1, 2, 3, 4... There are More than 300 Species of Fish in Tampa Bay Waters
From counting species of sport fish, to monitoring habitats, to collaborating, sharing and conducting cutting-edge reseach, scientists at more than 20 regional fisheries agencies work to ensure health and sustainable fish populations for us and future generations to enjoy.
Counting on Fish, our newest exhibit, is the story behind the importance of sport and commercial fish, how their existence serves as an economic and scientific driver not only for the region but the state of Florida, and the important role of reseach for sustainability and stability of this industry.
The exhibit features a 352-gallon sport fish aquarium stocked with snook, red drum, black drum, spotted seatrout, gag grouper and red grouper and a large interactive SmartPad touch screen with information provided by the Sport Fish Restoration Administrative Program, the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration (NOAA) Fisheries and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
For the non-fisherpeople, there is a "Discovery Cube," not for kids only, that gives mini-lessons on how to determine a fish's age, what kind of bait to use to catch your favorite fish (and where to hook or bait them) and how to measure a fish to know if "it's a keeper."
Another component of the story is illustrated by Diane Rome Peebles, a nationally-known St. Petersburg wildlife artist. The "wall" in the aquarium titled Focus on Fish, explains the process and the art and science behind scientific illustrations using examples of her artwork.'
Ms. Peebles was named Artist of the Year, American Fisheries Society in 1995. Her artwork has appeared on the cover of sport fishing magazines and numerous marine conservation stamps and prints and educational publications produced by several state governments.
The Counting on Fish and Focus on Fish exhibits were made possibly by grants from Sport Fish Restoration, NOAA Fisheries, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Fish Florida Foundation and JMC Communities, St. Petersburg, and funded in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, the Florida Arts Council and the National Endowment for the ARts, employees of the St. Petersburg Times through the newspaper's Employee Giving Program, a match from the St. Petersburg Times Fund, Inc. and matching funds from the Pinellas County Cultural Arts Council.