Experience Life at Sea

Research at Sea Supports NOAA’s Mission (this site developed in partnership with the NWFSC)

NOAA’s mission is to help protect, restore and manage our nation’s living marine, coastal, and ocean creatures (and their habitats).

The new West Coast vessel has extraordinary features that can help scientists better understand the state of valuable fisheries along the West Coast, including salmon, groundfish, marine mammals (including southern resident killer whales), sardine, and other coastal pelagic fish populations.

Life at Sea


This knowledge can help managers provide safer seafood to consumers; protect jobs of commercial fishermen; and improve recreational activities for the public, like fishing, boating and swimming.

Visit scientists underway at sea in the Tropical Pacific

The Stenella Abundance Research Project (STAR) is a multi-year cetacean and ecosystem assessment study designed to assess the status of dolphin stocks which have been taken as incidental catch by the yellowfin tuna purse-seine fishery in the Eastern Tropical Pacific. The project consists of a series of research vessel cruises which are repeated periodically.  There is currently a STAR cruise underway from July through December 2006.

Research cruises in the CA Current link sardine abundance to biological ocenaographic features

CalCOFI was established in 1949 to guide research efforts focused on the causes of the massive failure of the Pacific sardine fishery off California and Mexico. The CalCOFI consortium is composed of the California Department of Fish and Game The previous link is a link to Non-Federal government web site. Click to review NOAA Fisheries disclaimer , the Coastal Fisheries Resources Division (now the Fisheries Resources Division) of the Southwest Fisheries Science Center(National Marine Fisheries Service), and the Marine Life Research Group of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography The previous link is a link to Non-Federal government web site. Click to review NOAA Fisheries disclaimer (University of California, San Diego The previous link is a link to Non-Federal government web site. Click to review NOAA Fisheries disclaimer ).

The central theme of CalCOFI since its founding in 1949 has been to conduct cooperative biological-oceanographic surveys that measure the physical, chemical, and biological characteristics of the California Current region. CalCOFI has completed 300 survey cruises and the >50,000 plankton tows taken over the past 48+ years have yielded the most complete and extensive ichthyoplankton and oceanographic time series in the world.

The SEA Times

"Science Education at Sea" highlights the daily events of the ECOHAB–Pacific Northwest research cruise which monitored harmful algal blooms in the Pacific Northwest. These newsletters feature crew and scientists aboard the R/V Melville and detail the joys and frustrations of life at sea.

NOAA Teacher at Sea

NOAA’s Teacher at Sea program provides opportunities for teachers to participate in research cruises. This website features daily logs from teachers who have participated in the program for the last 15 years.

Sailing for Science

Check out the NOAA Photo Library for a virtual tour of expeditions aboard historic and current research vessels. 


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