Monthly Archives: July 2015

Charlotte and Lee anglers: your knowledge can help local fisheries thrive!

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Join us at the monthly Charlotte Harbor Fisheries Forum – an independent community-based discussion geared toward informing fisheries management and science, and providing a venue for public engagement in local fisheries issues and building links between stakeholder knowledge, science, and management.  The Charlotte Harbor Fisheries Forum — initiated by partnership of local Florida Sea Grant agents with the University of Florida (UF) and Mote Marine Laboratory — offers repeating, open meetings where local anglers and others interested in sustaining Charlotte Harbor’s fisheries can share their knowledge, ideas, questions and comments. The ultimate goal of the Fisheries Forum is to pinpoint the needs and status of fisheries in more detail at the local level, allowing communities to give more complete, collaborative and sustained feedback to government agencies and researchers.  In this meeting (July 30), we will have 3 speakers: Judy Ott from Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program on water quality, Melynda Brown from FDEP Charlotte Harbor Aquatic Preserves on seagrass, and  Eric Milbrandt from Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation on macroalgae.

Need to know: The meeting will take place from 6 – 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 30, at the Laishley Marina, 120 Laishley Ct, Punta Gorda.

Economic Impacts of Independent Bait and Tackle Retailers

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Bait and Tackle Shops in the U.S. generate $850 million in sales of marine bait, tackle, and equipment; and contribute 2.3 billion in total sales impacts to the U.S. economy.

NOAA just released their findings for a study where they evaluated the economics of independent marine recreational fishing bait and tackle retail stores.  The results are in 2013 dollars and are reported for the U.S. and by federal fishery management geographic regions.  The study focused on independently owned small businesses that sell bait and tackle to saltwater anglers in coastal and near coastal communities located in states on the Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, Pacific coasts, Alaska, and Hawaii.  NOAA targeted small businesses because they would be more disproportionately affected by regional fisheries management actions as a result of their greater dependence on local fisheries; also because this sector in previous studies has been largely overshadowed by larger national and regional chains.

The survey was conducted by sending bait and tackle retail establishments a survey by mail in June 2014.  Second and Third mailings occurred through October 2014.  The overall response rate at the end of the third mailing was 27%.  The results of the surveys were used to determine the direct sales, income, and employment impacts associated with retail sales of marine bait and tackle in coastal communities.  The analysis used IMPLAN, an input-output model that is commonly used by economists in economic analyses.

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Florida Seafood and Omega-3 Fatty Acids

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Perhaps one of the most recognized health benefits associated with seafood, while certainly not the only one, is their omega-3 fatty acid content. These essential fatty acids are required for healthy human development and are not produced in substantial amounts by the human body. They must be obtained from dietary sources and many seafood choices are considered one of the richest sources of omega-3 fats. Health organizations suggest healthy individuals consume at least 250 to 500 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids per day and eat at least two seafood meals per week to maximize the health benefits associated with their intake. The American Heart Association advises individuals with coronary artery issues to consume at least 1,000 milligrams per day. Two types of omega-3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are present in most of the seafood we eat. Both EPA and DHA are thought to reduce cardiovascular disease and contribute to brain and vision development in developing fetuses, infants and children. A third type of omega-3 fatty acid, alpha linoleic acid, is found in soybeans, leafy greens and certain nuts, but must be converted metabolically in the body to have the same level of health benefits that the direct consumption of EPA and DHA provide to human health.

Fish and shellfish obtain these important compounds by consuming phytoplankton, which are the primary producers of omega-3 fatty acids in the marine environment. Consequently, omega-3’s are found throughout the aquatic food chain and are present in commercially harvested fish and shellfish, at some level. In general, fattier, dark-color fleshed fish such as salmon and herring contain higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids than leaner, light-color fleshed species, such as tilapia or cod. Factors such as diet, age, reproductive status, physiology and surrounding environmental conditions, however, can also influence the omega-3 content found between seafood species.

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