What We Do
We collect samples and data from fishery resources and the environment. These collections create data streams used throughout the Northeast Fisheries Science Center and by external users to assess the status and trends of fishery resources and the dynamics of the ecological processes that control resource productivity.
The Ecosystems Surveys Branch collects fishery-independent data during standardized research vessel surveys from Cape Hatteras to the Scotian Shelf. Surveys also provide oceanographic and plankton data for monitoring the health and status of marine resources and their habitat.
During research vessel surveys, we gather data on distribution, abundance, feeding ecology, and size and age composition of stocks of economically and ecologically important species. We archive the data collected in these programs into computer data files which are vital for assessment and management.
Our staff also designs, builds, and tests much of its sampling gear and evaluates hydroacoustic sensing systems. We also conduct vessel and gear standardization studies to ensure comparability of survey indices over time and perform statistical evaluations of sampling adequacy.
The Population Biology Branch investigates and documents the biology and ecology of fish in the western North Atlantic Ocean. Our products and services focus on growth, reproduction, feeding, and movements of marine fish.
The branch has programs in Woods Hole, Massachusetts (Fishery Biology Program and Food Web Dynamics Program) and in Narragansett, Rhode Island (Apex Predators Program).