Date of Award

Fall 2017

Degree Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Ocean Science and Technology

Committee Chair

Robert Leaf

Committee Chair Department

Ocean Science and Technology

Committee Member 2

Wei Wu

Committee Member 2 Department

Ocean Science and Technology

Committee Member 3

Mark Peterson

Committee Member 3 Department

Ocean Science and Technology


This study investigates the movement and harvest dynamics of the Gulf Menhaden Brevoortia patronus fishery. The fishery-dependent data collected by NOAA (years 2006-2009 and 2011) describe vessel-specific information on catch locations (latitude and longitude) and magnitude of harvest in metric tons (mt). A series of probability distribution functions (PDFs) were fit to the frequency distributions of number of harvests per day (Poisson), between-harvest distances (gamma), and harvest magnitude (log-normal). These analyses were used to inform an individual-based model (IBM). The IBM was run under several different spatial restriction regimes, including (1) current regulations in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama; (2) additional restrictions off the coast of Jackson County, MS; (3) an extension of current regulations to 2.6 km (two miles) from shore; and (4) closures of all Mississippi waters. This study describes fleet dynamics of one of the more important commercial fisheries in the region and illustrates how they can be simulated using a spatially-explicit IBM