This is an Ecopath with Ecosim model of the West Florida Shelf. It is based on a model constructed by Mahmoudi (unpublished data) (see Okey et al. 2004 for an application) and later modified Gray et al. 2013 to incorporate additional exploited and non-exploited species and life stages known to be sensitive to harmful algal blooms (HABs). To incorporate HABs an additional (pseudo) fishing fleet is added into the model to provide a red tide mortality driver on adult fish and invertebrates. Biomass caught by this fleet is immediately cycled into the detritus pool, and thus nutrients from killed fish are made available to detritivores and the bacterial decomposition process. Included in the model are forcing functions to drive historical fishing and HABs from 1980 to 2009. NMFS (2013) was used to force fishing effort. J. Walter (unpublished data, SEFSC) provided a red tide composite series that is used as a driver of the red tide mortality (entered as an effort driver in Ecosim). The series also includes cell count information from FWRI. See Gray et al. 2013 for more information on model and time series development. This model was used in working papers for SEDAR 33 (Gray et al. 2013) and SEDAR 42 (Sagarese et al. 2014) benchmark assessments. Gray, A., Ainsworth, C., Chagaris, D. and Mahmoudi, B., 2013. Red tide mortality on gag grouper 1980-2009. Working paper. Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review (SEDAR) 33. National Marine Fisheries Service’s [NMFS] 2013. Vessel Operating Units Database. Accessed: 05/24/13. Okey, T.A., Vargo, G.A., Mackinson, S., Vasconcellos, M., Mahmoudi, B. and Meyer, C.A., 2004. Simulating community effects of sea floor shading by plankton blooms over the West Florida Shelf. Ecological Modelling, 172(2004): 339-359. Sagarese, S.R., Gray, A.M., Ainsworth, C.H., Chagaris, D.D., Mahmoudi, B., (2014). Red tide mortality on red grouper (Epinephelus morio) between 1980 and 2009 on the West Florida Shelf. SEDAR 42 Working Paper. SEDAR, North Charleston, SC. 11 pp.


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 is an ecosystem model for use in harmful algal bloom simulations. The goal of this research is to develop high-resolution models to interpolate oil/dispersant impacts on various trophic levels within the Gulf ecosystem.


Ecopath, Ecosim, Harmful algal blooms




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Point of Contact

Ainsworth, Cameron
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.