Project FISH

Fast Insights to Scope Hurricanes

Unifying Stakeholders

Project FISH (Fast Insights to Scope Hurricanes) aims to create alliances with fishing associations, charters, and world-class anglers to promote ocean science by sharing transportation costs when bluetech or scientists need to deploy oceanic equipment quickly. Stakeholders in the blue economy are natural partners capable of regular collaboration. In the Gulf of Mexico, fishing professionals’ livelihoods are threatened by the changing climate and increased hurricanes, and capital-intensive budgets limit ocean scientists’ ability to conduct many missions. In other words, scientists need boats to deploy equipment, and fishermen want improved weather insights.

Fortunately, in our Project FISH we have a reliable resource to guide us. International Game Fish Association (IGFA) world-record angler Steve Wozniak connected us to the perfect partner – FishheadsLA, a leading charter run by Lane Weil and Captain Todd Black.

Fishheads is based in Cocodrie, Louisiana, an area devastated by Hurricane Ida, so the crew took an immediate interest in our goal of better-predicting storm intensity. And they happened to have one of the fastest boats in the Gulf.

After a few telephone exchanges to determine the best path to 1,000 m depth, four Seatreckers and Wozniak headed south to venture on a 150-mile journey to deploy the first sustainable profiling float in the Gulf. If things really panned out, Wozniak could add several species to his 2000+ list.

Much of Cocodrie hasn’t been rebuilt since Ida, which made our resolve even more incredible.

On May 16th, we headed out 150 miles at 50-60 mph and successfully deployed our first float in the Gulf. And Wozniak caught a yellow-mouthed grouper.