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Western Groundfish Conference to be held in Santa Cruz on Feb. 4-8

More than 200 participants, representing state and federal fishery agencies, regional management councils, universities, conservation groups, and fishing and other marine industries, will meet at the Cocoanut Grove conference center in Santa Cruz, Calif., on Feb., 4 8, for the fifteenth Western Groundfish Conference.

The Western Groundfish Conference is the only such conference in the United States, said Mary Yoklavich, research biologist with NOAA Fisheries Service. It is the best meeting for groundfish biologists to interact with colleagues from the fishing industry, the government, and universities.

Topics of discussion include stock assessment, management targets and thresholds, advanced survey technology, ecosystem analysis, marine protected areas, habitat characterization, and general fishery biology. The conference will include oral and poster sessions, a science and industry panel discussion, evening socials, and field trip to the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Dr. Alan Longhurst, renowned marine biologist and oceanographer, will present the keynote address entitled, The Sustainability Myth. Dr. Longhurst will challenge scientists and fishermen to reflect on the broad and cumulative impacts of fishing on marine ecosystems. The lecture will be followed by an interactive panel discussion featuring regional fishermen, scientists, and fisheries managers who will discuss their perceptions of sustainability and the state of regional fisheries with conference participants.

Contributed papers will begin on the afternoon of February 5, and continue through noon on February 8. A research poster session and reception will be held the evening of February 5.


Contact: Mary Yoklavich
NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service

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