The cownose ray has been in the industry crosshairs ever since they’ve been seen gobbling up shellfish crops. As industry considers the range of options for keeping rays off shellfish farms, including developing a commercial fishery, new research about cownose ray biology may help in making those decisions.
Through collaborative fisheries research, scientists and industry have been able to eliminate the accidental catch of sea turtles in shrimp fisheries from French Guiana to Gabon. In 2014, Tony Nalovic and Troy Hartley are hoping to promote similar initiatives throughout the world.
Virginia Sea Grant Fellows Mark Stratton and Ryan Schloesser are conducting research about fish populations. With the support of his Virginia Sea Grant Graduate Research Fellowship, he’ll be able to share that knowledge with fisheries managers who need it.
Billur Celebi is studying how changing CO2 concentrations and temperatures will affect eelgrass in Virginia’s coastal waters. For the outreach portion of her project, she teamed up with Chris Witherspoon and Jovonne Vrechek of the Virginia Aquarium to develop educational programming about seagrass and ecosystem health for Aquarium guests and student programs.