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Monitoring programs of the U.S. Gulf of Mexico: inventory, development and use of a large monitoring database to map fish and invertebrate spatial distributions

  • Grüss, Arnaud1
  • Perryman, Holly A.1
  • Babcock, Elizabeth A.1
  • Sagarese, Skyler R.2
  • Thorson, James T.3
  • Ainsworth, Cameron H.4
  • Anderson, Evan John5
  • Brennan, Kenneth6
  • Campbell, Matthew D.7
  • Christman, Mary C.8
  • Cross, Scott9
  • Drexler, Michael D.4
  • Marcus Drymon, J.10
  • Gardner, Chris L.11
  • Hanisko, David S.7
  • Hendon, Jill5
  • Koenig, Christopher C.12
  • Love, Matthew13
  • Martinez-Andrade, Fernando14
  • Morris, Jack15
  • And 7 more
  • 1 University of Miami, Department of Marine Biology and Ecology, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, 4600 Rickenbacker Causeway, Miami, FL, 33149, USA , Miami (United States)
  • 2 National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) - Southeast Fisheries Science Center, 75 Virginia Beach Drive, Miami, FL, 33149, USA , Miami (United States)
  • 3 Northwest Fisheries Science Center, Fisheries Resource Analysis and Monitoring Division, 2725 Montlake Boulevard East, Seattle, WA, 98112, USA , Seattle (United States)
  • 4 University of South Florida, College of Marine Science, 140 7th Ave. S., St. Petersburg, FL, 33701, USA , St. Petersburg (United States)
  • 5 The University of Southern Mississippi, Center for Fisheries Research and Development, Gulf Coast Research Laboratory, School of Ocean Science and Technology, 703 East Beach Drive, Ocean Springs, MS, 39564, USA , Ocean Springs (United States)
  • 6 NOAA-NMFS, Southeast Fisheries Science Center - Beaufort Laboratory, 101 Pivers Island Road, Beaufort, NC, 28516, USA , Beaufort (United States)
  • 7 NOAA-NMFS, Southeast Fisheries Science Center - Mississippi Laboratories, 3209 Frederic St, Pascagoula, MS, 39567, USA , Pascagoula (United States)
  • 8 MCC Statistical Consulting LLC, 2219 NW 23rd Terrace, Gainesville, FL, 32605, USA , Gainesville (United States)
  • 9 NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information, Center for Coasts, Oceans, and Geophysics, Ft. Johnson Campus, 219 Ft. Johnson Rd., Charleston, SC, 29412, USA , Charleston (United States)
  • 10 Mississippi State University, Coastal Research and Extension Center, 1815 Popps Ferry Road, Biloxi, MS, 39532, USA , Biloxi (United States)
  • 11 NOAA-NMFS, Southeast Fisheries Science Center - Panama City Laboratory, 3500 Delwood Beach Rd, Panama City, FL, 32408, USA , Panama City (United States)
  • 12 Florida State University, Coastal and Marine Laboratory, 3618 Coastal Highway 98, St. Teresa, FL, 32358, USA , St. Teresa (United States)
  • 13 Ocean Conservancy, Ocean Conservancy Gulf Restoration Program, 1300 19th Street NW, 8th Floor, Washington, DC, 20036, USA , Washington (United States)
  • 14 Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Coastal Fisheries Division, NRC Building, Suite 2500, 6300 Ocean Dr., Unit 5845, Corpus Christi, TX, 78412-5845, USA , Corpus Christi (United States)
  • 15 Mote Marine Laboratory, 1600 Ken Thompson Parkway, Sarasota, FL, 34236, USA , Sarasota (United States)
  • 16 Everglades National Park, South Florida Natural Resources Center, 40001 State Road 9336, Homestead, FL, 33034, USA , Homestead (United States)
  • 17 Reef Environmental Education Foundation (REEF), Key Largo, FL, 33037, USA , Key Largo (United States)
  • 18 Riverside Technology, Inc. NOAA-NMFS, Southeast Fisheries Science Center - Mississippi Laboratories, 3209 Frederic St, Pascagoula, MS, 39567, USA , Pascagoula (United States)
  • 19 Nova Southeastern University, Department of Marine and Environmental Sciences, Halmos College of Natural Sciences and Oceanography, 8000 North Ocean Drive, Dania Beach, FL, 33004, USA , Dania Beach (United States)
  • 20 Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Fish and Wildlife Research Institute, 100 8th Avenue SE, St. Petersburg, FL, 33701, USA , St. Petersburg (United States)
Published Article
Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries
Publication Date
Jun 28, 2018
DOI: 10.1007/s11160-018-9525-2
Springer Nature


Since the onset of fisheries science, monitoring programs have been implemented to support stock assessments and fisheries management. Here, we take inventory of the monitoring programs of the U.S. Gulf of Mexico (GOM) surveying fish and invertebrates and conduct a gap analysis of these programs. We also compile a large monitoring database encompassing much of the monitoring data collected in the U.S. GOM using random sampling schemes and employ this database to fit statistical models to then map the spatial distributions of 61 fish and invertebrate functional groups, species and life stages of the U.S. GOM. Finally, we provide recommendations for improving current monitoring programs and designing new programs, and guidance for more comprehensive use and sharing of monitoring data, with the ultimate goal of enhancing the inputs provided to stock assessments and ecosystem-based fisheries management (EBFM) projects in the U.S. GOM. Our inventory revealed that 73 fisheries-independent and fisheries-dependent programs have been conducted in the U.S. GOM, most of which (85%) are still active. One distinctive feature of monitoring programs of the U.S. GOM is that they include many fisheries-independent surveys conducted almost year-round, contrasting with most other marine regions. A major sampling recommendation is the development of a coordinated strategy for collecting diet information by existing U.S. GOM monitoring programs for advancing EBFM.

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