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NSF-Funded Science Center Holds First Meeting

The Science Center for Marine Fisheries (SCeMFiS), recently funded by the National Science Foundation Industry/University Cooperative Research Center, held its first Industry Advisory Board meeting June 21- 22 at the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory’s Cedar Point teaching site.

The Science Center for Marine Fisheries (SCeMFiS), recently funded by the National Science Foundation Industry/University Cooperative Research Center, held its first Industry Advisory Board meeting June 21- 22 at the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory’s Cedar Point teaching site.

University of Southern Mississippi President Dr. Rodney Bennett as well as Mississippi Sen. Brice Wiggins spoke to the assembled group Friday morning in the Aquaculture Research Building.

"I am grateful and fortunate that USM has a facility like this," Bennett said to www.hattiesburgamerican.com. "It speaks volumes about the potential the university has to be a leader in marine science and research."

The Center, housed at the University of Southern Mississippi and the Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences, will provide an academic resource for the fishing industry throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Gulf coast region. I/UCRC centers are designed to provide the business community with the opportunity to gain access to science to help fulfill their needs.

The I/UCRC program at NSF has a long history, operating for more than 40 years, is highly competitive and has become a model for collaborative research between industry and universities throughout the country.

Successful management of U.S. fisheries is limited by insufficient information on finfish and shellfish stocks and fisheries and insufficient development of analytical and modeling applications to surmount the challenges posed by sustainability goals.The mission of the SCeMFiS is to utilize academic, recreational, and commercial fisheries resources to address urgent scientific problems limiting sustainable fisheries.

The Center seeks to simultaneously achieve the goals of sustainable fish and shellfish stocks and sustainable fish and shellfish fisheries. SCeMFiS is unique in being the only federal-industry partnership in fisheries science today that permits the fishing industry to retain a leadership role in designing the science program. This will assure that the goal of sustainable fisheries will remain a focus of project design and that the science products produced will address the issues faced by the fishing industry directly.

- With files from www.hattiesburgamerican.com