Oculina Timeline of Events

  Science Fisheries Management
  • Rock shrimp splitter invented (1969)
  • First trawlers work Cones & Steeples areas (1969)

Rock Shrimp

1977 Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution scientists explore the Cones, describe Oculina bioherms (Avent et al., 1977)    
  • Scientists describe geology of shelf–edge reefs and how Oculina bioherms form (Milliman, 1981).
  • HBOI dives describe coral ecology (Reed, 1981).
  • Modified Lathram machine for peeling rock shrimp.
  • Large Gulf boats move east and target fishery

OHAPC , 315 km2 , closed to trawls and dredges.

Habitat Areas of Particular Concern


Gag grouper landings off Canaveral = 50,000 lbs.

School of Fish

  • Gag grouper landings off Canaveral = 70,000 lbs.
  • Rock shrimp landings off Canaveral = 40 million lbs.
1994     OHAPC Marine Protected Area closed to bottom fishing

Four NURC –sponsored submersible dives made at Jeff’s Reef

Johnson Sea–Link

Gag grouper landings off Canaveral drop to 700 lbs.  

Reef restoration structures deployed in OHAPC by Koenig et al.

Reef Balls

2000     OHAPC expanded to 1,029 km2 , closed to bottom fishing
2001 NOAA’s Islands in the Stream Expedition — submersible and ROV dives in the OHAPC (Koenig et al. 2004)
  • 1.5 million lbs. rock shrimp landed in Canaveral
  • 30,000 lbs. gag grouper landed off Canaveral
2002 First multibeam map inside OHAPC and Oculina GIS created    
  • NURC ROV dives ground–truth multibeam map
  • Brooke (2003) describes Oculina reproductive biology
  Closure extended indefinitely
2005 NURC multibeam survey and ROV  dives   SAFMC posts Oculina Closed Area Evaluation Plan