Ichthyoplankton Collection Archive

The Collection Archive with compacting shelves closed

The Collection Archive with compacting shelves open


The FRD Ichthyoplankton Collection Archive is the most continuous, and one of the best kept archives of ichthyoplankton in the world. The archive contains roughly half a million vials, with samples dating from 1933 collected by Stanford researchers conducting early work on sardines. The majority of the samples are from the Fisheries Resources Division's CalCOFI cruises, which began in 1949. The samples were collected throughout the year from Baja California, Mexico, to the Oregon border until 1966.  Afterward, until 1984, the collection surveys were limited to every three years due to a lack of funding.  Since 1984 the surveys have been conducted quarterly each year, although in a smaller area limited mostly to southern CA.  The amount of information contained in the archive could support literally hundreds of Ph.D. projects.

Archived samples stored in cardboard boxes, three high on each shelf.Samples are kept in vials with special polyseal cone caps. The vials are stored in cardboard boxes which are enclosed in plastic, all of which helps reduce evaporation.

Bungee cords are strung three high across every shelf to ensure that nothing falls when the compacting shelves are opened, and to keep things stable in case of an earthquake.

The collection archive is maintained and curated on site at SWFSC. Every sample is routinely checked and preservative is added or exchanged if needed. For more information on the collection archive please contact Sherri.Charter@noaa.gov.

Last modified: 12/24/2014