Yesterday I hosted an Aquatic Species Educators Collection Permit Workshop for marine educators at the Cedar Point Environmental Park in Englewood. What a beautiful property!! I highly recommend you check it out if you get a chance. Fourteen formal and informal educators from around Southwest Florida attended the training. Following the workshop we did some seining and dip netting in nearby Lemon Bay. It was my first time there, and I was not disappointed. We caught an amazing diversity of species including spotted sea trout, sheepshead, snook, southern puffer, pipefish, spot, northern sennet (a first for me), Atlantic needlefish, pinfish, pigfish, mojarra, siverside spp., bay anhcovy, blue crab, pink shrimp, horseshoe crab, lightning whelk, tunicates, mud crab, and hermit crab. It was a great reminder how productive seagrass communities are. I think the participants had a great time. I know I did!!The aquatic species collection permit is offered through FWC and the Florida Marine Science Educators Association and is an excellent opportunity to Florida educators to collect and possess aquatic species for their classrooms or programs.
The workshop is available to certified Florida teachers and/or employees/volunteers of educational organizations. Certificate holders are eligible to collect specified aquatic species for educational purposes that would be restricted under fishing license guidelines. This Educator Certification is valid for 3 years.
During the training workshop, participants discuss collecting alternatives, benefits, collection and transport techniques, methods to minimize environmental impact, restrictions imposed by the Collecting Certificate, available resources, and related activities. Its also a great opportunity to meet and network with other educators!!!
If you have questions about future workshops, give me a call. At the moment, I do not have any scheduled, but am keeping a list of interested educators for the next one. You can also go to the FMSEA website (www.fmsea.org) to see a list of upcoming workshops in other areas. Enjoy the pictures!!
|Checking out a juvenile spotted sea trout|
|A small needlefish|
|Holding a blue crab|
|This was the largest snook I've caught in a seine net|