Local Brevard County resident, Jon Mallory, was recognized by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Committee (FWC) at their meeting today. The recognition was for his participation in the FGA/FWC Spirit of Tarpon DNA Sampling Challenge. The Florida Guides Association and FWC teamed up to promote the sampling challenge.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's (FWC) Fish and Wildlife Research Institute (FWRI) has been using DNA fingerprinting of tarpon for several years now. Genetic samples are collected by recreational anglers (including fishing guides) and returned to FWRI for processing. These samples are used to determine recapture rates, health, migration, and movements of individual fish. These factors are evaluated overtime on recaptured fish. The biologists at the FWRI, in partnership with Mote Marine Laboratory, use the data to assess the success of tarpon stocks and the connectivity of, or relationship between, tarpon and different bodies of Florida waters.
Mallory was one of many anglers that caught and took DNA samples of tarpon to send to the FWC-Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute for scientific study. The competition was divided into three regional areas in addition to naming a grand champion. The competition lasted for a calendar year, starting Jan. 1, 2013 and ending Dec. 31, 2013. At the enc of that period Mallory had submitted an unbelievable 975 tarpon for the DNA study.
Mallory’s accomplishment was announced by FWC Chairman Kenneth Wright following a description of the study by Nick Wiley, FWC Executive Director. Photos were taken with the commissioners and Capt. Pat Kelly, president of the Florida Guides Association. Mallory received a certificate, signed by Chairman Wright and Capt. Kelly, documenting his accomplishment.
Other prizes will be distributed at the annual meeting of the Florida Guides Association on March 3, 2013 at the Tampa Tribune Outdoor Expo and Boat Show. The three regional winners will also be announced. Prizes for each regional winner include sunglasses from Guideline Eyewear, a tackle bag from TackleWebs, an assortment of DOA Lure, a fishing reel from Castalia Outdoor products and an assortment of lures from High Roller Lures and a certificate of accomplishment signed by Chairman Wright and FGA president Pat Kelly.
For more information on the Tarpon Genetic Recapture Study visit the following link.
For more information on the FGA/FWC Spirit of Tarpon DNA Sampling Challenge see the Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/SpiritOfTarponDnaChallenge
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