NEWS and UPDATES
14 February 2018
Mr. Levesque continues to work with his dissertation data. He is getting closer to producing some results using Primer 7; the most advanced over the counter ecological statistical software available to scientists. He has also written an article for Florida Sportsman magazine that features a unique archaeologist that replicate pre-historic fishing tools.
Mr. Levesque is also preparing for upcoming offshore fishing trip off Miami. He hopes to film his team catching sailfish.
13 September 2017
The impacts of Hurricane Irma continue... Mr. Levesque's home is adjacent to a wetland. Given all the rain, the system has backed up and is causing flooding issues. The Mr. Levesque's home is elevated; however, the garage is at ground level. Currently, his property is mostly underwater and water is beginning to rise over the driveway. The water will likely enter the garage later today.
11 September 2017
Hurricane Irma, the largest storm in history, hit the State of Florida and traveled through Mr. Levesque's home city of Tampa at about 0200 hrs. Thankfully, the storm lost energy once it made landfall around Naples, but it was still a Category I hurricane with sustain winds of 78 mph when the storm passed through the Tampa Bay region. Mr. Levesque's home did not suffer any damage nor did he loose power during the ordeal. In many ways, they were "passed over".
21 August 2017
Mr. Levesque, Marine Biologist, gave a talk (Reducing sturgeon bycatch while preserving commercial harvest: Two approaches, two locations, one species) at the American Fisheries Society 147th annual meeting in Tampa, Florida (USA). The
presentation highlighted research focused on potential changes in commercial fishing gear to reduce fishery interactions with the highly endangered Atlantic sturgeon in the North Carolina
southern flounder fishery. He was also a co-author on a second presentation that highlighted potential changes in commercial fishing gear to reduce Atlantic sturgeon interactions in the Virginia
striped bass fishery.
Mr. Levesque, Marine Biologist, is currently preparing a presentation for the upcoming American Fisheries Society annual meeting in Tampa, Florida (USA). The presentation will feature a recent study that he and his colleagues completed in 2015. The goal was to evaluate potential changes to commercial fishing gear in the hope that it would reduce fishery interactions with the highly endangered Atlantic sturgeon in North Carolina and Virginia waters. Part I of the study was published in the Peer J; a peer-reviewed scientific journal. An overview of the study is as follows:
Bycatch of protected species in commercial fishing operations is a primary concern to fishery managers because it threatens the conservation, protection, and recovery of fragile species, such as the Atlantic sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrinchus oxyrinchus). One potential solution to reduce the risk associated with commercial fishing operations is to design commercial fishing gear that is more selective in terms of interactions between Atlantic sturgeon and commercial fisheries. Given this conservation and management need, the overarching goal was to reduce Atlantic sturgeon fishery interactions and maintain southern flounder (Paralichthys lethostigma) catch in North Carolina. The specific objectives of this study were to design and evaluate the effectiveness of a modified gillnet. Overall, the results proved that lowering the profile and amount of webbing had a beneficial impact at reducing Atlantic sturgeon incidental encounters and bycatch. The modified gillnet reduced bycatch and Atlantic sturgeon encounters by 39.6% and 60.9%, respectively. Our design entangled 51.6% fewer southern flounder, which corresponded to a 48.9% reduction in total weight; the modified gear entangled slightly larger southern flounder than the control gear. Our findings showed the number of Atlantic sturgeon encounters was positively associated with mean water depth, with more Atlantic sturgeon encountered in deeper (5.1-6.3 m) than shallower waters; 75% were encountered at depths between 4.6 and 6.1 m. Most southern flounder (n = 518, 39.7%) were taken at a water depth between 3.76 and 5.0 m. This observation suggests that southern flounder prefer slightly shallower waters than Atlantic sturgeon.
Mr. Juan C. Levesque, Marine Biologist, decided to take some time off from projects so that he could finish
writing his Ph.D dissertation. Juan is currently evaluating 25 years of standardized fisheries-independent monitoring data collected by the New Jersey Department of Natural Resources. His goal is
to investigate three anthropogenic influences on the ecology and population dynamics of the fishes in the mid-Atlantic Bight region of the United States. The title of Mr. Levesque's dissertation
is the "Population Dynamics and community Ecology of the nearshore fishes in the middle Atlantic Bight (USA)."
Juan C. Levesque, Fishery Biologist, teams up with Mr. Jaiden Maclean of Sea Ulcer to describe and evaluate the effectiveness of drones for documenting coastal and highly migratory species off Australia. The main goal of the study is to describe and test whether this innovative gear can be used to document and assess the movements, behavior, and population of coastal and highly migratory species off Australia.
Keep up with latest by reading Juan's blog