENERATIONS DEEP
BY KRISTEN LIVENGOOD
Lobster season ends March 31. The crew on the SARA J — Rick Turner, RJ Turner, and Julian Lami out of Conch Key — have been pulling three-a-day trips bringing in 80 traps a load, 240 a day, of the 4,500 traps they can find. “Irma took about a 1,000 of our traps,” said commercial lobster and yellowtail fisherman Rick Turner, who is business partners with James Paskiewicz. “It took about three weeks after the storm to gather the gear we could find, and we are still finding things now.” Turner credits the tightknit fishing community for the quick rebound after the hurricane. “We are still finding each other’s traps, sometimes 10 miles away from where they were, and we take a screenshot of the GPS and send it to each other,” he said. “We have probably found 400 to 500 traps this way.” The search for lobster traps after the storm was hit-or-miss. “We would find them in clusters, here and
2018 Marathon Seafood Festival
there,” he said. “Between the wind, the surge and the tides, everything was a gamble.” He moved to Conch Key in 1983 when his mom, Gerri, took a job pulling traps. Then she started her own operation. When Rick graduated in ’86 from Marathon High School, he bought his own trap boat and competed with his mom to see who could bring in the most per day. Years later, when she retired from trapping, she sold her son her boat and traps. “As soon as I bought my boat, the fishery started changing dramatically due to the certificate program,” he said, explaining the inabilities to expand and grow the business initially, at the same time his own young family was growing. “It was tough, but now in retrospect, it was beneficial for the fishermen and for the fisheries.”
Between the wind, the surge and the tides, everything was a gamble.” — Rick Turner
As an active member of Organized Fishermen of Florida and Florida Keys Commercial Fishing Association, he knows the importance of a sustainable fishery. “The rules are good, and the yellowtailing rules are pretty solid, too.” Along with the missing traps, he and his wife Lisa’s Conch Key home took on some major damage in the surge — caused by four mobile homes that crashed into the bottom of the stilted home. He said they were prepared for the four-foot surge, but not losing walls and 150-mile-per-hour winds that
scattered all the family photos that were secured high up on shelves in dry boxes. “They didn’t stand a chance in the wind.” As for now, the post Irma recovery continues, and the family is turning its focus to the next fishery — yellowtailing. His son, RJ, will be part of that effort, too. He received an OFF scholarship a few years ago and used the funds to take marine mechanics classes at Florida Keys Community College. “Fishing has always been in his blood,” said Rick. His daughter, Alyssa, is
at Florida State University; she received an OFF scholarship last year. (See page 30.) The boat name SARA J is an acronym for Turner’s two kid’s names, and the names of his business partner’s three children. “If James has any more kids, his or her name will have to start with an ‘R,’” he said. “You know SARA, JR.” Between the two business partners, they run three boats, including the “No Sweat,” and the “Twin Tails,” named after Paskiewicz’s twin daughters.
42nd Annual | marathonseafoodfestival.com
2,500 pounds OF FRESH FLORIDA LOBSTER
admission enter to win a $250 gift card
200 VENDORS boats showcased in the boat show
By Kristen Livengood
$3 million in estimated local impact
of Bud, Bud Light and Islamorada Beer Co. favorites
IN SCHOLARSHIPS TO LOCAL KIDS
number of prickly things volunteer Todd Spano will pick off his socks after a long dayâ€™s work
2,500 oysters shucked on site
for a commemorative collectable mug,
$3 refills #1 local festival according to
Best of Marathon
of yellowtail and mahi
For the kids:
500 volunteers with cool new shirts
20 lobster dinner 18 combo dinner 14 fish dinner
10 2018 Marathon Seafood Festival
$20 all you can bounce and slide $20 for 26 tickets $40 for 60 tickets (10 tickets to bungee, 5 tickets to climb the rock wall, 2 tickets to bounce)
how long attendees get to hear the sweet sounds of Tito Puente, Jr. on Saturday
for smoked fish dip or fish chunks
Friendly Service & Free Advice Overlooking The Boot Key Harbor Waterway Dockage • Bait • Tackle Ice Cold Beer • Snacks • Ice Investing is about more than money. At Edward Jones, we stop to ask you the question: “What’s important to you?” Without that insight and a real understanding of your goals, investing holds little meaning. Contact your Edward Jones financial advisor for a one-on-one appointment to discuss what’s really important: your goals.
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Marina Hours 7am - 5PM We monitor Channel 16
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Food So Good It’ll Make Your Tongue Slap Your Brains Out! Come by Car, Bike, Foot or Boat
1200 Oceanview Avenue (end of 15th Street), MM 47.5 Ocean 305-743-9204 • Open 11am – 9pm Daily 42nd Annual | marathonseafoodfestival.com
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12 2018 Marathon Seafood Festival
THE ORIGINAL MARATHON
SEAFOOD FESTIVAL PRESENTED BY:
Keys Insurance • Jolly Roger RV Resort • Design Center • Island Skipper Fishing • Marathon General Aviation • Kelly Electric • UPS Store Marathon Electric • Marathon Lumber • DDAI • Marathon Lady of the Florida Keys • Homes & Land of the Florida Keys • The Johnsons Insurance Agency • Specialty Hardware • Aviation Consulting • Dot Palm • Terra Marine Park • Edward Jones - Sarah Cizmas • Fl Keys Contracting Assoc Keys Animal Hospital • Miracle-Ear • TurnKey Vacation Rentals • The Tackle Box • Paradise Towing • Florida Keys Vacations • Byron Terrell Realtor
Special consideration paid for by the Monroe County Tourist Development Council.
SEAFOOD BISQUE FROM THE STRUYF FAMILY, WITH LOVE
SHRIMP (OR LOBSTER) BISQUE Serves 6-8 people (Four, if you feeding the Struyf children when they were playing sports at Marathon High School)
Billy Tyner is pictured at an early Marathon Seafood Festival, possibly 1976. CONTRIBUTED BY KRISTEN LIVENGOOD
14 2018 Marathon Seafood Festival
Debbie Struyf is sharing her family’s shrimp bisque secrets, copied straight from her dad’s recipe book. Her dad, Billy Tyner, was a local boat builder and fisherman, and is known as one of the organizers of the Original Marathon Seafood Festival in 1976. Their family has volunteered at the seafood fest since its inception. “I’ve been making this for 35 years and it’s one of our favorites,” said Debbie, en route to Georgia to visit one of her daughters. “I’m actually bringing up lobster and shrimp to make this while I am there.” (Don’t worry, she’ll be back for the festival, volunteering at the soda booth.)
INGREDIENTS: 8 tbsp. unsalted butter 1 large yellow onion, chopped 1 medium carrot, chopped 1 rib celery, chopped finely 6 cups of uncooked shrimp, lobster, or both ½ cup plus 2 tbps. of brandy, cooking sherry 6 sprigs parsley 6 sprigs thyme 1 dried bay leaf ½ cup heavy cream 4 tbsp. lemon or key lime juice cayenne pepper to taste black pepper to taste salt to taste Optional: 2 plum tomatoes or 2 tbsp. tomato paste (for red base) DIRECTIONS: Melt the butter and add onion, celery, and seasonings, slowly add cream and lemon juice. Then add in chopped seafood. At this time, add in the option tomato and paste if wanting a red sauce. Add bay leaf and cook on low to medium heat while adding cooking sherry or brandy. Cook about 20 minutes, take off the heat and add more heavy cream if desired, serve and garnish.
MARATHON COMMUNITY PARK
LOST & FOUND
GAMES & PLAY AREA
FESTIVAL T-SHIRTS Programs by Keys Weekly
SODA SODA BEER
36 35 34 33 32 31 30 29 28
12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25
TRANSPORTATION AVAILABLE TO THE COMMUNITY PARK
EVENT PARKING: 47th St. Ocean & Stanley Switlik Elementary, 3400 Overseas Hwy HOURS: 10 a.m to 9 p.m Saturday • 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday ADMISSION: $5 • Children under 12 free with paying adult
VENDOR DIRECTORY SATURDAY-MARCH 10 & SUNDAY-MARCH 11
BOOTH - VENDOR A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y
Buck Naked's Inc Nautical Sand Sculpture Nautical Sand Sculpture Culture-Cross Culture-Cross All Biz Jessica Ann Art Jessica Ann Art MANG Bit O Beads Loose Lucy's Sun Stoppers of Put-In-Bay FAME (facepainting) Fish Bone Design Charmed Sea Gear Performance Wear Hip Klips Mini Purse Loose Lucy's Duck Key Charters Falbrecht Studios/Corker Guy Shark Tested Optics Shark Tested Optics Nature's Treasures Nature's Treasures Nature's Treasures
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42
Keez Beez LLC Captain Pips Marina & Hideaway Big Time Bait & Tackle Big Time Bait & Tackle Rotary Club of Marathon Corrado's Gifts My Urban Poncho Reel Fishy Apparel Amateur Radio Clubs of Monroe County Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters Keys Deck & Dock Keys Deck & Dock D'Asign Source D'Asign Source Bryk Design MM50 Relief Project Florida Detroit Diesel Florida Detroit Diesel Florida Detroit Diesel Pantropic Power, Inc Florida Keys Diesel Florida Keys Diesel ZF Marine Propulsion An Elegant Touch An Elegant Touch Custom Coastal Furniture Custom Coastal Furniture SALT Services Marathon Marina EZ Hang Chairs Noel Skiba Florida Keys Polarized Glasses Coastal Docks Coastal Docks Oceanic Gear Oceanic Gear Perry H. Hodies Photography Red Cherry Namepainting Southeast Marine Construction Southeast Marine Construction Ofishulz Ofishulz
BOOTH - VENDOR
BOOTH - VENDOR
43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110
111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140 141 142 143 144 145 146 147 148 149 150 151 152 153 154 155 156 157 158 159 160 161 162 163 164 165 166 167 168 169 170 171 172 173 174
Underwater Fish Light Underwater Fish Light The Turtle Hospital Chainsaw Scotty OnBoard Band-It Promotions Guy Lularoe Pete Airbrush Hawks Cay Resort Natures Treasures Blue Marble Concepts USCG Auxiliary Gypsy Lures Gypsy Lures Gypsy Lures Walked Into A Bar I See Spain Florida Keys Mosquito Control Florida Keys Candle & Soap Monroe County Democrats Reel Catch Jim Parker Knives Touch of Key West Fresh Batch Jams & Market Key West Spice My Remix Tees Novelteeze Novelteeze Oriental Nursery Farm Midnight Magnolia Boutique Florida Keys Window Tinting Marion Artwork Pigeon Key Foundation Marine 360, LLC Florida Keys SPCA Bulldog Adjusters Bulldog Adjusters DC's Etched Glass Decals Stingray Steve ENO/Eagles Nest Outfitters Seacamp K Pugh Designs Keys Federal Credit Union ReelSkinz Go Green with Bamboo Pillows & Sheets Simply Savory Gourmet Blends Simply Savory Gourmet Blends Pirate Hat Apiary The Last Resort Ministry Santini Leather Sandbar Sunday Outfitters Seaglass Creations Earlusion Stingray Steve Nature's Artistry Rita's Seashell Art Wesley House Family Services Island Girl Designs Splash Soap Company Tropical Wine Mix Fish Skinz
One Stop Hats One Stop Hats Drifters Paradise Tropical Breeze Master Wood Carver Dolphin Research Center Decorating Impressions The Lazy Pirate Fine Art Feathers Charlie Takes An Adventure True Frequency Products Robin's Letter Art Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary NOAA/National Weather Service Artistic Bead Creations Rhineland Cutlery Splittin Hairs Outdoors Moon Shadow Soaps Domestic Abuse Shelter The Art Studio WEARRAW WEARRAW Keys Boat Furniture BJ Royster Ocean Gallery Tees by Bo Tees by Bo Laura Moore Designs Hunter Skipper Hunter Skipper Acryfin/All American Deck & Dock Men Pa'w Hot Sauce Key Colony Beach Realty, Inc. Crushable Hats Coconut Critters Coconut Critters Sun of a Beach Towels Florida Keys Contractor's Association Florida Keys Contractor's Association John's Jungle Hudson River Inlay Unique Arts & Crafts Los Cayos Apparel Mallory Square Mermaids Beachwear & Hats Security National Mortgage Janet's Gems All Marine Antiques All Marine Antiques DB Reality Rocks Foozy Socks of the Florida Keys Crane Point Nature Museum Eco Sparkle Cleaner The Closeout King D.T.U. Master Craft Kip Kennedy Florida Keys Island Salts Stuff 4 U Fossil Lamps Corporation Fossil Lamps Corporation Starfish Designs RayMart/Pat Marti RayMart RayMart
Boats Unique Marine Boats Marathon Boatyard Letâ€™s Go Carts of the Florida
Join us upstairs at the
From Key West to Key Largo
Gourmet Espresso Cold Brew Iced Coffees & Lattes Frozen Drinks Tea & Snacks
SEWER CONNECTIONS YARD, DEBRIS CLEARING DEMOLITION, REPAIR WORK
Open Monday-Saturday 9am-5:30pm
12535 Overseas Hwy MM 53.6
inside the art studio
An important message from
Florida Keys Contractors Association
Peace of Mind is important during Hurricane Season. Be sure to hire a licensed and insured contractor to get your home and business ready during storm season. After the storm: Be sure to hire licensed contractors to repair storm damaged structure. Ask your contractor
Visit us at Booth #147 & #148
• Do you have a Monroe County License? • Do you have general liability & workman's comp insurance? • Are you familiar with Monroe County Building Regulations? • Will you pull a permit if my work requires it? • Have you done this type of work before? • Are you self performing the entire project? • Will you supply releases of liens for your subcontractors & suppliers?
Work that requires a licensed and insured contractor Aluminum • Landscaping • Masonry • Roofing • Shutters • Windows & Doors • Seawalls & Docks and more...please call for more information.
Florida Keys Contractors Association
Florida Keys Contractors Association (305) 743-5984 floridakeyscontractorsassociation.com
FKEC Offers Temporary Residential Rebate Program FKEC has allotted $75,000 to once again fund a residential rebate program which will end once those funds are depleted. Members can obtain rebates (up to $500 maximum per member) for completing qualifying, energy efficient upgrades and improvements at their homes.
Rebates Available: • Central A/C Rebate • Ductless Mini Split A/C Rebate • Room A/C Rebate • Solar Water Heating Rebate • Insulation Rebate • Window Film or Solar Screen Rebate • Caulk/Weather-stripping Rebate • Cool/Reflective Roof Coating Rebate FKEC is proud to be the hometown Cooperative of our resilient Marathon Community
To find out how you can obtain a rebate contact us at
www.FKEC.com • 305-852-2431
18 2018 Marathon Seafood Festival
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Unlike other Florida festivals that bill themselves as a “seafood” event, the Original Marathon Seafood Festival is the real deal. Forty-two years ago, the festival was organized by commercial fishermen. The same holds true today, in 2018. MAHI MAHI / Mahi fish fillets will be the fish of the day on the heaping plates of fried goodness. Alive, the fish has a stunning iridescent coat of blue-green colors. Cooked, it’s a clean white meat with a mild taste and firm body. KEY WEST PINKS / Shrimp found in local waters can grow to enormous sizes — think small lobster. At the seafood festival, they are served steamed, sprinkled with spices and ready to peel. The shrimp are sweet and plump and tasty. LOBSTER / Fresh from Keys waters is the Florida spiny lobster, nothing like its Northern cousin from Maine. Our “bugs” don’t have claws nor do they grow as large and the meat is a bit saltier and a bit chewier than the Maine variety. STONE CRAB / Stone crab meat is sweet and delicious and most commonly served with mustard dipping sauce. Did you know the fishery is completely renewable? Fishermen take only the claw before putting the crab back in the water. CONCH CEVICHE / RAW Ceviche is like a cold salsa made with raw fish. By the time it’s done marinating in the base of lime juice, however, the meat is considered “cured.” Ceviche also features a healthy dose of fresh cilantro and onion. CONCH FRITTERS / Conch is a shellfish, carefully harvested from gorgeous pinklipped shells. The fish is cut into tiny pieces, or ground, then tenderized. It’s added to the fritter batter and dropped into boiling oil, served piping hot with a side dish of red cocktail sauce. OTHER GOODNESS / In addition to the excellent seafood, the Marathon Seafood Festival has plenty of other good nibbles. Smoothies, fish dip, desserts and French fries are all available, too.
Marathon's Professional Commercial Fishermen
From our boats...to your table. Harvesting local seafood for Marathon and the rest of the world for more than 50 years. Proud sponsors and founders of the Original Marathon Seafood Festival. Dedicated to the preservation of Marathon's commercial fishing heritage and the protection of its commercial fishermen and their families. Paul Lebo, President Eddie Cordova JR, Vice President / Director Carlos Moreira, 2nd Vice President Rick Turner, Alternate Director Elizabeth Prieto, Secretary / Treasurer and the rest of the O.F.F. family
Over $195,000 donated to local scholarships.
Currently accepting applications for 2018. Available for children of commercial fishing families. See the Marathon High School Guidance Office for more info.
SATURDAY MARCH 10 SAT. 10 A.M.: JOHN BARTUS (SOLO ACOUSTIC) Celebrating his 34th year of playing music in the Florida Keys, the elected councilman kicks off this year’s festival with versions of songs from his “Keys Disease” and “Live From the Florida Keys” CDs along with new originals and acoustic classics including Pink Floyd. johnbartus.com
SAT. 11 A.M.: RICKY VALIDO A Florida born singer, songwriter and live performer Ricky Valido best describes his music as his own take on modern traditional country. Blessed with a unique voice, Valido has captivated fans from all parts of the country. Ricky’s highenergy shows have introduced audiences to a rattling and footstomping hillbilly experience. rickyvalido.com SAT. 1 P.M.: I-LAND VIBE Not just reggae, ‘mon.’ I-Land Vibe plays a great mixture of reggae, soca, calypso and other island ‘riddims.’ For the last decade, this group of talented players has been the resident band at the world famous Holiday Isle in Islamorada. I-Land Vibe has serious fun on stage, and the fun is as contagious. i-landvibe.com
SAT. 3 P.M.: JADE STORM (JOHN BARTUS & ADRIENNE Z) Led by singer/songwriters John Bartus and Adrienne Z, and rounded out with drummer Glenn Faast, bassist Rob Garza, and guitarist Steven Miller, Jade Storm brings quite a variety of classic rock as well as John and Adrienne’s original songs from their CDs. Expect anything from quiet acoustic numbers to allout rockers! SAT. 5 P.M.: TITO PUENTE JR. Billboard Music Award Winner and Latin legend Tito Puente Jr. will be here with his entire band to get everyone moving, yes we got your Mambo right here! A must see, award winning, world renown musician following in the foot steps of his father Tito Puente, a legend within the Latin music industry! SAT. 7 P.M.: MONSTER Pure non-stop adrenaline, Monster delivers a rock star-quality show. Covering hard driving rock, the band plays favorites from Pink Floyd, Queen, AD/DC, ZZ Top, Pearl Jam, The Doors, The Who, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, and more — but it’s all heavy on the guitar!
SUNDAY MARCH 11 SUN. 11 A.M.: KAREN WEBER & FUNKIN’ CONCHS One of the best bands from our very own islands of of Marathon, Karen and her gang play regularly at special events and nightly venues. The group covers everything from Al Greene to Led Zeppelin and this lively band will get you going while keeping you entertained. We suggest listening with a beer or wine in one hand and some conch fritters in the other. SUN. NOON.: STONE CRABS Voted Best Band in Marathon, the Stone Crabs are a perfect Sunday festival band. Tony Napoli, Ken Fairbrother, Mike Corvette and Brian Shervington join forces to play reggae, rock, folk, blues, hip-hop, and more! It’s an eclectic array of music.
SUN. 1 P.M.: HOWARD LIVINGSTON & MM 24 BAND An all original tropical island band their music offers universal appeal with an easy going lilt and sway that celebrates the human spirit while being underscored by steel drums, guitars, marimba and subtle strings. Mile Marker 24 has grown in popularity to the most popular band in the Florida Keys to clearly a favorite nationwide.
SUN. 3 P.M.: MAGGIE BAUGH Multi-instrumentalist and singer/songwriter Maggie Baugh is a young, South Florida-based country music sensation. At 17 years old, she has a publishing deal, and is a Nashville recording artist, guitarist, and dynamic fiddle player. (She’s fiddled “Devil Went Down to Georgia” with the Charlie Daniels Band!)
42nd Annual | marathonseafoodfestival.com 25
BUCK NAKED RUBS Chef Buck “Naked” Donnelly said attendees have to try the rub that started it all, the HOG rub, but for seafood, he said his go to spice is the Reef Rub. “It’s so wonderful on fish and veggies,” he said. His other rubs, used on poultry and game, make food richer and more flavorful with just a simple shake. Donnelly, who moved to the Keys 25 years ago, has been rubbing the fest the right way since 2007 and will be at booth A.
The Reef Rub is locally made, low sodium, all natural, with no B.S., meaning no ‘bad stuff.’” — Buck “Naked” Donnelly
CHRIS BRYK DESIGNS Chris Bryk is an electrical contractor by trade but is known around town for his reclaimed wood and metal work and specialty designs, like nautical décor, custom bars, barn doors. He also showcases his local professional photography. He moved to Keys after meeting his homegrown wife Mandy, who is a teacher at Stanley Switlik Elementary School and together they have two children. He is loving life in the Keys! This is his fifth year at the event, swing by and meet him and his family at booth 15.
BY KRISTEN LIVENGOOD
VENDORS NOT TO MISS
WEARRAW Known as a fest favorite, WEARRAW is a “hippie” brand that collects items while traveling in search of vintage and handmade treasures from markets and street vendors from around the world. Many of the items are handmade of recycled and organic raw materials. WEARRAW has been at the fest for the past six years and will be in booths 131 and 132.
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JIM PARKER KNIVES Jim Parker offers a variety of knives from “hunters” to fancy “folders” — all custom, one-of-a-kind creations. His work features exotic handle material such as mother of pearl, stag or a variety of exotic woods. His knives come with a handsewn custom leather sheath made by his wife. This is his first year and he will be at booth 69.
There is no reason a good-looking knife can’t also be a work of art.” — Jim Parker
INTERNATIONAL IMPRESSIONISTIC PAINTINGS with vibrant color and sculptural texture! Painting on location from Key West, Big Pine, Islamorada to Mackinac Island Galleries, Shows & Events
Commissions Available 616-309-6413 firstname.lastname@example.org Come watch me paint awesome art! www.NoelSkiba.com God Bless You
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42nd Annual | marathonseafoodfestival.com 27
TRACKING THE CATCH COMMERCIAL FISHERMEN MUST ADHERE TO MANY RULES BY GABRIEL SANCHEZ
The “freedom” to fish all day and make a living at it is rather a complicated business. It takes more than angling skill set to pluck the bounty of the sea and sell it. Modern day commercial fishermen must complete piles of paperwork and memorize the byzantine rules and regulations and quickly changing seasons. Oh, and it doesn’t hurt to be handy with electronic technology either. Commercial fisheries landings and fishing effort data have been collected by the state of Florida since 1984. Sales of seafood caught in Florida must be reported on a Marine Fisheries Trip Ticket. Trip tickets include information about the harvester, the dealer purchasing the product, the date of the transaction, the county in which the species was landed, time fished, and pounds of each species landed for each trip. Whew! The first hurdle for commercial fishermen is obtaining a Saltwater Products License. With the license, commercial fishermen, with a boat registered as a commercial vessel, are allowed to sell fish to wholesale dealers. In addition to licensing, commercial fishermen must comply with a host of other regulations — how much they can catch, what they can catch, how they can catch it, when they can catch it. Some types of fish require a special endorsement, or another license. Once a fisherman has obtained the proper licensing, the biggest concern becomes proper reporting. Reporting is a crucial part of the oversight and accountability process for government officials, scientists, seafood markets and last, but not least, the fishermen themselves. For example, fishermen keep copies of tickets to compare with their annual landing summary reports the Florida Wildlife
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Research Institute produces. The commission also mandates vessel monitoring systems for some vessels. Those include vessels with commercial permits for Gulf reef fish and charter boats and head boats that have a commercial reef fish permit. The consequences of fishing in the wrong place can result in a significant fine. “We don’t have vessel monitoring in our industry,” said Irwin, who fishes spiny lobster and stone crab. “They have that in the shrimping industry. We actually call the area where that boundary is the “shrimp line.’” Responsibilities for merchants are clerical with a capital C. First of all, a wholesale dealer’s license is required to buy fish from a producer, and sell them to retail or other wholesale dealers. The license is also needed to buy fish from wholesale dealers and to sell to consumers. “As a wholesale dealer, we have to report the fishermen’s catch when we report what we purchase from them. It should match what they have in their logbook,” said Tim Hill of Key Largo Fisheries. “It’s all the same across the board when we report to the state and federal government every week.”
When we get to the dock we fill out a trip ticket, it’s done every time you sell product. For example, a trip ticket form might include how many traps were used, how much time you had on the traps, hours out at sea, and how many people were onboard, amongst other things.” — Capt. Ryan Irwin
Take a walk back in time...... Crane Point Museum & Nature Center 5550 Overseas Highway • Marathon Mile Marker 50 at the stoplight • • • • • • • • • • • • •
Museum of Natural History Nature Trails Wild Bird Center Touch Tank Lagoon Fish Butterfly Garden Historic Adderley House Trolley Tours Scenic view from the Point Picnic in the courtyard Gift Shop Kayak Tours Bee & Pollination Center for Viewing
Open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon-Sat Noon to 5 p.m. Sundays www.cranepoint.net
Vicki L Tashjian Property Manager
www.FlaKeysVacations.com 305-395-4370 FlaKeysVacations@bellsouth.net
P.O. Box 522693 Marathon Shores, FL 33052
Museum & Nature Center
EXCEPTIONAL FLAMINGO ISLAND HOME Custom built 2 bed/2ba 1600 sq.ft. home that has it all. Built to withstand 175mph winds, this open Florida floor plan has a beautiful kitchen and tastefully tiled bathrooms, Porch running entire length of the home overlooking the canal faces east so is perfect for entertaining or just relaxing on a shady afternoon. Lower level consists of large finished storage and garage. Trex dock has quality davits & extra floating dock. Too many wonderful features to list, so please request additional information. Offered furnished $822,500.
305-481-4571 email@example.com COCO PLUM LOT on deep water canal w/104’ of waterfront Perfectly located almost at the end of Coco Plum Drive for instant access to the Atlantic Ocean. Just jump on your boat and you are on your way to some of the best fishing and diving in the Florida Keys. Build a stilt home and enjoy fabulous sunrises and our beautiful shimmering waters of the Ocean. Offered at $599,000.
42nd Annual | marathonseafoodfestival.com 29
FISHERMEN’S SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM LIFTS UP THE NEXT GENERATION
BY SARA MATTHIS Funds raised during the weekend long festival go right into the college funds of hardworking fishermen’s children and grandchildren. Since the inception of the Marathon Seafood Festival 42 years ago, more than $195,000 has been donated to the community, including the Organized Fishermen of Florida, Marathon chapter scholarships. Five scholarships were given to Marathon High School graduating seniors last year — Samuel Zambrano, Gabriel Gonzalez, Alyssa Turner, Clay Daniels and Mia Bruno. Here’s an update on Zambrano and Turner:
SAMUEL ZAMBRANO FRESHMAN, FSU Samuel Zambrano is pursuing a degree in athletic training with an eye toward becoming a physical therapist.
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At Marathon High School, where he graduated in 2017, he ran cross country, played soccer from sixth to 12th grade, and played football his sophomore, junior and senior year. “I learned a lot about injuries. I got hurt a lot, quite a bit,” he said. “But I want to learn about the body’s recovery process. How the body works interests me, how it heals itself. That’s what I want to learn more about.” Dorm life has been a bit of an adjustment. “It’s an older building, but the people here are really friendly,” he said. He hopes to be able to visit Marathon for the Seafood Festival. Although it is a 588mile drive — one way — it does coincide with Spring Break. Go, Noles!
ALYSSA TURNER FRESHMAN, FSU “I want to focus on conservation and ecology,” said Alyssa Turner, a freshman at Florida State University, “and possibly minor in math.” Turner’s father is a lifelong commercial fisherman and she said her interests coincide with what she grew up hearing about at the dinner table.
“I heard him talk about how regulations affect what happens on the boat. The truth of it is that it goes both ways — science affects regulations and regulations can affect the science in the wild,” she said. A 2017 Marathon High School graduate, Turner was invited to participate in a special university program called WIMSE — Women in Math, Science and Engineering. She lives at Cawthorn Hall with other young women who have similar “STEM” interests. “It’s great to connect with the other women in the same field of study. If I struggle with a course, I can get help from someone. And if I understand a class, I can help them out,” Turner said. “It’s provided us with an opportunity to network and also get to know some older students and professors.” Turner has volunteered at the Marathon Seafood Festival in years past, and hopes to attend in 2018 as well.
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BY SARA MATTHIS
This time of year, the whole town of Marathon celebrates its commercial fishermen in conjunction with the Original Marathon Seafood Festival, set for Saturday and Sunday, March 10-11. Art Stephens is one of them. (In his own words, he’s been “killing fish” for more than 30 years.) Outside of fishing, one of Stephens’ most visible roles is the man in the festival beer tent; for years it’s been his responsibility to make sure the tent is fully staffed for the demanding job of quenching the thirst of festival-goers. The tips at the beer tent support a really good cause that’s close to his heart — kids’ athletics. But it’s impossible to overlook Art Stephens. Just look for the guy in the 10-gallon white hat exuding the peace of a man who is happy with his lot. FULL NAME: Art Stephens. WHERE WERE YOU RAISED? In a little place called Yorktown in southeast Virginia. DID YOU EVER THINK YOU WOULD GROW UP TO BE A COMMERCIAL FISHERMAN? No. I didn’t even consider that you could make a living being on the water because I was raised during a time that if you didn’t get a business degree you were considered a failure. But I loved being on the water as a kid — catching blue crabs, picking oysters and footin’ clams. HOW DID YOU GET TO THE KEYS? I arrived in Marathon in 1977 on a 36-foot navy launch with a fourcylinder Perkins. (That means it didn’t go fast.) I was delivering the boat for some friends of mine and they couldn’t pay me right away. So I decided to get some work so I could buy the ticket back. I got a job cutting bait for crab traps. And the rest is history. AND THEN WHAT HAPPENED? Well, by the time I was 24 years old, I paid taxes on 73k from what I earned captaining my own commercial fishing boat. I decided to go home that year
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for Christmas, and arrived in my brand new Coupe de Ville. My parents didn’t believe it was mine! WHAT OTHER JOBS HAVE YOU HAD? Well, I’ve also been a charter boat captain, done excavation work, and worked in a cabinet shop. Liz and I are going to start building a house on June 1. WHAT’S THE BEER TENT’S CLAIM TO FAME? We have the concession with the highest percentage of profit. WHAT ARE THE HEALTH REQUIREMENTS TO WORK IN THE BEER TENT? Must be able to run 500 8-yard sprints an hour. WHAT DO YOU LOVE BEST ABOUT MARATHON? It’s such a giving town. I regularly have one local that drops a $100 check in the tip jar at the Marathon Seafood Festival. He doesn’t drink, but wants to support our community. HOW DID YOU DO IN THE HURRICANE? Not great, but I signed up for this 42 years ago when I moved to the Keys. We all did. You got to be prepared for the consequences.
THE ART OF BEER
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THERE WILL BE
FISH IT WAS A TOUGH YEAR, BUT ‘WE ARE RESILIENT’
BY GABRIEL SANCHEZ AND KRISTEN LIVENGOOD “The fishermen are resilient, Marathon is resilient, and the Keys are resilient,” said Keys Fisheries owner Gary Graves when asked about Hurricane Irma’s affect on the seafood industry. “There’s no doubt we got kicked, but everyone is working together to rebuild our lost gear.” Graves said that based on his 50 years in the industry, he expects next year’s fishery to be “normal.” He said changes to the ocean bottom can affect next year’s outcome, but early indicators are positive. “A few of the guys who had traps out there are reporting that they are seeing some small lobster — that’s a good sign,” he said. “We’re going to be optimistic.” Unfortunately, the numbers for this last lobster season were dismal. The 2017-18 lobster season, which ends March 31, could produce half the expected harvest because of Hurricane Irma, and stone crab numbers are likely to suffer as well. “Harvest levels are returning to normal,” says Florida Keys Commercial Fishermen’s Association Executive Director Billy Kelly, but estimates that commercial lobster fisherman lost “six to eight weeks of their best production” to the storm. In total, the 2017-2018 season could yield 2.5 million
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pounds or less of lobster, an estimate Kelly says is half the expected amount. For stone crab numbers, Kelly said he fears the numbers will be down, too.
150,000 OF 350,000 — lobster traps displaced by Hurricane Irma
The numbers, compiled by Fish and Wildlife Research Institute, reveal the peak months of season — August, September and October — are way off.
5,000 OF 6,700 TRAPS — the amount of equipment lost by one Middle Keys fishing family
The data showed that in August 2017, 816,229 pounds of lobster were harvested. September, the heart of season, saw 421,124 pounds hauled in. October’s landing figures are 391,025. For comparison, the August 2016 total was 1,076,426 pounds, September was 1,233,025 and October, 755,241. Hurricane Irma hurt Keys fishermen in a lot of other ways, too. Some had damage to their boats, or lost them altogether, and between boarding up homes and moving families, some had to leave traps in the water. Despite the disruption, lobster prices haven’t wavered, and that bodes well for next year’s harvest. Lobster prices are dictated by global factors including the abundance and pricing of other species of lobster from countries like Australia, the Bahamas and South Africa. There is some very, very good news though for the guests of the Marathon Seafood Festival. “Don’t worry, we have plenty of seafood set aside,” said Graves.
10-16 MILES — approximate distance of trap movement on the Oceanside after the storm 3-5 MILES — approximate distance of trap movement on the bayside 80% — percentage of commercial fishing equipment loss in the Middle Keys 14 — number of commercial boats severely damaged from the storm in the Florida Keys
WE’VE MOVED! The Visitor’s Center…not Pigeon Key
PROUD SUPPORTER OF THE ORIGINAL MARATHON SEAFOOD FESTIVAL
to Faro Blanco Resort & Yacht Club 2010 Overseas Highway Call for tour information (305) 743-5999
Includes: Guided Tour • Museum • Ferry Boat Ride
History • Environmental Education • Research Daily Historical Tours At 10am, 12pm, & 2pm Environmental Education Programs • Summer Camps • Research (305) 743-5999 • www.pigeonkey.net 42nd Annual | marathonseafoodfestival.com 35
WE ARE LOCALLY OWNED AND OPERATED FOR OVER 10 YEARS UPPER KEYS
DISTRIBUTED KEYS - WIDE Third Annual
Best of Marathon TROPICAL LIVING MAGAZINES (over 30 magazines annually)
PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARDS
THE BEST OF MARATHON THE BUBBAS - Key West People’s Choice
PREFERRED PROGRAM PARTNER OF: MARATHON SEAFOOD FESTIVAL / KEYSTOCK / OCEANFEST / KEY WEST SEAFOOD FESTIVAL MONROE COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS and many more… A HOMETOWN PAPER YOU CAN BE PROUD TO CALL YOUR OWN Key West 5450 MacDonald Ave, Suite 5 305.453.6928
Marathon 9709 Overseas Highway 305.743.0844
Tavernier 91831 Overseas Highway 305.743.0844
LOCAL ATTRACTIONS CRANE POINT HAMMOCK, NATURE CENTER. The museum features several exhibits, nature path to the gulfside shore, gift shop and a restored Conch home available for tour. MM 50.5, gulfside / cranepoint.net / 305.743.9100 DOLPHIN RESEARCH CENTER. This Facility offers visitors a variety of ways to enjoy dolphins. There are several exhibitions daily, plus packages to interact with the dolphins more closely. The center has about 20 dolphins, three sea lions and a splash park for kids. MM 59, gulfside / dolphins.org / 305.289.0002 FLORIDA KEYS AQUARIUM ENCOUNTERS. Guests submerge in huge, saltwater tanks with a variety of reef fish and creatures, plus feed larger fish (like sharks!) through a small opening. Sting ray and nurse shark encounters are offered, plus a lagoon swim. MM 53, gulfside / 305.407.3262 floridakeysaquariumencounters.com HISTORIC PIGEON KEY. Once used as a camp for workers constructing the 7 Mile Bridge, the tiny island in the center of the span is now a marine science camp, research facility and historical monument. Visitors can take a ferry from Faro Blanco Resort. MM 47, oceanside / pigeonkey.net / 305.743.5559 TURTLE HOSPITAL. This Middle Keys facility does many things — it rescues injured sea turtles, rehabilitates them and returns them to the wild when possible; and educates visitors about the animal and its plight. Visitors can tour the turtle pens and the hospital to learn about sea turtles indigenous to the Florida Keys. MM 48.5, oceanside / turtlehospital.org / 305.743.5999
PARKS MARATHON COMMUNITY PARK. This city-owned park features a playground, ball fields, a skate park, basketball and tennis courts. It also has an amphitheater and is the site of town festivals, such as the The Original Marathon Seafood Festival. It’s located at U.S.1 and 36th Street in Marathon.
OCEANFRONT PARK. Marathon’s newest passive park features a kayak launch and oceanfront boardwalk with information panels about our native habitat and marine life. A perfect spot for fishing or simply enjoying an ocean breeze. It’s located behind City Hall between 98th and 99th Street Ocean. ROTARY CHILDREN’S PARK. Kids love the Thomas the Train climbing apparatus plus all of the other multi-level climbing, swinging and sliding equipment for children of various ages and abilities. It features a shade pavilion and a restroom. Adjacent to the kids’ area, is a fenced dog park where visitors and locals let their fourlegged babies play. It’s located on U.S. 1 between 75th and 76th streets.
BEACHES SOMBRERO BEACH. This city-owned beach is the jewel of the Middle Keys. It features a long, white beach, clear blue waters, restrooms, a playground, picnic pavilions, fishing pier and volleyball courts. Repairs post-Hurricane Irma are still ongoing, but half the beach is open. Sombrero Beach Road, Marathon, (near MM 50). CURRY HAMMOCK STATE PARK. This state park is more popular among kayakers and paddleboarders than sunbathers. It’s within paddling distance of several beautiful mangrove islands and a pristine white sandbar. The park features a playground, restrooms and picnic pavilions. Recently, it’s been discovered by kiteboarders. Crawl Key, just north of Marathon, (near MM 56). COCO PLUM. This oceanside beach is left almost entirely in its natural state and facilities are minimal. It’s popular among dog owners and shell collectors. It has fewer visitors than other area beaches and is often deserted. Coco Plum Drive, Marathon, (near MM 54).
DATES • March 10-11: Original Marathon
Seafood Festival at Marathon Community Park • March 11: Story Slam “Adventures in Travel” at 7 p.m. at Marathon Community Theatre. March 16: A Mosaic of the Keys • Connection Project opening reception from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Artists in Paradise Gallery, Big Pine Key. • March 17: Outdoor Fest and Wildlife Fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the new Key Deer Refuge Center, Big Pine Key. • March 17: Key Colony Beach St. Patrick’s Day Parade starting at 5 p.m. from Sunset Park to First Street and East Ocean Drive. • March 31: Kids sailing regatta from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Marathon Yacht Club.
42nd Annual | marathonseafoodfestival.com 37
38 2018 Marathon Seafood Festival
Walk in, Create Art, Drink Coffee Painting Pottery, Glass Blowing & Fusion, Clay Wheel Throwing & Hand-Building,
and Monthly Workshops!
the art studio
Mon-Sat : 9-6pm keysartstudio.com 12535 Overseas Hwy 305-289-9013 MM 53.9 Oceanside
Visit Booth #130 to purchase hand crafted, local art today!
Marathon Garbage Service, Inc. 305-743-5165
Recycle Right in the Florida Keys Recycle the following items Plastic Bottles & Containers #s 1 - 7 Plastic lids and caps are OK!
Paperboard Boxes Office Paper Newspapers Magazines Catalogues Phone Books Aluminum & Metal Cans Clean foil and foil containers Paperback book Junk Mail Cereal Boxes Corrugated Cardboard Paper Milk, Juice and Soup Cartons Glass Bottles & Jars
(green, brown & clear only – no lids)
11th - 30th Ocean Side 12th- 52nd Gulf Side
48th St Ocean - 74th St Ocean Side Wednesday 60th, 61st, & 70th Gulf Side 75th - 117th Ocean & Gulfside Behind Airport & Aviation Including Stirrup Key
Sombrero Beach Road
Sombrero Blvd & Flamingo Island
Vaca Cut- Coco Plum
Grassy Key, Duck Key, & Conch Key
Key Colony Beach
Long Key - Layton
(emptied and rinsed)
Let’s Keep the Keys Clean!
orters Proud supp inal of the Orig Marathon l stiva Seafood Fe
These items will not be accepted
Paper Plates • Plastic Bags • Aerosol Cans Window Glass • Toys • Tires • Hoses • Dishes Styrofoam • Ceramics • Oil Containers