Northeast Fisheries Science Center

Working with the Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office to ensure informed management decisions based on sound science.

Our Location

Colored map of the east coast showing locations.  Regions covered in dark blue.

The Northeast Fisheries Science Center’s functions are carried out through the coordinated efforts of research facilities in ConnecticutMaine, MassachusettsNew Jersey, and Rhode Island. Our multidisciplinary program of basic and applied research covers the Northeast Continental Shelf Ecosystem from the Gulf of Maine to Cape Hatteras. Our Woods Hole, Massachusetts office also houses a science aquarium which is open to the public.


Our Leadership


Management Team


Other Locations

Woods Hole Lab

The Woods Hole facility is the nation’s first federal fisheries lab, established in 1871.The Science Center's directorate is located here along with the majority of stock assessment, population biology, fishery monitoring, marine mammal, and social sciences researchers. The lab also houses the nation’s oldest public aquarium, open to visitors year-round.

Sandy Hook Laboratory

The James J. Howard Marine Sciences Laboratory is a state-of-the-art marine research facility. The primary mission of the lab is to conduct research in ecology, leading to a better understanding of both coastal and estuarine organisms and the effects of human activities on nearshore marine populations.

Milford Lab

Located on the shore of Long Island Sound, the Milford Lab’s well-integrated aquaculture program includes studies of the culture of fish and shellfish to develop methods suitable for commercial use as well as for stock enhancement and restoration. Nearshore habitats are studied to determine what characteristics make a habitat suitable for a particular species.

Narragansett Lab

At this lab, research is conducted on the effects of changing oceanographic and ecological conditions on the productivity and health of the Northeast US Continental Shelf ecosystem. Studies also are conducted on the demography and ecology of shark populations in response to oceanographic conditions to provide information for shark assessment and management.

Orono Field Station

At the Orono station, the Atlantic Salmon Ecosystems Research Team works to promote the recovery and future sustainability of Atlantic salmon and other diadromous fish and their ecosystems. The salmon team primarily focuses on fish in the estuarine and marine environment.


Our History

Photo of the original 3 story building that housed the Center.

NOAA Fisheries’ first laboratory was founded in Woods Hole, Massachusetts in 1871. Since then, we have conducted a comprehensive marine science program, studying fishery species and fisheries, monitoring and modeling ocean conditions and habitats, developing aquaculture, and providing reliable advice for policymakers. Our work promotes recovery and long-term sustainability of marine life in the region and helps sustain coastal communities.

For an in-depth look at how the Fisheries started and developed in the Northeast, check out our history site!