What We Do
Effective fisheries management depends on understanding the effects of fishing on targeted and non-targeted species and reducing unwanted environmental impacts. Scientists, fishermen, and resource managers must be able to assess fish and other marine resources to achieve sustainable management. We conduct research and provide expert advice on a variety of southeast ecosystems and the connectivity in those ecosystems.Our team supports collaborative research through advanced and innovative technologies.One example, we develop fishing gear, gear components, sampling gear, and support equipment. This gear can advance fisheries data, reduce bycatch, conduct effective surveys, and further research.
Biology and Life History
We conduct research on reef fish, coastal pelagic populations, and highly migratory species. We focus on fishery ecology, population dynamics, and life history characteristics. Fishery biology and life history data provides insights into how species grow, how fish populations change, and how fish respond to their environments and environmental pressures, including fishing. Overall, our research supports fishery stock assessments and improves management advice.
We innovate a combination of instruments and methods that provide more opportunities for better scientific research. In all of our science, we use advanced technology, such as underwater video, uncrewed systems (e.g., drones), devices to take real-time environmental measurements, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and other tools to gather or process data. Advancing technology systems will continue to give scientists the ability to gain more information and make new discoveries more efficiently.
Evidence suggests that depleted marine populations can recover when major human threats, like inadequate fishing gear, are effectively reduced. Our mission is to reduce the catch of non-targeted species. We conduct applied conservation engineering research on various types of commercial fishing gear and fisheries sampling equipment including trawls, longlines, dredges, seines, gillnets, and traps. Our scientific research is crucial for fisheries management and the reduction of bycatch.
Gear and Vessel Support
The Gear and Vessel Support team provides foundational backing for small research vessels and gear. We ensure our science operations can remain functional with consistently constructed gear and reliable vessel systems. We focus on developing, fixing, and producing parts for sustainable commercial and recreational fishing gear, reliable research gear, efficient techniques, and safe vessels.
Farron Wallace serves as the Director of the Fisheries Assessment, Technology, & Engineering Support Division.