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

FRD Sets Sail for the 2019 Spring CalCOFI Cruise

Fisheries Resources Division (FRD) scientists are teaming up with the Scripps Institute of Oceanography this April for the 2019 Spring CalCOFI Cruise. This is the 70th year of the California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigations (CalCOFI) surveys off the coast of

Critically Endangered White Abalone Discovered Solo in Coastal LA County Water

A lone white abalone was recently identified during 5 year monitoring in coastal LA County waters.  Scientific divers from NOAA’s Protected Resources Division determined that because the abalone was alone and the habitat was compromised, lacking food and threated by

Advances in Captive Breeding of Black Abalone

A breakthrough in captive breeding of black abalone at NOAA Fisheries’ Southwest Fisheries Science Center (SWFSC) promises to improve methods for spawning the endangered mollusk in the laboratory and, ultimately, to support the recovery of wild populations. For the

Sardine Population Remains Low, New Draft Stock Assessment Finds

The sardine population off the West Coast remains depressed despite a closure of the sardine fishery over the last four years, according to a new draft stock assessment that NOAA Fisheries delivered to the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) this

New Species Named After NOAA Fisheries Scientist Matthew Craig

A newly identified grouper species in the South China Sea has been named in honor of Southwest Fisheries Science Center research geneticist Matthew Craig.  Read an interview with Matt Epinephelus craigi illustration by

West Coast Waters Grow More Productive with Shift Toward Cooler Conditions

West Coast waters grow more productive with shift toward cooler conditions The ocean off the West Coast is shifting from several years of unusually