66th GCFI - Corpus Christi, Texas, USA
4 November 2013 - 8 November 2013
- • Role of natural and artificial reefs in fisheries management
- • Biological connectivity between natural and artificial reefs
- • New methodologies for assessing natural and artificial reef populations
- • Socio-economic, policy, and sustainability issues related to natural and artificial reef fisheries
- Padre Island National Seashore Trip (1-5pm) – This large field trip will take GCFI attendees via bus from the Omni Hotel to Padre Island across the Laguna Madre. There will be a stop at Bird Island Basin to discuss the Laguna Madre, and then we will go to the Malaquite Visitor's Center to see information about Padre Island and the National Seashore. We will then walk down to the Gulf of Mexico beach for a discussion about beach ecology. This trip can take one or two buses, approximately 100-110 people. This trip will cost $10 per person. First come, first served. For more information, visit: http://www.nps.gov/pais/index.htm
- Whooping Crane Boat Trip (1-6pm) – This medium-sized field trip will take GCFI attendees via bus from the Omni Hotel north of Corpus Christi to Rockport, where they will board the M/V Skimmer, a shallow draft vessel that will motor up to Aransas National Wildlife Refuge to see the endangered Whooping Cranes. Tours usually see between 30-60 other species of birds on the trip. This trip is limited to 37 people, and it will cost $50 per person. First come, first served.
- Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Marine Development Center Tour (1-5pm) – This small group field trip will take only one van of 12-15 GCFI attendees from the Omni Hotel to eastern Corpus Christi on the Laguna Madre to see and tour the mariculture facilities used to grow marine fish species for restocking Texas coastal waters. There is no cost for this field trip. First come, first served.
- University of Texas, Marine Science Institute Tour (1-5pm) – This small group field trip will take only one van of 12-15 GCFI attendees to Port Aransas, located on Mustang Island, to see and tour research facilities of this well-established and oldest marine lab in the northern Gulf of Mexico. There is no cost for this field trip. First come, first served.
About Corpus Christi
Corpus Christi is a coastal city in South Texas. In 2006 the estimated population was 285,175, making it the eighth-largest city in Texas. Corpus Christi was founded in 1839 by Colonel Henry Lawrence Kinney as Kinney's Trading Post, or Kinney's Ranch, a small trading post to sell supplies to a Mexican revolutionary army camped about 25 miles west. In July 1845, U.S. troops under General Zachary Taylor set up camp there in preparation for war with Mexico, where they remained until March 1846, when they marched south to the Rio Grande to enforce the southern border of the United States.
Corpus Christi during the Civil War
On Feb. 23, 1861, Corpus Christi voted 87 for secession and 40 against. In August 1862, five Union warships under the command of Lt. J.W. Kittredge sailed into Corpus Christi Bay and bombarded the city. The bombardment did considerable damage to the town. The Confederates, provoked by the attack, began to take revenge by plundering the homes and property of known Union supporters.
Things to Do in Corpus Christi
Corpus Christi has a number of attractions. Among these are the USS Lexington Aircraft Carrier, the Texas State Aquarium, Padre Island National Seashore, the South Texas Botanical Gardens, the Art Museum of South Texas, the Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History, and Mustang Island State Park. For more information, on the attractions in and around Corpus Christi, please visit this website.
For a list of attractions, restaurants, and a map of downtown Corpus Christi close to the Omni Hotel, download this information sheet.
Mayra A. Lopéz (Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, M.S. Social and Economic Processes) was the winner of the conference logo competition. Her depiction of the Gulf of Mexico outlined by the body of a whale shark appealed to members of the Tesas A&M faculty and the GCFI Board of Directors. There were a number of very creative entries and the competition was very close.
Mayra earned her B.S. in Environmental Science from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi (TAMU-CC). Her undergraduate degree concentration was in Policy and Regulations, which focused on Oil Spill Management and Hazardous Waste Operations & Emergency Response. She is currently a student in the Environmental Science M.S. program at TAMU-CC and a member of the Socio-Economics Group at the Harte Research Institute. She is also a researcher on the publication Gulf 360. Mayra is mentored by Dr. Christina Carollo and advised by Dr. David Yoskowitz, the Endowed Chair for Socio-Economics at the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies. She has been a NOAA-Environmental Cooperation Science Center Fellow since Spring of 2013.
The theme of the 66th GCFI conference is "Natural and Artificial Reef Fisheries, Research, and Conservation". The focus on natural and artificial reefs at GCFI draws attention to the importance of this segment of fisheries, research, and conservation in the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean. Natural reefs have provided hotspots of biodiversity and productivity for centuries in this region, and now artificial reefs are very important to some areas. However, there is not clear agreement on function and use of artificial reefs in fisheries management, and there are now heated issues on the role and function of some artificial habitats, such as oil and gas platforms. Addressing the issues of connectivity, fisheries management, conservation, and related issues at GCFI will provide the current state of knowledge and aid in the debate of these critical issues at this time facing both our natural and artificial reefs.
THEMATIC SESSION - Natural and Artificial Reef Fisheries, Research, and Conservation
The Harte Research Institute is sponsoring this special session focusing on natural and artifical reefs and their fisheries. The session will examine on the following topics:
Keynote Speaker - Dr. Larry D. McKinney
GCFI is pleased to confirm that the opening address of the meeting will be presented by Dr. Larry D. McKinney, Executive Director of the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies. The title of his presentation is: The Balance of Nature – Steel Reefs and Coral Reefs: Compatible or Contradictory?Dr. McKinney is leading an interdisciplinary team that integrates science, policy and socio-economic expertise to assure an economically and environmentally sustainable Gulf. Dr. McKinney chairs the Gulf University Research Collaborative, an organization that includes 78 leading marine research universities and institutions around the Gulf. He also chairs the Ecosystem Assessment and Integration Team of the Gulf Alliance, the Flower Gardens National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Committee, and the Texas Sea Grant Science Advisory Committee. Dr. McKinney is a member of NASA’s SSC Applied Sciences Steering Committee and board member and past president of the Texas Academy of Sciences.
General Meeting Information
The 66th GCFI will be comprised on oral sessions and poster sessions. All oral presentations will be simultaneously interpreted into English and Spanish (French is pending). All oral presenters are required to submit a manuscript for publication in the Proceedings of the Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute.
The General Poster Session will be held on the evening of 5 November 2013.
Special Sessions and Workshops
Abstracts are requested that provide insight on how scientists and managers are currently addressing data-limited assessments in the Caribbean or other similarly under-sampled marine habitats. Contributions are requested that examine the use of analytical methods and tools in data-limited assessments, and approaches that identify the sources of uncertainty in these assessments? What practices are currently being used to minimize uncertainty in these data limited stock assessments? What are the minimum data requirements for conducting data-limited assessments and which methods can potentially be applied to diverse types of stocks?
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is sponsoring this session.
For those interested in participating as a convener for this session, please contact and
The 2013 Fishers Forum is designed to highlight and enhance collaboration among fishers, scientists, and managers to achieve sustainable fisheries and improve livelihoods through collaborative social and ecological fisheries science. There are clear links between identifying changes, monitoring and evaluating them, and developing adaptive management strategies and stewardship. We pose that better engaging multi-stakeholder groups throughout the process will build legitimacy and increase efficiency. The 2013 Fishers Forum brings together leaders from industry, science and management to address (a) successful examples of collaborative monitoring and evaluation programs and (b) creating new opportunities for partnership and collaboration.
The Forum will provide an opportunity to address major issues in monitoring and evaluation from the bottom-up by sharing the experiences and views of leading fishers from around the region. This will allow GCFI members and the F4F Initiative to develop practical actions to address identified issues in consultation with fishers and other stakeholders. We aim for fishers to play an increasing role in local through to regional fishery management and policy advice, decision-making, and implementation that contributes to more sustainable resources and livelihoods.
Texas Sea Grant and LGL Ecological Associates, Inc. are sponsoring this session
Opportunities for Students
Outstanding Student Awards for Academic Achievement
Two awards are presented each year to students presenting oral or poster presentations at the annual conference. The winners receive travel to the following GCFI meeting up to $1,500. These awards are sponsored by NOAA's Caribbean Fisheries Management Council and consortium from the Gulf of Mexico Sea Grant Programs (Florida Sea Grant, Mississippi/Alabama Sea Grant, Louisiana Sea Grant and Texas Sea Grant programs. For more information, please follow this link.
Student Travel Awards
Each year, GCFI is pleaed to offer two awards to assist with travel costs to the annual GCFI. These awards are sponsored by the Puerto Rico SeaGrant Program. For more information, please visit this link.
Ron Schmied Award
The Ron Schmied Scholarship, a GCFI initiative supported by the International Game Fish Association (IGFA) and private individuals, will be offered to a qualified graduate student in support of their travel to the 66th GCFI in Corpus Christi, Texas. The Scholarship is in the amount of $1,500. Graduate students with an interest in social, economic, biological, ecological, or management perspective on recreational fisheries will be eligible to apply for this scholarship. The deadline for students applying for the award and submitting accompanying abstract and all supporting paperwork is July 31. Students will be notified of acceptance/rejection of their application by September 1. For more information, please visit this page.
SCRFA Award for Students of Fish Aggregations
Starting in 2013, the Science and Conservation of Fish Aggregations (SCRFA) will offer a Student Travel Award of US$800 to a student in the Caribbean Region to attend the 66th GCFI, Corpus Christi, Texas. The SCRFA Student Travel Award is to encourage and help students to work in this important area and showcase their ideas and work at GCFI. The deadline for applying is 31 July 2013. Please visit this page for more information.
Book of Abstracts
The Book of Abstracts will only be provided online in page-flipping software with options to download in pdf formats, add notes, translate abstracts, and print pages. The Book of Abstracts will be available after the abstract submission deadline has passed.
The meeting venue will be the Omni Corpus Christi Hotel, 900 North Shoreline Blvd., Corpus Christi, Texas 78401 Phone: (361) 887-1600, Fax: (361) 887-6715. Reservations can be made online on the GCFI conference booking page.
Located in the lively downtown Marina District, the four-diamond Omni Corpus Christi Hotel Bayfront Tower offers newly renovated rooms with spectacular views of the Corpus Christi bay. Situated along 131 miles of Texas coast, there are virtually limitless choices for water sports, including year-round sailing, swimming, snorkeling and some of the world's best deep-sea fishing. All are just moments away from this spectacular Corpus Christi hotel. Located just 15 minutes from Corpus Christi International Airport.
The OMNI Hotel is now SOLD OUT
GCFI has sold out the room block at the Omni Hotel. We have negotiated the same room rate two blocks away at the Holiday Inn Downtown Marina hotel which was an Omni Hotel until earlier this year. The phone number at the Holiday Inn is 361-882-1700. You may also visit the website (https://www.ihg.com/holidayinn/hotels/us/en/corpus-christi/crpmb/hoteldetail) to make your reservation. Please note that the group code is 'GCI' and this should be entered in the 'Group Code' box to receive the discounted rate. We can only confirm that this rate will be available through 21 October 2013; reservations made after this date may be subject to change. Free WIFI and parking are included with reservations made under this group rate.
The following table contains the rates for the Holdiay Inn hotel not including taxes. Meals are not included. The cutoff date for reservations is October 21. Reservations must be cancelled 24 hours before the date of arrival to avoid a 1 night penalty.
|Number of People||$/Night/Room|
|Single Occupancy||$97.00 (new rate)*|
GCFI Field Trips for Wednesday afternoon
(6 November 2013)
Note: If you are interested in any of these field trips, please contact Wes Tunnell to reserve a spot by 1 September 2013. We can increase or reduce the size of the three field trips (1, 3, and 4), depending on interest.
Air Travel Discount
GCFI has arranged a 5% discount for people travelling to Corpus Christi on American Airlines for travel originating from any location. The discount is applicable on all fares including discount fares; however, reservations must be made on the American Airlines website. The reduced fare is available for travel from 31 October to 11 November. In order to receive the reduced fare, you must use the following aa.com promotion code when booking your ticket: 84H3AT
- The percentage discount can be booked on-line at www.aa.com/group for AA/AE flights only. Use the authorization number noted above as the aa.com promotion code. Certain restrictions apply.
- Tickets may be purchased by calling AA Meeting Services at 1-800-433-1790. For AA ticketing the form of payment must be money order, certified/cashier check, valid credit card and a separate ticketing fee will apply.
- Electronic ticketing must be issued for all eligible itineraries, otherwise a paper ticket fee will apply.
- Other airline segments must be ticketed separately unless otherwise noted in contract. - AADVANTAGE members may accrue mileage on American Airlines for tickets purchased at contracted rates. For the rules of mileage accrual on partner airlines, please check with the AADVANTAGE Department.
- Electronic and Monetary upgrades to Business or First class are allowed after ticketing. Certificate award upgrades to Business or First are allowed based on AADVANTAGE certificate guidelines.
Car Rental Discount
GCFI has arranged a discount with Avis Rental Cars for those attending the GCFI conference in Corpus Christi. Rates can be obtained using the Avis Worldwide Discount (AWD) number that is assigned to GCFI to receive the best available rates from Avis. AWD# D030599 The group discount number is designed to shop the best available rate, includes unlimited mileage. Reservations should be made by calling Avis directly at (800) 331-1600 or by using this link
Visa Information - IMPORTANT
For the 66th GCFI Conference, participants traveling from a foreign country, please be advised that the US requires a visa for most international travelers, except travelers from Canada and countries participating in the Visa Waiver Program. For information on Visa requirements visit the following website: http://travel.state.gov/visa/temp/temp_1305.html
It is recommended to all travelers to visit their local Consular Office at the U.S. Embassy.
Remember Advance planning can smooth the visa application process for you. Apply for your visa well in advance of your travel!