large bluefin tuna swims though water
Open Ocean Trustees Approve Project to Support Restoration Planning for Highly Migratory Species

The Open Ocean Trustee Implementation Group has approved a planning project, Characterization of Caribbean Fisheries Interactions with Highly Migratory Species (PDF, 10 pages), to support the restoration of fish and water column invertebrates injured by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.  

The project will run from January 2023 through June 2025, and focuses primarily on data collection. Primary activities of the project include: 

  • compiling fisheries data from Caribbean nations into an accessible format;  

  • improving data management tools to quickly produce queries, tables, and graphs; and 

  • conducting analysis on the data.  

The total estimated budget for the project is $382,000, and is funded through the Fish and Water Column Invertebrates Restoration Type. 

The project will concentrate on priority highly migratory species, such as blue marlin and yellowfin tuna, which were injured by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill but only spend part of their life in the Gulf of Mexico. The new project will also help restoration planners identify specific types of fishing threats in the Caribbean fisheries in order to develop future restoration plans for these species.  

Restoration planners will investigate a wide range of impacts to fish populations that reside in the Gulf of Mexico, but migrate outside of U.S. waters. The results of the project will further the Trustees’ long-term objectives to restore injured species including:  

  • reducing bycatch; 

  • reducing illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing; 

  • reducing mortality after release; and 

  • reducing uncertainties in restoration outcomes.  


The Open Ocean Trustee Implementation Group conducts restoration of Fish and Water Column Invertebrates, injured by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, including migratory species that spend part of their lifecycles in the Gulf of Mexico.  

A total of $400 million was allocated to restore injured fish and water column resources. As of 2022, approximately $320 million was still available for future planning activities and restoration projects to address outstanding injury to these resources. 


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