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Boots In the Water: My First Seining Experience

Recently, Bayside Fenwick Island held it’s second annual ‘Links to the Bay 5k’, an excellent 5k event benefitting us here at the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays.

As the new Development Coordinator for the CIB, I was originally going to assist other coworkers and volunteers with a living shoreline display…

 

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Exhibits and chatting with visitors – now that’s something I’m comfortable with…

 

Then, one week before the event, I was asked to help with a ‘seining demonstration’ as well. Hesitantly, I said, “Sure…”

The first thing you need to know about this situation is that the last time I even observed a seining operation was a good number of years ago, while in college. From what I remembered, seining involved a net…and getting wet! 

Since I was not really prepared for this endeavor (in particular I lacked the necessary footwear), my coworker and Policy Coordinator for the Center, Roy Miller, let me borrow a pair of ‘shrimper’ boots. After all, I would only be in the shallow water closest to shore.

We started our demonstration among the excited children and adults watching from the pier and shoreline. With one end of the seine net in hand, while Roy walked about 1- feet into the water dragging the net along the bottom of the muddy bay (essentially doing the hard work for me). Meanwhile, I stayed closer to shore, holding the other end of the net in place. With one simple sweep, we were dragging our catch on shore.

 

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Seining for the very first time (and Roy doing the heavy lifting).

 

As we proceeded to transfer the bounty of living creatures into a wading pool for our audience to observe, I became increasingly more amazed at the quantity and variety of life that was squirming, flopping and skittering in the net. In such a small area we caught plenty: Blue crab, skilletfish, striped killifish, edible (probably brown) shrimp, and more!

This experience has given me a greater appreciation for the Inland Bays, the habitat it provides for so many different living creatures and the important work by the Center for the Inland Bays.

It was also great fun – for our audience as well as for me – Proof is in the pictures!

 

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The fish-filled kiddie pool was a very popular spot!

 

About the Author

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Originally from Ponce, Puerto Rico, Nivette completed her Bachelor's in Coastal Marine Biology at the University of Puerto Rico in Humacao. She then went on to complete her Masters of Science in Natural Resources through Delaware State University as part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Living Marine Resources Cooperative Science Center in Dover, Delaware.

Before her work at the Center, she held a field technician position with Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission and worked as an independent consultant for the Caribbean Fishery Management Council.  Through these experiences, she interacted with numerous recreational and commercial anglers learning first-hand about fisheries and aquatic ecosystems. These interactions motivated her passion for science communications.

In her spare time, she can be found training Krav-Maga, helping organize events to promote outdoor recreation like Delaware’s Becoming an Outdoors Woman program, working to increase Diversity and Inclusion in the fisheries sciences with the Equal Opportunity Section of the American Fisheries Society, hiking Delaware’s trails or fishing Delaware’s waterways with friends and family.


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