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A Cooperative Approach to Resource Management: Texas Game Fish Win

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Just as humans succumb to hypothermia, fishes can die if their core body temperature falls below their lower lethal limit. Record-setting cold weather in the southern United States between January 8 and 12, 2010, put numerous recreational game fish species at risk, particularly those living in the shallow, rapidly cooled waters of the Laguna Madre, Texas. Cognizant of the danger of barge traffic in the Land Cut, a section of the Intracoastal Waterway in the Laguna Madre, poses to cold-stressed fishes, Gulf Intracoastal Canal Association (GICA) members voluntarily sacrificed $7,000 per tow to protect the resource. Described here is the collaboration among academics at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, Texas A&M University, industry leaders from the Gulf Intracoastal Canal Association, and conservationists from the Coastal Conservation Association Texas, which led to the pooling of financial and human resources to mitigate game fish mortalities during a recent extreme cold weather event, or norther, as Texans refer to it. A new water temperature forecasting tool, in development and tested in this partnership, is discussed in terms of ecosystem-based management, of which a key component is engaging multiple stakeholders in a collaborative process to define problems and find solutions. The partnership exemplifies the mission of the developing U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System and Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System Regional Association to use data and tools to provide information, to deliver that information to decision makers in a timely manner, and to make and implement decisions that promote sustainable use of resources.

Keywords: Ecosystem-based management; Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System; Laguna Madre game fish; Texas Coastal Ocean Observation Network; Water temperature predictive model

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: September 1, 2010

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  • The Marine Technology Society Journal is the flagship publication of the Marine Technology Society. It publishes the highest caliber, peer-reviewed papers on subjects of interest to the society: marine technology, ocean science, marine policy and education. The Journal is dedicated to publishing timely special issues on emerging ocean community concerns while also showcasing general interest and student-authored works.
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