Fish & Sharks

Fish are extremely diverse animals living in a variety of habitats ranging from coral reefs and kelp forests to rivers, streams, and the open ocean. Most fish can be categorized into one of two primary groups: bony fish (Osteichthyes) and cartilaginous fish (Chondrichthyes). The skeleton of bony fish is made of bones, while that of cartilaginous fish is made of cartilage. Cartilaginous fish include sharks, skates, and rays.

Most fish under NOAA Fisheries’ jurisdiction are marine fish that spend their entire life in salt water. Others are anadromous—like some species of salmon and sturgeon—which begin their lives in freshwater, migrate to the ocean to grow into adults, and then return to freshwater to spawn.

NOAA Fisheries is responsible for the sustainable management of many species of fish under the Magnuson-Stevens Act that are targeted for human consumption and other uses like fertilizer. Some of these fish include Pacific bluefin tuna, Alaska pollock, and summer flounder. We are also responsible for protecting fish species listed under the Endangered Species Act like Atlantic sturgeon and oceanic whitetip shark.


Species News

Adult monk seal and newborn pup on a public beach. Hawaiian monk seal RK96 and her pup rest in Waikīkī. Credit: Hawaii Marine Animal Response.
Construction workers set up a large concrete structure to move it into a stream Culvert replacement underway on Kids Creek. Credit: Zach Cole/City of Traverse City.
all fishing gear buoys onboard a vessel are silhouetted against textured sky and colored sunset Highflyers, part of the fishing gear, are stored onboard in between fishing efforts. Credit: NOAA Fisheries/Dave McElroy

Research

Peer-Reviewed Research

An Experimental Assessment With Invasive Lionfish

A study on the effect of prey digestion on barcoding accuracy using red lionfish as predators and…

Fisheries Ecology in the Northeast

We study fisheries ecology: the relationship between important marine life and their environment. Our goal is to support sustainable wild and farmed fisheries on the Northeast shelf to create opportunities and benefits for the economy and ecosystem.

Ocean Indicators Summary for 2021

Summary of ocean ecosystem indicators used to characterize juvenile marine salmon survival in the Northern California Current.

Ocean Acidification Research in the Pacific Northwest

About a quarter of the carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere by burning fossil fuels is absorbed into the ocean. There it causes a chemical change resulting in ocean acidification. This chemical change has the potential to profoundly alter marine…

Insight

Understanding Fisheries Management in the United States

NOAA Fisheries is responsible for managing marine fisheries within the U.S. exclusive economic zone. Learn more about the sustainable management of our marine fisheries.

750x500-working-waterfront.jpg

Species

157 species match your filter criteria.