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

Floods Reshaped Carmel River Following 2015 Dam Removal, New Research Shows

The 2015 removal of San Clemente Dam in California restored natural processes to the Carmel River. The river's response to the dam removal so far has played out largely through episodic floods that reshaped the river channel in California's Mediterranean climate, scientists report.

San Diego's Ocean Discovery Institute Unlocks Opportunities for Future Scientists

For many students from high poverty communities, becoming a scientist can seem like an impossible dream. The opening of a science education lab in City Heights brings new opportunities for underserved youths in one San Diego community and forges a

Stock Assessment Expertise Brings Award to SWFSC, Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission

NOAA Fisheries’ Southwest Fisheries Science Center (SWFSC) is sharing a major award from the American Fisheries Society (AFS) for improving the quantitative methods used in fisheries stock assessment, the AFS announced today. This is the second

Some Good News for Pacific Bluefin Tuna

Although the Pacific bluefin tuna population continues to be depleted, there are signs the population is recovering and rebuilding targets set forth by international agreement are on track to be met. In July 2018, The International

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