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NOAA FISHERIES: Office of Science and Technology
Directorate | Fisheries Statistics | Assessment & Monitoring | Economics & Social Analysis | Science Information | Marine EcoSystems

NOAA Fisheries Regional Fisheries Science Centers

Alaska Region
Alaska Fisheries Science Center photo

The Alaska Fisheries Science Center (AFSC) supports fisheries and marine mammal research in the coastal and offshore waters of Alaska. The Center focuses on fishery resources off Alaska that support some of the most important commercial fisheries in the world, in addition to research on climate change and habitat.

Center staff produce scientific data and technical advice for the NOAA Fisheries Alaska Regional Office, the North Pacific Fishery Management Council, U.S.

representatives participating in international fishing negotiations, and the fishing industry and its constituents. The AFSC has research facilities in Alaska (Auke Bay and Kodiak Island), Washington (Seattle), and Oregon (Newport).

The major shipboard platforms supporting the AFSC include the NOAA Ships Miller Freeman, John N. Cobb, and the new NOAA Ship Oscar Dyson (beginning Fall 2004), as well as chartered vessels from the fishing industry. The Center has numerous ongoing relationships with external cooperators, including state and other Federal agencies, academic institutions, the fishing industry, and resource conservation organizations.

Northwest Region

The Northwest Fisheries Science Center (NWFSC) conducts research to support the management, conservation, and sustainable use of the Pacific Northwest region’s anadromous and marine fishery resources and their habitats. Research is conducted across five primary areas:

  • status of stocks,
  • human caused stress/risks,
  • ecosystem and climate characteristics,
  • recover and rebuild species, and
  • innovation and technology.
Northwest Fisheries Science Center photo
Information from the NWFSC supports the NOAA Fisheries Northwest Regional Office, the Pacific Fishery Management Council, and other constituents along the U.S. west coast. The NWFSC carries out research from its Montlake Laboratory headquarters in Seattle, WA, and from five research stations in Manchester, Mukilteo, and Pasco, WA, and in Newport and Pt. Adams, OR.

The Center has several small vessels for conducting studies and relies on the NOAA Ships Miller Freeman and McArthur II, as well as privately chartered vessels and academic research ships to supplement the Center’s research capability and to conduct critical surveys. The NWFSC develops and maintains strong collaborative partnerships with state and Federal agencies, industry, environmental groups, Native American tribes, individual fishers, universities, and other research and academic institutions.

Southwest Region
Southwest Fisheries Science Center photo

The Southwest Fisheries Science Center (SWFSC) is a world-class research organization that conducts integrated, multidisciplinary research programs in biology, mathematics, oceanography, and economics for the purpose of developing scientific technology and information to support the management and allocation of Pacific coastal and high-seas fishery resources.

Center programs support efforts directed toward

  • the reduction of protected species interactions,
  • fishery-related porpoise mortality, and
  • a better understanding of the biological and environmental factors affecting the marine resources exploited by U.S. commercial and recreational fisheries.

The Center also supports the scientific, statistical, and economic needs of the NOAA Fisheries Southwest Regional Office, the Pacific Fishery Management Council, and international commissions for large pelagic fishes and Antarctic resources. The SWFSC headquarters are located in La Jolla, CA, and research is conducted at laboratories in La Jolla, Santa Cruz, and Pacific Grove, CA. Research from the SWFSC is conducted aboard the NOAA Ships David Starr Jordan and McArthur II, in addition to chartered fishing and research vessels. The SWFSC maintains an active communications network with commercial and recreational fishers, leaders of environmental groups, participants of fishery management councils, state and Federal research agency staff, and outside scientists in the U.S. and foreign countries.

Northeast Region

The Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC) engages in research activities including stock assessments and fishery surveys, aquaculture research, and field stock enhancement investigations.

The Center also conducts monitoring of the Northeast Shelf Large Marine Ecosystem for long-term changes, social and economic research in support of the fishery management process, and process-oriented research projects such as studying the impacts of global climate change on the coupling of zooplankton/cod and haddock larvae distribution and predation on Georges Bank.

The Center supports the NOAA Fisheries Northeast Regional Office, and produces reliable information critical to the development of regional fishery management plans for the New England Fisheries Management Council, the Mid-Atlantic Fisheries Management Council, and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. The NEFSC has facilities in Woods Hole, MA, Narragansett, RI, Milford, CT, and Sandy Hook, NJ, as well as support staff at the National Systematics Laboratory in Washington, DC. The Center utilizes the NOAA Ships Albatross IV and Delaware II for a majority of its fisheries survey and research cruises, employs several inshore research vessels, and periodically charters private fishing vessels and academic research ships to support ecosystem surveys on the northeast continental shelf. The NEFSC engages in cooperative research with states, universities, and the fishing industry.

Southeast Region
Southeast Fisheries Science Center photo

The Southeast Fisheries Science Center (SEFSC) implements and manages a multi-disciplinary science and research program that provides technical information for conserving and maintaining the sustainability and health of living marine resources and their environments. The SEFSC develops the scientific information required for

  • fishery resource conservation,
  • fishery development and utilization,
  • habitat conservation, and
  • the protection of marine mammals and endangered species.
Center staff provides information to meet the needs of the NOAA Fisheries Southeast Regional Office, the South Atlantic Fisheries Management Council, the Gulf of Mexico Fisheries Management Council, and the Caribbean Fisheries Management Council. The SEFSC headquarters are located in Miami, FL, with research laboratories in Miami and Panama City, FL, Beaufort, NC, Galveston, TX, Lafayette, LA, and Pascagoula, MS. SEFSC research is supported aboard the NOAA Ships Oregon II and Gordon Gunter, as well as numerous smaller research craft.
Pacific Islands Region

The Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center (PIFSC) conducts multidisciplinary basic and applied research on insular and oceanic pelagic living resources and fisheries of the Pacific Islands and central Pacific. Biological, ecological, and economic research is conducted on a range of fishery resources that fall under active fishery management plans, in addition to research focused on protected resources not related to fisheries.

Fisheries research activities at the PIFSC support the scientific, statistical, and economic needs of the Western Pacific Region Fisheries Management Council, the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission, and scientific bodies including the Standing Committee on Tuna and

Billfish of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community and the Interim Scientific Committee for Tuna and Tuna-like Species in the North Pacific Ocean. The Center is located in Honolulu, HI. The primary platforms supporting PIFSC field activities include the NOAA Ship Oscar Elton Sette and chartered vessels from the commercial industry. Collaborative and cooperative research partners include the SWFSC, other Federal and State of Hawaii agencies, academic institutions, foreign research institutions, government agencies of American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands, and the public sector including the commercial fishing industry, seafood markets, and recreational and environmental interests, including NGOs.

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