County OKs support of legislation on Texas oyster mariculture

Matagorda County Commissioners approve a proclamation in support of legislation to enable oyster mariculture in the Texas coastal waters.

The proclamation states that new economic opportunities can be realized by developing the state’s coastal resources by allowing oyster reefs to rebuild and perform their natural enviro-friendly functions of water filtration, shoreline protection and providing habitat for coastal marine life and sportfish.

It further states that opportunities exist for sustainable oyster supplies due to the abundant acreage for oyster growth along the Texas coast. The new legislation is needed to ensure a truly sustainable oyster fishery consisting of existing privately leased areas, managed wild-reef harvests and thriving mariculture segments producing millions of pounds of oysters annually.

The proclamation stands in support of new legislation authored by Representative Todd Hunter for sustainability, economic expansion and environmental stewardship of the oyster mariculture industry that will ensure a more consistent, stable and year-round supply of high-quality Texas oysters produced under strict quality guidelines.

Hunter is very passionate about oyster farming and the economic impact that it has on South Texas coastal communities.

“When you think about it, in the last few years we haven’t seen the oyster industry like we used to have — with oysters on the half shell,” Hunter said. “It is a big travel tourism issue. It brings money into the state and it’s great for the Coastal Bend.”

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