Fisheries Ecology Division

Santa Cruz LabLocated at the western edge of Santa Cruz, California on the coastal bluff at Terrace Point, the Fisheries Ecology Division joins the adjacent UC Santa Cruz's Long Marine Laboratory and a growing complex of marine research facilities at this site.

Research is focused on Pacific coast groundfish and Pacific salmon. Groundfish under study include rockfishes, flatfishes, Pacific whiting, sablefish, and lingcod; salmon include coho, chinook, and steelhead. Results of this research are used by the Pacific Fishery Management Council to manage fisheries and by NMFS to manage threatened and endangered species. 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.

Please use the left-side menu to learn more about the SWFSC Fisheries Ecology Division.

Division News

Sardine assessment shows cyclic decline in population

Pacific sardines are known for wide swings in their population the small, highly productive species multiplies quickly in good conditions and can decline sharply at other times. Scientists have worked for decades to understand those swings, including a decline

Online Seminars: Deep-sea Corals and Sponges as Habitat

A group of NMFS researchers convened an online seminar series to help scientists, managers, and the general public better understand the role of deep-sea corals and sponges as habitat for managed species.

Environmental Changes Stress West Coast Sea Lions

Male and female California sea lions respond differently to lack of food  In Southern California hundreds of starving sea lion pups are washing up on beaches, filling marine mammal care centers that scarcely can hold

MMTD Automatic Whale Detector, Version 1.0

Scientists have combined infrared cameras with image recognition software to automatically detect and count migrating gray whales. Every year, gray whales migrate from their summer feeding grounds in the Arctic to their wintering grounds off Baja California in Mexico.

Technology Expands Gray Whale Count

Marine Mammal and Turtle Division scientist Dave Weller is interviewed by Monterey, CA, National Public Radio station KAZU 90.3 about the use of new technology to assist in the annual gray whale count based from the Granite Canyon Field Station,

Fisheries Resources Division Scientists Discuss Opah With National Geographic

While opah are not targeted, they are caught occasionally by local recreational anglers and are taken incidentally in commercial fisheries targeting tuna and swordfish that operate out of California. In recent years there appears to have been an upsurge in