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

New Forecast Tool Helps Ships Avoid Blue Whale Hotspots

New forecast tool helps ships avoid blue whale hotspots

California Leatherback Day Celebration at the Southwest Fisheries Science Center

The powerful leatherback turtle swims 6,000 miles across the Pacific Ocean to feed on jellyfish that are abundant along the California coast during summer and fall months. As many as 300 of these trans ocean travelers visit the California coastline

Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Affected a Slice of Gulf of Mexico Bluefin Spawning Habitat

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill impacted the Western Atlantic bluefin tuna’s spawning habitat, including the shelf and slope waters of the northern Gulf of Mexico, a new study confirms. The spill occurred in the warm spring months during the

Pacific Bluefin Tuna Numbers Remain Low; but an Increase Detected

Stock assessment indicates that management measures already in place are likely to help. Scientists just completed a new, improved stock assessment of the Pacific

West Coast Research Expedition Tracks Elusive Beaked Whales

Marine mammal scientists are beginning a research expedition in search of the least known, most mysterious and deepest diving whales off the West Coast. The expedition on the NOAA ship Bell M. Shimada will employ a newly developed

SWFSC Study Documenting Economic Importance of Recreational Fishing Featured on Sportfishing Website, BD Outdoors

Collaboration between the Southwest Fisheries Science Center and the Sportfishing Association of California was recently featured in an article by recreational fishing website Bloody Decks Outdoors. The program unites scientists and