Antarctic Ecosystem Research Division
The Antarctic Ecosystem Research Division manages the U.S. Antarctic Marine Living Resources Program, which provides information for U.S. policy on the management and conservation of Antarctic living resources and supports U.S. participation in international efforts to protect the Antarctic and its marine life. Research is directed toward gathering ecological and biological information to prevent overexploitation of finfish and krill and to protect seal, penguin, and pelagic seabird populations off the northernmost tip of the Antarctic Peninsula and South Georgia.
Environmental Research Division
The Environmental Research Division focuses on the study of environmental influences on marine resources. The division provides oceanographic information to fishery scientists and managers, describes links between environmental processes and population dynamics of important fish stocks, develops means to forecast fish population availability and resilience to fishing pressure, and assesses the effects of global climate change on oceanic processes important to fish population dynamics. Laboratory scientists currently are analyzing oceanographic and atmospheric data to develop indices to characterize how climate changes in the North Pacific may have contributed to a long-term decline in the Steller sea lion population.
Fisheries Ecology Division
The Fisheries Ecology Division conducts research on the ecology of groundfish, economic analysis of fishery data, Pacific salmon studies (including 10 endangered salmon and steelhead runs), and coastal habitat issues affecting the San Francisco Bay and the Gulf of Farallones. Several division scientists currently are members of an advisory panel that is providing scientific advice for implementation of a proposed network of marine protected areas in the state of California. The division also conducts periodic surveys of juvenile rockfishes off central California to determine each year's reproductive success and to better understand the relationship between ocean climate and fish production.
Fisheries Resources Division
The Fisheries Resources Division assesses the biomass of valuable coastal pelagic fish stocks and evaluates biological and environmental factors that affect their distribution, abundance, and survival. The division also conducts basic fishery analysis and stock assessment research on tropical and temperate tunas, billfishes, and sharks. The work is in support of the U.S. commitment to international management of tuna fisheries and the regional management of fisheries for billfish and other large pelagic species.
Protected Resources Division
The Protected Resources Division promotes and conducts research that contributes to the conservation and management of U.S. and international populations of marine mammals and their critical habitats. Provisions of the Marine Mammal Protection Act and the Endangered Species Act guide the division's activities, which include monitoring the abundance of pinniped and cetacean stocks and sea turtles, assessing and helping to minimize the effect of fishing operations and other human activities on these populations, determining stock structure and population dynamics, and conducting research on "dolphin-safe" tuna fishing methods.
Operations, Management and Information