Georgia Black Sea Bass Demonstrations

Deanna Richburg, Virgil Zitterland, Kim Sawicki, Julie Albert, Joel Cohen.

May 27th Demonstration:

On May 27thSustainable Seas hosted Julie Albert and Joel Cohen of the Marine Resources Council and Virgil Zetterlind and Deanna Richburg of Conserve.iO for a “Dockside Demonstration and Learning Day” in Townsend, Georgia at the Fish Dock Restaurant as part of a two-year long collaborative black sea bass project between Charlie Phillips of Phillips Seafood, Kim Sawicki (Sustainable Seas) and Bryan Fluech of UGA Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant.

They spent all day hands-on with the gear from FioMarine, EdgeTech, and Desert Star Systems familiarizing themselves with the basic operation and set up of each system. Joel Cohen was an avid learner and even volunteered to help with the May 28th demonstration to key stakeholders in the South Atlantic Region, and Georgia DNR staff. Other guests were invited to attend via livestream.

Quick recap of the devices demonstrated on May 27th:

  • Edgetech 5112:  2 acoustic releases attempted, 100% success. Rope Management method, 1 release 100% success.
  • Desert Star ARC-1: 4 acoustic releases attempted, 100% success. Rope management method: 4 releases, 100% success.
  • Fiobuoy: 7 time/date releases attempted 100% success. Rope management method, 7 releases, 100% success.  * results not statistically significant.

May 28th Demonstration:

The Fish Dock Townsend, Georgia Credit: William Harrell, 2020.

Letter from the event organizers:

Thank you all for your interest and enthusiasm for our ropeless fishing project and demonstration.

Please also consider filling out this very brief and anonymous survey before viewing the demonstration

This will be followed by a post-demonstration survey and is the same form fishers fill out for our research team. It takes about 5 minutes.

As some of you experienced, we had some doubts about our ability to pull off our first ever livestreaming presentation, which is certainly why we knew it was a good plan to have a stationary camera with a professional audio set up as a backup. Georgia coastal photographer and aerial videographer, William Harrell, donated his time to help document the day and create a more professional version of the demonstration video for us. Staff at Sustainable Seas performed post-production editing of multiple formats of media to create a shorter version of the demonstration for viewers.

We would like to take a moment to thank all of the volunteers who generously gave of their time and talents this week:

Virgil Zetterlind and Deanna Richburg of Conserve.iO who came all the way from Clearwater to share their contributions to the ropeless research being done globally. Currently, their Whale Alert, Ocean Alert, Sharktivity, and Spotter Apps are used across the country to collect vital opportunistic sightings of many of our protected and endangered species. We are so fortunate to have their tireless support for our work here in Georgia.

An enormous thank you to Julie Albert and Joel Cohen from the Marine Resources Council for donating a week of their time to drive up from Florida to learn everything they could about ropeless fishing, to demonstrate it, and to invite others to share in that process.  It is always inspiring to see how much genuine enthusiasm grows in people when teaching them how to rig and deploy these gears, and how quickly they learn to do it on their own.

Quick recap of the devices demonstrated on May 28th:

  • Edgetech 5112:  2 acoustic releases attempted, 100% success. Rope Management method, 1 release 100% success.
  • Desert Star ARC-1: 2 acoustic releases attempted, 100% success. Rope management method: 2 releases, 50% success, failure due to human rigging error. *(see photo)
  • Fiobuoy: 2 time/date releases attempted (set to 15:45) 100% success. Rope management method, 2 releases, 100% success. * results not statistically significant.

There was one question from Jamison Smith regarding how far away one can be from the units and have them receive a signal from the transducer. I answer in the video in a more lengthy response but checked my data for this post and the farthest distance I have recorded so far was 904 meters, or 0.5617 miles on December 22, 2019 with a Desert Star ARC-1 in 120 meters of water. The distance from transducer to buoy when it rose was 896 meters.

For those with the invite-only password, please enter it below to view the video. To request the password, sign up to follow our work and it will be emailed to you.

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