The Southwest Fisheries Science Center is the research arm of NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service, Southwest Region. The Center consists of three laboratories located in La Jolla(headquarters), Pacific Grove, and Santa Cruz, California. The Center's former Honolulu Laboratory in Hawaii is now the NMFS Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center.
The Southwest Fisheries Science Center conducts marine biological, economic, and oceanographic research at these laboratories. Center scientists gather and analyze data on living marine resources and their environment throughout the Pacific and in the Antarctic. The ultimate purpose of the data collection and analysis is for protection and management of these resources, to ensure that fish, marine mammal, and sea turtle populations remain at sustainable and healthy levels and that the most effective fishing regulations and international fisheries treaties are implemented.