Home > Explore Data & Reports > Prioritizing monitoring and conservation efforts for fish spawning aggregations in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico
Region(s) of Study: Waterbodies / Gulf of Mexico
Primary Contact(s): frank.parker@noaa.gov


Grüss, A., C. Biggs, W.D. Heyman, and B. Erisman. 2018. Prioritizing monitoring and conservation efforts for fish spawning aggregations in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. Scientific Reports, 8:8473. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-26898-0

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In the U.S. Gulf of Mexico (U.S. GOM), the identification and characterization of transient fish spawning aggregation (FSA) sites is recognized as a regional priority for conservation, but progress is hindered by a lack of understanding of FSA distributions for most exploited species. We employed information compiled in regional databases on FSAs and monitoring for the U.S. GOM to fit species distribution models and produce maps showing the areas likely to host single- and multi-species transient FSA sites. Our results revealed two distinct regions of the U.S. GOM for prioritizing monitoring and conservation efforts for transient FSAs: the coastal waters surrounding major bay systems, particularly those of Texas and Louisiana, and portions of the continental shelf edge (the Flower Garden Banks area and the West Florida shelf edge). The next step would be to locate and characterize actual transient FSA sites in the U.S. GOM by surveying within the areas we identified.

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