Registration open for online fisheries science course

A trawler sails northeast off Topsail Island. Photo: Dylan Ray

Registration is open for online courses designed for recreational and commercial fishers, but North Carolina Sea Grant’s “Introduction to Fisheries Science” course is for anyone interested in fisheries science.

Scott Baker and Sara Mirabilio, fishing specialists with more than 40 years of combined experience, bring together state experts for the six-week course slated to begin Feb. 22 and run weekly from Tuesday evening through March 29. .

The course covers a variety of topics including the life history of fisheries, ecology and population assessment.

“This year’s course is another broad overview of fisheries science, with examples specific to our state,” Baker said in a statement.

Registration is limited and is available on a first-come, first-served basis for just $20.

“After taking the course last year, 96% of respondents were satisfied with their participation in the program,” Mirabilio said.

The course aims to better understand fish stocks, especially the factors that have led to limits and closures.

This year’s online course includes Fred Scharf from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, Jeff Buckel from NC State University, Joel Fodrie and Janet Nye from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, and Rebecca Asch and Jim Morley from East Carolina University.

“We will also again have presenters who will bring perspectives from state agencies, including Jacob Boyd, Corrin Flora, Laura Lee and Lee Paramore of the NC Division of Marine Fisheries,” Baker said. Additionally, Kevin Dockendorf of the North Carolina Wildlife Resource Commission is expected to present.

Susan White, executive director of North Carolina Sea Grant, said the course plays a vital role in engaging and educating the community about commercial and recreational fishing efforts.

“This course brings the latest scientific and management information to the table in an accessible and applicable way for anyone who wants to expand their own role in these topics,” she said.