of the top fisheries research awards in the nation recently went
to The University of Southern Mississippi's Gulf Coast Research
Laboratory (GCRL) and the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources
The award recognized
the partnership between the laboratory and the MDMR for their research
on sargassum, often referred to as "sargassum weedlines"
by anglers. The research focuses on the role of sargassum in the
growth and survival of larval and juvenile offshore fish in the
northern Gulf of Mexico. The project is providing valuable new knowledge
about the importance of this essential habitat in the life cycle
of many Gulf fishes, including highly migratory species such as
billfish and tuna.
Stang, president of the Fisheries Administrators section of the
American Fisheries Society, presented the section's 2003 Sport Fish
Restoration Award for Outstanding Project of the Year to the GCRL
and the MDMR in February 2004. Jim Franks, GCRL fisheries biologist,
and William "Corky" Perret, director of MDMR marine fisheries,
accepted the award on behalf of their research project colleagues.
study is being funded by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Sportfish
Restoration Program through the MDMR. Project scientists are Franks,
Read Hendon, Dr. Eric Hoffmayer, Richard Waller, Dr. Bruce Comyns
and Mae Blake, GCRL, and Mike Buchanan, MDMR.