Volume 65

Fisheries Production of the Gulf of Mexico

Chávez, E.A. and A. Chávez-Hidalgo
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Date: November, 2012

Pages: 87 - 94

Event: Proceedings of the Sixty-Fifth Annual Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute

City: Santa Marta

Country: Colombia


An inventory of the Gulf of Mexico fisheries, based on the statistics of the FAO Fisheries and NOAA (1950 to 2010), was undertaken in order to explore its potential. The relative importance of the main resources exploited in the Gulf was examined describing the main trends in the catch and a preliminary diagnosis of their condition was made as a first approach for management, protection and restoration in the region. The fisheries of the northern and southern Gulf of Mexico exhibit independent tendencies, as those of the north are strongly dominated by the exploitation of a single species, the Gulf menhaden, whose catch volumes have reached nearly one million metric tonnes (mt) in the mid-1980s, with a decline of almost 50% in the last decade; the rest of the northern Gulf fisheries catch recorded are very low in relation to the Gulf menhaden, describing three peaks, one in the mid-50s with more than 40,000 mt, another with about 30,000 mt in the mid-1970s, and another one with a little over 30,000 mt at the end of the 1980s. In recent years, only some 10,000 mt are caught. In the southern Gulf de México, the match approached 24,000 t in recent years, and data suggests more stability than in the northern Gulf, reaching its highest volume with near 100,000 mt in 1999, declining to 59,000 mt en 2009. In both areas, data suggest a posible sustitution of species after 1985, when mullets became more abundant.

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