Ichthyoplankton Ecology

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Ichthyoplankton Lab Staff  

Ichthyoplankton Identification Experts Ichthyo Logo
The Fisheries Resources Division houses one of the foremost ichthyoplankton ID laboratories in the world. Researchers visit from around the globe to look at the collection, to verify or compare their samples with ours, and to receive training on ichthyoplankton identification from our world class experts. Their job is to sort, identify, measure, and count the ichthyoplankton collected during SWFSC's research surveys. They routinely identify eggs and larvae from the eastern, central, and tropical Pacific.

Fisheries Management

Schooling Pacific sardine (Sardinops sagax)Data produced in the Ichthyoplankton Laboratory, or "Larval Lab," for short, is critical to FRD's mission to conduct stock assessments and monitor the species and health of the California Current ecosystem. Ichthyoplankton data are key contributions to the stock assessments of Pacific sardine and Pacific mackerel. The data have also been used in recent assessments of Bocaccio and Cowcod rockfishes, and can provide fishery-independent time series information for many other fish species as well as market squid. In addition, the data are used to study distribution and abundance changes of many fish species in relation to climate and ecosystem change in the California Current region as well as the eastern tropical Pacific.

What We Are Known For:

  • Expert identification- Our highly trained staff cumulatively have more than 140 years of experience.

  • Collection Archive- Our archive is the most continuous, and among the best kept archives of ichthyoplankton in the world, containing roughly half a million samples and growing...read more.

  • CalCOFI Ichthyoplankton Time Series- This is the longest such time series in existence, dating from 1951 to the present.

    Ichthyoplankton Animation

FAQ about Ichthyoplankton

Q: What are ichthyoplankton?
A: Ichthyoplankton are the eggs and larvae of fish...read more

Q: How do we collect them?
A: There are two main methods that researchers use to collect plankton at sea...read more

Q: How do we identify and process ichthyoplankton?
A: For net tow samples, laboratory processing begins with plankton volume determination...read more

Q: What publications and projects are we involved in?
A: The CalCOFI ichthyoplankton abundance data are published at approximately yearly intervals...read more

Q: Are there opportunities for students?
A: Yes. Opportunities for internships, volunteer, and paid positions are available on a regular basis...read more

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