Shrimp population studies: West Hackberry and Big Hill brine disposal sites off southwest Louisiana and upper Texas coasts, 1980-1982. Volume II: shrimp catch and effort data analysis.




Matis, J.H.
Grant, W.E.

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U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service, Southeast Fisheries Center, Galveston Laboratory


This report presents an analysis of shrimp catch and effort data in relation to the brine disposal from salt domes at West Hackberry and Big Hill in southwest Louisiana and the upper Texas coasts, respectively. The West Hackberry brine discharge site is located at 29 degrees 39' 52.4 N latitude, 93 degrees 28' 34.6 W longitude, which is roughly 6 nautical miles off the Louisiana coast in an area 5 fathoms deep. The diffuser section of the pipeline is 3,240 ft long and has 55 discharge ports on 60-ft centers. Brine discharge at this site began in May, 1981, and has been essentially continuous since that time. The proposed location of the Big Hill brine discharge at this site is 29 34'43 N latitude, 94 09'54 W longitude, which is approximately 3.5 nautical miles offshore in 5 fathoms of water. The proposed diffuser will be designed to discharge 1.4 million barrels of brine per day. The development of criteria for assessing the impacts of brine disposal and other programs that potentially affect fisheries resources has become of critical importance. It is particularly important to establish an acceptable protocol for the assessment of impacts.....The general life cycle of brown (Penaeus aztecus), white (P. setiferus), and pink shrimp (p. duorarum) are similar......The primary potential impact of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve Program on the Gulf of Mexico shrimp fishery relates to the discharge of brine solution from petroleum storage facilities on the Texas and Louisiana coasts. Creation of an oil storage cavern within a salt dome involves dissolving the rock salt with untreated surface water. Water is pumped into the salt dome under pressure. The resultant brine solution is discharged, through a pipeline and diffuser system into the Gulf of Mexico, at rates as high as 1 million barrels per day or more. The specific objectives of this study were to (1) determine the temporal-spatial variability in offshore catches of brown shrimp (Penaeus aztecus), white shrimp (P. setiferus), pink shrimp (P. duorarum) and seabob (Xiphopeneus kroyeri), directed fishing effort, catch per unit directed effort, and catch per unit directed effort per unit area, to expand and update the existing fisheries information base and to interpret fluctuations and trends following brine disposal; (2) develop methods capable of comparing pre-disposal fisheries information with post-disposal fisheries information for the purpose of testing the null hypotheses that there are no changes attributable to brine disposal; (3) conduct similar analyses relating to the Texas closure so as to distinguish effects of the Texas closure from those of brine disposal.


195 p.


shrimp fisheries, penaeid shrimp, Penaeus aztecus, Penaeus setiferus, white shrimp, brown shrimp, pink shrimp, Penaeus duorarum, brines, temporal variations, ecological distribution, spatial variations, seabob, Xiphopenaeus kroyeri, catch/effort, catch statistics, statistical analysis