Assessment Home | Overview |Title Index | Contact List


Flower Garden Banks NMS Science Needs
Click on individual links below to learn more about the immediate science needs for critical management issues. For a full list of management issues and science needs, please review the FGBNMS Management Plan. To contact us about the science needs described below, contact the Sanctuary Research Coordinators.


Biomass Removal (Updated 5/1/2010)
Concerns exist that fishing and associated activities may be reducing the integrity of the ecosystem in and around the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary (FGBNMS or Sanctuary).

Coral and Sponge Disease (Updated 5/1/2010)
Recent evidence of periodic disease outbreaks have alerted the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary (FGBNMS or Sanctuary ) to the need to characterize the maladies, track their frequency and severity, and evaluate whether levels of susceptibility are changing and, if so, why they are changing.

Ecosystem Connectivity (Updated 5/1/2010)
A full understanding is needed of the mechanisms controlling the level of connectedness (i.e. ecological linkages) among hard-bank ecosystems in the Gulf of Mexico. The living resource assemblages in the regional may depend on structural, migratory, life history requirements, and planktonic connections.

Habitat Characterization (Updated 5/1/2010)
Critical to the management of the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary (FGBNMS or Sanctuary) is targeted mapping and ground-truthing efforts. These data directly support predicting impacts and user conflicts in the Sanctuary and proposed Sanctuary expansion sites.

Impacts from Divers (Updated 5/1/2010)
Recent evidence of periodic disease outbreaks have alerted the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary (FGBNMS or Sanctuary) to the need to characterize the maladies, track their frequency and severity, and evaluate whether levels of susceptibility are changing and, if so, why they are changing.

Socioeconomics (Updated 5/1/2010)
With recent proposals suggesting the need to change fishing regulations in the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary (FGBNMS or Sanctuary) and expanding the number of banks in the Sanctuary, research is needed to understand the economic impacts of the changes on users such as fishermen, the oil and gas industry, and diver operators.

Status and Trends of Resource Condition (Updated 5/1/2010)
The existing monitoring program at the Flower Garden Bank National Marine Sanctuary (FGBNMS or Sanctuary) needs to be modified to become more comprehensive in terms of the subject areas it addresses and the efficiency with which it does so.

Water Quality - Contaminants (Updated 5/1/2010)
Recent incidents of ciguatoxin (CTX) poisoning causing illness in humans, and measurements of high mercury concentrations in finfish tissue may be a cause for concern to those catching and/or consuming fish caught in and around the Flower Garden Banks (FGBNMS or Sanctuary). Monitoring is currently not adequate to assess the level to which the public should be cautioned against consumption. Sampling for analysis has been limited to the FGB's, but problem is probably regional.

Cover Sheet

Assessment Home | Overview |Title Index | Contact List


leaving site indicates a link leaves the site. Please view our Link Disclaimer for more information.
Revised April 30, 2010 by Sanctuaries Web Team | Contact Us | Web Site Owner: National Ocean Service
National Ocean Service | National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration | Privacy Policy | For Employees | User Survey
http://sanctuaries.noaa.gov/science/assessment/fgbnms.html