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

SWFSC Researcher's Work on Coral Reef Fish Featured on the Cover of the Journal PNAS

Behavioral studies on coral reef fish found that the fish base their decisions to feed on algae or flee from predators on the density and actions of other fish in the area.

Thousands of Endangered Coho Smolts Released into Scott Creek

SWFSC Fisheries Ecology Division researchers joined the Monterey Bay Salmon and Trout Project and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to release thousands of young hatchery-raised coho salmon into Scott Creek.

NOAA Fisheries Scientists Spawn Pacific Sardines For The First Time In Captivity

Biologists at NOAA Fisheries’ Southwest Fisheries Science Center (SWFSC) have cracked the code for how to spawn Pacific sardines in the laboratory, opening a new window on the life cycle of the commercially important species. Like many species, sardines

Assessing Noise in Southern California Whale Habitat

A new study assessing the underwater soundscape off Southern California found that blue, fin and humpback whales experience a range of acoustic environments, including noise from shipping traffic as well as quieter areas within a national marine sanctuary. The study

New Methods Further Discern Extreme Fluctuations in Forage Fish Populations

California sardine stocks famously crashed in John Steinbeck’s “Cannery Row.” New research shows that such forage fish stocks have crashed regularly for centuries, with at least three species off the West Coast repeatedly experiencing steep

Reconnecting Landscapes: Removal of San Clemente Dam on the Carmel River

KQED Science reports on Fisheries Ecology Division research examining the response of the Carmel River and ESA-listed steelhead to the removal of San Clemente Dam.