NOAA’s Southeast Region is among the most complex and diverse regions in the United States. It spans three large marine ecosystems:
- Gulf of Mexico
- South Atlantic
The Southeast Fisheries Science Center is headquartered in Miami, Florida and has facilities in Beaufort, North Carolina; Panama City, Florida; Pascagoula and Stennis, Mississippi; and Galveston, Texas. We also have researchers located in Lafayette, Louisiana, as well as port agents, fisheries observers and other staff stationed throughout the region.
The image used as the banner is a school of juvenile tomtate fish with staghorn coral. Credit: NOAA Fisheries/Caitlin Langwiser.
What We Do
The Southeast Fisheries Science Center provides the scientific advice and data needed to effectively manage the living marine resources of the Southeast region and Atlantic high seas. We work closely with NOAA Fisheries Southeast Regional Office to provide independent, objective science.
Our multidisciplinary research informs natural resource management. Fisheries management councils, fisheries commissions, and federal, state and local agencies depend on our science to make decisions that protect and conserve the region’s living marine resources.
Fisheries Assessment, Technology, and Engineering Support
The Fisheries, Assessment, Technology, and Engineering Support (FATES) Division provides essential services and development of new innovative technologies to support the center’s mission.
The Fisheries Statistics Division provides extensive support to management and science through the collection, management, and dissemination of commercial and recreational fisheries statistics. The division works extensively with various internal and external partners to collect the fishery dependent information used to support marine resource management in the region.
Marine Mammals and Sea Turtles
The Marine Mammal and Turtle Division supports and conducts science that leads to improved knowledge and meaningful conservation of marine mammals and turtles and their habitats in a changing environment, helping to achieve NOAA Fisheries' mission of implementing the Marine Mammal Protection Act and Endangered Species Act and making a positive impact on society.
Operations, Management, and Information
The Operations, Management, and Information Division provides administrative and operational services including financial and acquisitions, information technology, human resources, facilities management, and safety and environmental compliance to support the center’s staff and research mission.
Population and Ecosystems Monitoring
The Population and Ecosystems Monitoring Division provides data, analytical products, research, and expertise to support NOAA Fisheries priorities. The division carries out fishery-independent surveys and applied research focused on fisheries and habitat ecology, and provides support for ecosystem- and climate-related initiatives in the region.
The Sustainable Fisheries Division works in partnership with fisheries managers and constituents to provide reliable scientific advice that enhances the stewardship of living marine resources. The division also strives to advance scientific knowledge and promote diverse and sustainable fisheries through innovative research and development activities, and the use of advanced technologies.
NOAA SEFSC: We Are Here For You (1:11)
Clay Porch, Ph.D.
Dr. Porch has held various positions with the agency for more than 25 years, winning multiple awards for his leadership and administrative capabilities. He has served as a member of the Science Center’s leadership team since 2006. He has overseen population assessments and research for vitally important domestic fish populations in the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean, as well as some in the South Atlantic and internationally for the International Commission for the Conservation of Tuna.
Lisa Desfosse, Ph.D.
As Deputy Director for Science and Operations, Dr. Desfosse oversees the science center's administrative, budgetary, and information management activities. She also provides oversight to the Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Division and the Population and Ecosystem Monitoring Division.
John Walter, Ph.D.
Dr. Walter has 13 years of experience conducting stock assessments. He has provided management advice to Regional Councils and to the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT). He serves in a number of leadership positions as chair of the ICCAT Western Bluefin Tuna Committee. Dr. Walter is also co-chair of the NOAA's National Management Strategy Evaluation working group. He has an extensive publication and collaboration record with numerous colleagues throughout the region and internationally.