P2.23 Distribution of Fishes in Hudson Canyon and adjoining Outer Continental Shelf in relation to Benthic Habitat Type and Hydrography

Friday, 13 November 2009
Jacklyn C. James, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Princess Anne, MD; and V. Guida and P. Chigbu

The Hudson Canyon is one of the largest and most productive canyons for fisheries along the eastern US continental margin. Hudson Canyon has often been labeled a fisheries “hot spot” due to the productivity and complexity of the differing benthic communities. However, no comprehensive catalog of these habitats exists nor has there been inclusive maps detailing the geological and biological attributes of this diverse marine environment. Benthic habitats at the head of the Hudson Canyon and adjoining outer Continental Shelf areas were characterized using data from multibeam sonar, still images and underwater video collected by the USGS Seaboss drift vehicle from 2001-2004. Fish distributions were mapped in relation to hydrographic data collected from 2001-2009 and physical habitat characteristics. This information was compiled and analyzed in ArcGIS to produce integrated benthic habitat maps for the Hudson Canyon and adjoining outer Continental Shelf by combining acoustic mapping of the seafloor with biological, hydrographic, and photographic data and interpretations and will be presented and discussed.
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