Mote Marine Laboratory hosts a FMSEA/FWC Aquatic Species Collection Workshop twice each year, in the fall and in the spring. The workshops are organized by the Florida Marine Science Educators Association (FMSEA) and allow educators to earn a three-year collecting certificate from Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) upon successful completion of the program.
The purpose of the workshop is to educate teachers/educators regarding responsible collecting and to widen the restrictions imposed by recreational fishing regulations (size, numbers, areal closures, etc). Topics include: rationale for collecting, alternatives to collecting, methods of collecting, minimizing environmental impact, minimizing loss of specimens, regulatory concerns, health concerns, related resources and support. The certificate does not supersede any state or federal regulations, but it does allow the collection of specified numbers of certain species for educational purposes, some undersized, and to use certain types of collecting gear that would not be allowed under recreational fishing guidelines.
The workshop is available to certified Florida teachers and/or employees of educational centers. To be eligible, you must be:
An instructor employed by, or under sponsorship of, an elementary or secondary school.
An instructor employed by, or under sponsorship of, another educational institution or organization with courses of biological or aquatic studies.
An individual who teaches in a home education program maintained in accordance with Section 1002.41, F.S.
A representative of a home education program association.
Visit fmsea.org/ascw for full eligibility details.
After successful completion of the two-to-three-hour workshop, a certificate will be mailed to each recipient within six to eight weeks by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. This Educator Certification is valid for three years, and renewal workshops are available.
This registration fee includes training, collection certificate processing, a free membership to FMSEA and digital access to workshop materials and resources.