ASC Workshops

by Jason

Aquatic Species Collection Workshops

Sponsored by the Florida Marine Science Educators Association and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Register for a workshop

The workshop is available to certified Florida teachers and/or eligible employees of educational centers (see below).

To signup for a workshop, click on the appointment in the ASCW calendar to see its details. Signup for a workshop using the RegOnline link listed in the appointment. Contact the ASCW Facilitator listed in the notes section if you have questions about online registration.

The Collection Workshop is $25

This fee includes training, a collection certificate, a complimentary membership to FMSEA, and digtial access to workshop materials and resources. The fee may be paid using the online registration link included in the calendar event. Those paying via purchase order must bring a copy of the PO to the workshop as proof of pending payment. For those needing FMSEA vendor information, contact your facilitator.

Beginning in 1996, FMSEA and The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (formerly DEP) began a partnership to develop and implement an aquatic species collection workshop for educators. The first workshop and facilitator training session was conducted at the April 1997 FMSEA conference.

*The workshop is available to:

  1. An instructor employed by, or under sponsorship of, an elementary or secondary school.
  2. An instructor employed by, or under sponsorship of, another educational institution or organization with courses of biological or aquatic studies.
  3. An individual who teaches in a home education program maintained in accordance with Section 1002.41, F.S.
  4. A representative of a home education program association.

FMSEA Certification requires successful completion of the training workshop. The primary workshop objective is to promote best practices in the collection and maintenance of aquatic organisms for educational activities. A curriculum has been established to achieve the primary workshop objective and includes but is not limited to:

  1. Rationale for collecting aquatic organisms.
  2. Alternatives to the collection of live aquatic organisms.
  3. Collection methods.
  4. Minimization of environmental impacts.
  5. Minimization of aquatic organism mortality.
  6. Regulatory concerns.
  7. Appropriate gear deployment and use.
  8. Establishment of collecting teams.
  9. Collection and documentation of field data.

The certificate does not supersede any state or federal regulations, but it does allow the collection of specified numbers of certain species for educational purposes, some undersized, and to use certain types of collecting gear that would not be allowed under recreational fishing guidelines.

Upon successful completion of the training workshop, a participant receives a certification that is authorized by both FMSEA and Commission representatives. The certification:

  1. Authorizes the harvest of certain fresh and saltwater organisms and specifies bag and possession limits.
  2. Authorizes the use of specific scientific, educational, and recreational harvesting gears.
  3. Specifies the fresh and saltwater areas in which harvest of aquatic organisms is allowed.
  4. Provides an exemption from local laws when harvesting in a designated saltwater area.

Certificate are usually mailed out within 6–8 weeks. This certificate is valid for 3 years. Renewal workshops are available.

Workshops are given annually at the FMSEA and FAST State conferences and throughout the year regionally.