Guy Harvey Fisheries Symposium Draws an All-Star Cast

By Fred Garth

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - The BP oil spill saga, a fledgling US aquaculture industry and contentious red snapper management issues were some of the hot topics on tap recently at the Guy Harvey Fisheries Symposium at the University of South Florida’s St. Petersburg campus.   

The two-day gathering on November 13-14 examined a broad range of issues facing the oceans, including the invasive lionfish explosion as well as the millions of dollars in RESTORE Act funding set to be allocated to the five states bordering the Gulf of Mexico.

Headlined by famed artist and conservationist, Dr. Guy Harvey, the speakers included an all-star cast of marine scientists, non-governmental organizations, commercial and recreational fishing representatives as well as officials from state and federal regulatory agencies and local school groups. The Guy Harvey Fisheries Symposium is billed as one of the only conferences that brings together a diverse collection of interest groups - some with opposing views - to work through complex fishery issues.

"Ultimately, we all have to share the same resource," Dr. Harvey said. "One of our goals is to bring everyone together so we can better understand each other’s point of view and find solutions we can all live with."

One of the organizers, Dr. Bill Hogarth, who is the director of the Florida Institute of Oceanography and a former NOAA administrator, knows the importance of working in concert, especially on controversial issues like red snapper management.

"The commercial fishing industry and recreational fishermen have been at odds for years and the shortened red snapper season has exacerbated that,” Hogarth said. “But we all have the common goal of a sustainable fishery so we have to work hard to achieve that while being sensitive to the needs of all the stakeholder groups."

The panel covering red snapper management included the president of Florida’s Coastal Conservation Association, Jeff Miller, who represents recreational fishermen and longtime commercial fisherman Jason De La Cruz. It was rounded out by Dr. Roy Crabtree of the National Marine Fisheries Service, Dr. Greg Stunz of Texas A&M University, Dr. Will Patterson of the University of South Alabama and Dr. Bob Shipp, who was director of the Dauphin Island Sea Lab in Mobile, Alabama for more than 30 years.

"In addition to buying boats and fishing gear, recreational fishermen contribute generously to conservation organizations like the CCA," Miller said. “They also create the majority of the funding for state conservation efforts through fishing license purchases."

Much of the discussion on the second day of the symposium focused on the Restore Act, which is being funded by penalties paid by BP and TransOcean for their roles in the DeepWater Horizon disaster.

A panel with representatives from each state as well as NOAA, outlined the complex funding mechanism and the process of how monies will be awarded. RESTORE is an acronym for Resources and Ecosystem Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities, and Revived Economies of the Gulf Coast States Act of 2012.

A panel with representatives from each state as well as NOAA, outlined the complex funding mechanism and the process of how monies will be awarded.

Don Kent, President of the Hubbs SeaWorld Institute led the panel on aquaculture highlighting the need to promote better seafood growing conditions in the US.

"The regulations have forced aquaculture to other countries," Kent said. "There’s a company in Mexico growing red drum [redfish] and selling them to the US market. Why aren’t we growing those fish here?"

The US imports some 80% of the seafood it consumes yet only contributes about 1% to the planet’s overall aquaculture production.

One of the most publicized and pressing issues facing the coastal areas in the Southeastern US and Caribbean is the rapid expansion of invasive lionfish. Native to the Indo-Pacific, lionfish were accidentally introduced to Florida waters in the 1980s. Now they populate reefs from New England to South America. A panel discussion centered on how we still need to learn how to effectively eradicate them from the reefs. A remote Skype broadcast during the symposium from the
Research Vessel Weatherbird showed how traps might be used to control lionfish.

Among the hundreds of attendees to the symposium were dozens of high school and college students as well as teachers who were treated to the latest marine science research and a special showing of Dr. Harvey’s award-winning film, Sharks of the World.  

The symposium was sponsored by the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, Guy Harvey Magazine, Fresh From Florida, the
Florida Institute of Oceanography, the Gulf & South Atlantic Fisheries Association, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, the University of South Florida St. Petersburg and the Florida Attractions Association.

The third Guy Harvey Fisheries Symposium is tentatively slated for September 2015. For more information go to: www.guyharveyfisheriessymposium.com

Human Dimensions of Wildlife: what is it and why do we need it?

ST. PETERSBURG -

Speaker: Dr. Ann Forstchen

Affiliation: Florida Wildlife Commission

Seminar Title: "Human Dimensions of Wildlife: what is it and why do we need it?”

When: Nov. 20, 2014 3:30pm EST

Where: MSL Conference Room (134)

Host: Dr. Jen Miselis, USGS

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USFCMS Awarded $4.5M to Map West Florida Reefs and Fish

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - The project will deploy a towed camera system called C-BASS (Camera-Based Survey Assessment System).  Developed at the USF Center for Marine Technology, C-BASS will be deployed to determine the density, species composition and size structure of fishes using the various habitats. 

"This set of studies will use state-of-the-art ocean imaging technologies to better understand and protect habitats off the west coast of Florida,” said College of Marine Science Dean Jackie Dixon."

“This set of studies will use state-of-the-art ocean imaging technologies to better understand and protect habitats off the west coast of Florida,” said College of Marine Science Dean Jackie Dixon. “ - See more at: http://www.tampabaynewswire.com/2014/11/17/usf-college-of-marine-science-awarded-4-5m-to-map-west-florida-reefs-and-fish-30144#sthash.Xt9QhJcB.dpuf
Florida Wildlife Research Institute (FWRI) and the Florida Institute of Oceanography (FIO). - See more at: http://www.tampabaynewswire.com/2014/11/17/usf-college-of-marine-science-awarded-4-5m-to-map-west-florida-reefs-and-fish-30144#sthash.EYI80xWi.dpuf
the project will deploy a towed camera system called C-BASS (Camera-Based Survey Assessment System).  Developed at the USF Center for Marine Technology, C-BASS will be deployed to determine the density, species composition and size structure of fishes using the various habitats. - See more at: http://www.tampabaynewswire.com/2014/11/17/usf-college-of-marine-science-awarded-4-5m-to-map-west-florida-reefs-and-fish-30144#sthash.l9IcImB3.dpuf
the project will deploy a towed camera system called C-BASS (Camera-Based Survey Assessment System).  Developed at the USF Center for Marine Technology, C-BASS will be deployed to determine the density, species composition and size structure of fishes using the various habitats. - See more at: http://www.tampabaynewswire.com/2014/11/17/usf-college-of-marine-science-awarded-4-5m-to-map-west-florida-reefs-and-fish-30144#sthash.vcjGJzpk.dpuf


- Read the full article at WUSF News

- Read the full article at Tampa Bay Newswire

USFCMS Awarded $20.2M for Gulf Oil Spill Research

ST. PETERSBURG - The University of South Florida’s College of Marine Science has been awarded a $20.2 million grant by the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative to continue leading studies of the impact of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, one of the nation’s largest environmental disasters.

The grant will support the efforts over the next three years by professors, post-doctoral scholars and students at 19 collaborating institutions, in five countries including Mexico, the Netherlands, Germany and Canada. The effort, dubbed C-IMAGE consortium was originally established at USF in 2012 to conduct studies on the oil spill after the well blowout was capped.

 

USF News Full Article

Tampa Bay Times Full Article

Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative Full Article

 

Guy Harvey Fisheries Symposium

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - Dr. Ernst B. Peebles is aboard the R/V Weatherbird II with Florida Institute of Oceanography (FIO) testing lionfish traps twelve miles off the Sarasota, Florida coast in 35 ft. of water.  So far the traps have been unsuccessful.  They are Skyping Live at the Guy Harvey Fisheries Symposium at the USF St. Petersburg campus

Characterization of pore water geochemistry and microbial assemblage composition

ST. PETERSBURG -

Speaker: Dr. Michael McCormick

Affiliation: Department of Biology, Hamilton College

Seminar Title: "Characterization of pore water geochemistry and microbial assemblage composition in Antarctic sediments previously covered by the Larsen A Ice Shelf.”

When: Nov. 14, 2014 3:30pm EST

Where: MSL Conference Room (134)

Host: Dr. Eugene Domack

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Marine Science Networking Happy Hour - One year Anniversary

ST. PETERSBURG - Our first anniversary is coming up. The next Tampa Bay Area Marine Science Networking Happy Hour is Wednesday November 19th, 2014, 4:30-6:30pm.  The event will be held at the 
Canopy Rooftop Lounge atop the Birchwood Hotel, 340 Beach Dr. NE, St. Petersburg, FL 33701. They have a nice selection of cocktails, beer and wine including happy hour specials and nearby street or garage parking is available. The event is self pay and nametags will be available. This will also be the final event of 2014, gatherings will resume in January 2015.

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Thermal Budgets & Coral Reef Resilience

ST. PETERSBURG -

Speaker: Dr. Lew Gramer

Affiliation: Keys Marine Lab, FIO/USF and NOAA/CIMAS

Seminar Title: Thermal Budgets and Coral Reef Resilience

When: Sept. 18, 2014 3:30pm EST

Where: MSL Conference Room (134)

Host: Nancy Thompson

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End-to-End Modeling of Marine Ecosystems

ST. PETERSBURG -

Speaker: Dr. Kenneth Rose

Affiliation: Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences, Louisiana State University

Seminar Title: End-to-End Modeling of Marine Ecosystems: Can the Biology and People Keep up with the Computers

When: Oct. 24, 2014 3:30pm EST

Where: MSL Conference Room (134)

Host: Dr. Cameron Ainsworth

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Predicting Coastal Storm Response

ST. PETERSBURG -

Speaker: Dr. Kate L. Brodie

Affiliation: USACE Field Research Facility (ERDC-CHL)

Seminar Title: Predicting Coastal Storm Response: The importance of antecedent conditions

When: Nov. 7, 2014 3:30pm EST

Where: MSL Conference Room (134)

Host: Nathaniel Plant (USGS)

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