Gulf Coast Research Laboratory
Bluefin Tuna Larvae Scientists Return from Gulf Loop Current Research Mission
WHAT: Researchers Jim Franks and Dr. Bruce Comyns with the Southern Miss Gulf Coast Research Laboratory return from a 12-day research expedition to the Gulf of Mexico loop current to collect samples of larvae of the bluefin tuna, one of the ocean’s most threatened fish.
WHEN: Thursday, May 27, 10 a.m.
WHERE: Dockside at berth of RV Tommy Munro, Point Cadet Marina; Biloxi, Miss.
SPECIFICS: Funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service, researchers traveled to the loop current to collect samples of larvae, which is the most vulnerable life-stage of bluefin tuna. Bluefin tuna spawn in only two places in the western hemisphere — the Mediterranean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico. Bluefin tuna larvae are in a precarious situation due to the position and magnitude of the oil-affected waters following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the northern Gulf of Mexico.
Southern Miss President Martha Saunders has assembled an Oil Spill Response Team that is coordinating the university’s response to the incident in the Gulf. Scientists, faculty, staff and students from GCRL, Stennis Space Center, plus the Gulf Park and Hattiesburg campuses are working with federal, state, and private agencies to monitor the spill and, to the extent possible, manage and mitigate its impacts on the Gulf Coast.
For more information on the Oil Spill Response Team visit http://www.usm.edu/oilspill.
RESEARCH CONTACT: Chris Snyder: 228.365.3386.