Gulf Coast Research Lab Surveys Fisheries - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

09/21/05

Gulf Coast Research Lab Surveys Fisheries

We've seen much evidence of Hurricane Katrina's destruction "on land". But the massive storm also did plenty of damage on and under the water.

The impact on coastal fisheries was enormous. A team of biologists from Gulf Coast Research Lab spent the day on the water.

Hurricane Katrina definitely stirred up coastal waters. Sampling trips like this one, will help determine the storm's impact on fisheries.

The post-storm research trip is a continuation of a fisheries monitoring program that began several decades ago.

"We have sampled these same stations monthly for 35 plus years. So, we felt it was important for the integrity of that data base to get out and sample following Katrina," said fisheries biologist, Dr. Harriet Perry.

An important part of the sampling is pulling trawl nets. Ten minute pulls through Back Bay waters give biologists a good idea of the marine life below the surface.

"We're looking for distribution and abundance of fishes, crabs and shrimp. And we're also doing water quality. So, we're looking at dissolved oxygen, temperature and salinity," said Dr. Perry.

"My sense is we have seen decreased numbers of species and perhaps decreased abundance because we encountered several pockets of low dissolved oxygen on the bottom," Dr. Perry added.

Grounded or submerged boats can also cause problems for marine life.

"Fuel spills would have some impact and those are being monitored very closely by the Department of Environmental Quality. And they've been on the water since the second day after the storm," said Dr. Perry.

Like the recovery process on land, restoration of the fisheries will take time. But unlike the onshore recovery, there's little man can do to hasten the process at sea. Nature must mend itself, over time.

"Estuarine species are incredibly resilient and they have that ability to restore themselves. We saw it after, well, we saw it after all the major hurricanes," she said.

And biologists are confident they'll see that same recovery and restoration in the wake of Katrina.

By Steve Phillips

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • Texas lieutenant governor calls for 'hardening' of schools

    Texas lieutenant governor calls for 'hardening' of schools

    Saturday, May 19 2018 11:51 PM EDT2018-05-20 03:51:30 GMT
    Sunday, May 20 2018 12:05 PM EDT2018-05-20 16:05:41 GMT
    (Jennifer Reynolds/The Galveston County Daily News via AP). April Salinas, second from right, her daughters Meah, 13, and Macee, 6, and Jeramiah Kelley read notes left at memorial behind Texas First Bank, Saturday, May 19, 2018 in Santa Fe, Texas. A gu...(Jennifer Reynolds/The Galveston County Daily News via AP). April Salinas, second from right, her daughters Meah, 13, and Macee, 6, and Jeramiah Kelley read notes left at memorial behind Texas First Bank, Saturday, May 19, 2018 in Santa Fe, Texas. A gu...

    The mother of one slain student said her daughter may have been targeted because she rejected advances from the suspect, who was an ex-boyfriend of her daughter's best friend.

    More >>

    The mother of one slain student said her daughter may have been targeted because she rejected advances from the suspect, who was an ex-boyfriend of her daughter's best friend.

    More >>
  • Mother has message for son after he's arrested for stealing car

    Mother has message for son after he's arrested for stealing car

    Saturday, May 19 2018 8:49 AM EDT2018-05-19 12:49:30 GMT
    Evelyn Thompson (Source: WMC Action News 5)Evelyn Thompson (Source: WMC Action News 5)

    A police chase in Memphis ended with two suspected car thieves in police custody, and one angry mother with a message for her son behind bars. 

    More >>

    A police chase in Memphis ended with two suspected car thieves in police custody, and one angry mother with a message for her son behind bars. 

    More >>
  • Doctor sentenced for poisoning girlfriend who lost baby

    Doctor sentenced for poisoning girlfriend who lost baby

    Sunday, May 20 2018 3:59 AM EDT2018-05-20 07:59:32 GMT
    Sunday, May 20 2018 3:59 AM EDT2018-05-20 07:59:32 GMT
    The man no longer has his medical license, and he could be deported to his birthplace of Pakistan. (Source: WJLA/Brooke Fiske/CNN)The man no longer has his medical license, and he could be deported to his birthplace of Pakistan. (Source: WJLA/Brooke Fiske/CNN)

    The man no longer has his medical license, and he could be deported to his birthplace of Pakistan.

    More >>

    The man no longer has his medical license, and he could be deported to his birthplace of Pakistan.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly