Assessment of bottom longline fishing off the central Texas coast.
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From October 1977- September 1979 the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department conducted a study to assess and evaluate the commercial potential of bottom longline gear as a harvest method for finfish stocks off the central Texas coast. Sampling was conducted quarterly in 10-fm increments out to the 50 fm using 1200-ft sections of halibut-type longline gear and tuna circle hooks. A total of 469 fish representing 32 species were caught at 79 stations. The Atlantic sharpnose shark (Rhizoprionodon terraenovae) was the most abundant in number (310) and weight (2958 lb) representing 66.1% of the total fish caught and 54.8% of the total biomass. The catch data demonstrated that bottom longlining at depths less that 50 fm is not likely to offer a practical commercial alternative for shrimping fleets unless underutilized species (mainly sharks) could be marketed.