The Texas A&M System Board of Regents recently approved the creation of the Center for Sportfish Science and Conservation within the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.

Recreational saltwater fishing in Texas generates more than $981 million dollars in retail sales each year with more than 750,000 saltwater anglers supporting an annual economic impact of $1.7 billion, according to a news release .

“We will contribute the expertise and the leadership needed to help ensure that the state’s multi-billion dollar recreational fisheries continue to thrive for future generations,” said Dr. Larry McKinney, Executive Director of the institute, in the release. “The Center for Sportfish Science and Conservation will provide a robust base of scientific knowledge to assure that the best decisions are made in managing fisheries and marine environments.”

In November, Coastal Conservation Association-Texas pledged $500,000 to support the center. CCA-Texas is a leader in restoring fisheries for speckled trout and redfish, advocating for freshwater inflows to Texas estuaries, habitat restoration and education.

In addition, the center will provide hands-on research opportunities for A&M-Corpus Christi graduate and undergraduate students. It also will be a hub for marine research for the A&M System and other scientists interested in marine fisheries investigations.

The Harte Research Institute, an endowed research component of Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, is dedicated to advancing the long-term sustainable use and conservation of the Gulf of Mexico. Expertise at the institute includes the consequences and long-term effects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The Harte Research Institute is made possible by an endowment from the Ed Harte family.


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