March 22, 2012: Gentle Giants

DMR Seminar Series: Gentle GiantsSeminar Series: Gentle Giants
March 22, 2012

University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast Research Lab (GCRL) Senior Scientist Jim Franks gave a presentation on tarpon, one of the most important game fish species in the Gulf of Mexico. Franks discussed what important aspects of tarpon's biology and habitat requirements have been revealed by research conducted by the GCRL and funded by the MDMR.

Jennifer McKinney of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries spoke about the whale shark, the largest fish in the ocean. She provided background information on the biology and ecology of the species, and later shared highlights of research conducted in the northern Gulf, including the GCRL whale shark sighting survey, satellite tagging and large feeding aggregations.

GCRL Professor Mark Peterson provided an overview of Gulf sturgeon, a threatened species, and discussed research from the Pascagoula River, associated areas of the Mississippi Sound and Pearl River and Florida populations.

Lastly, Allen Aven, a Ph.D. student from the Dauphin Island Sea Lab (DISL), presented research on the distribution and ecology of the West Indian manatee. Aven also shared information on the habits of this fascinating animal that have been recently revealed by innovative research conducted by the DISL’s Manatee Sighting Network.

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