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The Fisheries Resources Division (FRD), working jointly with California Department of Fish and Game, conducts stock assessments and recruitment research in support of management of Pacific sardine, Pacific mackerel, northern anchovy, market squid and krill. These species are managed or monitored by the Pacific Fishery Management Council under the CPS (Coastal Pelagics) Fishery Management Plan (FMP) . Our goal is to acquire sufficient understanding of the California Current pelagic ecosystem so as to predict most likely biological responses to changing environmental conditions. The stock assessments conducted allow the Pacific Fishery Management Council to manage harvested species in the context of these changes and in the context of the pelagic food web. In addition, FRD strives to implement the long-term strategic goal of an ecosystem approach to fisheries management. 
For more information visit the Small Pelagics Program of the Fisheries Resources Division.

The ocean sunfish, Mola mola, is the heaviest known bony fish in the world. Adults average 6 feet in length and weigh approximately 2,200 pounds, and the heaviest known fish reached just over 5,000 pounds. Ocean sunfish are found in tropical and temperate waters worldwide. This unusual looking fish is flattened laterally and can often be found basking on the surface of the water. Sunfish feed primarily on jellyfish, and must consume a large volume to attain such large body sizes. 
Although Southwest Fisheries Science Center does not do any direct research on ocean sunfish, they are occasionally encountered during our research cruises. When this occurs, their length and width are measured, and they are sometimes tagged to learn more about their movements.
For more information visit the Large Pelagics Program of the Fisheries Resources Division.

Opah, also known as moonfish, are large, disc-shaped fishes that live their entire lives in the open ocean. The can reach six feet in length and 600 pounds, and are frequently caught as bycatch in longline tuna fisheries. Although not commonly caught opah are prized by deep water recreational anglers for their unique coloration and light flavor. Although Southwest Fisheries Science Center does not do any direct research on opah, they are occasionally encountered during our research cruises. When this occurs, their length and width are measured, and they are sometimes tagged to learn more about their movements. For more information visit the Large Pelagics Program of the Fisheries Resources Division.

Rockfishes (genus Sebastes) are a highly diverse group of ecologically, commercially, and recreationally important groundfishes along the U.S. West Coast. Many rockfish species inhabit deep, rocky areas of the seafloor, which poses challenges to surveying them. SWFSC researchers study rockfish and their habitat using a variety of methods including remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), manned submersibles, trawl surveys, side-scan sonar, laser line scan (LLS), and genetic analysis. 

The photographs seen here are taken from ROVs and manned submersibles by the FRD Benthic Resources Team and the FED Habitat Ecology Team.

Sailfish are a type of billfish, and thus their upper jaw is far longer than their lower jaw forming a distinctive spear. Their name comes from their large dorsal fin which extends almost the length of their body. There are two species of sailfish: the Indo-Pacific and the Atlantic. Sailfish are the fastest fish in the ocean, having been clocked at 68 miles per hour, and are found in warm and termperate waters. They are highly prized by trophy fishermen.Although Southwest Fisheries Science Center does not do any direct research on sailfish, they are occasionally encountered during our research cruises. When this occurs, their length is measured and they are tagged to learn more about their movements. For more information visit the Large Pelagics Program of the Fisheries Resources Division.

Salmonids

Thornyheads


Vermilion rockfish, Sebastes miniatus


                              



A vermilion rockfish swimming over the rocky seafloor.


Contact: SWFSC Fisheries Resources Division, Benthic Resources Team