In this study we propose to evaluate the slope fauna of the northeast Gulf of Mexico to determine the impact of oil and dispersants on top-level predator species. These deep-water species and habitats are likely among the first to be affected by the oil spill, yet little is known about resident assemblages. We seek to answer three general questions. What are the spatial and depth-mediated differences in the faunal assemblages of large assemblages of large demersal fishes within DeSoto Canyon (head, mouth, northwest wall, southeast wall) and along the adjacent continental slope? Is there any evidence that these demersal fishes have been exposed to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)? If so, are there spatial and depth-mediated differences in detected exposure and does this correlate with any differences in fish health?