Managing our nation’s marine resources depends on coordinated scientific effort to understand and provide advice regarding the fundamental structures, functions, processes, and natural and human interactions that shape marine ecosystems and the services they provide. To accomplish this objective, our science programs include the following key components:
NOAA has a science-based decision-support process that provides the analytical framework to implement ecosystem-based approaches to management of our marine resources, including fisheries and protected resources. The assessments are based on synthesis and quantitative analysis of information regarding relevant physical, chemical, ecological, and human processes in relation to specified management objectives.
Learn more about integrated ecosystem assessments
This is a research program aimed at improving our understanding of environmental impacts on living marine resources. It applies that information to improve stock assessments, ecosystem assessments, and ecosystem-based approaches to fisheries management.
Learn more about Fisheries and the Environment
A research program that examine the relationships among species and their environment. Habitat science and assessments provide essential scientific advice to resource managers on the current status and future trends of marine habitats utilized by living marine resources.
Learn more about habitat science and assessments
Science activities include tracking current conditions, providing early warnings and forecasts, understanding the mechanisms of climate impacts, and projecting future conditions all to evaluate possible options for fisheries management and protected resources conservation in a changing world.
Learn more about climate and fisheries
The NOAA-wide Ocean Acidification Program, established by Congress in 2009, plans and oversees a long-term coastal and open ocean monitoring program and leads research on the impacts of ocean acidification on marine ecosystems and the socioeconomic implications of these impacts.
Learn more about ocean acidification
The research modeling program examine ecosystem modeling tools, coupled with input from stakeholders, to explore the tradeoffs inherent in natural resource management decisions. These models provide essential data for making well informed decisions.
Oceanic plankton constitute the largest reservoir of biomass in the world's oceans and play a significant role in the transfer of energy and materials within the oceanic ecosystems. Gaining access and insight into world's collection of historical and ongoing plankton monitoring data is essential for evaluating ecosystem health and for detecting changes in these ecosystems.
Learn more about our plankton data and visualization work
This lab conducts systematic, taxonomic, and life history research on marine organisms of economic and ecological value, thereby contributing to the understanding of marine biodiversity within marine ecosystems.
Learn more about our National Systematics Laboratory
The Alaska Fisheries Science Center's Resource Ecology and Ecosystem Modeling Program maintains a database of the food habits of North Pacific groundfish. As of March 2016, the Fish Food Habits Database contains diet information from 410,283 stomachs.
The Resource Ecology and Ecosystem Modeling Program at the Alaska Fisheries Science Center maintains a North Pacific groundfish diet data time series that dates back to the early 1980s for many species. Diet data are from samples collected during NOAA Fisheries assessment surveys and include diet composition by predator species, year, and region.
Ecosystem Status Reports are produced annually to compile and summarize information about the status of the Alaska marine ecosystems for the North Pacific Fishery Management Council, the scientific community and the public. As of 2016, there are separate reports for the the Eastern Bering Sea (updated 2017), Aleutian Islands (updated 2016), the Gulf of Alaska (updated 2017), and Arctic (forthcoming) ecosystems. These reports include ecosystem report cards, ecosystem assessments, and ecosystem and ecosystem-based management indicators that together provide context for ecosystem-based fisheries management in Alaska.
Mariska Weijerman, Jamison M. Gove, Ivor D. Williams, William J. Walsh, Dwayne Minton, Jeffrey J. Polovina
Journal of Applied Ecology
Evaluating management scenarios to improve marine ecosystem health.