In 2006–2007, 110 Yellowfin Tuna Thunnus albacares were tagged with acoustic transmitters near deepwater oil platforms and one drillship in the northern Gulf of Mexico off the Mississippi River delta to determine the extent to which platforms act as fish aggregating devices (FADs). Vemco acoustic receivers were installed on six deepwater platforms to detect the presence of tagged individuals. Five of 12 Yellowfin Tuna captured in 2006 were detected in 2007, demonstrating multi-year presence in the region. Ninety Yellowfin Tuna were detected in 2007, resulting in 221 platform residencies and 32 single detections. Duration of residence at a platform was positively correlated with the platform's depth, and the number of transitions decreased with platform-to-platform distance. In total, 109 movements between platforms by 46 (51%) different individuals were detected, traveling distances of up to 98.2 km. Yellowfin Tuna displayed interactions with deepwater platforms in the northern Gulf of Mexico similar to their interactions with FADs and other studied geological features, by way of aggregating or using them as meeting points, landmarks, and stopovers within a movement corridor. The large number of oil and gas platforms located in the northern Gulf of Mexico may have a significant effect on distribution, retention, and migration of Yellowfin Tuna populations in this area of the gulf.
|Title||Temporal and spatial relationships of Yellowfin Tuna to deepwater petroleum platforms in the northern Gulf of Mexico|
|Authors||Melissa E. Price, Michael T. Randall, Kenneth J. Sulak, Randy E. Edwards, Margaret Lamont|
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Series Title||Marine and Coastal Fisheries: Dynamics, Management, and Ecosystem Science|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||Wetland and Aquatic Research Center|