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

In Search of the Few Endangered Right Whales off the Alaskan Coast

Pacific right whale. Photo credit: Brenda Rone. The Southwest and Alaska Fisheries Science Centers are engaged in a search for the rare and critically endangered North Pacific right whale in the Gulf of Alaska. This is one component of the Collaborative Large Whale Surv

New DNA Research Reveals Genetic Heritage of Elusive Vaquita

A new method of teasing information from scarce and highly degraded genetic samples is helping NOAA Fisheries and Mexican scientists unravel the genetic heritage of the enigmatic vaquita, the most endangered marine mammal on Earth. Genetic studies are important

Collaborative Large Whale Survey: CLAWS 2015

The 4 month survey is devoted to the assessment of several large whale species off the U.S. and Canadian west coast between northern California and Kodiak, Alaska. Pacific right whale. Photo credit Brenda Rone. The Collaborative

Whale Research Takes Flight

With breath samples, scientists can analyze whales’ DNA, hormones, and bacteria for things such as family history, stress levels, and health.

2015 Review of NOAA Fisheries' Science on Marine Mammals & Turtles

Southwest & Northwest Fisheries Science Centers’ Review of Science on Marine Mammals & Turtles, Southwest Fisheries Science Center, La Jolla, CA, 27-31 July.

Newest NOAA Fisheries Survey Vessel Begins U.S. West Coast and Alaska Whale Survey

Vessel Reuben Lasker to assess gray whales and search for highly endangered right whales