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


Arnaud Grüss, University of Miami
Holly A. Perryman, University of Miami
Elizabeth A. Babcock, University of Miami
Skyler R. Sagarese, National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) - Southeast Fisheries Science Center, Miami, USA
James T. Thorson, Fisheries Resource Analysis and Monitoring Division, Northwest Fisheries Science Center, Seattle, USA
Cameron H. Ainsworth, University of South FloridaFollow
Evan John Anderson, The University of Southern Mississippi
Kenneth Brennan, Southeast Fisheries Science Center - Beaufort Laboratory, NOAA-NMFS, Beaufort, USA
Matthew D. Campbell, Southeast Fisheries Science Center - Mississippi Laboratories, NOAA-NMFS, Pascagoula, USA
Mary C. Christman, MCC Statistical Consulting LLC, Gainesville, USA
Scott Cross, Center for Coasts, Oceans, and Geophysics, NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information, Charleston, USA
Michael D. Drexler, University of South Florida
Drymon, J. Marcus Drymon, Mississippi State University
Chris L. Gardner, Southeast Fisheries Science Center - Panama City Laboratory, NOAA-NMFS, Panama City, USA
David S. Hanisko, Southeast Fisheries Science Center - Mississippi Laboratories, NOAA-NMFS, Pascagoula, USA
Jill Hendon, The University of Southern Mississippi
Christopher C. Koenig, Florida State University
Matthew Love, Ocean Conservancy Gulf Restoration Program, Ocean Conservancy, Washington, USA
Fernando Martinez-Andrade, Coastal Fisheries Division, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Corpus Christi, USA
Jack Morris, Mote Marine Laboratory, Sarasota, USA
Brandi T. Noble, Southeast Fisheries Science Center - Mississippi Laboratories, NOAA-NMFS, Pascagoula, USA
Matthew A. Nuttall, University of Miami
Jason Osborne, South Florida Natural Resources Center, Everglades National Park, Homestead, USA
Christy Pattengill-Semmens, Reef Environmental Education Foundation (REEF), Key Largo, USA
Adam G. Pollack, Southeast Fisheries Science Center - Mississippi Laboratories, Riverside Technology, Inc. NOAA-NMFS, Pascagoula, USA
Tracey T. Sutton, Nova Southeastern University
Theodore S. Switzer, Fish and Wildlife Research Institute

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Gap analysis, Inventory, Large monitoring database, Mapping, Monitoring programs, U.S. Gulf of Mexico

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)



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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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries, v. 28, p. 667-691