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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

In Search of the Few Endangered Right Whales off the Alaskan Coast

Pacific right whale. Photo credit: Brenda Rone. The Southwest and Alaska Fisheries Science Centers are engaged in a search for the rare and critically endangered North Pacific right whale in the Gulf of Alaska. This is one component of the Collaborative Large Whale Surv

New DNA Research Reveals Genetic Heritage of Elusive Vaquita

A new method of teasing information from scarce and highly degraded genetic samples is helping NOAA Fisheries and Mexican scientists unravel the genetic heritage of the enigmatic vaquita, the most endangered marine mammal on Earth. Genetic studies are important

Collaborative Large Whale Survey: CLAWS 2015

The 4 month survey is devoted to the assessment of several large whale species off the U.S. and Canadian west coast between northern California and Kodiak, Alaska. Pacific right whale. Photo credit Brenda Rone. The Collaborative

Whale Research Takes Flight

With breath samples, scientists can analyze whales’ DNA, hormones, and bacteria for things such as family history, stress levels, and health.

2015 Review of NOAA Fisheries' Science on Marine Mammals & Turtles

Southwest & Northwest Fisheries Science Centers’ Review of Science on Marine Mammals & Turtles, Southwest Fisheries Science Center, La Jolla, CA, 27-31 July.

Newest NOAA Fisheries Survey Vessel Begins U.S. West Coast and Alaska Whale Survey

Vessel Reuben Lasker to assess gray whales and search for highly endangered right whales