Ocean Springs-- Is Mississippi
seafood safe to eat? Will the oyster reefs recover? How did
the recreational saltwater fisheries fare?
A post-Katrina update on fisheries and water quality will answer
those questions and more at the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory
(GCRL) at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 8.
The University of Southern Mississippi Center for Fisheries
Research and Development headquartered at the GCRL will host
the meeting in the GCRL dining hall. The Southern Miss laboratory
is located at the south end of Halstead Road.
"This forum is for anybody who uses coastal waters or
consumes seafood," said Harriet Perry, director of the
fisheries center. "The main event will be a question-and-answer
session with Southern Miss fisheries biologists from the GCRL
and representatives from Mississippi's departments of Marine
Resources (DMR) and Environmental Quality (DEQ)."
Perry said after brief introductory remarks and refreshments,
the floor will be open for questions from the audience.
"The DEQ will address water quality issues and seafood
safety, including the results of fish tissue studies,"
Perry said. "DMR will provide an update on the status of
coastal oyster reefs and plans for restoration. GCRL fisheries
biologists Jim Franks and Read Hendon will be on hand with information
about sport fishing issues related to Katrina."
The forum is an outgrowth of cooperation among the state agencies
and GCRL in the wake of Katrina. Perry said the GCRL boats came
through Katrina well, and fisheries biologists collecting samples
for Laboratory projects assisted DMR and DEQ with collection
of additional samples.
"The GCRL had an estimated $50 million in losses,"
she noted. "All the marine agencies and institutions suffered
losses. We kept our operations going by working together, sharing
The GCRL is home to the fisheries center, the Department of
Coastal Sciences, the Gulf Coast Geospatial Center and the interim
J.L. Scott Marine Education Center and Aquarium headquarters.
About The University of Southern Mississippi
The University of Southern Mississippi, founded in 1910, is
a comprehensive doctoral and research-extensive university fulfilling
its mission of being a leading university in engaging and empowering
individuals to transform lives and communities. In a tradition
of leadership for student development, Southern Miss is educating
a 21st century work force providing intellectual capital, cultural
enrichment and innovation to Mississippi and the world. Southern
Miss is located in Hattiesburg, Miss, with an additional campus
and teaching and research sites on the Mississippi Gulf Coast;
further information is found at www.usm.edu.
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