Potential demersal-fish fisheries in the northwest Gulf of Mexico.
Chittenden, M.E., Jr.
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The Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) supports large demersal fish (bottom fish) stocks that have great biological potential to support fisheries. This paper presents basic biological data that identifies the more abundant fishes in the northwestern Gulf on an overall and seasonal basis and estimates the magnitude of the fish resource currently being discarded by commercial shrimpers in the Gulf off Texas. Finally, this paper describes the general nature of the population dynamics of the most abundant demersal species to suggest the probable effects that harvesting would have on these resources. Although the emphasis in this paper is on the northwestern Gulf, many of our findings gave broader applications in the Gulf. The biological information presented herein indicates potential fisheries. Whether or not the potentials become actual fisheries obviously depends, in part, on other considerations such as economic ones.