What We Do
The Fisheries Resources Division conducts research on coastal pelagic and highly migratory marine species in the Eastern Pacific Ocean. We focus on the ecology, ecosystems, and fisheries of sardine, anchovy, mackerels, tunas, and sharks, as well as conduct research on abalone. Our programs collect fishery data, conduct stock assessments and economic analyses, conduct surveys on fish and invertebrate life stages using various advanced technologies, and study their genetic structure and aquaculture potential. The science is primarily targeted to domestic and international managers of fisheries and marine resources, but results are also provided to the scientific community, and the public.
Advanced Survey Technologies for Assessments in the California Current Ecosystem
The Advanced Survey Technologies Program supports ecosystem-based fisheries management by developing and surveying marine species and their ecosystems through new or innovative uses of sampling technologies. Examples of advanced survey technologies include multi-frequency acoustic systems, remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), instrumented buoys and small craft, and autonomous underwater vehicles. Species of focus are abalone, and coastal pelagic species such as sardine, anchovy, herring, and mackerels.
Fisheries Oceanography in the California Current
The California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigations (CalCOFI) is a unique partnership between NOAA Fisheries Southwest Fisheries Science Center, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego. Established in 1949, CalCOFI conducts quarterly at-sea surveys to monitor marine species and the effects of climate variability in the California Current Ecosystem. Our primary focus is on coastal pelagic fishes, such as sardine, anchovies, and mackerels. The NOAA Fisheries CalCOFI program consists of three teams: Data, Ship Operations, and Ichthyoplankton Ecology. Together, we provide data, syntheses, reference collections, and new methods in support of science and management.
Population Dynamics of Coastal Pelagic and Highly Migratory Species in the North Pacific
The primary goal of the Fish Population Dynamics and Modeling Program is to conduct stock assessments of coastal pelagic and highly migratory species of the northeast Pacific Ocean. We analyze the dynamics of fish populations and provide scientific information to fishery managers regarding stock status and historical and future biomass and recruitment trends. We also analyze the impact of different fishery harvest policies through management strategy evaluations. Results support domestic and international fishery management.
Fishery Monitoring for West Coast and International Fisheries
The Fisheries Monitoring Program collects and summarizes fisheries data such as catch weight, gear, length composition, fishing effort and location, and much more. We collaborate with NOAA Fisheries’ West Coast Regional Office, Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission, and the state fisheries agencies of California, Oregon, and Washington. The information collected helps support stock assessments, scientific studies, and national and international data reporting requirements fisheries management.
Coastal Pelagic and Highly Migratory Species Life History Research in the Pacific
The Life History Program studies the age and growth, reproduction, foraging ecology, habitat, spatial distribution, and stock structure of coastal pelagic and highly migratory species in the northeast Pacific Ocean. We conduct a range of biological sampling, often in collaboration with recreational and commercial fisheries, research institutions, state agencies, and the public. In addition, we deploy electronic tags on a diversity of species to characterize movements in three dimensions and quantify habitat preferences. The information supports stock assessments and helps us understand how environmental conditions, habitat, and prey interact to influence species availability.
Genetics, Physiology and Aquaculture in the Pacific
The Genetics, Physiology, and Aquaculture Program uses cutting-edge tools to answer questions about important commercial and recreational fisheries, such as abalone, rockfish, and yellowtail. Our research topics range from providing guidance to the developing marine aquaculture industry in the region, to conducting captive propagation programs aimed to recover threatened or endangered species, to using genetic tools to identify stock structure and distribution, and to conducting physiology studies on the impacts of barotrauma.
Economics and Human Dimensions of Eastern Pacific and West Coast Coastal Fisheries
The Economics and Social Science Program studies the human dimension components of northeast Pacific Ocean fisheries. We collect and analyze data on the economic and social costs, status, and impacts of commercial and recreational fisheries and industries. We work in partnership with other NOAA Fisheries offices, including the Office of Science and Technology and the West Coast and Pacific Islands Regional Offices, and U.S. Department of State. We also serve advisory roles on various domestic and international advisory teams for fishery management organizations.
Annie Yau, Ph.D.
Dr. Annie Yau is the Director of the Fisheries Resources Division where she provides strategic leadership and supervision and coordinates the programs. Most recently, her research has focused on life history studies of coastal pelagic and highly migratory fishes. Before coming to the Southwest Fisheries Science Center, she worked as a stock assessment scientist at the Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center and later led their Stock Assessment Program. Annie earned her Ph.D. from the Bren School at the University of California Santa Barbara.
Dale Sweetnam is the Deputy Director of the Fisheries Resources Division where he provides oversight for the division's daily operations and supervises division administrative staff. Dale earned his M.S. in Biology from California State University, Los Angeles. Before coming to the Southwest Fisheries Science Center, he worked for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife for 22 years.