Values added by artificial structures can be economic (e g , valu

Values added by artificial structures can be economic (e.g., value to the recreational fishing industry) or ecological (e.g., habitat for species diversity). Efforts to better quantify values added could be useful in the long term, especially, in light of ongoing discussions about rig removal and rigs to reef programs held by industry, scientists and regulators. Several indicators

in Table 5 complement each other to provide a periodically updated, publicly available lagging measure of the “Food” and “Recreational Fishing” ES. Catch data by state and species, number of recreational fishing trips taken as well as economic impacts and expenditures associated with recreational fishing activities can be obtained through the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), and, for recreational information in Alaska and Texas, from the respective two states. Though quantitatively accurate, catch data are limited in

usefulness as they do not provide information on where fish were caught, only where they were landed. In addition, catch data alone are often not an independent measure of ES health, as most species are fished to their regulated limits. Therefore, catch limits should be monitored through the appropriate information portals (e.g., NMFS, Gulf of Mexico Fishery CYC202 manufacturer Management Council). Updated information on commercial fishing jobs is available from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, but may not be accurate as many fishermen are RG7420 concentration either self-employed or seasonal workers

that are not captured in labor statistics. Information on enjoyment levels for recreational angling, measured by peoples’ willingness to pay in $US per trip, are currently not available for the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. Unlike many of the lagging indicators for the “Food” and “Recreational Fishing” ES, periodically updated lagging indicators for the “Iconic Species” ES are not readily accessible from existing programs or sources. Despite and because of this challenge, knowledge about the status and health of iconic species has significant potential to influence regulatory decisions and public perception. Because most marine mammal and turtle species travel extensively during their breeding, feeding and migration activities, accurate population estimates require spatially extensive, periodic monitoring programs that can be difficult to maintain. One of the most comprehensive programs was funded by the former Minerals Management Service [33], but has not been updated in recent years. The U.S. Navy conducts periodic monitoring of marine mammals and turtles at three ranges in the northwest Gulf of Mexico [34]. Additional isolated, short-term monitoring programs have been associated with the collection of seismic data as a permit condition.

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