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Integration of South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico Fishing Intensity Data Sets into a Spatially Explicit Data Warehouse

Project Goal

To develop a data warehouse that integrates permit and vessel information with data from the Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) to facilitate the exploration, visualization, and extraction of commercial fishing locations. Additionally, conduct a pilot study of fishing locations from vessels with Royal Red Shrimp permits in the Gulf of Mexico.

Geographic Location

South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico


Data captured by fisheries monitoring devices installed on fishing vessels were analyzed to reveal the most detailed picture to date of the amount of bottom fishing that takes place in the South Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico regions. When overlaid with deep-sea coral locations, the study results point to areas that harbor coral habitats and potentially experience physical impacts of bottom fishing.


Findings indicate that more than 1.8 million fishing locations from 96 unique vessels were associated with the Royal Red fishing industry between August 2007 and May 2011. Current efforts are underway to develop signatures to identify location of actual fishing activity (versus transiting or other activities).

Importance to Management

The integration of data from this system with observer and non-observer data will provide fisheries managers with the ability to quantify fishing effort with increased precision, resulting in improved stock assessment and by-catch estimation capabilities. It will also allow the identification of potentially harmful fishing activities on critical habitats such as deep-sea corals, and will provide near real-time information on fishing activity by industry, region and other parameters relevant to management.

Fiscal Years 2009-2010 Funding


Point of Contact

Carlos Rivero, Carlos.Rivero@noaa.gov

Map of fishing locations associated with the Gulf of Mexico Royal Red Shrimp fishing fleet within the NOAA Fisheries statistical zones. The red zones represent areas of high concentrations of vessel locations. The black stars represent locations of known coral habitats. The figure demonstrates that areas with the most coral habitats also have relatively high numbers of vessel locations.

Credit: Carlos Rivero, NOAA Fisheries 11/2/2011