Category Archives: Law Enforcement Committee Annual Meeting

Finding Inspiration

Windsor, Ontario

Law Enforcement Committee Annual Meeting

I was eager to give the Law Enforcement Committee members a synopsis of my symposium at the 145th American Fisheries Society (AFS) Annual Meeting last month. I described the objectives and structure of the symposium in addition to comments and questions generated by the audience. The committee members were pleased that they were well-represented at the fisheries meeting. The members also recognized the importance of maintaining this type of representation and exposure at future fisheries meetings. The committee members made me feel like my Fenske Fellowship project has been successful thus far. I think they are looking forward to see what we can do together in the future.

Sometimes I wonder if my research is going to produce meaningful results; results that can be used and will actually impact something or someone. Sitting in this meeting and listening to the questions, concerns, and stories discussed by the committee members reaffirmed, for me, that my research is important. I think I am finally at the point where I can successfully define meaningful research objectives and goals – without the experiences the Fenske Fellowship has provided for me, I fear this realization may have never come.

We ended the Law Enforcement Committee Meeting with another training. The objective of this training was to instruct the committee members on the proper identification of turtle species in the Great Lakes Basin Region. I do not encounter turtles very often in my research, so the species identification was difficult for me. My favorite turtle was the snapping turtle, mainly because it was the largest and most active of those we observed.

22

A common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentine). Photo credit: Molly J. Good

23

A wood turtle (Glyptemys insculpta). Photo credit: Molly J. Good

LESSON #25: Fisheries law enforcement is just one component of fisheries management. All components must collaborate and work together to implement effective fisheries management.

LESSON #26: The GLFC Law Enforcement Committee is interested in learning about how it can improve fisheries law enforcement on a basin-wide scale.

Tagged , , , ,

The In-Crowd

Sandusky, Ohio

Law Enforcement Committee Annual Meeting

The Law Enforcement Committee holds its own Annual Meeting in the fall – getting lost yet? Kevin Ramsey (Law Enforcement Specialist) invited me to attend this meeting. He also asked that I prepare a brief presentation to serve as an introduction and explanation of my research interests. I approached the development of this presentation in a thoughtful way because I was initially concerned about how the Law Enforcement Committee members would perceive me. To them, I am an outsider. I do not have the same educational background, training, and real-life experiences as these committee members. I was worried that the committee members would be distrustful of me as a researcher and, thus, fail to fully include me in their discussions.

I was anxious to introduce myself. However, I was surprised to find out that the committee members were interested in my research interests and were curious about how I planned to interact with them during the next year. I answered a few basic questions and the meeting continued normally. I talked more with the Law Enforcement Committee members later that evening at our reception.

The Law Enforcement Committee’s Annual Meeting was exciting. I heard a series of presentations detailing illegal fishing activities and explaining how these activities were monitored and eventually controlled. From what I gathered, major enforcement issues in the Great Lakes Basin currently involve the transportation and introduction of aquatic invasive species. Aquatic invasive species or AIS are species that are not native to the aquatic environment, and whose introduction either causes or is likely to cause detrimental effects on the economy, environment, and human health. Common AIS in the Great Lakes Basin include Asian carp, sea lamprey, zebra mussels, and Eurasian Watermilfoil. The Law Enforcement Committee is particularly concerned about AIS coming into the Great Lakes via baitfish collection, sales, and dumping.

I left the Law Enforcement Committee’s Annual Meeting feeling encouraged and motivated to continue working with them in the future.

LESSON #7: Representation from and collaboration among all sectors – federal, state, provincial, tribal, etc. – is essential for effective information-sharing and the development of new and improved management tools and strategies.

View Molly’s presentation to the Great Lakes Fishery Commission Law Enforcement Committee here.

Tagged , ,