Florida Museum’s first free ‘Science Café’ Oct. 6 explores seafood choices

September 22nd, 2011

Photos available

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Florida Museum of Natural History will host the first program in its free “Science Café” series, “Seafood Choices: Why am I confused?” from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Oct. 6.

The evening features information and a group discussion about seafood industry changes and the potential effect on consumers, including supply, costs, health, safety and sustainability. Florida Sea Grant seafood specialist Steve Otwell will provide a brief introduction on these topics, including how sustainable selections may encourage consumers to search for new options. An assortment of taste samples and a cash bar also will be available.

Otwell said he expects the available seafood supply to change more in the next five years than it has during past 50.

“We are entering the era of the ‘aquatic chicken,’ ” Otwell said, referring to more affordable farm-raised seafood products. “Consumers can also expect an increase in the number of imported products.”

Florida Museum scientists researching fish species worldwide say the aquaculture industry is already large, and still growing.

“Aquaculture is an $86 billion-a-year business and nearly half of all fish consumed worldwide are farm-raised,” said Florida Museum ichthyology curator Larry Page.

Betty Dunckel, director of the Florida Museum’s Center for Informal Science Education, said “Science Café” programs at other institutions have proven popular.

“The format provides an opportunity for attendees to participate in interesting discussions about the evening’s science topic,” Dunckel said. “We hope public interest in seafood and food safety will promote questions and engaging conversations.”

“Science Café” is co-sponsored by the Florida Museum of Natural History; the Centers for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence, Florida; Florida Sea Grant and University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. Guests planning to attend should RSVP with Treva Damron, damron@ufl.edu or 352-294-0751.

The museum is located on the UF campus near the intersection of Southwest 34th Street and Hull Road, across from the Southwest Recreation Center.

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Source: Betty Dunckel, 352-273-2088, bdunckel@flmnh.ufl.edu
Writer: Logan Gerber
Media contact: Paul Ramey, 352-273-2054, pramey@flmnh.ufl.edu