Public Release: 

Two day shark attack conference set for Tampa, June 13-14

Two day shark attack conference set for Tampa, June 13-14

National Sea Grant College Program

WHAT: "Sharks In Perspective: From Fear to Fascination," a conference on shark conservation and management presented by Florida Sea Grant and the Florida Museum of Natural History.

WHEN: Thursday and Friday, June 13 -14, 2002 WHERE: Hyatt Regency, 2 Tampa City Center, Tampa, Florida

WHO: Speakers and panelists will be leading national scientists, governmental agency representatives, and coastal zone managers and outreach personnel experienced with sharks. Among those slated to participate are:

  • George Burgess, Director, International Shark Attack File, Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida
  • Robert E. Hueter, Director Center for Shark Research, Mote Marine Laboratory
  • Merry Camhi, Senior Scientist, Living Oceans Program, National Audubon Society
  • Margo Schulze-Haugen, Fisheries Biologist, NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service
  • Chris Brewster, Director National Certification Program, U.S. Lifesaving Association
  • Eric Sander, Research Scientist, Florida Marine Research Institute
  • Joe Wooden, Deputy Beach Chief, Volusia County (FL) Beach Patrol
  • Roy Williams, Assistant Director of Marine Fisheries Division, Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission

WHY: The public perception of the risk of shark bites and attacks was heightened through intensive news media coverage following last summer's shark attack fatalities. The two-day conference will aim to put the risk of shark attacks in perspective while providing both the news media and the general public with additional scientific and fishery management background material. The first day of the conference (June 13) will focus on science-based presentations that address fishery management, conservation, attacks, interactive shark feeding dives, beach safety protocol, commercial and recreational fishery issues, and regional beach management views from California, Hawaii and Florida. The second day of the conference (June 14) will focus on outreach activities, strategies and development of future educational materials and programs. Panel groups will address fishery management, conservation, beach safety, and media relations. Speakers will be available for media interviews.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Detailed conference agenda and background information is available at

CONTACTS: Michael Spranger, Assistant Director, Florida Sea Grant, at (352) 392-1837, Ext. 226, E-mail:; George Burgess at (352) 392-2360 or E-mail:; Ben Sherman, Sea Grant National Media Relations Director, (202) 662-7095, E-mail:

PLEASE NOTE: Members of the news media should contact Florida Sea Grant in advance to receive press credentials for entry into the conference: (352) 392-1837.

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