Scientists observe Cape Morgan

Population Assessments

Population Assessments

Population assessments are a key component of marine resource management. These assessments allow us to evaluate and report the status of managed fisheries, marine mammals, and endangered/threatened species under the authorities of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the Marine Mammal Protection Act, and the Endangered Species Act
To conduct population assessments, our scientists:

  • Collect data and information.
  • Analyze results through quantitative methods.
  • Hold peer review.
  • Communicate results to our partners and stakeholders.

The assessment process uses current data and advanced analytical techniques in an effort to provide the best scientific information available for conservation and management decisions.


There are currently no open rules.


There are currently no upcoming events.


There are currently no open opportunities.

3 types of data are commonly used in fish stock assessments

Fish stock assessments often use catch, abundance, and biology data. These data feed into mathematical models that produce estimates of the fishery management factors needed for managers to make decisions about how to best regulate a fishery.

3 scientific review groups advise on marine mammal assessments


Scientific review groups advise NOAA Fisheries and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on the status of marine mammal stocks within three areas: Alaska, the Atlantic (including the Gulf of Mexico), and the Pacific.

Show me another fact

Fish Stock Assessments

Stock assessments measure the impact of fishing on fish and shellfish stocks. Assessments also project harvest levels to maximize the number of fish that can be caught every year while preventing overfishing, protecting the marine ecosystem, and—where necessary—rebuilding depleted stocks.

Learn more about fish stock assessments

Marine Mammal Assessments

These reports provide resource managers with information needed to manage marine mammal stocks protected under Marine Mammal Protection Act. These reports contain valuable information about geographic range, population size and trends, productivity rates, and estimates of mortality to design and implement appropriate conservation measures.

Learn more about marine mammal assessments

Endangered Species Assessments

These assessments provide the foundation for evaluating the status of—and threats to—endangered marine mammals, fish, and sea turtles managed by NOAA Fisheries under the Endangered Species Act. Endangered species assessments include synthesis and analysis of scientific information on a species’ or stock’s population structure, life history characteristics, abundance, and threats—particularly those caused by human activities.

Learn more about endangered species assessments


Our scientists use a varitey of innovative technologies as they collect data and information to better understand the science behind healthy ecosystems and marine life.