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

Photo of two researchers in waterproof coats and gloves using handheld instruments on a fish sample. NOAA Fisheries scientists assess body condition of rockfish using two different fish condition analyzers during an Alaska Fisheries Science Center bottom trawl survey. Credit: NOAA Fisheries.
Underwater photo of a pink fish hiding inside a conical yellow sponge. A pregnant sharpchin rockfish shelters within a sponge on the seafloor off Alaska. Credit: NOAA Fisheries.

Research

Resource Ecology and Ecosystem Modeling

We create various types of statistical models that incorporate ecosystem information such as predator-prey relationships, food web relationships, diet analysis and socio-economic data that is used to inform fishery management decisions for Alaska…

Frequently Asked Questions: Research Set-Aside Program

Detailed information about the Northeast's research funding program.

Fisheries Resources Division Survey Logs

Survey logs detailing the many surveys the Fisheries Resources Division hosts throughout the year.

Monitoring Thiamine Deficiency in California Salmon

Our team works with anglers and fishing industry partners to monitor the nutritional status of Chinook salmon caught in the Central California coastal fishery.

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.

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Species

156 species match your filter criteria.