The North Pacific Marine Science Organization (PICES), an intergovernmental scientific organization, recently awarded its prestigious Ocean Monitoring Service Award to the California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigations (CalCOFI). CalCOFI is a partnership between the California Department of Fish and Game, NOAA Fisheries Service, and Scripps Institution of Oceanography, whose scientists conduct integrated research on the physical, chemical, and biological ecology of the California Current. The CalCOFI program was established in 1949 to investigate factors relating to the collapse of the sardine fishery off California, but over the years its focus has shifted to the study of the marine environment off the coast of California and the management of its living resources.
Sea surveys conducted by CalCOFI have produced the most extensive and complete biological-oceanographic time series in the world. These surveys are the basis for NOAA Fisheries research on the population biology of the major coastal pelagic fishes (Pacific sardine, northern anchovy, hake, Pacific mackerel, and jack mackerel) of the California Current System, enabling NOAA Fisheries to monitor these important commercial species and develop management plans for their fisheries with the California Department of Fish and Game and the Pacific Fishery Management Council.
Accepting the award for CalCOFI at the PICES annual meeting in Hiroshima, Japan, were Steven Bograd, director, Environmental Research Division, NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center, and Tony Koslow, director, Scripps CalCOFI Program, Scripps Institution of Oceanography.