May 28th, 2002
PRESS RELEASE: SCA TEXAS RETIRES FIRST TWO BAY SHRIMPING LICENSES
Only months after its inception, the Saltwater Conservation Association of Texas (SCA) has
successfully retired its first two shrimp trawl licenses using private funds raised by
members. SCAs goal is to reduce the number of bay shrimping licenses in Texas waters
and works in conjunction with Texas Parks & Wildlife Department in the license buy
We are very happy to be able to retire our first two bay shrimping licenses after
being in existence only fourteen months, said SCA co-founder Jeff Foerster. We
have over five hundred members and our organizations dramatic growth is testimony
that Texas outdoorsmen are dedicated to improving our coastal fisheries.
SCAs mission is to purchase and retire as many bay shrimping licenses as possible.
Up to five or more pounds of by catch is killed to harvest one pound of shrimp.
Unfortunately, a significant amount of the catch from Texas bays is destined to be used in
such products as high protein animal feed.
Over 80 million pounds of pin perch, piggies, croaker, flounder, mullet and other
marine organisms were killed and dumped overboard by shrimpers last year, Foerster
continued. Losing this huge amount of biomass negatively impacts the marine food
chain and ultimately hurts sport fishing. Reducing the number of bay shrimpers dragging
shrimp trawls on the bottom will also improve water clarity in our bays.
Texas Parks & Wildlife instituted the shrimp trawl license buy-back program in 1995. A
three dollar surcharge on recreational saltwater stamps was authorized by the state ; the
proceeds are used to buy back and retire bay shrimp licenses. Texas Parks & Wildlife
and SCA are working together to identify possible buy-back candidates. In addition to
monies spent by Texas Parks & Wildlife, SCA is buying back licenses with private funds
thereby reducing the overall number of trawling nets that remain in service.
We hit a home run on our first pitch, said Foerster. Although our
charter is to reduce bay shrimping licenses, a unique opportunity presented itself and we
were able to buy back a set of bay shrimping license, as well as a shrimp boat from the
same person. The boat will be sold to someone outside the shrimping business.
As we move forward after this achievement, SCAs goals are to increase
membership, and to forge solid relationships with other conservation organizations,
conservation-minded businesses and charitable organizations. We have a number of licenses
lined up to buy back and are aggressively raising funds to continue our success,
Saltwater Conservation Association of Texas is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization made
up entirely of volunteers. A significant percentage of our membership belongs to at least
one other marine conservation organization. There are no paid employees which allows
expenses to be kept to a minimum.
To learn more about SCA and our efforts to improve the coastal fisheries in Texas, you may
either go to our web site at http://scatexas.org or contact Jeff Foerster at