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February 15, 2008

Web site updated for program connecting anglers, scientists

South Carolina’s Cooperative Research Program, which thrives off of interactions between scientists and anglers to enable specialized research projects, has an updated Web site.

The Web site is a resource for the public and showcases the ongoing contractual and grant projects of the Cooperative Research Program, which is managed by the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The program, since its inception in 2005, has provided financial support for a host of projects that have allowed scientists, researchers, recreational and commercial fishermen alike to bring valuable tools and experience to the objectives of a research project. DNR’s program receives funding from the National Marine Fisheries Service, and is granted funds to be distributed to partnering fishermen. Working together, anglers and scientists can improve understanding of the complex interactions between fishery resources and fishing practices.
For more information about the Cooperative Research Program, contact DNR Coordinator Jason Powers at (843) 953-6608, or PowersJ@dnr.sc.gov.
At a glance, some of the program’s research projects showcased online feature a variety of marine topics and species including: the effect of turtle excluder devices on crab traps, a surf zone assessment, the migratory behavior of finfish, the development of alternate oyster cultch materials, fish communities associated with artificial reefs, a weakfish tagging and a study of the longline fishery of coastal sharks in South Carolina. The Web site provides further details on each of the highlighted projects undertaken in 2007, as well as a listing of projects accomplished in 2006 and 2005, with accompanying photographs.

In addition to the ongoing projects of scientists, researchers and anglers, another important initiative of DNR’s Cooperative Research Program is the Marine Game Fish Tagging Program. This program depends upon the efforts of cooperating anglers to report recaptures of tagged marine fish by either calling the tagging number hotline, 1-888-TAGS-4-SC, or accessing the Web site. The Cooperative Research Program Web site features an online database for anglers to report a recaptured tagged fish.

DNR protects and manages South Carolina’s natural resources by making wise and balanced decisions for the benefit of the state’s natural resources and its people.

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