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Gone Fishing: UTMSI at the 88th Deep Sea Roundup

Gone Fishing: UTMSI at the 88th Deep Sea Roundup

The Deep Sea Roundup, the oldest fishing tournament on the Texas coast, will take place from July 11th to 14th at the Port Aransas Civic Center. This tournament has a rich history intertwined with the University of Texas at Austin Marine Science Institute (UTMSI). For over 20 years, UTMSI has played a crucial role in this beloved tradition, with their involvement steadily increasing over the decades. What began with a few dedicated staff members in the 1970s has evolved into faculty, staff, and students manning the weigh-in station and dock operations to support the Port Aransas Boatmen Association. The tournament also provides a unique opportunity for UTMSI scientists to collect valuable fishery data that will further research efforts and create meaningful engagements with the community.

As part of our ongoing research efforts, the Fish & Functions Lab will collect muscle tissue samples (approximately 50-100g wet weight) from various fish species caught during the tournament and brought to the dock. Led by research technician Joyce Velos and funded by the Texas Gulf Coast Research Center, the team will use these samples to assess the nutritional value of local sportfish and how this relates to different food sources found in estuaries and the open ocean. This research aims to understand how habitat degradation, such as the loss of seagrass meadows or oyster reefs, may impact the sustainability of nutritional resources relied upon by the Coastal Bend community.

Additionally, the project includes social surveys conducted by Dr. Natalie Poulos, a nutritional scientist from UT Austin. This pioneering effort aims to evaluate how artisanal fishing practices can enhance nutrition among local populations in the United States. By studying these connections, the Brandl lab seeks to provide crucial insights into how coastal communities can better manage their marine resources for long-term food security and nutritional health.

Join us in supporting the 88th Deep Sea Roundup and advancing our understanding of marine ecosystems to benefit coastal communities and beyond.

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