Life History Program

Life History Program

Baitfish. Image credit SWFSC LHG.X-ray imaging for ageing shark vertebrae. Image credit SWFSC.    SPOT tag affixed to a shark fin. Image credit SWFSC.   Coastal pelagic species. Image credit SWFSC. 

The FRD Life History Program (LHP) researches the reproductive biology, growth, foraging ecology, and distribution of highly migratory and coastal pelagic species in the northeast Pacific Ocean. Through biological sampling, soft and hard tissue analysis, dissections, and tagging work, the LHP develops quantitative parameters for the following biological events of an animal’s lifespan:  

These parameters are used in population stock assessments conducted by the SWFSC Fish Population Dynamics and Modeling Group to inform regional and international management. Understanding species-specific life history parameters allows managers to determine sustainable harvest rates, respond to natural and introduced changes in populations, and predict the impacts of various management scenarios. Assessment results and management advice on coastal pelagic species are provided to the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC), while our team works with scientists from other nations within the International Scientific Committee on Tuna and Tuna-like Species in the North Pacific Ocean (ISC) to conduct collaborative assessments on highly migratory fish stocks spanning the North Pacific. To learn more about all the data needed in stock assessments, visit NOAA’s Office of Science and Technology’s Stock Assessment Basics.         

 Blue shark (Prionace glauca). Image credit Walter Heim.  Baitfish. Image credit SWFSC LHG.

Highly Migratory Species

Shark Research:

Tuna Research:

Billfish Research:

Other: Dorado or dolphinfish (Coryphaena hippurus)

Coastal Pelagic Species

The Life History Group is composed of researchers conducting diverse work in the laboratory, dockside, and at-sea in order to collect relevant biological samples and information year after year. The team collaborates with recreational and commercial fisheries, domestic and international research institutions, state agencies, universities, and the public. 

Annie Yau (Program Lead)
Heidi Dewar
Liana Heberer
Nicole Nasby-Lucas
Owyn Snodgrass
Antonella Preti
Bev Macewicz
Emmanis Dorval
Barbara Muhling