The Fisheries Research Survey team conducts the West Coast Groundfish Bottom Trawl Survey from May to October each year. This annual survey is conducted at depths from 55 meters to 1280 meters from the area off Cape Flattery, Washington (U.S.-Canada border) south to the U.S.-Mexico border. The goal of the survey is to ensure the sustainability of marine fisheries with a focus on ending overfishing. The groundfish fishery includes about 90 commercially fished stocks off Washington, Oregon, and California. The survey provides data on abundance, spatial distributions, sex, length, maturity, weight, and age structure of groundfish in trawlable habitats.
The survey is a key source of fishery-independent data that is necessary for stock assessments of managed groundfish species inhabiting trawlable habitat along the upper continental slope and shelf on the U.S. West Coast. The time series of survey estimates are used in age-structured assessment models for important management species. All survey operations are conducted within strict compliance with NOAA protocols for bottom trawl surveys. Catch and related information are quality checked at sea. The survey area is covered twice each year using chartered commercial fishing vessels (20 to 28 m length). This survey is mandated by the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Reauthorization Act of 2006.
West Coast commercial fishermen, Oregon State University, Moss Landings Marine Research Laboratory, University of Wasington.