This dataset contains annual metal concentrations for the years 2009-2011 within the otoliths of six, offshore Gulf of Mexico fishes: Red Grouper, Epinephelus morio; Red Porgy, Pagrus pagrus; Red Snapper, Lutjanus campechanus; Southern Hake, Urophycis floridana; Tilefish, Lopholatilus chamaeleonticeps; and Yellowedge Grouper, Hyporthodus flavolimbatus. Fish were collected from the northeastern Gulf of Mexico, from approximately the Louisiana Shelf to the West Florida Shelf. For each sample, a suite of 9 isotopes was measured within fish otoliths: 24Mg, 51V, 53Cr, 57Fe, 59Co, 60Ni, 63Cu, 64Zn, and 208Pb. Annual metal concentrations were determined by averaging metal concentrations corresponding to the annual increment widths in fish otoliths from approximately 2009-2011, although the exact time periods for each species are based on the timing of otolith annulus deposition. Lifetime metal concentrations are given in the dataset as the mean of entire otolith profiles (i.e. from the core to the edge of an otolith) for an individual. The dataset additionally contains information on individual fish collection location, sex, age, species, collection year, and lesion status.


Data and metadata is made available by the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative Information and Data Cooperative (GRIIDC) through a CC0 license in compliance with the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI). The original dataset landing pages may be accessed at GRIIDC’s dataset monitoring webpage.

Data users are encouraged to contact the originating investigator prior to data use and provide appropriate credit.


This dataset was constructed to (1) examine patterns of short- and long-term oil-associated metal exposure within the otoliths of several offshore fish species in varying conditions, as indicated by the presence of external skin lesions, and (2) determine if there was a change in otolith oil-associated metal concentrations concurrent with the DWH oil spill. These objectives were addressed by analyzing the lifetime otolith chemistries of six offshore fish species collected in the GoM following the DWH oil spill.


Gulf of Mexico, Metal, Otolith, Lesion, Deepwater Horizon, Red Snapper, Red Grouper, Tilefish, Yellowedge Grouper, Red Porgy, Southern Hake




6-23-2016 12:00 AM

Point of Contact

Peebles, Ernst
University of South Florida
College of Marine Science
140 7th Ave South
St. Petersburg , FL 33701

Funding Source


Start of Data Collection


End of Data Collection




Rights Information

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication 1.0 License.