Lone Star Lionfish Symposium Hosts Public Forum

ent--article_ _media__contact">Media Contact: Katy Schaffer, 512-389-8046, katy.schaffer@tpwd.texas.gov; Julie Hagen, 512-389-4620; julie.hagen@tpwd.texas.gov

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CORPUS CHRISTI – The public will soon have a chance to ask the experts about the spiky, venomous fish invading Texas coastal waters.

The Lone Star Lionfish Symposium will hold a public forum from 7 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 2 at the Texas State Aquarium, during which the public can ask the attending experts questions about lionfish threats and management. Doors to the forum open at 6 p.m.

The symposium, co-sponsored by the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department on Feb. 2 and 3, will host partners from around Texas and the Gulf of Mexico to develop a unified, proactive and multifaceted approach to managing Texas’ lionfish invasion.

Other sponsors include The Nature Conservancy, the Texas State Aquarium, the Coastal Conservation Association of Texas, Texas Sea Grant, the Saltwater-fisheries Enhancement Association, the Houston Advanced Research Center, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, REEF, and the Environmental Law Institute. Participants include private industry, universities, government agencies and various non-governmental groups.

Lionfish have become a problem in recent years as they degrade coastal and marine ecosystems in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico. With few natural predators, they have spread throughout the region, reducing the number of fish, shrimp and crab species and degrading reefs. In areas of high density, they are causing both ecological and economic damage.

The public will also have the chance to engage in one-on-one discussions with experts in the audience.

The Texas State Aquarium is located at 2710 N. Shoreline Blvd., Corpus Christi, Texas 78402. Guests will enter at the Aquarium’s Wild Flight gate to the left of the building, and they will be directed to the Aquarium lobby where the forum will be held.

About the Harte Research Institute: The Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies, an endowed research component of Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi is dedicated to advancing the long-term sustainable use and conservation of the Gulf of Mexico. HRI provides international leadership in generating and disseminating knowledge about the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem and its critical role in the economies of the North American region.