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Gulf of Mexico

Updated on December 22, 2012

The Gulf of Mexico

The Gulf of Mexico is a warm sea located at the southeastern corner of North America. The gulf is a vital body of water to the United States, Mexico and Several Central American countries.

The Gulf is bordered by the United States to the north (Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas).

Five Mexican states are located to the west (Tamaulipas, Veracruz, Tabasco, Campeche, Yucatan). The island of Cuba lies to the southeast.

How Large is the Gulf of Mexico?

The Gulf measures approximately 1,600 kilometers from east to west, 900 kilometers from north to south, and has a surface area of 1.5 million square kilometers. The marine shoreline from Cape Sable, Florida to the tip of the Yucatan peninsula extends ~5,700 kilometers, with another 380 kilometers of shore on the northwest tip of Cuba.

Gulf of Mexico Saltwater Fishing

According to NOAA, there are 3.2 million recreational fishermen in the Gulf of Mexico region who took 24 million fishing trips in 2008.

Gulf anglers catch spotted seatrout, redfish, snapper, grouper, cobia, jacks, Spanish, king and cero mackerel, dolphin fish (mahi mahi), tuna, swordfish, sharks and other saltwater fish.

Spotted seatrout is widely regarded as the most popular catch among Gulf of Mexico recreational anglers.

Inshore fishing is regulated by the states of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida (known as the Gulf States).

The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council is one of eight regional Fishery Management Councils established by the Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1976. The Council prepares fishery management plans designed to manage fishery resources from where state waters end, out to the 200-mile limit of the Gulf of Mexico. This area is also known as the Exclusive Economic Zone or EEZ.

Gulf of Mexico Government Agencies

Federal Agencies

Social Science Research Group, Southeast Fisheries Science Center, NOAA Fisheries

Southeast Fisheries Science Center, NOAA Fisheries

Southeast Regional Office, NOAA Fisheries

Southeast Region, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Southwest Region, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

District 8, U.S. Coast Guard

State Agencies

Division of Marine Fisheries, Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission\_index.htm

Marine Resources Division, Alabama Department of Conservation & Natural Resources

Mississippi Department of Marine Resources

Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries

Texas Parks & Wildlife Department

Councils & Commissions

Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council

Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission

Gulf Comments

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    • Shades-of-truth profile image

      Emily Tack 7 years ago from USA

      I live near the Gulf of Mexico. When I was a little girl, the Gulf of Mexico was literally at the end of our street, when we lived in Tarpon Springs. It is a wonderful body of water, full of surprises - including sharks! Great Lens!