Monthly Archives: March 2014

Salty Topics: Sun-Eating Sea Slugs

seaslug.e. clarkiDr. Skip Pierce, University of South Florida Department of Integrative Biology,  will present “Sun Eating Sea Slugs” Thursday, April 3rd at the Salty Topics Marine Research Series at Weedon Island Preserve, 1800 Weedon Drive Northeast, Saint Petersburg, FL 33702.

Sea slugs (not at all related to garden slugs) are a group of beautifully-colored species found mostly in shallow tropical seas.  Many slugs have formed a unique relationship with their food. Algae, a plant which thrives off of the sun for survival, is the most common diet for the sea slugs. The slugs have the capability to retain the algae’s chloroplasts and keep them up and running for energy. Some sea slug species can last for a year without ever eating food because they “eat the sun”.

Skip Pierce earned his Ph. D.  from Florida State University in1970. He has been working on chloroplast symbiosis in sea slugs for about 20 years. He is currently working in Hong Kong, the Florida Keys, and the Caribbean Sea.

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“Are You Smarter than a Stone Crab?”April 29th: Marco Island

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The next “Are You Smarter than a Stone Crab” tour will be Tuesday, April 29th. I’m excited to be working with Kirk Fish Company in Goodland, FL for the tour. The Kirks are a multi-generation Florida fish family with lots of knowledge and experience.
The program is a great opportunity to learn about stone crab biology, the management of the fishery as well as its economic and cultural importance to the region. Of course you get to eat stone crab too!
Space is limited so register today.

Florida’s Commercial Shrimp Species

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Do you love eating shrimp? You are not alone. Shrimp is the number one seafood consumed in the United States. While the overwhelming majority of shrimp we eat is imported and farm-raised, Floridians are fortunate to live in a state with a lucrative wild-caught shrimp industry. In fact, over fifteen million pounds of these delicious crustaceans were harvested in Florida’s waters in 2012 according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission with a dockside value of approximately $37 million.

There are five types of commercially harvested shrimp species found in Florida. Have you tried them all?

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