- What fishing regulations have changed since last year?
- The latest on goliath grouper research?
- How to identify local marine fish?
Florida Sea Grant Extension in Lee and Collier Counties & Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Law Enforcement are pleased to announce their 6th annual
Southwest Florida Marine Fisheries Regulations and Management Workshop
January 20, 2015 from 9:00 AM—12:30 PM.
The Salty Topics marine research speaker series is in its 4th year at Weedon Island Preserve in northeast St. Petersburg, Florida. Join us on Thursday, December 4th, as Erica Moulton takes us deep into the world of ocean submersibles. Registration and refreshments will open at 6:30 and the talk will begin at 7pm at the Cultural and Natural History Center, 1800 Weedon Drive NE, St. Petersburg, FL 33702. Register online. For questions, contact Florida Sea Grant Agent Libby Carnahan at firstname.lastname@example.org
When exploring the world’s oceans, it is best to have the right tool for the job! Today, thanks to technological advances, scientists are obtaining more information than ever before about our ocean’s biology, geology, and chemical and physical processes. Erica will touch on the similarities and unique differences of Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs), Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) and submarines. The presentation on ROVs will also examine how scientists, explorers and citizen scientists are using them to contribute to what we know about our ocean planet. We will also have a short hands on opportunity to demonstrate how all ROVs function.
Join the University of Florida/Charlotte County Sea Grant Extension program, by participating in the 2014 Great Bay Scallop Search on July 26th, 2014. The search is a resource-monitoring program where volunteers snorkel, looking for scallops in select seagrass areas. The purpose of this program is to monitor and document the health and status of the bay scallop population.
Earth Day comes but once a year! However, there are simple actions you can take in your daily life to contribute to the well-being of your family, your community, and your planet.
On Friday, April 18th, students will learn about the habitats and critters that live in estuaries like Tampa Bay. Then, they will interact with a hands-on model of our coastal environment to learn how their actions can positively impact the Tampa Bay environment. Finally, utilizing a kill a watt meter, students can discover how much energy average household appliance use. The program best suited for children 6-12 years. Youth must be accompanied by parent or guardian. Register at https://youthearthday.eventbrite.com.
On Saturday, April 19th, the 3-hour hands-on workshop will include rainwater harvesting, energy conservation, and estuary-friendly living complete with 1-hour canoe excursion. Each participant will receive an Estuary to Friendly Living booklet, guide to Rain Barrels, insulated shopping bag, and home energy saving kit. Participants may choose to purchase a completed barrel for $30, paid in advance (see ticket type). Barrel quantities are limited. Register at https://ufifasearthday.eventbrite.com.
Dr. 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.
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. http://2013stonecrabtour.eventbrite.com/
When fishing, reeling a fish up from deep water (>~40ft+) can often cause barotrauma for the fish. The changes in pressure can cause physiological stress to the fish, including an over-expanded swim bladder. A growing body of research reveals grouper, snapper, and other reef fish suffering from barotraumas can survive if properly released and quickly allowed to return to safe habitat.
Until recently, the best management practice for barotraumas was fish venting. However, new release methods and fish descending gear are showing promising results. By increasing the survival rates of fish they release, anglers can help make Florida’s fisheries healthier and more robust.
Thursday, March 6th, John Stevely of Florida Sea Grant will present “Hook, Line, and Sink Em: A Study of Fish Descending Methods” at the Salty Topics speaker series. The talk starts at 7pm at Weedon Island Preserve, 1800 Weedon Drive NE, St. Petersburg, FL 33702.
Susan Bell, will present “Sandy Beaches: Human Impacts on the ecology of a Coastal Habitat” this Thursday, February 6th. Coastal Sandy beaches are sites of much human recreation and development . However, the ecology of this coastal ecosystem is relatively unknown. Sandy beaches contain a unique assemblage of fauna, especially within the sandy sediments, that is highly utilized as food by waterbirds, fish, and ghost crabs. Human impacts on beaches include: removal of wrack, alteration of shorelines, and/ or enhancing conditions, and potentially oil spills. Dr. Bell will address how these human actions can potentially impact the wildlife that live on and in beach systems.
Dr. Susan Bell, Professor, Department of Integrative Biology, received her Ph.D. in 1979 in Marine Science from the University of South Carolina. Her current research interests include: restoration of coastal ecosystems, ecology of sandy beach ecosystems and assessing changes in underwater seagrass landscapes.
The stranding and deaths of dozens of short-finned pilot whales off Kice Island in Collier County has made multiple headlines recently. Scientists from NOAA fisheries in coordination with Mote Marine Laboratory, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Rookery Bay Reserve, Marine Animal Rescue Society, US Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Collier County Sheriff Office have coordinated to respond to these stranding.
In an attempt to learn how the whales died, scientists conducted what is known as a necropsy, which is an autopsy for animals, on several of the whales. Besides investigating potential causes of death, necropsies provide important insight into the whales’ life history such as their age, size, weight, sex, and whether they are sexually mature. Often this kind of information is difficult to determine when the animal is alive. Scientists can compare this information to other stranding records they have for short-finned pilot whales to learn more about the species and what might be contributing to these events.