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May 2010 Bluefin Tuna Larvae Collection Research Expedition

May 26, 2010 - Today, scientists from The University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast Research Laboratory completed a 12-day research expedition to collect samples of the larval forms of the Atlantic bluefin tuna, one of the ocean’s most threatened fish. Bluefin tuna spawn in only two places in the western hemisphere — the Mediterranean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico. This places them in a precarious situation in the waters affected by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the northern Gulf of Mexico. 

Working with the captains and crew of the R/V Tommy Munro, GCRL researchers Dr. Bruce Comyns, Jim Franks and Dick Waller made numerous transects of the Loop Current towing a neuston net to collect specimens near the surface. The project collected samples as far as 350 miles south of the Mississippi Coast. As shown in the photographs, floating oil was encountered. The cruise was funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Listen to audio reports filed during the cruise.

Click the thumbnail image to view larger images..

Photo credit: Jim Franks, Gulf Coast Research Laboratory