Monthly Archives: April 2013

Webinar recording: Frequently Asked Questions about Mercury in Seafood

DSC_0025Which species of seafood have the highest amounts of mercury?…

Is it safe for pregnant women to eat seafood?…

Who regulates how much mercury is allowed in the seafood we eat?…

What role does selenium play in mitigating the effects of mercury?…

If you would like to know the answers to these questions and more, please click on the link below to view a recording of a recently offered Florida Sea Grant webinar on Frequently Asked Questions about Mercury in Seafood. The webinar also provides a variety of resources for you to learn more about maximizing the health benefits of consuming seafood while minimizing potential risks associated with mercury.

Florida Clam Farming

Good for the Environment, Good for the Economy

Due to foreign competition you don’t often hear about Florida aquaculture (farming fish and shellfish). But, growing clams in Florida has proven to be profitable, good for the environment, and an important way to sustain rapidly vanishing working waterfronts in the state. Want to learn more?

Here are two extremely informative websites.Cedar-Key-Sign

The University of Florida Shellfish  Extension website provides a wealth of information on Florida’s clam industry.

Also, check out the Cedar Keys Everlasting project website which explains the importance of clam farming to this historic Florida fishing village and how the industry benefits the environment

You Got to See This!

Underwater Video of Fish Being Returned to Bottom 105 Feet Down

Four small red grouper placed in utility crate -- all fish released one minute within capture.

Four small red grouper placed in utility crate — all fish released within one minute capture.

View Fish Video Here

Florida Sea Grant Extension Agents are currently evaluating the practically of number of ways to release fish caught in deep water. The change in presure can rupture the swimm bladder, making the fish unable to swim back to the bottom. However, research has shown, that in some cases, if the fish can swim back down it can heal and live.

One of these devices is simply a utility crate. The fish can be placed in the crate, flipped over the side, and then descended until the gas trapped in the body is compressed and the fish can swim back to the bottom. If you check out the accompaning photo and click on the link to video, I think it will all make perfect sense to you.

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Fisheries Regulations Questions & Answers

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn March, Florida Sea Grant and NOAA partnered to conduct a series of workshops aimed at clarifying existing fisheries regulations for offshore recreational and commercial fishermen.  Six workshops took place in Florida.  During the workshops NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service personnel went over specific regulations that they get a lot of questions regarding.  They also addressed rules that can be very costly when an angler is found out of compliance.   The remainder of the workshop was devoted to a Q & A with participants.  Below I highlight some of the questions or topics that popped up at multiple workshops in Florida.

What permits are required to fish in Federal waters?  All owners of vessels used to fish recreationally for Atlantic Highly Migratory Species (HMS) which includes Atlantic tunas (other than blackfin), billfish, sharks and swordfish must have a HMS recreational angling permit (the permit stays with the vessel).  A HMS charter/headboat permit is required for all charter or headboats that fish for or possess and HMS.  Charter vessels and headboats require a reef fish permit when fishing for snappers, groupers, amberjack, tilefish, hogfish and gray triggerfish.  Also, charter vessels and headboats fishing for mackerels, cobia, little tunny, cero, dolphin and bluefish require a coastal pelagics permit.  Applications for permits other than HMS permits may be obtained by calling 877-376-4877.  HMS permits can be purchased online at or by calling 888-872-8862.

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Explore “Great Unknown” at Coastal Preserve

Join Pinellas County Sea Grant Extension Agent, Libby Carnahan, on a personal exploration through Weedon Island Preserve by land and water. In the morning we will explore the upland side of the preserve, followed in the afternoon by a canoe paddle through the mangrove tunnels.

Florida is known for its 1,200 miles of coastline including award-winning beaches. However, today our waterfront is threatened by rising sea levels. Florida faces threats from sea level rise to both our natural ecosystems and our coastal cities and towns. IMG_3012

In this program, we will investigate the potential effects of sea level rise on the local natural and built environment.  We will utilize a combination of online tools, field activities, and facilitated discussion to begin an open conversation about what may be the most difficult issue facing Florida’s resource managers and civic leaders today.

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