The Gulf of Mexico (GOM) is a semi‐enclosed coastal sea with a vast array of topography and moderately high productivity that supports biological diversity and high biomass of fish, sea birds and marine mammals. Along with supporting a large recreational and commercial fishing industry, the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) also provides vital services such as oil and gas production, tourism, habitat for endangered species, and support for many Gulf state economies. It is also the only known spawning ground for the western stock of the bluefin tuna. Despite the many ecological services provided by the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) Large Marine Ecosystem (LME) management of the system historically has been done on a case by case or single species basis with little or no integration. Read More
Commercial Fishing: Commercial fishing is an historic coastal economic sector. The Gulf provides 85% of all shrimp harvest, 60% of all oysters and over 50% of recreational fishing in the U.S. At over 1.3 billion pounds of annual seafood production, the Gulf produces more finfish, shrimp and shellfish than the south and mid-Atlantic, Chesapeake and New England combined. Over 50% of the USA’s continental wetlands (5,000,000 acres) can be found adjacent to the Gulf providing habitat for 95% of all commercially and recreationally important finfish and shellfish at some part of their life cycle. Read More
With support from NOAA, the Ecosystem Team at the Northern Gulf Institute (NGI), a NOAA Cooperative Institute, has just completed an Ecosystem Assessment Management Report for four northern Gulf of Mexico estuaries: Galveston Bay in Texas; Barataria Basin in Louisiana; Perdido Bay in Florida; and the Mississippi Sound in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. The four estuaries selected represented a variety of northern Gulf of Mexico estuarine ecosystems over a narrow range of latitude, and offered ample opportunities for contrast and comparison in the assessments. Read More
Gulf of Mexico Data Atlas
Based on the idea of a traditional atlas but offered via the Internet by NOAA, the Gulf of Mexico Data Atlas provides answers to questions related to the physical environment, marine resources, and economic activity in the Gulf of Mexico. Information is presented in the form of map plates with descriptions, written by recognized subject matter experts, explaining how the data were gathered and how they are relevant. The Gulf of Mexico Data Atlas has data from federal, state, non-governmental agencies, and academia.
NCCOS has been working on providing specific data sets for ecosystem modeling. NCCOS has developed a national dataset on the presence of deep water coral communities. NCCOS has submitted Gulf observations to the modeling team to serve as important deepwater benthic ecosystems. Read more...