CitSciMonth: FISHstory Validation Team

Throughout April, we will be sharing a series of blogs highlighting the people who power the Council's Citizen Science Program

Photos from the FISHstory project help us better understand what was being caught prior to the 1970’s when catch monitoring programs began - but sometimes the fish in these photos can be challenging to identify.  Many of the  photos are black and white and the photo quality can often provide limited detail. Since some of the photos can be tricky, we have multiple volunteers classify each photo. Volunteers (and scientists alike) must use the clues they are given such as body shape, fin shape, grayscale color, and pattern to make their best educated guesses.


FISHstory Validation Team

To help ensure the project is collecting quality data, we formed a Validation Team of fish ID experts to help with some of the trickiest photos. The team is made up of fishermen, scientists, and managers from all over the South Atlantic. We recruited members from the Council’s fisheries Advisory Panels, Scientific & Statistical Committee, and federal and state agency partners. When there is volunteer disagreement, the photos are passed on to our Validation Team for verification. Before getting started, team members are trained on validation procedures. Since they often review some of the toughest photos, three team members examine each image. Not only have they helped validate photos, this team has also helped FISHstory staff with identification tips to include in our Field Guide for volunteers. Thanks to our volunteers and Validation Team, we’re able to gather data from these tricky photos. 


Thank you, FISHstory Validation Team!


Meet the Team:

Name  Organization
Amy Dukes  SCDNR 
Ariel Poholek  NOAA Fisheries
Brad Teer SEFSC - Beaufort
David Bartee  NOAA Fisheries 
David Player SCDNR
Dawn Glasgow SCDNR
Erin Burge Coastal Carolina University
Ernie Muhammad SCDNR
Fritz Rohde  NOAA Fisheries
George Sedberry SAFMC SSC
Jack McGovern SERO
James Brooks SCDNR
Jimmy Hull SAFMCSnapper Grouper AP
John Mallette SAFMC Mackerel Cobia AP
Ken Brennan SEFSC - Beaufort
Kevin Spanik  SCDNR
Matthew Carr NOAA Fisheries
Rusty Hudson SAFMC Snapper Grouper & Mackerel Cobia AP
Scott Smith NCDMF
Scott Van Sant NOAA Fisheries
Steve Swann  SAFMC Mackerel Cobia AP
Tracey Smart SCDNR
Zeb Schobernd SEFSC - Beaufort