Florida Sea Grant Extension in Collier County

Welcome to the Collier County Sea Grant Extension Blog

This blog is an opportunity for me to share with you my extension outreach efforts and useful information to make you a more informed coastal citizen. If you have any questions about what you see, feel free to contact me at fluech@ufl.edu.

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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

International Circle Hook Symposium Day 1

I'm writing from Coral Gables, FL where I am attending the first International Circle Hook Symposium. Yes, there is actually a conference dedicated just to the circle hook! So you are probably asking why?
Well, I thought the organizers of the conference said it best....
The goal of the symposium is to produce an updated, science-based assessment of the management and conservation utility of circle hooks in commercial and recreational fisheries around the globe. Note that the symposium is not a venue for advocating widespread use of circle hooks. Rather, our objective is to provide a forum for individuals, organizations and agencies to share relevant research results and perspectives and to subject their findings to peer-review through publication in an internationally-recognized scientific journal.
This exchange of information in an interactive forum is an essential step for developing much-needed uniformity in circle hook terminology, research approaches, and data analyses as well as for fostering greater collaboration among the international scientific, management and conservation communities. Relevant themes as they relate to circle hooks include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • Historical and regional perspectives
  • Empirical field studies
  • Ecological and population impact assessments
  • Fishery management evaluations
  • Socioeconomic research and analyses
Over 150 attendees from 20 countries are attending the Symposium. I'm here representing Florida Sea Grant. We are one of the conference sponsors, and I also have a poster abstract that got accepted. Our Keynote speaker was Dr. Steven Cooke of Carleton University in Canada. He is one of the most recognized researchers associated with catch and release research. He gave a very interesting presentation on scientific and stakeholder perspectives of using circle hooks in recreational fisheries. While circle hooks in general have been shown to be an important conservation tool especially when it comes to reducing incidents of gut hooking in both fresh and saltwater fish species, they are not considered to be a panacea for reducing mortality in released fish. Several factors ranging from hook style and size to target species an angler behavior can all influence the effectiveness of circle hooks.
The rest of the afternoon we heard several presentations relating to research on circle hooks in  commercial longline fisheries from different parts of the world. Granted some of it was too technical for my brain to process, but nonetheless it was interesting.

Check out this 27/0 Circle Hook! It was one of the largest circle hooks ever designed. It was used for a National Geographic project on sharks.

Here's me standing next to my poster on Florida Sea Grant's outreach efforts on educationg recreational fishermen on circle hooks.

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