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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

Sardine Assessment Shows Cyclic Decline in Population

Pacific sardines are known for wide swings in their population the small, highly productive species multiplies quickly in good conditions and can decline sharply at other times. Scientists have worked for decades to understand those swings, including a decline

Online Seminars: Deep-sea Corals and Sponges as Habitat

A group of NMFS researchers convened an online seminar series to help scientists, managers, and the general public better understand the role of deep-sea corals and sponges as habitat for managed species.

Environmental Changes Stress West Coast Sea Lions

Male and female California sea lions respond differently to lack of food  In Southern California hundreds of starving sea lion pups are washing up on beaches, filling marine mammal care centers that scarcely can hold

MMTD Automatic Whale Detector, Version 1.0

Scientists have combined infrared cameras with image recognition software to automatically detect and count migrating gray whales. Every year, gray whales migrate from their summer feeding grounds in the Arctic to their wintering grounds off Baja California in Mexico.

Technology Expands Gray Whale Count

Marine Mammal and Turtle Division scientist Dave Weller is interviewed by Monterey, CA, National Public Radio station KAZU 90.3 about the use of new technology to assist in the annual gray whale count based from the Granite Canyon Field Station,

Fisheries Resources Division Scientists Discuss Opah With National Geographic

While opah are not targeted, they are caught occasionally by local recreational anglers and are taken incidentally in commercial fisheries targeting tuna and swordfish that operate out of California. In recent years there appears to have been an upsurge in