Minutes of the September 9, 2021 Meeting
The Rotary Club of Mobile
Call to Order: The meeting was called to order by President-Elect Garrett Williamson, at 12:15 PM. Ben Ford offered the invocation and Bob Chappelle led the group in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.
Announcements – Garrett announced:
- The board will meet next week following the luncheon meeting.
- The Rotary General Fund Grant Application may be found on our website.
- Our club will be donating to the Hurricane Ida Relief fund and members may contribute individually by the email link sent out on Tuesday,
- Sent greetings to members with upcoming birthdays.
Program: Col. Scott Bannon: Alabama’s Salt Water Region
Sumpter McGowin introduced Scott Bannon who serves as the Director of the state’s Marine Resources Division of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources who explained that his role concerns the salt waters south of I-10. His office is the only state office outside of Montgomery with his being located on Dauphin Island.
His department strives to create better parks throughout the state and the crown jewel is now at Gulf Shores. Another goal he said, is to improve commercial and recreational fishing off shore and conduct genetic studies of fish. There is an important economic factor in both types of fishing and he noted that during red snapper season the impact is estimated to be $1 million per day.
The waters off of Alabama, he said, contain more than 12,000 artificial reefs which encourage an enormous variety of sea life. Col Banner termed this “the world’s premier artificial reef program since the 1950’s,” and a way to invest in the future.
A “Gulf-wide” effort has increased the quota for red snapper. The quota is in pounds caught and if bad weather (as has occurred recently) keeps the weight of fish caught down, the season will be extended. He estimated that this year it will be pushed well into December. Col Banner stressed that this makes it unnecessary to go out in bad weather just because the season is open.
He also mentioned the local farming of oysters which has drawn wide interest and noted that Bayou La Batre as a seafood processing center includes the novelty of shucking oysters by air pressure which greatly speeds up the process and reduces health risks. He also stressed the importance of oysters as a filter providing good quality water.
After answering a number of questions, Garrett thanked Col. Bannon for speaking to us and gave him a certificate noting that a donation in his honor has been made to the Dauphin Island Sea Lab.
Garrett adjourned the meeting at 1:00 P.M.