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Research, outreach collaborate to bring ’em back alive

By: Dave Burrage / Published: Oct 02,  2014

Our outreach team often helps scientists share their research results with people who can use them. But, in one project, we are helping make sure the scientists have the tiger shrimp they need to complete their research.

Olivia Carelli and Jennifer Hill of Dauphin Island Sea Lab deliver a transport box to the Capt. Justin, a shrimping vessel in Biloxi.

Dr. Jennifer Hill (at right in photo) at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab is conducting a Sea Grant-funded research project involving invasive tiger shrimp and how they compete as predator and/or prey with native shrimp species in the Gulf. To accomplish this, she is experimenting with live specimens in her lab under various scenarios. Getting live specimens of native species is easy and can be accomplished using DISL research vessels. Getting live specimens of tiger shrimp is more difficult because they don’t show up in trawl catches that often. This is where Sea Grant outreach comes in.Justin Nguyen on board the Capt. Justin.

Sea Grant Fisheries Technologist Peter Nguyen made arrangements with a commercial shrimper to save and keep alive any tiger shrimp captured during the course of his normal fishing operations. Dr. Hill provided the necessary live-haul equipment to Capt. Justin Nguyen (at right), who operates out of the Biloxi, Mississippi, small craft harbor. Working through Peter Nguyen as interpreter, Dr. Hill explained how to set up and operate the system and established protocols to ensure the live specimens made it back to her lab safely.

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