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Mapping of Commercial Hook and Line Fishing Effort Relative to Deep Coral Ecosystems in the South Atlantic Bight

Project Goal

To create GIS maps of commercial fishing effort for southeastern U.S. fisheries overlaid on top of baseline maps of deep-sea coral habitat to visually depict areas of habitat concern that are likely to be impacted by fishing effort.

Geographic Location

South Atlantic

Approach

Baseline maps of habitat types in the South Atlantic Bight were created from all available sources of habitat data, including deep-sea coral habitats. Relevant commercial fisheries databases housed at the SEFSC in Miami, FL (approximately 500,000 records since 1992) will be mined for relevant fishing effort data, including Vessel Monitoring Systems (VMS) tracks. GIS layers of commercial VMS tracks will be overlaid on base layers of habitat type to display potential overlap.

Results

Final products will include maps of recreational and commercial hook and line fishing effort and their proximity to critical deep-sea coral habitat.

Importance to Management

The national database is being used to evaluate areas for potential management actions.

Fiscal Year 2010 Funding

$31,040

Point of Contact

Michael Burton, Michael.Burton@noaa.gov