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Hypoxia Effects on Fish and Fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico

Published on: 03/02/2017
Primary Contact(s): david.hilmer@noaa.gov

Dr. Kim de Mutsert, lead Principal Investigator (PI) for the newly awarded Northern Gulf of Mexico project ‘ User-driven tools to predict and assess effects of reduced nutrients an hypoxia on living resources in the Gulf of Mexico,’ led a workshop entitled ‘Hypoxia effects on fish and fisheries’ at the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill and Ecosystem Science Conference on February 6, 2017 in New Orleans, LA.

This was the project’s first of a series of workshops planned over the next four years to inform fisheries managers of research advances and incorporate management feedback in project planning.The management advisory committee formed by the project met after the workshop to guide the projects output goals, including developing user-friendly, management-scale relevant forecasting tools and quantitative indicators to predict and evaluate hypoxia effects on living resources under various nutrient reduction scenarios.

The Gulf of Mexico dead zone map showing distribution of bottom-water dissolved oxygen from July 28 to August 3, 2015 west of the Mississippi River delta. Black lined areas – areas in red to deep red – have very little dissolved oxygen. (Data: Nancy Rabalais, LUMCON; R Eugene Turner, LSU. Credit: NOAA)

The models will predict hypoxia effects onspecies-specific fish growth rate potential as a measure of Essential Fish Habitat, and biomass and catch of ecologically and economically important living resources. The outcomes of this project will improve capability to assess the effects of alternative management strategies on ecosystem function, living resources, and fisheries revenue.

The day was very productive, both in the successful initiation of the first stages of the de Mutsert project, as well as enhancing synergy and coordination between the other two research projects funded in FY 2016.

For more information, contact David.Hilmer@noaa.gov.

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