The Sustainable Fisheries Division is based primarily in Miami, Florida. We do research and conduct assessments of managed species throughout the Gulf of Mexico, the U.S. Caribbean and the Atlantic Ocean.
What We Do
NOAA Fisheries’ stock assessments are key to marine resource management. They provide high-quality science information to managers to answer important questions such as:
What is the current status of a stock relative to established targets? (e.g. Is the stock experiencing over fishing or is it over fished? Is a marine mammal stock depleted?)
How much catch is sustainable while maintaining a healthy stock?
If a stock becomes depleted, what steps are required to rebuild it to healthy abundance levels?
Answers to these questions help managers make the best decisions to ensure sustainable fisheries, healthy ecosystems, and productive coastal communities. NOAA Fisheries’ scientists work with other scientists, fishermen, resource managers and others from around the country and world to ensure NOAA stock assessments represent the best science information available.
Scientists from the Sustainable Fisheries Division also conduct innovative research throughout the Gulf of Mexico, the U.S. Caribbean and the Atlantic Ocean to better achieve NOAA strategic objectives, such as:
Examine the effects of ecosystem, habitat and climate attributes on managed species.
Explore opportunities for alternative management strategies that amplify the economic value of recreational and commercial fisheries, while ensuring sustainable harvest.
Identify and develop approaches that foster robust management of data-limited stocks.
Conduct research that advances our understanding of the biology of managed species, and the fisheries that prosecute these species.
Highly Migratory Species
The Highly Migratory Species Branch conducts stock assessments and related research on Atlantic highly migratory species (HMS) to enable their sustainable management. The responsibilities of the Branch include: tunas, swordfish and other billfish, king mackerel, sharks, pelagic fishery bycatch and bycatch mitigation.
We actively participate in research and stock assessment activities conducted under the auspices of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) and lead the United States scientific delegation to meetings of ICCAT's Standing Committee on Research and Statistics. The HMS Branch is organized into two groups: HMS Fisheries Assessment and HMS Biology.
Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean
The Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Branch typically conducts fishery stock assessments under the SouthEast Data, Assessment and Review (SEDAR) process. Specific assessment projects can be found on SEDAR: Find by Species using the various search options provided. Species assessed by the Division's Gulf and Caribbean staff include (but are not limited to): Gulf of Mexico red, vermilion and gray snapper, gag, red and yellowedge grouper, gray triggerfish, greater amberjack, spanish mackerel, and cobia as well as Caribbean Spiny Lobster, Red Hind, Blue Tang, Yellowtail Snapper, Queen Triggerfish and Stoplight Parrotfish.
Staff also participate in stock assessment reviews, and review the impacts of regulatory proposals made by the:
Shannon L. Cass-Calay, Ph.D.
Shannon Cass-Calay is currently the Director of the Sustainable Fisheries Division at NOAA SEFSC. During her eighteen years at the SEFSC, Dr. Cass-Calay has conducted numerous stock assessments of marine fishes in the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean, including assessments of red snapper, red grouper, yellowedge grouper, vermilion snapper and king mackerel, as well as yellowfin, bigeye and bluefin tunas.