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Title: MMSReefish Study Databases from 1993-1999 field collections (SEC7-95-11 Fish Mortalities From Explosive Removal of Petroleum Platforms)
Short Name: MMSReefish Study (SEC7-95-11 Fish Mortalities From Explosive Removal of Petroleum Platforms)
Status: Completed

Impacts of the Explosive Removal of Offshore Oil and Gas Structures

on Fish Stocks in the Gulf of Mexico

Offshore oil and gas platforms in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) function as artificial reefs attracting a wide variety of marine life. Explosives are frequently used to remove these structures. These data describe the first comprehensive study to quantitatively assess impacts of the explosive removal of offshore oil and gas structures on fish. Between August 1993 and May 1999 surface and underwater sampling was conducted at nine explosive oil and gas platform removals in the GOM to estimate fish mortality. Water depth ranged from 14-36 m. After explosives were detonated, field personnel operating from inflatable boats used dip nets to collect all dead fish that floated to the surface while divers manually sampled dead fish that sank to the sea floor. The most severely impacted fish species at explosive structure removals in order of abundance were Atlantic spadefish (Chaetodipterus faber), blue runner (Caranx crysos), red snapper (Lutjanus campechanus), and sheepshead (Archosargus probatocephalus). These four species accounted for 86% of estimated mortality. Numbers of all other impacted species were far below those of the top four. Mortality estimates for red snapper were incorporated into stock assessment analyses. The impact of including explosive platform removal data was that abundance estimates were almost indistinguishable from the original assessment. The differences were well within the statistical estimation variances for the original assessment.


Quantify the impacts of explosives used in the removal of offshore petroleum production platforms on fishes residing near these artificial reefs. Provide information for FMPs and offshore technology groups.


Theme Keywords

Thesaurus Keyword
None artificial reefs
None explosions
None marine mammals
None mortality
None petroleum platforms
None protective species
None turtles

Spatial Keywords

Thesaurus Keyword
None Gulf Of Mexico

Physical Location

Organization: National Centers for Environmental Information - Silver Spring, Maryland
City: Silver Spring
State/Province: MD
Location Description:

NCEI Archive

Project Information

Project Type: Project

Support Roles

Data Steward

CC ID: 41127
Date Effective From: 1987-01-01
Date Effective To:
Contact (Person): Gitschlag, Gregg
Address: 4700 Avenue U
Galveston, TX 77551
Email Address:
Phone: 409-766-3517

Catalog Details

Catalog Item ID: 4489
GUID: gov.noaa.nmfs.inport:4489
Metadata Record Created By: Lee M Weinberger
Metadata Record Created: 2007-07-10 08:44+0000
Metadata Record Last Modified By: SysAdmin InPortAdmin
Metadata Record Last Modified: 2022-08-09 17:10+0000
Metadata Record Published: 2021-05-07
Owner Org: SEFSC
Metadata Publication Status: Published Externally
Do Not Publish?: N
Metadata Last Review Date: 2021-05-07
Metadata Review Frequency: 1 Year
Metadata Next Review Date: 2022-05-07