Fisheries Research Programs

There are several Fisheries programs and projects that accept interns.  If interested, please apply for Fisheries Research Programs in your internship application, but specify one or several of the following programs or projects in your statement of interest.

Fisheries Ecology & Enhancement

Dr. Ryan Schloesser

The Fisheries Ecology & Enhancement internship provides research experience on the ecology of estuarine fishes (primarily snook) using a combination of laboratory techniques and field sampling in Sarasota Bay. Field sampling activities apply quantified stratified sampling with seine nets, monitoring of water quality and habitat features, and maintenance of our PIT tag antenna arrays.  The goal of the field sampling is to recapture wild and hatchery-reared fishes that were tagged with coded-wire tags, PIT tags, and elastomers. Laboratory activities include processing recaptured specimens and their otoliths for life-history information, primarily age and growth. Interns interested in data entry and analysis will have the opportunity to learn a variety of linear modeling and statistical techniques. Interns may also have the opportunity to contribute to research projects at the Mote Aquaculture Park and gain experience in animal husbandry with the Marine & Freshwater Aquaculture program.

This internship may require the physical ability to lift 50 lbs to shoulder height, walk/work in difficult field environments, bend and stoop for prolonged periods of time. Typical hours are Monday-Friday, 8am-5pm, with occasional long hours and weekends.

Fisheries Habitat Ecology Program

Dr. Jim Locascio

This research program incorporates a variety of methods in partnership with other scientists to create innovative approaches to studying reproductive dynamics of fishes and juvenile populations. The principal technology used is acoustics and signal processing. Because fishes produce sound associated with courtship and spawning, acoustic recorders can be used to identify the timing and location where fish reproduce. This has important implications for conservation measures including the establishment of marine protected areas and other conservation strategies. A combination of acoustic methods is used to investigate the behavior of animals and sound underwater including passive acoustics, acoustic tags and receivers and SONAR. A variety of engineering approaches and genetics are complementary to this program’s research and creative thinking is encouraged.

The Center for Fisheries Electronic Monitoring at Mote (CFEMM)

Carole Neidig, M.S

The Center for Fisheries Electronic Monitoring at Mote (CFEMM) is spearheading several projects targeting “Gulf-Wide Electronic Monitoring (EM) for a Sustainable Commercial Reef Fish Fishery”. We work in partnership with the Commercial Gulf of Mexico (GOM) reef fish fishery (primarily snappers and groupers) to obtain catch and bycatch data for management decisions using EM as a tool. 

What is EM? - An Electronic Monitoring (EM) system installed on a fishing vessel collects valuable catch information by using 3-5 cameras and an array of sensors that record the ships activities. We have contracted Saltwater Inc. (SWI), a US-based EM service provider, for equipment installation and the software we use to analyze the video collected from each trip.  

The CFEMM works directly with commercial captains/crews from FL to TX to arrange installs, maintain the equipment, and download the collected data.  In addition, we review the vessel fishing imagery in our Mote EM Lab and work to integrate new technologies to improve our data acquisition.  

Primary Intern activities will include video review to record fish caught aboard the vessels, assist with captain/crew correspondence, vessel EM system maintenance/troubleshooting, and literature searches and review.  Interns will work with CFEMM Staff and our great team of >20 professional volunteers (citizen scientists) from different backgrounds that are dedicated to helping us move EM forward in the Gulf to provide valuable data to fishers and the reef fish fishery managers.

We also offer our interns additional opportunities, including assisting at Kids Fishing Clinics and Fisheries field activities.