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

NMFS Scientists Take a First Look at Deep-sea Corals Near the California-Oregon Border

Using an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) and cameras, the SWFSC Habitat Ecology Team and colleagues from the Northwest Fisheries Science Center, Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center, and Oregon State University surveyed deep-sea corals and habitats for the first time in areas of longtime trawl fishing off northern California.

Changing Winds Explain Most Pacific Coast Warming

Changes in winds over the eastern Pacific Ocean explain most of the warming trend along the West Coast of North America in the last century, according to a new analysis published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Unusual North Pacific Warmth Jostles Marine Food Chain

Scientists across NOAA Fisheries are watching a persistent expanse of exceptionally warm water spanning the Gulf of Alaska that could send reverberations through the marine food web.

A Remarkable Warming of Central California’s Coastal Ocean

A remarkable warming of Central California’s coastal ocean took place over the first three weeks of July. The warming was especially strong from July 15 to 23, which coincided with a period when the region’s typically strong and persistent summertime northwesterly winds were very weak or absent.

NOAA Ship Reuben Lasker Shakedown Cruise

SWFSC and NWFSC scientists conducted shakedown mission trials on the new NOAA Ship Reuben Lasker, testing equipment and basic ship operations.

High Predation Rates by Avian Predators on Threatened Steelhead Populations

Fisheries Ecology Division researchers used a creative experiment to assess predation rates by Western Gulls on threatened juvenile steelhead populations in six central California coast watersheds.