What We Do
The Groundfish Ecology Program researches commercially important marine species off the U.S. West Coast. We focus our work on conducting fishery-independent surveys (bottom, midwater, and hook and line). Data collected during these surveys are combined with information from commercial and recreational fisheries to assess marine fish populations and set sustainable fishing levels. We also focus on reducing unwanted bycatch by gear modifications and researching areas that nets cannot survey (the so-called ‘untrawlable habitat’).
Our scientists work at-sea to collect acoustic, biological, environmental, oceanographic, habitat, and population data. Using a variety of sensors, fish collection techniques, and advanced acoustic and optical sampling technologies, we work to understand the distribution of groundfishes and their environment.
On land, we:
- Analyze samples collected at-sea for diet, age-and-growth, and reproduction.
- Work to increase the accuracy of distribution models.
- Continue to explore ways for better data collection and analysis.
Teams within our program frequently collaborate with the fishing industry, other NOAA science centers, the University of Washington, Oregon State University, and Fisheries and Oceans, Canada (DFO).