Northwest Fisheries Science Center


Recent Top Stories

Groundfish Bottom Trawl Survey
 Posted: March 9, 2017

The West Coast Groundfish Bottom Trawl Survey has been conducted annually at the Northwest Fisheries Science Center since 1998. Each year, four chartered fishing vessels conduct over 150 trawls from May to October, covering trawlable habitats at depths of 55 m to 1,280 m from the U.S.Mexico to the U.S.Canada borders. Learn more about history of this survey in a newly published Technical Memorandum.   more...


Restoring predators and prey together speeds recovery
 Posted: March 1, 2017

A new study published in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution shows that restoring predator and prey species together helps accelerate ecosystem recovery efforts. The research team from NOAA Fisheries, Oregon State University, UC Santa Barbara and Imperial College London found that pursuing recovery of one species at a time is slower and less desirable.   more...


Public Access to Research Results
 Posted: March 1, 2017

Today, the Center met an important milestone by making at least 30% of our NOAA-funded data accessible to the public by March 1. The PARR (Public Access to Research Results) inventory includes 84 data sets, or about 33% of the Center's 254 total data sets. All 254 datasets can be found on https://catalog.data.gov/dataset. Our goal is to publish 60% of the data by March 1, 2018 and 100% by March 1, 2019.   more...


Taurine and alternative fish feed
 Posted: February 28, 2017

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently approved taurine as an ingredient in alternative plant-based feed to help provide fish farmers with more options and reduce our nation's reliance on animal-based feed. Learn how Dr. Ron Johnson's work on the benefits of taurine for overall fish health contributed to the FDA's approval.   more...


Year in Review: 2016
 Posted: February 13, 2017

As we move forward into 2017, let's take a look back at some of the Center's accomplishments last year. Many thanks to our staff, NOAA colleagues, and external partners for helping us make strides toward understanding and conserving marine life in the Pacific Northwest and beyond.   more...


NOAA Nite at Mukilteo
 Posted: February 10, 2017

Join us for an evening of talks and a chance to chat with scientists who work at NOAA's Mukilteo Research Station on Monday, February 13. Scientists will discuss the marine science happening in this region, including abalone conservation, the effects of toxic chemicals, Dungeness crab management, salmon habitat restoration, ocean acidification, and more. This event is free and open to the public.   more...


Remembering Carl Lian
 Posted: January 25, 2017

We regretfully announce the passing of our colleague Carl Lian on December 27, 2016. Carl was a member of the NWFSC's Economics and Social Science Research Team, where he studied the impacts of the West Coast groundfish catch share program and compiled a wealth of fisheries economic data for our region. Our thoughts go out to Carl's family and friends during this time.   more...


Ocean acidification impacts on food webs and fisheries
 Posted: January 12, 2017

Ocean acidification will reverberate through the West Coast's marine food web, but not necessarily in the ways you might expect, new research shows. Dungeness crabs, for example, will likely suffer as their food sources decline. Dungeness crab fisheries valued at about $220 million annually may face a strong downturn over the next 50 years, according to the research published today in the journal Global Change Biology.   more...


Winter hake survey to begin
 Posted: January 9, 2017

The 2017 winter hake survey is gearing up to embark from Newport, Oregon on January 11. Scientists from the Center's Fisheries Engineering and Acoustic Technologies (FEAT) Program will be aboard the NOAA Ship Bell M. Shimada for a month-long cruise to survey spawning hake along the West Coast. Follow the action as FEAT scientists share what they are seeing on their new blog, the Main Deck.   more...


Aerial images document J2 in final months before death
 Posted: January 6, 2017

Aerial images by our colleagues at the Southwest Fisheries Science Center and the Center for Whale Research documented the final months of J2, the iconic Southern Resident killer whale that has been recently presumed dead. J2's presumed death follows that of four other whales from her extended family group ("J-pod") since last summer, and highlights continued concerns about the impact of limited prey resources and other threats to the population.   more...


The next link/button will exit from NWFSC web site Puget Sound eelgrass beds holding steady
 Posted: January 4, 2017

The NWFSC and partners recently uncovered 40 years worth of data on Puget Sound's ecosystem changes, with some surprising results. The researchers found that overall, eelgrass beds in the region remained stable over those four decades, suggesting its resilience to long-term changes like climate fluctuations. Eelgrass serves as vital nursery habitat for many marine species such as salmon and herring.   The next link/button will exit from NWFSC web site more...


Toxics and effects on health of killer whales
 Posted: January 4, 2017

A new NOAA Technical Memorandum sheds light on how some of the most common persistent organic pollutants in Puget Sound are transferred to endangered Southern Resident killer whales, from the whales' favored prey (Chinook salmon) as well as between mothers and calves. The report, by lead author Teresa Mongillo (West Coast Region), also provides recommendations for the most necessary directions that future work on Southern Residents should take.   more...


NOAA releases Climate Regional Action Plans
 Posted: December 16, 2016

NOAA Fisheries released five climate Regional Action Plans to assist decision makers in preparing for and responding to climate-related changes in marine and coastal ecosystems. The RAP for the western region was developed by the Northwest and Southwest Fisheries Science Centers to evaluate the effects of a changing climate on marine and anadromous fish, invertebrates, marine mammals, sea turtles and seabirds in the California Current Large Marine Ecosystem.   more...


Fishing for answers
 Posted: December 6, 2016

The charter fishing industry has a long history in Washington and Oregon, as residents and tourists engage in a variety of fishing opportunities, from salmon fishing in the Puget Sound and the Columbia River to rockfish and tuna fishing in the region's marine areas. In a recently published NOAA Technical Memorandum, author Jerry Leonard shares the results of a 2014 survey of charter vessels in both states to explore how the region's fishing industry responded to changes to the environment, the economy, and regulations imposed by federal and state governments.   more...


New NOAA Program for Veterans
 Posted: November 10, 2016

This Veteran's Day marks the fourth since NOAA launched its first training opportunities for veterans. Barney Boyer, an intern at our Mukilteo Research Station, is the first military veteran to work with NOAA Fisheries through a new partnership between Washington's Department of Veterans Affairs, the Veterans Conservation Corps, and several NOAA offices.   more...


NOAA Fisheries Annual Priorities
 Posted: November 7, 2016

NOAA Fisheries just released the Priorities and Annual Guidance for 2017. This document features the agency's goals, priorities, and anticipated results for next year. As in previous years, this year's document also reflects high-level input and a commitment to execute this plan from every member of the agency's Leadership Council.   more...


Kickstarting innovation
 Posted: October 21, 2016

Imagine a low-cost way to fund innovative research, develop new tools and methods, and invigorate the careers of junior and senior scientists. Robin Waples details the origins, achievements, challenges, and future of the NWFSC's popular Internal Grants Program in a new NWFSC Technical Memorandum, Small Investments with Big Payoffs.   more...


Special issue honoring Mark Plummer
 Posted: October 17, 2016

When Mark Plummer died in 2014, he left behind a legacy of rigorous research, interdisciplinary collaboration, and creative innovation. The environmental science journal Coastal Management, of which Plummer was an associate editor for four years, published a series of articles written by his former colleagues and collaborators in tribute to his life and career.   more...


When algae turn toxic
 Posted: October 20, 2016

In 2015, the largest and longest-lasting harmful algal bloom of this century hit the West Coast. Domoic acid, a neurotoxin produced by the Pseudo-nitzschia algae, was found in dangerous levels in shelfish from Washington to California. A new paper in PLOS ONE explores the causes and whether we can predict future events.   more...


Shellfish harvesting habits in Puget Sound
 Posted: October 14, 2016

A new NWFSC Technical Memorandum by lead author Leif Anderson reports on recreational shellfishing practices and the impacts of beach closures in Puget Sound, based on a 2013 survey conducted with the support of Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.   more...


Update on strandings of killer whales L95 and J32
 Posted: October 5, 2016

The final necropsy reports for L95 and J32, Southern Resident killer whales from L and Jpod, are now available. L95 was a 20 year old male tagged by NWFSC scientists in March and J32 was an 18 year old female found dead in December 2014.   more...


The next link/button will exit from NWFSC web site Puget Sound Marine Waters Report
 Posted: September 28, 2016

We don't always know what's going on under the surface of Puget Sound, but a new report released today gives us a comprehensive look at marine conditions in 2015. This report was produced by NWFSC for the Puget Sound Ecosystem Monitoring Program's Marine Waters Workgroup.   The next link/button will exit from NWFSC web site more...


Crude oil and Atlantic haddock
 Posted: August 10, 2016

Scientists from the NWFSC and Norway published a new study showing how brief exposures of Atlantic haddock eggs to low concentration of crude oil can cause extreme and usually deadly deformities. Atlantic haddock are especially vulnerable because dispersed oil droplets can bind to their eggs as they float in the ocean. Deformities in the developing heart and skull were found even under exposures as short as 24 hours.   more...


Aquaculture Program Review
 Posted: July 21, 2016

NMFS Science Centers are conducting reviews of their marine aquaculture programs that are designed to evaluate the quality, relevance, and performance of research and development supported and conducted by the agency. The Northwest Fisheries Science Center review is being held at our Montlake campus July 26-29, 2016.   more...


Oregon beavers engineer better streams, more fish
 Posted: July 14, 2016

An ecological experiment that employed beavers to restore streams in Central Oregon found that the streams produced nearly twice as many juvenile steelhead within a few years after the beavers went to work. The results of the study were published in Nature's online journal Scientific Reports.   more...


Publication Award
 Posted: March 29, 2016

Dan Holland recently received the Marine Resource Economics' first Publication of Enduring Significance Award, which recognizes articles that remain important for contemporary researchers and relevant for current policy issues. The paper, published by authors Holland and Brazee in 1996 and titled "Marine Reserves for Fisheries Management," launched the economics literature on marine reserves for fisheries management, accurately situated marine reserves as a second-best policy, clearly framed the inter-temporal tradeoffs involved in forming marine reserves, and anticipated most of the issues that subsequent literature explored in greater detail.


Prerecruit rockfish survey has begun
 Posted: June 16, 2016

NWFSC scientists embarked on their annual prerecruit and California Current ecosystem survey from Newport, OR on June 12. The survey will begin on the Newport Hydrographic Line to sample for plankton and take ocean measurements as part of the 20 year time-series, then the crew will head south to the Oregon/California border. Follow the Newportal Blog for the crew's latest updates.   more...


Measuring algal toxins in WA waters
 Posted: June 15, 2016

A research team from NOAA and the State of Washington is measuring concentrations of marine algae and their associated lipophilic (fat soluble) toxins, which can accumulate in shellfish and cause human illnesses when consumed. The team will monitor and map the distribution of toxic algae that produce algal toxins and establish a harmful algal bloom early warning system.   more...


The next link/button will exit from NWFSC web site NWFSC Scientists Awarded 2016 Salish Sea Science Prize
 Posted: April 15, 2016

NWFSC scientists were named recipients of the prestigious Salish Sea Science Prize at the 2016 Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference for their work on the impacts for road water runoff on salmon. NWFSC's Nathaniel Scholz, Jennifer McIntyre, and David Baldwin showed that copper blocks salmon's ability to smell, making them vulnerable to predators, and leading to legislation removing copper from car brake pads in Washington State.   The next link/button will exit from NWFSC web site more...


Ecosystem Science Program Review
 Posted: July 12, 2016

All NMFS Science Centers are conducting reviews of their Ecosystem Science Programs that are designed to provide information relative to the management, protection and restoration of resilient and productive ecosystems. Ecosystem-related science programs research ecological, oceanographic, climate and habitat-related processes as they are linked to living marine resource species. The Northwest Fisheries Science Center review is being held at our Montlake campus Tuesday 7/12 - Thursday 7/14.   more...


Working With Anglers To Recover Rockfish in Puget Sound
 Posted: July 6, 2016

NOAA Fisheries West Coast Region has proposed to delist Puget Sound canary rockfish from the Endangered Species Act based on genetic research from scientists Kelly Andrews and Krista Nichols at NWFSC. Read about the collaborative project that relied on recreational fishermen and provided new information that lead in part to this decision.   more...


In Memoriam: Casey Rice
 Posted: June 14, 2016

NOAA and the Northwest Fisheries Science Center lost a valued colleague far too soon this month when Casey (Casimir) Rice passed away on June 2, 2016. Learn more about Casey's career, his passion for restoring Puget Sound, and the dedication to his community.   more...


Planning For Climate Change
 Posted: April 12, 2016

Climate-related variability is already affecting fisheries and protected resources, and this month NOAA Fisheries released a draft climate science action plan to increase the production, delivery, and use of climate-related fisheries information.   Read more...


Ocean acidification and Dungeness crab
 Posted: May 19, 2016

According to a new study, the ocean acidification expected to accompany climate change may slow development and reduce survival of the larval stages of Dungeness crab, a key component of the Northwest marine ecosystem and the largest fishery by revenue on the West Coast.   more...


NWFSC 5th Science Symposium
 Posted: March 22, 2016

On April 5-6, 2016, the Center will host its 5th Science Symposium to showcase how our science is contributing to sustaining fisheries for the future. Oral presentations and a poster session will also cover areas related to our core research themes of ecosystem management, habitats, species recovery, and seafood safety. The event will take place at NOAA's Sandpoint campus in Seattle, WA. Register to attend in person or find information about our webcast here.   more...


Tracking killer whales
 Posted: January 12, 2016

Dr. Brad Hanson and our collaborators with the Cascadia Research Collective and University of Alaska recently deployed a satellite-linked transmitter on an adult Southern Resident killer whale, K33, in central Puget Sound. The location data will help NOAA Fisheries understand where these whales go in the winter and their winter habitat use. Follow the blog to get updates on the location of K33 and K pod.   more...


The next link/button will exit from NWFSC web site Presidential Early Career Award
 Posted: February 19, 2016

Dr. James Thorson was recently awarded the 2016 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers for his many accomplishments in quantitative fisheries and marine ecology that have improved stock assessments. This award is the nation's highest honor for professionals at the outset of their independent research careers. James was one of two NOAA Fisheries scientists to receive this prestigious award.   The next link/button will exit from NWFSC web site more...


Next phase of WA Shellfish Initiative
 Posted: January 15, 2016

Today NOAA Fisheries officials joined Washington Governor Jay Inslee, Washington tribes, shellfish producers and others to announce the second phase of the Washington Shellfish Initiative, a partnership led by Washington State to promote the environmental and economic value of shellfish from oysters to abalone.


Winter hake survey underway
 Posted: January 15, 2016

Little is known about what hake do during the winter. The NWFSC's Fisheries Engineering & Acoustic Technologies (FEAT) team will be conducting their very first winter survey of spawning hake from Newport, OR to San Diego, CA from now until February 9. Follow our blog for updates!   more...


Year in Review 2015
 Posted: January 15, 2016

As we move forward into 2016, let's take a look back at some of the Center's accomplishments last year. Many thanks to our NOAA colleagues and external partners for helping us make strides toward understanding and conserving marine life in the Pacific Northwest and beyond.   more...


Catch shares make fishing safer
 Posted: February 18, 2016

A new study of fishing practices found that the risky behavior that makes fishing one of the most dangerous lines of work dropped sharply following the adoption of catch shares management in the West Coast fixed gear sablefish fishery. Fewer boats fished during the stormiest weather according to the research published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.   more...


Pharmaceuticals, personal care compounds detected in effluent and fish
 Posted: February 24, 2016

A new NWFSC study of emerging contaminants entering Puget Sound in wastewater plant effluent found some of the nation's highest concentrations of these chemical compounds, and detected many in fish at concentrations that may affect their growth or behavior.   more...


Underwater robot deployed in Pacific Northwest
 Posted: May 25, 2016

NOAA and partners are expanding the use of an underwater robot using a NOAA-developed sensor that enables remote, measurements of toxins produced by harmful algal blooms known to contaminate shellfish and poison humans that consume them. The robot will be deployed in the Pacific Northwest to detect and identify Pseudo-nitzschia cell and toxin concentrations off the coast of Washington.   more...


Photo contest reflects the diversity of NOAA jobs and environments
 Posted: February 4, 2016

More than 200 NOAA Fisheries employees responded to our call to show us a day on the job with NOAA Fisheries as a part of the 2015 Photo Contest. Check out the captivating winners.   more...


Algal toxins in Alaska marine mammals
 Posted: February 11, 2016

New NOAA Fisheries research shows that algal toxins are present in Alaskan food webs in high enough concentrations to be detectable in marine mammals from the Arctic Ocean through the Bering Sea to the Gulf of Alaska. The findings document a major northward expansion of the areas along the Pacific Coast where marine mammals are known to be exposed to algal toxins.   more...


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