Sheepshead will be the focus of the 2017 North Carolina Sea Grant/North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries joint fellow. Photo by Vanda Lewis.
Thom Teears has been named the 2017 North Carolina Sea Grant/North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries joint fellow. He will perform a stock assessment of sheepshead, in collaboration with DMF.
Found year-round in North Carolina’s coastal waters, sheepshead, Archosargus probatocephalus, are harvested by commercial and recreational fishermen. Despite their popularity, limited data on their abundance currently exist, prompting Teear’s study.
“Accurate assessment of data-limited species like sheepshead is vital for allowing fishing, while preventing overfishing of the natural fish stocks,” Teears explains. He will gain experience with techniques specific to these types of data-limited stock assessments, and how the results can be applied to marine fisheries management in North Carolina.
Teears recently earned his master’s degree from James Madison University in Virginia, under the advisement of Christine May. He hopes to apply skills in statistics acquired during his graduate studies to the fellowship.
He also holds a bachelor’s degree in biology with a marine emphasis from Western Washington University. Teears grew up in West Palm Beach, Florida, where he developed a love of the ocean and curiosity about marine life.
This fellowship, based in Morehead City, is patterned after the national Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship. The projects provide a professional education and training opportunity to the fellow, and assist the state in marine fisheries management concerns.
For more information, visit ncseagrant.ncsu.edu/ncsg-dmf-fellowship.
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