Skip to main content
Unsupported Browser Detected

Internet Explorer lacks support for the features of this website. For the best experience, please use a modern browser such as Chrome, Firefox, or Edge.

Fisheries Resources Division News

Press releases and news articles from the Southwest Fisheries Science Center’s Fisheries Resources Division.

Key Southern California Rockfish Species Survive Capture Over the Longer-term Following Release
October 26, 2021
Deep-water rockfish reeled quickly to the surface often emerge from the water with eyes and organs bulging like alien beings—due to the sudden change in pressure—a condition known as barotrauma. New research shows that if fishermen return fish to their natural depths quickly, their bodies return to normal and they can survive any ill effects. 


California Current Fish Surveys Resume with 3-Month Assessment of Sardine, Anchovy, and Mackerel
July 21, 2021
NOAA Fisheries expands coverage with research ships, fishing vessels, and Saildrones off the West Coast of the United States and Mexico.


Pacific Sardine Landings May Shift North as Ocean Warms, New Projections Show
February 24, 2021
Pacific sardines are a small but sometimes numerous fish closely intertwined with California’s fishing history. A new study linking climate change and the northern sardine stock fishery shows that they may shift north along the West Coast as the ocean warms.


Mako Shark Tracking off West Coast Reveals “Impressive” Memory and Navigation
August 28, 2019
The largest effort ever to tag and track shortfin mako sharks off the West Coast has found that they can travel nearly 12,000 miles in a year. The sharks range far offshore, but regularly return to productive waters off Southern California, an important feeding and nursery area for the species.


Follow Researchers Aboard the 2019 California Current Ecosystem Survey
July 23, 2019
Scientists aboard NOAA Ship Reuben Lasker are now in the second leg of the 2019 California Current Ecosystem Survey Survey. This annual survey aims to estimate the distributions and abundances of coastal pelagic fish species – anchovies, sardines, mackerels, and herring – and their biotic and abiotic environments in the California Current Ecosystem.


White Abalone Spawning Produces 25 Million Eggs for Captive Breeding Program
May 16, 2019
Ten adult white abalone produced and fertilized 25 million eggs, well over previous production, which quickly overran UC Davis’s Bodega Marine Laboratory. The spawn was so successful that when the eggs hatched two days later, the team shipped millions of tiny larvae to partner institutions throughout Southern California. Among these shipments, the research aquarium at the Southwest Fisheries Science Center in La Jolla, CA, received 4.8 million larvae over the course of two deliveries. The staff spent the following week conditioning these newly hatched larvae for settlement to the bottom of tanks that will be their home for the next one to two years.



Tagging Reveals Secrets of Southern California’s Largest Sharks
May 09, 2019
The basking shark, the largest shark in the waters off Southern California, is also the most elusive. NOAA Fisheries researchers are now seeking to unravel the mysteries of basking sharks by tagging them with satellite transmitters that will reveal their movements and behavior as they roam the waters around Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary and beyond.


Advances in Captive Breeding of Black Abalone
March 28, 2019
For the first time at the Southwest Fisheries Science Center, scientists induced spawning by employing two synthetic mollusk hormones to trigger the female abalone to release their eggs. Three of the abalone given the hormones released eggs, demonstrating that scientists can prompt the shellfish to reproduce in captivity.


Some Good News for Pacific Bluefin Tuna
August 10, 2018
In July 2018, The International Scientific Committee for Tuna and Tuna-Like Species in the North Pacific Ocean (ISC) released the most recent assessment of Pacific bluefin tuna (Thunnus orientalis) and evaluated the likelihood of reaching internationally established rebuilding targets. The bluefin spawning stock biomass was estimated to be 3.3% in 2016 relative to their unfished spawning stock biomass, up from 3.0% in 2014. Unfished spawning stock biomass is the theoretical amount of fish there would be had there never been fishing.


Saildrones Join NOAA’s West Coast Fleet for Experimental Fisheries Surveys
June 25, 2018
NOAA Fisheries’ two West Coast Science laboratories are joining forces with the Alameda, Calif., company Saildrone Inc. to test the first use of autonomous, wind and solar-powered vehicles to gather essential data on West Coast fish populations, including commercially valuable species such as hake, sardine, and anchovy. 


Clues At Fish Auction Reveal Several New Species Of Opah
June 07, 2018
As commercial fishermen sold their catch at the busy United Fishing Agency (UFA) auction house in Honolulu, Hawaii, fish buyer Garrett Kitazaki noticed something curious about the opah changing hands: some had much bigger eyes, and their spots and color looked different. 


resized Microscope.jpg.png

NOAA Fisheries Scientists Spawn Pacific Sardines For The First Time In Captivity
April 17, 2017
Like many species, sardines require just the right conditions to reproduce. Researchers working with sardines in the Southwest Fisheries Science Center’s Experimental Aquarium had tried for decades to identify those conditions. Then in early March, they hit upon the right combination of conditions and documented sardine spawning for the first time in captivity.


NOAA Scientists Search for Endangered White Abalone
August 01, 2016
Fisheries biologist Kevin Stierhoff and his colleagues are tracking populations of one of the most endangered invertebrates in the sea, a relative of snails and slugs that lives at depths as great as 60 meters (ca. 200 feet) off Southern California and Mexico. The enigmatic animals are well camouflaged; their shells are brownish and covered in algae like the rocks upon which they live, making them quite difficult to spot. 


A Mako's Last Meal Part II: The Shark Bite Effect
June 27, 2016
In 2013, the world record mako shark was caught off the coast of California. NOAA Fisheries researcher, Antonella Preti, discovered an adult sea lion in its stomach, which you can experience in A Mako Shark's Last Meal: Part 1. In our new video, you’ll see that this sea lion is one of many that have been attacked by sharks. Some have survived such encounters, and their wounds provide important insight on the state of sharks in southern California. See how scientists are studying the shark bite effect.


Tagged Hammerhead Shark Travels Widely In Warm Pacific Waters
September 04, 2015
The first hammerhead shark fitted with a satellite tracking tag off Southern California has traveled more than 1,000 miles to Mexico and back again since NOAA Fisheries researchers tagged it near San Clemente Island about two months ago.


Warm Blood Makes Opah an Agile Predator
May 12, 2015
New research by NOAA Fisheries has revealed the opah, or moonfish, as the first fully warm-blooded fish that circulates heated blood throughout its body much like mammals and birds, giving it a competitive advantage in the cold ocean depths.



Last updated by Southwest Fisheries Science Center on July 20, 2022