Innovate Mississippi

Pointe Innovation Summer 2013 Issue

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Page 37 of 79

FEATURE ARTICLE Photo courtesy of USM/GCRL Summer Field Program class aboard the R/V Hermes in the Gulf of Mexico. DELIVERING THE CATCH OF THE DAY MARINE TECHNOLOGY ENSURES SAFETY A N D S U P P LY O F Y O U R F A V O R I T E C A T C H By Sharon G. Morris L ong before you select a favorite fish from the local market, someone working in the field of marine science has invested many years of research to ensure your selection of fish is safe and sustainable. And if the catch includes Gulf shrimp, oysters, striped bass, sea trout or red snapper, it is likely that someone is associated with the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory (GCRL), a division of the University of Southern Mississippi (USM) located in Ocean Springs. Research at GCRL is multidisciplinary and applicationsoriented, focused on sustaining coastal and marine resources, developing new marine technologies, and educating future scientists and citizens. But managing those resources requires a resource of another kind: economic investment. 36 Pointe Innovation "One of the biggest challenges in managing fisheries resources across the country is the large need for sophisticated scientific information to support it and the increasingly limited government funding for academic sciences to fill that need," explained Eric Powell, Ph.D., director of GCRL. "That disparity has created new avenues for funding, most of which is coming out of the fishing industries." Most recently, GCRL received funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for the Science Center for Marine Fisheries. The center, which opened this April, is an NSF/ University Cooperative Research Center housed at USM and the Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences. The center provides an academic resource for the fishing industry throughout the

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