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Texas A&M AgriLife scientists work to save oyster farming along the gulf

Posted at 6:15 PM, Oct 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-02 19:15:58-04

Texas A&M AgriLife scientists say they have a big win for saving oyster farming along the gulf.

It was an industry on the brink just a few months ago, but thanks to the Aggie project, things are looking up.

The Texas oyster industry is worth over $200-million to the state economy but over harvesting put it in dire straights.

Researchers grow oysters in labs, then release them into the ocean inside protective cages.

Director Juan Landivar at the AgriLife Corpus Christi Center says the program's a huge success.

"You know that oysters are like a filter...There is a component that is mainly going to be managed by the harte institute and it's restoration. Just developing oyster reefs in different locations for cleaning of the waters and the environment," said Landivar.

Landivar says it's a collection of efforts to bring back a depleted resource to the gulf.

But science is also good for business.

He says that genetic engineering will also allow for multiple types of oysters for hungry customers.

"In three to five years you come to one of those oyster bars, and you have a choice of about five Texas oysters with distinctive qualities and tastes and so on. You know you might want to get a salty one to taste. It's like you know wine. Give me a merlot. Give me a cabernet."

Texas A&M AgriLife is also working with state and commercial entities to keep the resource alive and well.