Last month, a team of scientists represented REEF at the 76th annual Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute (GCFI) conference, held in The Bahamas. REEF programs and data were represented by REEF Co-Executive Director, Dr. Christy Pattengill-Semmens, and Conservation Science Associate, Lex Bryant, as well as our partners from Scripps Institute of Oceanography (Dr. Brice Semmens) and Oregon State University (Dr. Scott Heppell). 

The team started out the week by meeting with scientists from the South Atlantic Fisheries Management Council to discuss our collaboration on the SMILE project, an innovative effort to incorporate size measurements as a companion to the REEF Volunteer Fish Survey Project. During the spawning aggregation session, Brice presented exciting findings from the Grouper Moon Project called "Evidence of cultural reorganization in a recovering population of an endangered reef fish." In the artificial reefs and invasive species poster session, Lex presented the results of a three-year study, "Testing the efficacy of lionfish traps in the Florida Keys." Christy, Brice, and Scott also attended a meeting to discuss the 'Regional Fish Spawning Aggregation Fisheries Management Plan: Focus on Nassau Grouper and Mutton Snapper' being coordinated by the Western Central Atlantic Fishery Commission.

The GCFI Conference brings together regional scientists, graduate students, management agencies, non-profits, and fishers to advance the goals of sustainable use, wise management, conservation, and restoration. REEF is proud to be a part of the GCFI community.