The 66th Gulf of Caribbean Fisheries Institute (GCFI)

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From November 4 through November 8, 2013, the Gulf of Caribbean Fisheries Institute (GCFI) held its 66th conference in Corpus Christie, Texas, where students, scientists, and fishermen came together to discuss and present on-going conservation work in various countries. Both Felicity Burrows (photo 1) and Agnessa Lundy (photo 2) from the Conservancy presented on the Bahamas Spiny Lobster Fishery Improvement Project (FIP) and Establishing a Network of Coral Nurseries throughout The Bahamas. The Bahamas Spiny Lobster FIP is being implemented to help improve lobster fishery management measures and ultimately attain the Marine Stewardship Council ecolabel that certifies that the Bahamian lobster fishery is indeed sustainable with effective management measures in place.

Photo 1. Felicity Burrows speaking to the audience at the GCFI conference on The Bahamas Spiny Lobster FIP. Photo courtesy of Agnessa Lundy, The Nature Conservancy.

Agnessa Lundy presented at the reception a poster on “Establishing a Network of Coral Nurseries throughout The Bahamas,” a project that began under the Atlantis Blue Project. The goal of this project is to help restore coral reefs in The Bahamas and promote cross- fertilization between Acropora sp. coral colonies to determine the most resilient genotype to climate change.

Photo 2. Agnessa Lundy speaking to persons at the poster reception on “Establishing a Network of Coral Nurseries throughout The Bahamas.” Photo courtesy of Felicity Burrows, The Nature Conservancy.

During the reception conference participants were afforded the opportunity to speak one- on-one with Ms. Lundy on the coral propagation efforts that have been done to date. Many persons were intrigued by the success of the nursery and wished to replicate such efforts in their respective countries. Therefore, the Conservancy intends to continue to engage and share lessons learned with local stakeholders and interested persons from other countries.