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As part of the on-going effort of our foundation to inform the widest possible audience about the ocean, it is a pleasure to announce the Masterclass in Marine Environmental Science, organized in cooperation with the Underdirectorate Fisheries of the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries. 

The masterclass will be taught by Dr. William Hawkins, and Radjeskumar Asraf. 

William E. (Bill) Hawkins is Professor Emeritus and Director (retired) of Gulf Coast Research Laboratory of The University of Southern Mississippi. Hawkins received his bachelor's degree from Mississippi State University and his doctorate from the University of Mississippi School of Medicine. Before joining the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory, he taught in the Department of Medical Anatomy and Embryology, Utrecht State University, The Netherlands and in the Department of Anatomy, University of South Alabama College of Medicine. His career at the GCRL spanned 35 years during which he managed several million dollars in research funding and published more than 100 articles in the scientific literature. He served as Professor and Chair of the Department of Coastal Science. His research interests include pathological effects of infectious agents and environmental toxicants on marine organisms, diseases of aquacultured species and the development of marine aquaculture and the use of marine animals as models for the study of diseases, particularly cancer and cancer causing compounds. He has served as a consultant to the US EPA, Sea Grant, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Institutes of Health. (Full CV)

Radjeskumar Asraf is a policy officer at the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries and is actively involved in management duties in the Under Directorate of Fisheries. In 2011 he participated in international training courses in Halifax, Canada at the International Ocean Institute where he followed a program on "Ocean Governance: Policy, Law and Management". He is also the designated person for Suriname for the ACP Fish II program and has attended several meetings on fisheries in the Caribbean on behalf of our country.

This course is part of an environmental awareness programme for which we have received financial support from the GEF Small Grants Programme, unfortunately we will not be able to help fund any travel costs. 

This course is organized with financing from: 


GEF logo    SGP Suriname logo     UNDP logo       

Marine Environmental Sciences


Paramaribo, Suriname

29 November 2013  

Current Topics in Marine Environmental Science Masterclass

Lecture Descriptions

Status of marine fisheries: current and potential impacts of aquaculture - W. Hawkins

In this lecture we will explore the current status of marine fisheries worldwide and the impact recent developments in aquaculture of marine organisms might have on capture fisheries. Several decades ago the fish landings reached a plateau level and fishery biologists believe that stocks of many key species are either depleted or are likely to be soon. The bottom line is that our oceans probably cannot produce more fish for human consumption certainly in the face of increased seafood demand by growing populations as well as renewed preference for healthy fish and fish products in many nations. Advances in marine aquaculture, however, give hope that in many cases sea cage or land based aquaculture can mitigate some of the effects on the world’s fisheries.

CARICOM Joint Fisheries Policy - R. Asraf

This lecture will go deeper into what the CARICOM Joint Fisheries Policy is and how it fits in with Suriname's recently approved Fisheries Management Plan. The pros and cons of the CARICOM Joint Fisheries Policy for Suriname will be discussed and explained.

Global threats to marine organisms: invasive species and diseases - W. Hawkins


Along with deterioration of coastal habitats, toxicant disposal and marine litter, some of the more unappreciated threats to the marine environment include the movements of invasive species and the propagation of diseases in marine organisms. Here we will touch on a few aspects of ecological changes such as mangrove destruction and some toxicants in the marine environment, particularly mercury. Much of the discussion will center on invasive marine species such as lionfish and tiger shrimp along with diseases in marine organisms that occur naturally or due to human activity.

Impact of extreme events on marine communities: hurricanes and global climate change - W. Hawkins


It seems that extreme weather and geologic events are happening worldwide with increasing frequency. Hurricanes and other weather events along with tsunamis cause great devastation to coastal communities. Using personal experiences, in this lecture we will explore the effects of Hurricane Katrina on coastal marine environments.   

Impact of extreme events on marine communities: catastrophic oil spills - W. Hawkins


The BP oil spill has been described as one of the most significant catastrophic environmental events ever. In this lecture, we will discuss how this spill happened and explore the short- and longterm effects of petroleum in the marine environment.


 For additional information, please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.?subject=Marine%20Environmental%20Science%20Masterclass">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.