Offshore Oceanographic and Environmental Monitoring Services for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve Response to Decision Makers' Questions: Nekton


Information concerning construction, operation, siting and environmental effects related to a diffuser system is critical to the decision maker who must permit, assess and/or regulate ocean discharge. Decision-maker's questions, such as those addressed herein, and answers to these questions are essential parts of the process establishing environmental safeguards for managing ocean resources. The decision-maker managing fishery resources of the Gulf will use this question and answer process to generate information characterizing impact of various waste discharges on valuable nekton stocks. Approximately 70 to 90% of the commercially and/or recreationally important nekton species inhabiting the Gulf exhibit life histories which include offshore spawning and transport of young to estuaries and eventual return of these organisms to open seas. The life history pattern increases a nektonic organisms' chances of encountering open ocean discharges during immigration to and emigration from estuaries. Several nekton components, such as the penaeid shrimp, gulf menhaden and other finfisheries, taken in the groundfish fishery constitute economically important stock which may be vulnerable to open ocean discharge. As such, questions and answers which produce information enhancing proper construction, operation and siting of ocean discharges are prerequisite to conservation and management of the oceans' resources. Methodology used to answer questions addressed herein involves the stepwise development of data bases documenting shrimp and finfish standing stocks of the northwestern Gulf. Knowledge of standing stocks will be used to access the effect of 100% mortality over the three given areas of concern.


73 pages


Strategic Petroleum Reserve -- environmental effects, nekton, Strategic Petroleum Reserve, offshore oil and gas development, brine