- Associated Press - Sunday, June 19, 2016

BILOXI, Miss. (AP) - A new research boat has joined the fleet for the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory at the University of Southern Mississippi.

The 60-foot vessel is named for Jim Franks, a senior research scientist who is still working at the lab after 35 years.

Local news outlets report that nearly 100 people gathered for a christening of the boat Saturday at Point Cadet Marina in Biloxi.

Franks is best known for his work with bluefin tuna and sargassum, the huge floating mats of algae that shelter the larvae of many fish species in the Gulf of Mexico.

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