The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council is responsible for the conserveration and management of coral and fishery resources in the federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The Gulf Council manages more than 142 species as part of the Coral Fishery Management Plan including four species on the Threatened Species List. This purpose of this map is to create an interactive resources to facilitate review, discussion, and decision making ragarding coral management in the Gulf of Mexico. Launch map
Deep-sea corals are of particular conservation concern due to their slow growth rates and vulnerability to disturbance. Predicitive modeling of deep-sea coral habitat can aid conservation planning, inform management of offshore activities affecting the seafloor, and guide exploration. Modeling can also lend insights into the environmental factors driving the distribution of deep-sea corals, helping to build our understanding of how these unique ecosystems function. This map depicts the predicted likelihood for framework-forming deep-sea corals in the Gulf of Mexico. Launch map
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council is considering changes to current Habitat Area of Particular Concern (HAPC) designation based on new information that has identified additional sensitive areas supporting deep-water corals in the Gulf. This map allows you to explore coral data and locations of current and recommended HAPCs. We understand that spatial data can be pretty complicated and often requires the use of expensive software, we hope this application allows you to easily visualize what the Council is up to with corals in the Gulf. Launch map
Three fishery management councils - the Gulf of Mexico, South Atlantic, and U.S. Caribbean - are responsible for identifying essential fish habitat (EFH) for federally managed species in the southeast United States. Fish require healthy surroundings to survive and reproduce. Essential fish habitat includes all types of aquatic habitat - wetlands, coral reefs, seagrasses, mangroves - where fish spawn, breed, feed, or grow to maturity. This map allows you to visualize where EFH is located in the Gulf of Mexico by fishery management plan, but to really get the most out of the map use the pin or draw tool to see which EFH layers exist in any area of the Gulf. Launch map
Management areas are created by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council to achieve the goals of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. This interactive map allows users to view fishery management areas, boundaries, and their associated fishing regulations in the Gulf of Mexico. Launch map
In 2009, the National Marine Fisheries Service completed a Biological Opinion of the Spiny Lobster Fishery which concluded that spiny lobster trap fishing activities put sea turtles, smalltooth sawfish, and staghorn and elkhorn corals at risk. The Gulf and South Atlantic Fishery Management Councils took action to address the concerns outlined in the Biological Opinion, and in an effort to protect threatened staghorn and elkhorn corals, closed areas were created in federal waters off the Florida Keys that were identified as containing colonies for these coral species. Transitting is allowed through these areas, but spiny lobster trapping is prohibited. This map shows spiny lobster closed areas and allows geolocation to indicate if you're in a closed area or not. Launch map
The Gulf Council is considering an amendment that could establish a regional approach for managing recreationally harvested red snapper to improve access and allow regional flexibility of management. The Council recognizes that this is a complex issue and requires consideration of the outcomes for both anglers on for-hire vessels and anglers on private vessels. This interactive app describes the alternatives under consideration and allows expected outcomes for each alternative for both components of the recreational fishery. To learn more, read the draft amendment or open the app. You can submit public comments here.
This resource summaries findings of the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council's 2011-2016 review of essential fish habitat (EFH) in the Gulf of Mexico. This review included the development of species profiles, updated habitat association tables, habitat maps, and the bibliography used to produce the review. This application is interactive and can be queried by species, or if you explore the EFH maps, both species and lifestage. Launch resource
The Gulf Council is considering establishing new coral protections in the Gulf of Mexico to conserve essential fish habitat and support sustainable fisheries. The Council's fishermen and scientific advisors have recognized 15 areas that are unique in their abundance and diversity of corals that may warrant further protections. Read the amendment or explore the HAPCs under consideration.
The spread of lionfish has been fast, and now they're threatening fishery resources and the health of corals in the Gulf of Mexico. This storyboard explains how lionfish arrived in the Gulf, their impact on coral and fishery ecosystems, and how you can support migitigation efforts. Launch site
Goliath grouper are the largest grouper in the Gulf of Mexico; reaching 8 feet in length and weighing up to 850 lbs. This impressive species was historically depleted but has made quite a comeback. Unfortunately, interactions between goliath grouper and anglers still occur, and these interactions plus their increased abundance has led to controversy over management strategies. This storyboard showcases some interesting facts about goliath grouper and highlights management-related challenges surrounding the species. Launch site
Coral reefs are some of the most complex ecosystems on earth and provide habitat for many fish and invertebrates. This storyboard gives a brief look into how the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council manages corals throughout the Gulf of Mexico. It also describes unique coral reefs in the Gulf, coral management areas, the Endangered Species Act, octocorals, and live rock management. Launch site
Deep-water corals are some of the strangest habitats on earth. These corals live at depths of 1000 feet or more where sunlight doesn't penetrate and where water temperatures can be near freezing. Traditional coral reefs are mostly made up of stony corals, but in the deep ocean, octocorals, black corals and stony corals all thrive. This storyboard describes types of deep-water corals, the ecology of living in an inhospitable environment, deep-water coral management in the Gulf of Mexico, and local scale and global threats to these corals. Launch site
While corals have been resilient to changing oceans throughout time, oceans are changing at an unprecedented rate. Slow-growing corals may not be able to adapt quickly enough to survive so much variablity. This storyboard discusses factors that threated the health of our coral reefs. Launch site
The Portal Blog was created to highlight GIS data that may otherwise get lost in all the material on the Portal home page. Right now, it includes posts on habitat types and how they are linked to coral reefs and fishery resources in the Gulf of Mexico. It also provides publications from Portal staffers that are relevant to habitats in the Gulf. You can find out about recent or upcoming presentations on habitat here too. Launch the blog
When you open this poster, it appears to be just a static image, but don't let that appearance fool you. If you click a numbered picture you'll be able to learn so much more about what's going on with the species in the poster! Some of the information provided includes a description, geographic distribution, and a depth profile. Launch the poster
Similarly to Creatures of the Deep, when you open this poster, it appears to be just a static image, but don't let that appearance fool you. If you click a numbered picture you'll be able to learn so much more about what's going on with the species in the poster! Some of the information provided includes a description, geographic distribution, and a depth profile. Launch the poster
To all the nerds out there, this one is for you! This link will take you to the
Gulf Council github page. We try to keep our work as open source as possible,
so if you're wondering how we build a particular resource found on the Portal, there's a pretty
good chance the code is available here. We're also happy to answer any questions you have about
our web application development process.
View tools that highlight management issues being considered by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council.
Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council 2203 N. Lois Avenue, Suite 1100, Tampa, FL 33607 USA
P: 813-348-1630 | F: 813-348-1711
Icons are Font Awesome by Dave Gandy - http://fontawesome.io