Potential Spatial and Temporal Vulnerability of Pelagic Fish Assemblages in the Gulf of Mexico to Surface Oil Spills Associated with Deepwater Petroleum Development by U S Department of the Interior Mineral M (Paperback / softback, 2015)
As petroleum exploration expands into, and beyond the waters of the OCS, the potential exists, via accidental spills, to adversely impact pelagic recreational and commercial fisheries. Surface petroleum spills in pelagic waters of the OCS will primarily impact those species of fishes and crustaceans that inhabit the epipelagic zone of the open ocean. Members of this group include several species that command a high monetary and socio-ecomic value (e.g., tunas, wahoos, and billfishes), as well as ecologically important or indicator species (e.g., flying fishes, ocean sunfishes). Spills in the surface waters are also likely to impact floating Sargassum communities, which contain a diverse and often unique faunal assemblage of fishes and invertebrates and which also serve as important nursery habitats for many fishes belonging to the families Coryphaenidae, Carangidae, Pomacentridae, and Lobotidae.