Catch number of true tuna (Thunnus spp.) larvae collected in the Gulf of Mexico before (2007-2009), during (2010), and after (2011-2013; 2015) the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill (DWHOS)

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Data Collection Period

2007-06-20 to 2015-07-25


Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative Information and Data Cooperative (GRIIDC)




Catch number of true tunas (Thunnus thynnus [bluefin tuna], T. albacares [yellowfin tuna], T. obesus [bigeye tuna] and T. atlanticus [blackfin tuna]) before, during, and after the oil spill will be compared to improve our understanding of the causes of temporal variability as it relates to the DWHOS. This dataset contains historical catch data from 2007-2015 collected in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Generalized additive models will be developed for periods before the event (2007-2009) to characterize habitat associations of each species, and then used to estimate the spatial extent of suitable habitats of true tunas (2010-2015) and identify areas of high quality habitat that overlapped with regions exposed to surface oil. Sampling data from 2015 are available in dataset R4.x257.227:0002.


Surface surveys conducted by DEEPEND in shelf and slope waters during the primary spawning period of tunas provide information on the distribution and abundance of Thunnus larvae (T. thynnus, T. albacares, T. atlanticus, and T. obesus). Natural variability in larval abundance and occurrence is high for post-spill years, and thus examining the factors influencing the distribution and abundance of Thunnus larvae before, during, and after the DWHOS is critical for characterizing natural variability. Moreover, habitat suitability models are being developed for tuna larvae from 2007-2015 collections that will ultimately be used to predict the probability of occurrence of Thunnus species in future years.

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