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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

Rare San Diego Sighting of False Killer Whales

False killer whales observed off La Jolla, CA, on February 25, 2015. Photo by Michelle Robbins. On February 24th, approximately 30-40 false killer whales were observed near the edge of La Jolla canyon, a highly unusual sighting in San Diego. This species is found in tropical and wa

Warm Blood Makes Opah an Agile Predator

Heated blood makes opah a high performance predator that swims faster, sees better New research by NOAA Fisheries has revealed the opah, or moonfish, as the first fully warm blooded fish that circulates heated blood throughout its

For the First Time, Scientists Tag a Loggerhead Sea Turtle off U.S. West Coast

Data from the satellite tag should help scientists understand what habitats loggerheads use and how to more effectively protect this endangered species.

Los Angeles Times Features MMTD Biologist Mark Lowry

In a Special Interest Story, the Los Angeles Times interviewed Marine Mammal and Turtle Division biologist Mark Lowry to discuss the urgency surrounding his work this year. Mark has been collecting sea lion and elephant seal scat from San Nicolas

2015 West Coast Protected Fish Species Program Review

West Coast Protected Fish Species Program Review to be held May 4 8, 2015 in Sand Point, Seattle, WA In 2015 all NMFS Science Centers will be reviewed on Protected Species Science supporting the US Endangered Species Act and the US

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