The NWFSC collects and analyzes information on over 90 species of groundfish that live off the U.S. west coast from Canada all the way to Mexico. A large portion of this information is collected during at-sea research surveys. The Fishery Research Survey Team conducts surveys onboard vessels chartered from both the commercial and sportfishing fleet. Survey information is essential to sustainably manage the fish populations that live in our coastal waters and ensure they are healthy for future generations.
Because different species of groundfish live in different habitats along the seafloor – everything from soft mud to rocky, underwater mountains – we need to use a variety of techniques to sample them effectively. The NWFSC's West Coast Groundfish Bottom Trawl Survey uses bottom trawl nets towed along the sea floor to target the dozens of groundfish species that live along the large areas of softer seafloors such as mud, sand, and gravel. The Hook and Line Survey uses rod and reel gear to sample fish that live on or near seafloor habitats like rocky reefs, boulder fields, and large undersea cliffs and pinnacles – areas that are tough to survey using trawl nets.
Location: U.S.-Canada border to U.S.-Mexico border
Research Theme: Recovery, Rebuilding, and Sustainability of Marine Species