In an article published in The Invading Sea, Dr. Chris Koenig and Dr. Felicia Coleman take the Florida Fish and Wildlife agency commissioners to task for ignoring the best available science when making decisions about wildlife.
Coleman & Koenig in the News
Call for Papers. -- Dr. Coleman is serving as guest editor for a special issue, “Frontiers in Goliath Grouper Research" to be published in the journal Fishes. Papers by scientists from the Global South are particularly of interest. Deadline for manuscript submission is 30 March 2023.
As the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission debates reopening the Goliath Grouper fishery in Florida state waters, stakeholders and policymakers turned to FSU researchers for their expertise on the matter. Former Marine Lab Director Dr. Felicia Coleman, former faculty member Dr. Chris Koenig, and former PhD student Dr. Chris Malinowski were recently interviewed by National Geographic about the ongoing debate.
The largest grouper in the Atlantic Ocean is so big that it can eat a four-foot-long shark in one gulp and makes noises so loud that nearby scuba divers feel an effect much like a sonic boom. These fish, named goliath groupers after the giant of Biblical legend, can reach more than eight feet long and weigh over 800 pounds. But their gargantuan size offers little protection against the proposed lifting of Florida’s fishing ban for this threatened species.
A new study led by former FSUCML graduate student Dr. Chris Malinowski (Dr. Felicia Coleman and Dr. Chris Koenig’s lab) investigates the health and reproductive consequences of mercury toxicity on Goliath Grouper (Epinephelus itajara). This newly published paper builds off of their two previous manuscripts: one on spatial mercury patterns in Goliath Grouper off the coasts of Florida (2019) and the other a baseline health assessment of Goliath Grouper (2020).
After more than a decade of fearless leadership and innovative thinking, Dr. Felicia Coleman has officially retired from the Florida State University Coastal and Marine Laboratory (FSUCML).
Read the recent Fisheries article by Koenig, Coleman, & Malinowski about the drawbacks of re-establishing a fishery for the threatened Atlantic Goliath Grouper, including: the loss of nursery habitat, increasingly destructive episodic red tide and cold snap events that decimate juvenile populations, and the effects of mercury contamination on survival. Add to this the human health risk of consuming these mercury-contaminated fishes, and the argument supporting the fishery evaporates.
Listen to Dr. Felicia Coleman, Director FSU Coastal & Marine Lab as she talks with Brien Sorne about how science is incorporated in policies that affect the management and conservation of marine organisms and space.
FSUCML Faculty, Dr. Sandra Brooke passionately describes her research on deep sea corals and why they need to be protected in a blog published by National Geographic, "Ancient Deep Sea Corals Need Protection From Modern Threats."
Dr. Chris Koenig and FSUCML Director, Dr. Felicia Coleman debate sustainability issues concerning the goliath grouper in a new article published by National Geographic, 800-Pound Groupers Making a Comeback—But Not Everyone's Happy.