CCA Texas believes it’s imperative that the management of our Texas oyster fishery continues to evolve by prioritizing the ecological and structural value of oysters in the water by safeguarding existing reefs and creating new ones.
While conservationists recently celebrated news that three threatened bay systems would be closed to oyster harvest, concerns remained that other areas would inevitably bear the brunt of intense commercial harvest.
Yesterday, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission (Commission) adopted the proposed changes to the statewide oyster fishery proclamation, which included the closure of oyster reef areas in Ayres, Mesquite and Carlos Bays (three bays), and the temporary closure of restoration areas in Galveston Bay and San Antonio Bay.
Carlos Reef is an important part of the habitat along the Texas coast. This was once a continuous structure from San Jose Island to Bloodworth Island. Now it serves as weakened baffle structure. It is important to maintain this reef to preserve its integrity, which is integral to the health of our fishery and the ecosystem as a whole.
Second Chain of Islands is a little more difficult to track because it is so fragmented from the passage of time, years of harvest, and the forces of nature.
Ayers Reef is one of the last 2 remaining intact barrier reefs. It is the first to accept the force of water coming out of San Antonio Bay and Espritu Santu since the Second Chain of Islands has been so greatly diminished. It must be saved through a sanctuary program.