Northeast Ecosystems Surveys

Collecting comprehensive data used to assess the status and trends of fishery resources and dynamics of ecological processes that control resource productivity.

Our Location

We are located within the Woods Hole Laboratory at

NOAA Fisheries/Northeast Fisheries Science Center
166 Water Street
Woods Hole, MA 02543-1097

Map and Directions

Our Leadership

Our History

The nation's first fisheries laboratory was established at Woods Hole in 1871 by the U.S. Fish Commission, the forerunner of today's NOAA Fisheries Service, under the leadership of Spencer Fullerton Baird. 

From 1871, surveys of marine life in local waters have been conducted out of Woods Hole. In 1880, the lab’s first research vessel, RV Fish Hawk, was purchased by the U.S. Fish Commission. This began a long-standing tradition of research vessels that is continued today by the NOAA Ship Henry B. Bigelow.

We conduct surveys that provide high quality, independent estimates of relative abundance for many finfish and shellfish species in the Northeast. The bottom trawl surveys have been conducted since 1963. They serve as the basis for some of the longest time series of standardized fishery-independent indices of relative abundance in the world. The scallop and clam surveys began in the late 1970s and the fisheries acoustic surveys in 1998.