Deep reef fish surveys by submersible on Alderdice, McGrail, and Sonnier Banks in the Northwestern Gulf of Mexico

Weaver, Douglas C. and Hickerson, Emma L. and Schmahl, George P. (2006) Deep reef fish surveys by submersible on Alderdice, McGrail, and Sonnier Banks in the Northwestern Gulf of Mexico. In: Emerging technologies for reef fisheries research and management. Seattle, WA, NOAA, pp. 69-87. (NOAA Professional Paper NMFS,5)

[img]
Preview
PDF (The document's language is English .) - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Download (5Mb) | Preview
Official URL: http://spo.nwr.noaa.gov/pp5.pdf

Abstract

Submersible surveys at numerous reefs and banks in the northwestern Gulf of Mexico (NWGOM) were conducted as part of the Sustainable Seas Expedition (SSE) during July/August 2002 to identify reef fish communities, characterize benthic habitats, and identify deep coral reef ecosystems. To identify the spatial extent of hard bottom reef communities, the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary (FGBNMS) and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) mapped approximately 2000 km2 of the Northwestern Gulf of Mexico (NWGOM) continental shelf during June 2002 with high-resolution multibeam bathymetry. Previous investigations conducted on the features of interest (with the exceptions of East and West Flower Garden and Sonnier Banks, accessible by SCUBA) had not been conducted since the 1970s and 1980s, and did not have the use of high-resolution maps to target survey sites. The base maps were instrumental in navigating submersibles to specific features at each study site during the Sustainable Seas Expedition (SSE)—a submersible effort culminating from a partnership between the National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration (NOAA) and the National Geographic Society (NGS). We report the initial findings of our submersible surveys, including habitat and reef fish diversity at McGrail, Alderdice, and Sonnier Banks. A total of 120 species and 40,724 individuals were identified from video surveys at the three banks. Planktivorous fishes constituted over 87% by number for the three banks, ranging from 81.4% at Sonnier Banks to 94.3% at Alderdice Bank, indicating a direct link to pelagic prey communities, particularly in the deep reef zones. High numbers of groupers, snappers, jacks, and other fishery species were observed on all three features. These sites were nominated as Habitat Areas of Particular Concern (HAPC) by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Council in March 2004. Data obtained during this project will contribute to benthic habitat characterization and assessment of the associated fish communities through future SCUBA, ROV, and submersible missions, and allow comparisons to other deep reef ecosystems found throughout the Gulf of Mexico and western Atlantic Ocean.

Item Type: Book Section
Title: Deep reef fish surveys by submersible on Alderdice, McGrail, and Sonnier Banks in the Northwestern Gulf of Mexico
Personal Creator/Author:
CreatorsEmail
Weaver, Douglas C.
Hickerson, Emma L.
Schmahl, George P.
Title of Book: Emerging technologies for reef fisheries research and management.
Series Name: NOAA Professional Paper NMFS
Number: 5
Number of Pages: 124
Page Range: pp. 69-87
Date: 2006
Publisher: NOAA
Place of Publication: Seattle, WA
Issuing Agency: United States National Marine Fisheries Service
Subjects: Ecology
Management
Fisheries
Item ID: 2486
Depositing User: Patti M. Marraro
Date Deposited: 23 Jul 2009 22:56
Last Modified: 29 Sep 2011 18:56
URI: http://aquaticcommons.org/id/eprint/2486

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Document Downloads

More statistics for this item...