Social scientists study the human species – our behavior, our institutions, our relations to one another and to the natural world. In the context of fisheries, we seek a better understanding of the human values, actions, communities, and institutions that influence marine and anadromous fish, marine mammals, and other marine species and ecosystems in the Pacific Northwest. Our research provides data and tools that support NMFS and other agencies' regulatory and management decisions, as well as contributing scientific work and information to the broader research community and the public.
The Human Dimensions Program conducts economic and sociocultural research spanning all marine species and ecosystems, including habitat protection and recovery planning for salmon and ecosystem valuation for Puget Sound; the socioeconomic significance of Pacific Coast fishing to individual communities; the socioeconomics of individual transferable quotas in West Coast groundfish fisheries and the marine mammal industry of the Puget Sound; and the design of management approaches that promote profitability of fisheries while ensuring sustainability of target and non-target species and protection of habitat.
The Human Dimensions program works with economists and social scientists in the Center's Fisheries Resource Analysis and Monitoring socioeconomic group, the NOAA Fisheries' Alaska Fisheries Science Center, as well as the NOAA Fisheries' Northwest Regional Office.