Monthly Archives: January 2012

Gulf Seafood Learn n Lunch Program: February 22nd 9:30AM-1PM


Image Credit: Bryan Fluech, FSG

Did you know shrimp, grouper, snapper, mullet, stone crab, and mackerel are commonly caught along Florida’s Gulf coast? In 2010 the Gulf accounted for 82% of the shrimp and 59% of the oysters harvested in the United States? Want to learn more?

Join your Collier County Sea Grant Extension Agent for a
Learn n’ Lunch program on: Gulf Seafood


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In Your Backyard: The Manatee Viewing Center

What: TECO Manatee Viewing Center
Where: 6990 Dickman Rd
Apollo Beach, FL 33572
Phone: (813) 228-4289
Season: November 1 through April 15
Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily
Admission: Free
Parking: Free

Did you know the average manatee weighs approximately 1000 pounds and can eat 10-15% of their body weight in vegetation every day? Manatees are marine mammals, native to Florida, that must surface approximately every 5 minutes to breathe air. Also known as a “sea cow,” manatees usually spend up to eight hours a day grazing on seagrasses and other aquatic plants.  The native Florida manatee are protected by the Florida Manatee Sanctuary Act, Florida Statutes, and are federally protected by both the Marine Mammal Protection Act and the Endangered Species Act. During cold months manatees in the southern United States migrate to the warm waters of south Florida, or find a source of warm water such as artesian springs or industrial discharges.

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Stay Legal Between the Lines with Mangrove Snapper


mangrove snappers are commonly caught in state and federal waters in Southwest Florida.

Grey or Mangrove snapper are one of the most sought after recreational fish in southwest Florida — they will take a variety of baits, are good eating, and are relatively easy to catch. Also, they can be found in virtually all coastal and offshore habitats from mangroves (as their name implies) out to natural ledges and artificial reefs in deeper waters. Hence, they are caught in both state and federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

While many Gulf species have the same fishing regulations for state and federal waters, this is not the case for mangrove snapper. For Florida state waters, which extend out to nine nautical miles in the Gulf, the minimum size limit is 10 inches total length with a daily bag limit of five fish per angler. In Gulf federal waters, which extend beyond 9 nautical miles out to 200 nautical miles however, the mangrove snapper minimum size limit is 12 inches and the daily bag limit is 10 fish per angler.

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Are You Smarter Than A Stone Crab? Tour January 17,2012

Did you know that stone crabs are one of Florida’s most valuable fisheries, and it produces 99% of all stone crabs landed in the United States? Want to learn more?  Join the Collier County Sea Grant Extension Agent from 3PM to 6PM on January 17, 2012 for the “Are You Smarter than a Stone Crab?” Tour.

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Start the New Year at the Robinson Preserve!

crochet of sea creatures and coral

More than 20 volunteers worked to crochet over 100 pieces of sea creatures and coral.

 Meet the Reef Festival!

Saturday, January 7th
9 a.m. until noon.

Come celebrate Manatee County’s unique marine life with a morning of activities and fun at the 487-acre Robinson Preserve near Bradenton. Build and drive underwater marine robots, get your face painted for free, learn about the science of reef building, construct an edible coral reef, marvel at marine life exhibits, and dance and interact with an octopus, jellyfish, pirates, and a mermaid!

And check out the delightful ocean of yarn! After a year in the making, the Preserve will be opening the Artificial Crochet Coral Reef Exhibit in the Valentine House. More than 20 volunteers worked together to create over 100 pieces of coral and sea creatures in order to give you an immersive underwater experience. I’ll be there, manning an exhibit on Florida Sea Grant and local marine life. If you haven’t taken the time to hike this gem of a park, now is the time. It’s aquatic fun for the whole family, and it’s all free.

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