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Release Mortality Symposium

October 7-9, 2019

Tradewinds Island Resort, 5600 Gulf Blvd, St. Pete Beach, FL

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October 7, 2018

Meeting Objective – Focusing primarily on the recreational fishing sector, the objective of this meeting is to create a roadmap/action plan to promote the use of barotrauma mitigation tools, data collection efforts for discard mortality by fleet and species, and incorporate the results into stock assessments and management.


October 7, 2019, 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM

  • Welcome and Introductions – Council Staff
  • Presentation – Magnitude of Discard Mortality of Reef Fish in the Gulf of Mexico – Dr. Froeschke and Dr. Vaughn
    • Data Query Tool – “Fishing for Our Future” Website
  • Presentation – Eastern Gulf: A Synopsis of Research on Recreational Fishing Practices and Discard Mortality – Ms. Sauls
  • Presentation – Northern Gulf: A Synopsis of Research on Discard Mortality – Dr. Szedlmayer
  • Presentation – Western Gulf: A Synopsis of Research on Recreational Fishing Practices and Discard Mortality – Dr. Curtis
  • Presentation – Managing Barotrauma of Released West Coast Rockfish – Mr. DeVore
  • Presentation – West Coast Success story: Yelloweye Rockfish Barotrauma Mitigation and Incorporation into Management and Stock Assessment Process – Mr. Wolford
  • Facilitated Discussion – Barotrauma Mitigation by Fleet and Reef Fish Species
    • Build a barotrauma risk matrix
    • Best practices and devices for each fleet
    • Rationale and barriers for methods

October 8, 2018


October 8, 2019, 8:30 AM – 12:00 PM

  • Presentation – Overview of stock assessment inputs affected by release and release mortality rates – Dr. Smith
  • Facilitated Discussion – Define Necessary Stock Assessment Inputs
    • Suggest barotrauma mitigation research that could benefit stock assessments:
        • Using existing monitoring frameworks
        • Through novel research efforts
    • Prioritize data gaps by species, fleets, and location

Optional Field Trip by Invitation :  12:00 – 6:00 PM

  • Headboat Trip – Experiment with Different Barotrauma Mitigation Devices

Panel Members:

  • Nathan Vaughan, Ph.D, SEFSC
  • Matthew Smith, Ph.D,SEFSC
  • Steve Scyphers, Ph.D, Northeastern University & Gulf Council SSC
  • Kai Lorenzen, Ph.D, of Florida & Gulf Council SSC
  • Marcus Drymon, Ph.D, Mississippi State & Sea Grant
  • Steve Szedlmayer, Ph.D, Auburn University
  • Greg Stunz, Ph.D, Gulf Council
  • Phil Dyskow, Gulf Council
  • Tom Frazer, Ph.D, Gulf Council
  • Gregg Bray, GSMFC
  • Andy Strelcheck, NOAA SERO
  • Ken Haddad, ASA
  • Chad Hanson, PEW
  • Abby Webster, For-Hire
  • Ed Walker, Commercial & For-Hire
  • Troy Frady, For-Hire
  • Shane Bonnot, CCA
  • James Reinhardt, Ph.D, NOAA
  • Lee Benaka, NOAA
  • Beverly Sauls, FWRI
  • Judd Curtis, Ph.D, Harte Research Institute
  • John DeVore, PFMC
  • Dan Wolford, PFMC

October 9, 2018


October 9, 2019, 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM

  • Welcome and Introductions – Council Staff
  • Election of New Chair – Council Staff
  • Adoption of Agenda – Chair
  • Approval of May 2018 Meeting Summary – Chair
  • Presentation – Recreational Angler Perceptions Regarding the Use of Descending Devices in Southeast Reef Fish Fisheries – Curtis
  • Presentation – Barotrauma Mitigation and the Power of Subjective Norms in Florida’s Reef Fisheries – Dr. Lorenzen
  • Discussion – Gulf-wide Outreach/Communications Strategies to Reduce Barotrauma in Recreational Fisheries
    • Highlight specific approaches for for-hire and private fleets
    • Identify specific influencers across the region (media, business, community leaders)
  • Review – Council’s “Fishing for Our Future” best practices website
  • Presentation – Gulf Council Communications Analytics – Staff
  • Other Business – Chair
End of Meeting