CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Dr. Greg Stunz, Director of the Center for Sportfish Science and Conservation at the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, has been appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce to serve as a Council Member of the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council.
Stunz, who was nominated by Gov. Rick Perry to represent Texas, will work closely with National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Fisheries Service to develop fishery management plans for marine fish stocks in the Gulf Coast region during his three-year appointment.
“I am excited to represent the Texas seat and play an active role in overseeing all fisheries and related economic commerce in the Gulf of Mexico,” said Stunz. “This appointment will be key for the Harte Research Institute, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, the Coastal Bend region, and the Gulf at large because this council will help implement legislation that supports abundant populations of fish, including the economically-important red snapper that are major economic drivers in the region and state.”
The Gulf Council, which also includes members from Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, and Mississippi, is one of eight regional councils consisting of a total of 72 members across the nation established by the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act to end overfishing, rebuild fish stocks, and manage them sustainably.
Stunz will help make decisions that will influence all Gulf fish-related activities such as setting annual catch limits as well as developing and amending fishery management plans.
Stunz leads the South Texas Artificial Reef Monitoring Program, which supports research on artificial reefs that shows how decommissioned oil rigs help grow fish communities in the Gulf. His current research includes projects on red snapper sustainability and management; shark populations and the ecological role of these apex predators; the impact of Cedar Bayou dredging, and acoustic networks tracking sportfish migrations along the Texas coast. Stunz will draw on his 20 years of expertise to ensure healthy marine fisheries and ocean resources for all of Texas and the Gulf.
Council members represent diverse groups, including commercial and recreational fishing industries, environmental organizations and academia. The new and reappointed council members begin their three-year terms on Aug. 11, 2014.