Cruise data for neuston net and paired bongo net tows from 48 stations in the northern Gulf of Mexico from R/V Blazing Seven cruises LF2016A and LF2016B, June-July 2016

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2016-06-09 to 2016-07-28


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




Shelf and slope waters in the Deep Water Horizon oil spill (DWHOS) area are known to serve as critical spawning, nursery, and foraging habitat of several important oceanic species including billfishes (e.g. blue marlin, white marlin, sailfish), tunas (bluefin tuna, yellowfin tuna), and other pelagic taxa (swordfish, dolphinfishes). The aim of this component was to further investigate potential ecological effects of the DWHOS on pelagic fishes during the early life period. Larval fishes were sampled from 48 stations in the northern Gulf of Mexico and cruise data was collected at each site including latitude/longitude, date, time and environmental data (sea surface temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen) during 2016. Samples were obtained from R/V Blazing Seven (cruises LF2016A and LF2016B) from June 2015 - July 2015. This dataset reports environmental data (temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen) collected during these cruises.


Generalized additive models (GAMs) were developed for periods before (2007-2009) and after (2015-2017) the DWHOS event to characterize habitat associations of selected taxa (billfishes, tunas, dolphinfishes, flyingfishes). Habitat suitability models will then be used to predict the probability of occurrence of each taxa during (2010) and several years after (2011-2013) in relation to regions exposed to oil to identify areas of high quality habitat that overlap with regions exposed to the DWHOS. In addition, life history and ecosystem parameters that favor the production and survival of pelagic fish larvae and juveniles from multiple cohorts (2015-2017) will be compared to estimates before and after the DWHOS.

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