Pelagic Sargassum as Essential Fisheries Habitat in the Northern Gulf of Mexico:
Utilization by Important Fisheries Species
Research conducted by
Jim Franks, Read Hendon, Bruce Comyns, & Richard Waller
Primary Research Goal
To describe the diversity and abundance of fishes associated with Sargassum and frontal zones in the northern Gulf of Mexico, focusing primarily on important fishery species.
Several studies have investigated the association between marine fishes and pelagic Sargassum in U. S. marine waters. However, our current work represents only the second known study of the fish/Sargassum relationship in the northern Gulf of Mexico.
A previous study was conducted off NW Florida in the 1970s and utilized only dip nets as sampling gear (Bortone et al., 1977*).
*Bortone, S. A., P. A. Hastings and S. B. Collard. 1977. The pelagic-Sargassum ichthyofauna of the eastern Gulf of Mexico. Northeast Gulf Science 1(2): 60-67.