Role of estuarine waters in Gulf fisheries.
Fisheries of the Gulf of Mexico have increased in value from 10 to 85 million dollars and in weight from 250 to 700 million pounds during the past 20 years. Texas now ranks third in the nation's total value of fisheries. Estuarine-dependant species such as shrimp, menhaden and oysters dominate these fisheries and account for 90% of the landed value. Shrimp and most fishes are dependent on the estuaries during the all important early phase of their life history. Oysters, on the other hand, complete their entire life cycle in the estuary.