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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

Vaquitas Surface as Mexican Minister of the Environment Launches Survey for the Endangered Porpoise

Mexico’s Minister of the Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT), Rafael Pacchiano Alamán, formally launched the project to estimate numbers of the world’s rarest marine mammal on Oct. 1, which turned into a banner day when three vaquitas surfaced in view

Mexican Expedition Sights Rare and Endangered Vaquita Porpoise

The mood on the R V Ocean Starr was one of jubilation and relief as observers aboard the research vessel spotted two vaquitas, the world’s smallest and rarest marine mammal. They were spotted swimming in calm waters near the fishing

Oncoming El Niño Likely to Continue Species Shakeup in Pacific

The emerging El Niño climate pattern that is warming the tropical Pacific Ocean is likely to continue–and could even increase–the appearance of marine species in unfamiliar places along the West Coast.

Mexico Launches Intensive Survey for Endangered Vaquita

SEMARNAT Press Release ( Click here)

Estimating Shasta Lake Cold Water Supply to Help Sacramento River Salmon

Fisheries Ecology Division researchers are using a reservoir model for Shasta Lake to estimate the amount of cold water available to keep the Sacramento River cool enough for young salmon.

Tagged Hammerhead Shark Travels Widely In Warm Pacific Waters

The first hammerhead shark fitted with a satellite tracking tag off Southern California has traveled more than 1,000 miles to Mexico and back again since NOAA Fisheries researchers tagged it near San Clemente Island about two months