U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
EPA Science Advisory Board
Background Information

Document NameLinking hypoxia to shrimp catch in the northern Gulf of Mexico*
Document AuthorO’Connor, Thomas
Whitall, David
Short DescriptionWide spread and reoccurring hypoxia has been observed in the northern Gulf of Mexico since routine monitoring began in the 1980s. Although the potential ecological effects of hypoxia (habitat loss, mortalities) are well known, there is relatively little information linking hypoxia in the northern Gulf of Mexico to fisheries decline. Previous analyses have shown a negative relationship between hypoxic area and brown shrimp (Farfantepenaeus aztecus) catch for the Texas and Louisiana coasts combined from 1985 to 1997. Extending these analyses with data through 2004, we found that the correlation between hypoxic area and landings holds (r = 0.52), plus there was a significant negative relationship (r = 0.59) between hypoxia and shrimp landings for the Texas coast alone. We hypothesize that this pattern is not seen in the Louisiana fishery alone because of differences in fisheries practices (inshore vs. offshore) between Louisiana and
CategorySubgroup 1: Characterization of the Cause(s) of Hypoxia
Publication Year2007

oconnor and whitall 2007.pdf