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MEPS
Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 519:1-12 (2015)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/meps11150

FEATURE ARTICLE
Spatial patterns in species assemblages associated with the northwestern Gulf of Mexico shrimp trawl fishery

Melissa H. Monk1,3,4,*, Joseph E. Powers1, Elizabeth N. Brooks

1Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences, School of the Coast and Environment at Louisiana State University, Energy, Coast and Environment Building, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, USA
2Northeast Fisheries Science Center, National Marine Fisheries Service, NOAA, 166 Water St., Woods Hole, MA 02543, USA
3Present address: Center for Stock Assessment Research, Department of Applied Mathematics and Statistics, Jack Baskin School of Engineering, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064, USA
4Present address: Fisheries Ecology Division, Southwest Fisheries Science Center, National Marine Fisheries Service, NOAA,
110 Shaffer Road, Santa Cruz, CA 95060, USA
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: The shrimp trawl fishery in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) removes a diverse community of bycatch species from the Gulf Large Marine Ecosystem (LME). A small fraction of the discarded species is economically important, and little is known about the majority of bycatch species. Large-scale fishery-independent trawl surveys from the Southeast Area Monitoring and Assessment Program (SEAMAP) were utilized to examine the spatial dynamics of the demersal fish community associated with the shrimp trawl fishery across the northwest GOM-LME. Multivariate analyses revealed 3 distinct demersal fish communities from the fall survey and 4 distinct communities from the summer survey. Shrimp Statistical Zone 13, nearest the Mississippi River, was a differentiating factor between the 2 surveys, associating with Zones 14 and 15 in the fall survey, and comprising its own dissimilar community in the summer survey. The dominant species within each zone differed between the summer and fall seasons, which can be explained by the time of spawning and seasonal ontogenetic migrations of species associated with the survey. Indicator species analysis identified species in each season and region that can be used to monitor future ecosystem changes within these regions.


KEY WORDS: SEAMAP · Fish community · Indicator species · Bycatch · Large marine ecosystem


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Cite this article as: Monk MH, Powers JE, Brooks EN (2015) Spatial patterns in species assemblages associated with the northwestern Gulf of Mexico shrimp trawl fishery. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 519:1-12. https://doi.org/10.3354/meps11150

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