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Nwfragfest Guest Speaker! Laura Simmons!


Emerald525
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I am excited to introduce you to our guest speaker Laura Simmons! We are flying her all the way out from Austrialia and it is an honor to have her here! She's a busy lady and did a talk at Macna in August and has recently returned after going on a VIP trip to Fiji with Mr. Saltwater. She is currently at MACA (the Australian version of Macna). Now is the chance to see a Macna level speaker right in your own back door!

:YayWave:

 

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Laura is the Curator at Cairns Marine in Queensland, Australia.  She spent her formative years in Gainesville, Florida where she gained her love for all things wild, wonderful and aquatic.  She has a BS in Zoology from the University of Florida.

 Her aquarium career began with Anheuser-Busch.  She worked for Sea World of Florida for nearly 10 years and moved on (across the street!) to open then manage Discovery Cove’s Aquarium Department for 6 years.  From there Laura was hired by Landry’s Restaurants to establish the Life Sciences Department at the Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.  During her 4 years with Landry’s she oversaw the development and opening of 2 large aquaria that are focal points of the hotel.  I have seen them personally and they are amazing!!

Cairns Marine recruited her to join their team in 2010 to oversee their facility and husbandry operations as well as be their point of contact for their public aquarium and research clientele.  Her interest in fisheries management and sustainable animal sourcing made the position a perfect fit, despite being half the world away from family and friendsShe now oversees a team of 35+ staff within the land-based facility and works closely with the company’s maritime operations to ensure excellence in collection, handling and supply for the 1200+ species Cairns Marine provides. Laura is passionate about all aspects of her work, admittedly an aquarium geek, but her other interests include travel (exploring), food (eating), music (especially live) and the aerial circus arts (silks).  She’s convinced that she’s at her best when she’s either under water or in the air!

 

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1 hour ago, Bicyclebill said:

Great presentation. I was really surprised to learn that cyanide and blasting is still done! I don't know why but I thought that all stopped in the early 00's. Thanks Kim and everyone else that made this happen!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

I was right there with you Bill. I thought it actually stopped in the 90s. 

@Jorge  Cherany was going to record it but there is also a macna recording on brsTV

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10 minutes ago, goldenbasketreef said:

Blasting usually common practice in remote island by local people as a way to collect fish for food and some to sell at the local fish market.

Coral trade become an escape goat for this destruction that actually is nothing to do with coral trade.

Very true. Laura also told me the same thing about ornamental fish. It was actually the United States that introduced cyanide to Indo to make it easier to catch fish for food. It had nothing initially to do with the ornamental fish trade. 

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We’ve had some amazing guest speakers over the years, but Laura really stood out to me as someone determined to turn things around in the industry and as a genuinely nice person, as well. She was so gracious with us, and I’m so happy the club chose to invite her! 

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Much better than my recording! I need to work out the technical difficulties I had for the next event. I recorded with my camera, which can only film 10 minutes at a time and resulted in some awkward gaps where the recording stopped mid-sentence and picked back up two sentences later, as well as my phone, which recorded video but screwed up the audio (long beep sound through the whole thing). Both my camera and my phone shut off around the same time at the end of the talk (phone died, camera overheated), so I didn’t get the Q & A portion at all. Definitely stuff to sort out for the next one.

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13 minutes ago, Flashy Fins said:

Much better than my recording! I need to work out the technical difficulties I had for the next event. I recorded with my camera, which can only film 10 minutes at a time and resulted in some awkward gaps where the recording stopped mid-sentence and picked back up two sentences later, as well as my phone, which recorded video but screwed up the audio (long beep sound through the whole thing). Both my camera and my phone shut off around the same time at the end of the talk (phone died, camera overheated), so I didn’t get the Q & A portion at all. Definitely stuff to sort out for the next one.

Thanks for trying. Too bad it didn't work for you.

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In follow up of Laura Simmons’ talk this is the foundation she recommended that supports sustainable fisheries and the native people collecting the fish:

 

https://www.facebook.com/LINIfoundation/

 

For those of you who missed the talk she mentioned that this is a good organization to support as they are also supportive of the ornamental fish industry. She mentioned that places like the Humane Society are interested in shutting down the trade altogether which is what is happening in Hawaii.  This is not a good thing because Hawaii had sustainable fishery practices and this has not only affected hobbyists but also people who make their livelihood with collecting these fish.

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40 minutes ago, Jorge said:

Very insightful. Thank you for sharing Kim!

We missed you Jorge!  Sorry you weren't able to attend in person.  If you get a chance to meet/talk to Laura in the future you should definitely try and take it - very interesting, insightful and dedicated person.

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26 minutes ago, albertareef said:

We missed you Jorge!  Sorry you weren't able to attend in person.  If you get a chance to meet/talk to Laura in the future you should definitely try and take it - very interesting, insightful and dedicated person.

 

Yes Jorge you and your muscles were missed. It really wasn't the same without you , Jeff and Bret. I sure hope you all can make it to the next show!

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