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

Rare San Diego Sighting of False Killer Whales

False killer whales observed off La Jolla, CA, on February 25, 2015. Photo by Michelle Robbins. On February 24th, approximately 30-40 false killer whales were observed near the edge of La Jolla canyon, a highly unusual sighting in San Diego. This species is found in tropical and wa

Warm Blood Makes Opah an Agile Predator

Heated blood makes opah a high performance predator that swims faster, sees better New research by NOAA Fisheries has revealed the opah, or moonfish, as the first fully warm blooded fish that circulates heated blood throughout its

For the First Time, Scientists Tag a Loggerhead Sea Turtle off U.S. West Coast

Data from the satellite tag should help scientists understand what habitats loggerheads use and how to more effectively protect this endangered species.

Los Angeles Times Features MMTD Biologist Mark Lowry

In a Special Interest Story, the Los Angeles Times interviewed Marine Mammal and Turtle Division biologist Mark Lowry to discuss the urgency surrounding his work this year. Mark has been collecting sea lion and elephant seal scat from San Nicolas

2015 West Coast Protected Fish Species Program Review

West Coast Protected Fish Species Program Review to be held May 4 8, 2015 in Sand Point, Seattle, WA In 2015 all NMFS Science Centers will be reviewed on Protected Species Science supporting the US Endangered Species Act and the US

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