We are optimistic that GCFI74 will be held as a hybrid, in-person event in Fort Walton Beach, Florida in 2021.
However if COVID-19 still presents too much uncertainty for a safe, well attended in-person meeting, GCFI74 will be convened as a fully virtual event.
ABOUT THE CONFERENCE
GCFI is pleased to announce that the 74th annual meeting of the Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute (GCFI 74) will be held in Fort Walton Beach, Florida from 8 – 12 November 2021 at The Island Hotel. GCFI is partnering with the Okaloosa County, the Destin – Fort Walton Beach Convention Center and Visitor Bureau to host GCFI74.
We intend to host a hybrid in-person event in Florida with options for virtual participation. We are monitoring the status of COVID19 within the region and the safety of our GCFI Family is our priority. Thus if the status of the pandemic changes, and it is no longer safe to host an in-person meeting, a fully virtual event will be convened.
Regardless of the format, we encourage everyone who is interested in participating to submit an abstract.
The meeting will bring together regional stakeholders to share experiences and present success stories from around the Gulf and Caribbean. Providing the opportunity to discuss stakeholders’ experiences related to managing marine resources and fisheries in the face of climate change will increase knowledge. By bringing together scientists, academics and practitioners to share case studies, we can collaboratively identify lessons learned and present strategies for managing multispecies fisheries options that could be scaled-up around the world.
The Island Hotel will serve as the main hotel whilst the meeting will be hosted across the street at the Emerald Coast Convention Center. The Island Hotel is a 329 room beachside resort that has a private beach as well as multiple resort-style amenities, bars, onsite restaurants, and complimentary parking.
Click on this link: GCFI Annual Meeting select the dates and room type you are interested in on the booking screen and click BOOK NOW. Guests may also book over the phone by calling 850-337-9194.
Please note the available room types are listed on multiple pages. Please use the arrows to navigate to “Select an Available Room Type”
Start date: 11/05/21
End date: 11/14/21
Last day to book: 10/15/21
Cancellation Policy: 48 hours prior to arrival
Deposit Policy: Credit card to guarantee room
Rates: starting at $100.00 USD per night plus tax
Please note: Guest’s need to contact the group housing coordinator directly, if they want to extend their stay or book different room types outside of the group block (which is subject to availability and rate).
Reservations needed after the cutoff date must be booked directly through group housing. The group rate after cutoff is not guaranteed, and is subject to current availability
Abstracts for GCFI74 are due by July 31, 2021. Abstracts will be accepted in English, French, and Spanish. ALL ABSTRACTS MUST BE ACCOMPANIED BY ENGLISH, SPANISH AND FRENCH TITLES. Abstracts are only required in one of the three languages; titles must be in all three languages. Abstracts must not exceed 250 words (275 for Spanish and French). Abstracts must be submitted online via the secure online Abstract Submission Form.
Acceptance to present within an oral or poster session requires submission of an extended abstract. Extended abstract preparation guidelines are available online. Members of GCFI are encouraged to submit full manuscripts or short communications based on presentations given at GCFI meetings to Gulf and Caribbean Research for peer review. Accepted manuscripts will be published open access at no charge to the authors through the GCFI-GCR partnership. Full manuscripts will also be accepted for publishing in the GCFI Proceedings.
Authors of accepted presentations will be notified via e-mail in September 2021. Submissions intended for the oral presentation, but not granted a slot, would automatically be accepted as a poster presentation. Regardless of the format, we encourage everyone who is interested in participating to submit an abstract.
Early registration will open in June and close on September 30, 2021 when we will shift to regular registration rates at a higher fee. If you register for in-person attendance and need to change to virtual attendance, we will adjust your registration fee as long as your request is submitted by October 15 2021. If you are initially registered as a virtual participant and are able to join the event in Fort Walton Beach, Florida you may switch to an in-person registration (with a fee adjustment) at any time. Click here to register for the conference
Don’t forget to become a Member of GCFI! In addition to significant savings on your conference registration, there are other perks of membership including the ability to publish your research presented at GCFI for free along with open access to our peer-reviewed journal Gulf and Caribbean Research (published by our partners at the University of Southern Mississippi). Membership dues also support GCFI Programs such as CaMPAM, the Fishers for Fishers Initiative, Education and other activities like interpretation. Learn more and Become a GCFI Member here.
|Registration Type||In-Person Rate (USD)||Virtual Rate (USD)|
|EARLY BIRD RATES (Until 30 Sep)||Member||Non-Member||Member||Non-Member|
Non-US (Virtual Only)
|REGULAR RATES (Until 5 Nov)||Member||Non-Member||Member||Non-Member|
Non-US (Virtual Only)
|ON-SITE RATES (After 5 Nov)||Member||Non-Member||Member||Non-Member|
Please note that registration fees are not waived for presenters. All presenters must register by the early bird deadline to guarantee their accepted talks / posters in the GCFI74 Program. Early registration also guarantees you the lowest rates. GCFI members can save up to $150 on registration costs.
GCFI acknowledges that some of our members may not be able to afford registration rates due to hardships experienced as a result of COVID-19. Please email [email protected] to submit a request for waiver of registration fees.
*If GCFI74 is forced to be convened as a completely virtual meeting due to COVID-19, refunds will be issued or discounted (difference between in-person and virtual registration rates)
Click here to Register for the Conference
The conference program features multi-disciplinary thematic sessions. Each session may have a mix of natural and social science, management, and technology related to the ecosystem or fisheries, highlighting the conference theme. Papers and posters are solicited in the following areas (other subjects not listed below will also be considered):
- Governance, livelihoods, and organizations
- Reefs and associated ecosystems and fisheries
- Shallow and deep reef fishes
- Snapper and grouper fisheries
- Fish spawning aggregations
- Lionfish and other invasive species
- Artificial reefs
- Queen conch, spiny lobster, and other invertebrates
- Marine protected areas science and management
- Pelagic ecosystem and recreational fisheries
- Continental shelf ecosystem fisheries
- Shrimp and demersal trawl fisheries
- Habitats, climate change, and coastal management
- Climate change science and adaptation
- Sargassum science and management
- Marine litter science and management (including ALDFG)
- Communication and environmental education
1) Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease Research and Innovations
This special session will highlight the latest stony coral tissue loss disease (SCTLD) research from around the Gulf-Caribbean region. The session will help share knowledge, promote collaboration, and highlight innovative research, treatment, and rescue approaches to the disease throughout the region.
Format: This half-day session will feature a series of brief presentations highlighting the latest SCTLD research, followed by a panel discussion composed of SCLTD experts from around the region.
● Share information regarding the latest SCTLD research findings and innovations.
● Identify key research gaps and questions.
● Increase awareness among participants related to SCTLD and solutions and efforts underway to respond to the continued spread of the disease.
● Highlight management implications of research and explain how our current state of knowledge enables us to manage and address the disease.
● Promote collaboration and information sharing among disease experts, scientists, managers, and stakeholders throughout the Gulf and Caribbean region.
● Share research priorities and outstanding questions from different regions, promoting collaborative research partnerships.
Organizers: Caroline McLaughlin (Florida Sea Grant), Dana Wusinich-Mendez (NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program), Emma Doyle (Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute)
Contact: For more information, please email [email protected]
2) Celebrating the International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture in the Gulf and Caribbean region through recovery and resilience
The United Nations General Assembly has declared 2022 as the International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture (IYAFA 2022). Small-scale fisheries contribute greatly to the livelihoods, food security, and cultural wellbeing of thousands of persons in the Gulf and Caribbean region. Despite the important role that small-scale fisheries (SSF) play in national and local economies, small-scale fisheries are seen as poorly planned, unregulated, marginalized, and inadequately funded. The special recognition of small-scale fisheries and aquaculture in 2022 represents a key opportunity to bring increase attention to the men and women who are engaged in the industry. In the region, activities for IYAFA 2022 are being spearheaded by countries and partners who are committed to showcasing the important role small-scale fishers play in contributing to their social and economic fabric. The overall theme for the region is Resilience and Recovery, with cross-cutting attention to Gender and Youth. This theme is supported by three sub-themes: social resilience, innovation, and intersectoral linkages.
In this special session, we aim to present a sample of the diversity of actors and activities being mobilized to celebrate IYAFA in the region. To accomplish this, we have convened actors from across the region that span the small-scale fisheries and aquaculture value chain. Here, you will hear what IYAFA means to these actors and the activities they already undertaking in anticipation of the dedicated year to small-scale fisheries and aquaculture. Indeed, this diversity of speakers including fishers, policymakers, researchers, and private sector representatives will demonstrate the intersectoral linkages being highlighted during IYAFA. Through this special session, the goal is to further galvanize partners in the region to not only get involved in local activities but also to integrate dedicated IYAFA activities in their programs in 2022.
3) Science, Management, and Solutions to address Abandoned, Lost and Otherwise Discarded Fishing Gear (ALDFG) in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico
This special session will bring together scientists, researchers, managers, fishers, government officials, partners, and other stakeholders to share current state of the science, lessons learned, ongoing activities, and other issues related to abandoned, lost and otherwise discarded fishing gear (ALDFG) in the Wider Caribbean region. The intent of this session is to bring together collective perspectives and expertise from stakeholders on ALDFG.
Organizers: Global Ghost Gear Initiative, Gulf Caribbean Fisheries Institute.
Contact: For more information, please email [email protected]
Regional Caribbean Best Practice ALDFG Cross-Sectoral Solutions Workshop
Hosted by: Global Ghost Gear Initiative, Gulf Caribbean Fisheries Institute, Caribbean Node of the Global Partnership on Marine Litter (GPML-Caribe)
Description: This workshop will be built on the foundations laid by a series of very successful joint FAO/GGGI ALDFG workshops held in 2019 in Vanuatu, Indonesia, Senegal and Panama respectively. This workshop will draw most heavily on the workshop delivered in Panama City in November, 2019, as many of the outcomes and lessons learned will be most directly attributable to the Caribbean region. Drawing on the extensive networks of both GCFI and GGGI, this workshop will bring together stakeholders from all over the Gulf and Caribbean region to discuss ALDFG in a regional context, gather relevant data and insights from local fishers and community members, and discuss the best methods to address ALDFG successfully in the Caribbean context. This workshop will draw on the GGGI Best Practice Framework for the Management of Fishing Gear as a way to frame the discussion and the various workshop activities.
Contact: For more information, or to become involved in this workshop, please email [email protected]
To CARI’MAM, and beyond
Hosted by: Agoa Sanctuary (French Biodiversity Agency)
Description: The CARI’MAM project, standing for Caribbean Marine Mammals Conservation Network, co-funded by European Interreg funds, aims to strengthen the network of marine protected areas and organizations dedicated to the protection of marine mammals in the Greater Caribbean Region. While the funding ends in November 2021, the objective is to keep this network of highly dedicated people alive.
The objective of this workshop is to wrap up three years of common actions, related to monitoring, capacity building, awareness raising and management of marine mammals in the Caribbean, and share new interesting discoveries about these species. This meeting will be a major step to organize the follow up for the next years, reinforce old partnership and create new cooperation opportunities.
Contact: For more information or to become involved in this workshop, please email Gérald Mannaerts ([email protected])
This year, the GCFI Conference will continue with our story slam focused on compelling stories from the field. We encourage submission of 5-minute contributions that will be performed via a story-telling format. There is no restriction on the topic of the story except that it cannot be only a scientific presentation unless it relates to some entertaining experience you may have had. Some examples of story topics are experiences from field-work, unexpected interactions with a person or animal, a mentor who influenced you, or any other memorable experiences.
Are you interested in submitting a short film for this year’s CINEFISH film festival at the GCFI conference? If so, please email the following information to [email protected] The submission deadline is September 15, 2021 and films should be submitted in mp4 format prior to the conference.
- Title of film
- Brief description of film (2-3 sentences)
- Film makers(s)
- Duration of film – Note films should be a maximum of 15 minutes
- Image for film (png or jpg) – To be used for promotion on website, social media and in film program
- Link to preview the film (YouTube, Vimeo, GoogleDrive etc)
- Type of film:
- Documentary: A non-fictional motion picture to document some aspect of reality.
- Animation: A short, hand-drawn, stop motion, character animations or computer animated production.
- New media: This includes Music Videos and Public Service Announcements (PSAs)
Please contact [email protected] if you have any questions
Outstanding Student Achievement Award
GCFI, through partnerships with NOAA’s Caribbean Fisheries Management Council and the Harte Research Institute is awarding $1,500 scholarships to the best oral and poster presentations (both virtual and in-person presentations are eligible). The content of the presentation must be related to final research done by the student related to their thesis or dissertation. If already submitted, this thesis or dissertation must be no older than one year. An extended abstract or a full manuscript of the oral/poster presentation must be submitted prior to the meeting to be eligible for this award. The award winners will receive their scholarship at the following year’s conference, to help support their participation in this meeting. Complete instructions and eligibility requirements are on the Outstanding Student Achievement Awards web page.
GCFI Travel Awards
GCFI in partnership with the Harte Research Institute will offer two travel awards of US$750 each to eligible students to help offset travel costs to GCFI74. The deadline for students to apply for this award is July 31, 2021. Complete instructions and eligibility requirements are on the GCFI Student Travel Awards web page. Students will be notified of acceptance/rejection of their application by September 1, 2021. Students may apply for a travel award and for consideration for the Student Achievement Award in the same year. Students who received the GCFI72 Student Achievement Award are not eligible for a travel award.
Ron Schmied Scholarship
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 GCFI74. The Scholarship is in the amount of US$1,500, and graduate students with an interest in social, economic, biological, ecological, or management perspectives on recreational fisheries are eligible to apply. The deadline for students to apply for this award is July 31, 2021. Students will be notified of acceptance/rejection of their application by September 1, 2021. Note that a manuscript of the oral/poster presentation must be submitted to be eligible for this award. Complete instructions and eligibility requirements for the Ron Schmied Scholarship are on the Ron Schmied Scholarship page. Students may apply for the Scholarship and for consideration for the Student Achievement Award in the same year. Students may also ask to be considered for the Ron Schmied Scholarship and a GCFI Travel Award in the same year but will only receive one award.
SCRFA Student Travel Award
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 GCFI74. SCRFA has the mission to promote responsible stewardship of fish aggregations through better conservation and management and by building capacity and knowledge based on good science. The SCRFA Student Travel Award is to encourage and help students to work in this important area and showcase their ideas and work in a presentation (talk) at GCFI. The deadline for students applying for the award and submitting an abstract and all supporting paperwork is 31 July, 2021. Students will be notified of their application success by 1 September, 2021. Applications and further information enquiries are to be sent to Martin Russell (SCRFA Chair/CEO) [email protected].
GLADDING MEMORIAL AWARD
The GCFI Gladding Memorial Award (GMA) committee is requesting nominations of outstanding fishers for the 74th GCFI GMA. This annual award is presented to select fishers (men and women) who demonstrate, as Peter Gladding did, significant commitment to the sustainable use and long-term conservation of marine resources in the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean region. The winner will be sponsored to attend the GCFI meeting in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, to receive his or her award and to participate in the conference.
You are invited to submit award nominations to the GMA committee at [email protected]. All nominations must be received by August 15 2021. Background information on the GMA, nomination forms with award criteria, and details of the process are available on the GCFI website.
COVID-19 & GCFI74
We are optimistic that GCFI74 will be held in-person in Fort Walton Beach, Florida in 2021 as a hybrid event with options for virtual participation. We are monitoring the status of COVID19 within the region and the safety of our GCFI Family is our priority. Thus if the status of the pandemic changes, and it is no longer safe to host an in-person meeting, a virtual event will be convened.
We are mindful of the time window attendees, sponsors and exhibitors need to organize travel plans, secure funding, and change their plans if necessary. Thus we will be sure to continuously communicate our plans for responding to the evolving nature of COVID-19 and its potential impact on GCFI74.
Creating a safe meeting whilst ensuring an enjoyable experience is our top priority. For our members who are unable to, or prefer not to travel to the in-person part of the event, we will have live-streamed and pre-recorded presentations available. For participants attending GCFI74 in-person, we are working with our local host and venue to create an event experience where all participants remain safe and comfortable.
As the meeting dates approach, we are monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic and are reviewing updated CDC guidelines. We will be incorporating measures that will ensure optimal health and sanitary conditions in all environments where in-person interactions take place.