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

Abstract

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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Acknowledgements

This work was funded in part by the Florida RESTORE Act Centers of Excellence Research Grants Program, Subagreement No. 2015-01-UM-522. We are grateful to two anonymous reviewers and four NOAA internal reviewers, whose comments have dramatically improved the quality and scope of our manuscript. The PCTRAP, PCVIDEO, GULFSPAN, OBSLL, OBSVL, OBSSHRIMP, OBSGILL, SBLOP and POP data products were produced without the involvement of NOAA Fisheries staff, and NOAA Fisheries is not responsible for the validity of these products. The TRAWL and INBLL data were produced without the involvement of SEAMAP partners. Therefore, SEAMAP and its partners are not responsible for the validity of these products. The FLBAY, FLHAUL, FLOBS, FLPURSE, FLTRAP, FLTRAWL and FLVIDEO data products were produced without the involvement of FWC – FWRI staff, and FWC – FWRI is not responsible for the validity of these products. The ALGILL data products were produced without the involvement of AMRD staff, and AMRD is not responsible for the validity of these products; a portion of the provided data was funded through a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Sport Fish Restoration Program grant. The MSGILL and MSHAND data products were produced without the involvement of USM GCRL staff, and USM GCRL staff is not responsible for the validity of these products; the collection of MSGILL data was funded through a collaboration with the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources by a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Sport Fish Restoration Program grant. The VL data products from LDWF were produced without the involvement of LDWF staff and, therefore, LDWF is not responsible for the validity of these products. We thank Joel G. Ortega Ortiz for his personal communication. We also thank Alisha Di Leone, Amanda Myers, April Cook, Arietta Venizelos, Beverly Sauls, David Gloeckner, Doug DeVries, Elizabeth Scott-Denton, Joe Tarnecki, Gary Fitzhugh, Gilbert Rowe, Gregg Bray, Jeff Rester, Jeremiah Blondeau, John Carlson, John F. Walter III, John Mareska, Kate Rose, Kelly Fitzpatrick, Kirsten Larsen, Lawrence Beerkircher, Lee Green, Mike Brainard, Mike Harden, Nicole Smith, Ray Mroch, Woody Nero, Rick Burris, Sarah Grasty, Stacey Harter, Steve Turner, Tim MacDonald, Walt Ingram, William Driggers and Kevin Thompson for their help and/or advice at different levels of this study.

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Correspondence to Arnaud Grüss.

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Online Resource 1 Overview of the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) monitoring programs managed by U.S. agencies. An alias was assigned to each monitoring program. The full name of monitoring programs is given in Table 1. FI = fisheries-independent; FD = fisheries-dependent; Com = commercial; Rec = recreational; FL = Florida; AL = Alabama; MS = Mississippi; LA = Louisiana; TX = Texas. (DOCX 76 kb)

Online Resource 2 Sampling characteristics and protocols of the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) monitoring programs operated by U.S. institutions. The full name of monitoring programs is given in Table 1. (DOCX 76 kb)

Online Resource 3 Detailed list of the functional groups, species and life stages considered in the present study. (DOCX 42 kb)

Online Resource 4 Details of the calculation of Pearson residuals for the samples considered for each functional group/species/life stage/season. (DOCX 34 kb)

Online Resource 5 Results of the application of the large monitoring database. (DOCX 12656 kb)

Online Resource 6 Annual and seasonal distribution maps produced from the predictions of geostatistical generalized linear mixed models for the functional groups, species and life stages listed in Table 3. (DOCX 16373 kb)

Online Resource 7 Agenda and list of attendees of the Gulf of Mexico Ecosystem Modeling workshop (GOMEMOw). (DOCX 43 kb)

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Grüss, A., Perryman, H.A., Babcock, E.A. et al. 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. Rev Fish Biol Fisheries 28, 667–691 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11160-018-9525-2

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Keywords

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