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The mission of the Southwest Fisheries Science Center is to generate the scientific information necessary for the conservation and management of the region’s living marine resources.

The Southwest Fisheries Science Center is the research arm of NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service in the Southwest Region. Center scientists conduct marine biological, economic and oceanographic research, observations and monitoring on living marine resources and their environment throughout the Pacific Ocean and in the Southern Ocean off Antarctica. The ultimate purpose of these scientific efforts is for the conservation and management of marine and anadromous fish, marine mammal, sea turtle and other marine life populations to ensure that they remain at sustainable and healthy levels.

Southwest Fisheries Science Center

La Jolla

La Jolla

Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz

Pacific Grove
Pacific Grove

Division News

Protected Waters Foster Resurgence of West Coast Rockfish

Adult bocaccio photographed by remotely operated vehicle. Photo Advanced Survey Technologies, Fisheries Resources Division, SWFSC. West Coast rockfish species in deep collapse only 20

Researchers Study Response of the Carmel River and Steelhead Following Removal of San Clemente Dam

SWFSC Fisheries Ecology Division researcher Tommy Williams and team returned to the Carmel River to survey juvenile steelhead after the 2015 removal of the San Clemente Dam and the epic rains last winter.

SWFSC Joins Partnership to Restore Salmon and Steelhead Habitat

The Fisheries Ecology Division has joined in the new Central Valley Salmon Habitat Partnership that will work to build robust fisheries and self-sustaining wild populations of Central Valley salmonids through science-based habitat restoration.

Measuring Whales from the Air – Hexacopter Photogrammetry of Cook Inlet Beluga Whales

For the first time, an Unmanned Aerial System (UAS), a hexacopter, is being used to collect photographs of the endangered Cook Inlet beluga whale to estimate the length of individual whales and learn more about why it has been slow

Fishermen See ‘Science in Action’ Aboard NOAA Survey Ship

Each spring and early summer, scientists set out along the West Coast aboard NOAA vessel Reuben Lasker to survey coastal pelagic species, or CPS, which includes small schooling fish such as northern anchovy, Pacific sardine, and jack and Pacific mackerels. 

Tracking Antarctic Penguins Using Chemical Signatures

NOAA Fisheries researchers are tracking Antarctic penguins using chemical signatures read more here.