Houston, Texas – Coastal Conservation Association Texas recently pledged $500,000 toward the creation of a Sportfishing Research Center within the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.
This unique research center holds promise to address many of the key scientific issues facing the ecosystems that support Gulf of Mexico sportfishing. Dr. Greg Stunz, Endowed Chair for Fisheries and Ocean Health at HRI, will direct the Center’s operations. Stunz has a long history in the marine science community and was CCA’s first marine science scholarship recipient.
“This research center is unique in a number of ways, and truly there is nothing like it in the western Gulf,” said Larry McKinney, executive director for HRI. “The timing for the creation of the center is perfect. With such pressing issues as the role of Gulf passes on bay ecosystems and the impact of diminishing Gulf habitat, recreational anglers need a center that can tackle these multi-decade concerns.”
CCA Texas and HRI have partnered on a number of ground-breaking projects including Dr. Stunz’s spotted seatrout catch-and-release study, state-of-the-art electronic tracking programs, and efforts regarding the reopening of Cedar Bayou and Vinson Slough.
“CCA and HRI are natural partners in conservation,” said Mark Ray, chairman of CCA Texas. “This center and the scientific research it will create are keys in ensuring healthy marine resources for the future of recreational fisheries.”
The Harte Research Support Foundation has also pledged $300,000 for a research vessel that will be used in addressing the broad array of Gulf of Mexico research needs. The Center is expected to attract additional support from private foundations, corporations and individuals.
“CCA’s policy positions have always been based in sound science,” said Robby Byers, executive director of CCA Texas. “This partnership with HRI will further the important impact recreational anglers bring to the conservation of coastal marine resources.”
–– Source: Ted Venker | TIDE Magazine