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UVI Students Participate in Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute

Eight students from the University of the Virgin Islands recently participated in the 63rd annual meeting of the Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute, held Nov. 1-5, in San Juan, Puerto Rico. At the institute the students presented their research findings. UVI undergraduates Keturah McCrae, a biology major, and Benise Tavernier, an applied mathematics major, presented work which examined case studies and future directions for active community participation in the management of marine fisheries.

Graduate students from the Masters of Marine and Environmental Science (MMES) programs presented portions of their thesis work on topics relevant to natural resource management and ecology process of territorial fisheries. These presentations included studies of the historical ethno-ecology of the St. Thomas fishing community by Lia Ortiz, the ecological effects of derelict fishing gear by Gabrielle Renchen, juvenile fishes within Benner Bay Mangrove Lagoon by Christina Colletti, larval settlement of the sea urchins by Steven McCauley, and habitat utilization by juvenile Nassau grouper by Bryan Legare.

UVI's MMES program has entered its fourth year and continues to focus thesis research on environmental issues relevant to the territory that can often serve as models for the wider Caribbean region. Students were accompanied by UVI faculty and staff members who also presented their own research finding on spawning aggregations, social aspects of fisheries management, fish behavior and fish habitat modeling. This group included Dr. Richard Nemeth, Dr. Konstantinos Alexandridis, Dr. Marilyn Brandt, Dr. John Barimo, Dr. Simon Pitman and Elizabeth Kadison.