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Media Contact: Steve Lightfoot, 512-389-4701, steve.lightfoot@tpwd.texas.gov [SL]

TPWD Website: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us

TPWD News Release — Oct. 31, 2005

TPWD Coastal Fisheries Symposium Seeks Input for Future

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Coastal Fisheries Division will host a symposium at the Omni Bayfront Hotel here Nov. 17-18 celebrating 30 years of continuous monitoring of the state’s marine fisheries. The agency is seeking input on how to conduct operations for the next 30 years.

Information from 40,000 bag seines, 60,000 trawls, 40,000 dredge samples, 20,000 gill net sets and 250,000 angler interviews collected over the past three decades generated millions of data points that make this TPWD database one of the longest, and possibly THE longest, marine resources dataset in the world.

Information gained from the database has been the basis for resource management decisions and regulations that have generated an economic impact of almost $2 billion annually in Texas. This information has also been utilized in TPWD’s successful efforts to secure freshwater inflows, and to protect the water quality of our estuaries, which are critical habitats for our fisheries.

The symposium will feature panel discussions on lessons learned during the past 30 years, and future challenges and issues facing Texas’ coastal fisheries. Information gained during these discussions will be incorporated into the agency’s coastal fisheries 30-year strategic plan.

Distinguished marine biologist, Dr. Sylvia Earle, known as a tireless advocate for marine conservation and for fostering public awareness of the perils to ocean ecosystems caused by overfishing and pollution, will be the keynote speaker on Friday morning.

Registration deadline is Oct. 25. Group rate rooms for the symposium are available at the Omni Bayfront Hotel for $85 plus tax. For further information contact Ellen Kotrla at 512 -389-4878 or email ellen.kotrla@tpwd.texas.gov.

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