Fisheries Ecology Division

Santa Cruz LabThe Fisheries Ecology Division is housed in the SWFSC Santa Cruz Laboratory on UCSC’s Coastal Science Campus. Research is focused on California demersal and anadromous fishes, their fisheries, and their habitats. Demersal species under study include rockfishes, flatfishes, Pacific whiting, sablefish, and lingcod; anadromous species include coho and chinook salmon, steelhead, and green sturgeon. Results of this research are used by the Pacific Fishery Management Council to manage fisheries and by NMFS to manage threatened and endangered species and their habitats. Fisheries Ecology Division scientists study causes of variability in abundance and health of fish populations, analyze ecological relations in marine communities, and study the economics of exploiting and protecting natural resources. They also assess the stocks of species targeted by various fisheries, and assist in evaluating potential impacts of human activities on threatened or endangered species.

SWFSC Santa Cruz Laboratory - Directions and Parking
(On-site parking is limited, please plan ahead when visiting.)

Research programs

Division News

Saildrones join NOAA’s West Coast fleet for experimental fisheries surveys

NOAA Fisheries’ two West Coast Science laboratories are joining forces with the Alameda, Calif., company Saildrone Inc. to test the first use of autonomous, wind and solar powered vehicles to gather essential data on West Coast fish populations, including commercially

New Oceanographic Insight Pinpoints Marine ‘Hotspots of Risk’

Real-time tracking of eddies and currents could help fishermen avoid protected species

New NOAA Fisheries Plan Adopts Ecosystem Management Principles: Comment Period Open

NOAA Fisheries' Southwest Fisheries Science Center, together with the West Coast Region, with Northwest Fisheries Science Center released a new blueprint for how the agency will put ecosystem based management principles into practice on the West Coast.

Celebrating Sea Turtle Week 2018

In honor of World Sea Turtle Day on June 16th, NOAA Fisheries Service is celebrating Sea Turtle Week, June 11 15, featuring research and interviews with scientists from Southwest Fisheries Science Center's Marine Mammal and Turtle Division (MMTD). MMTD's turtle

Clues at Fish Auction Reveal Several New Species of Opah

As commercial fishermen sold their catch at the busy United Fishing Agency (UFA) auction house in Honolulu, Hawaii, fish buyer Garrett Kitazaki noticed something curious about the opah changing hands some had much bigger eyes, and their spots and

SWFSC Welcomes Heather Nicholas, Director, Information Technology Service

The Southwest Fisheries Science Center (SWFSC) is pleased to announce that Heather Nicholas has accepted the position of Director, Information Technology Services. Heather will be joining the SWFSC on 22 July 2018. Prior to joining NOAA, Heather Nicholas was