Science and Technology Stock Assessment Program

Who We Are

The Office of Science and Technology is the coordinating body for NOAA Fisheries’ national stock assessment enterprise. We work to support, maintain, and advance a national stock assessment program that is implemented regionally.

We strive to achieve:

  • accurate and precise stock assessments conducted at levels appropriate to each managed stock,
  • efficient stock assessment processes that deliver scientific advice in a timely and transparent manner,
  • the best use of available resources and expansion of data collection and assessment capabilities where needed,
  • stock assessment approaches that are responsive and/or robust to changing ecosystems,
  • opportunities for training the next generation of stock assessment scientists, and
  • decision analysis tools that are available and broadly implemented in the fishery management process.

What We Do

The fish stock assessment program staff within the Office of Science and Technology coordinate and manage a number of activities to identify, execute, and track national and regional fish stock assessment-related priorities, including:

  • assisting in the improvement and development of stock assessment data collection and methods,
  • providing software tools and interfaces for implementing stock assessment analyses,
  • providing academic and training opportunities for the next generation of stock assessment scientists,
  • assembling stock assessment results and related information via the Species Information System (SIS) Public Portal
  • producing national reports and summaries of stock assessment activities, developments, and performance,
  • leading national stock assessment planning and budgeting processes,
  • filling regional mission-critical fish stock assessment program gaps whenever possible
  • evaluating use of assessment and data collection resources,
  • representing the stock assessment enterprise through briefings and communication to a wide variety of audiences
  • organizing topical discussions and workshops that bring together NOAA scientists and external partners to develop future directions and best

Regional Stock Assessment Programs

Stock Assessments are conducted in NOAA Fisheries’ six fishery science centers. Below are the links to each center's assessment program.

Alaska Fisheries Science Center  (Resource Ecology and Fisheries Management)

Southwest Fisheries Science Center (SWFSC Stock Assessment Programs)

Northeast Fisheries Science Center – (Population Dynamics Branch)

Southeast Fisheries Science Center  (Sustainable Fisheries Division)

Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center – (Fisheries Biology and Stock Assessment Branch)

Northwest Fisheries Science Center-(Population Ecology) | (Mathematical Biology and Systems Monitoring)

Regional Fishery Management

NOAA Fisheries’ stock assessments are fundamental to marine resource management. They provide high-quality science information to managers to answer important questions such as:

  • What is the current status of a stock relative to established targets? (i.e., Is the stock experiencing overfishing or is it overfished?
  • How much catch is sustainable while maintaining a healthy stock?
  • If a stock becomes depleted, what steps are required to rebuild it to a sustainable level?

Answers to these questions help managers make the best decisions to ensure sustainable fisheries, healthy ecosystems, and productive coastal communities. Fish stocks are managed regionally through Fishery Management Councils. General fisheries information including fishery policies and management can be found on the NOAA Fisheries Office of Sustainable Fisheries webpage.