Date of Award

Winter 12-2011

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Earth and Environmental Sciences


Earth and Environmental Sciences

Major Professor

O'Connell, Martin

Second Advisor

Georgiou, Ioannis

Third Advisor

Kulp, Mark


In Lake Pontchartrain Basin, commercial fishing in estuarine habitats impacts many non-target species collected as bycatch. I investigated the bycatch assemblages collected by commercial vessels and compared these to assemblages collected by typical fishery-independent methods. I compared assemblages using analysis of similarity (ANOSIM) and determined important species by weight and abundance using similarity percentages analyses (SIMPER). I also examined differences in size-class distributions by gear type using density kernel plots and Mann-Whitney U tests. The two gear types collected significantly different assemblages (ANOSIM R = 0.522, p = 0.001) and gear type explained more composition differences than other factors such as month, daytime, or location. Fishery-independent gear underestimated the importance of many species. Although fishery-independent data are invaluable for monitoring assemblage dynamics, fishery-independent gear collects different assemblages than commercial gear. Larger fishes of important species were caught less often in bycatch, but completely absent from fishery-independent gear.


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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.