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

Salmon Lose Diversity in Managed Rivers, Reducing Resilience to Environmental Change

Natural resilience is more important than ever in the face of unprecedented climate change.

Divers Release Endangered Abalone Into the Wild for First Time, Boosting Odds of Recovery

Outplanting places hundreds of juvenile abalone into their historic habitat At 7 a.m. on November 18, a dedicated group of scientific divers gathered on a southern California dock, loading their gear in preparation for a day of diving.

Genetics Reveal Pacific Subspecies of Fin Whale

New findings highlight diversity of marine mammals. New genetic research has identified fin whales in the northern Pacific Ocean as a separate subspecies, reflecting a revolution in marine mammal taxonomy as scientists unravel the genetics of enormous animals otherwise too

Looking Back at The Blob: Record Warming Drives Unprecedented Ocean Change

Temperatures of up to 7 degrees Fahrenheit above normal disrupted the marine ecosystem in both expected and surprising ways. About five years ago a large marine heatwave that became known as

Research Cruise to Survey Deep Sea Corals, Sponges, and Fish Habitat Along the West Coast

SWFSC researchers Tom Laidig and Diana Watters joined a month-long research cruise along the West Coast to explore corals, sponges, and fish habitat on the ocean floor.