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NMFS Publications: Home

The National Marine Fisheries Service, founded in 1871 as the U.S. Commission on Fish and Fisheries, is the nation's oldest federal conservation agency. The agency was devoted to the protection, study, management, and restoration of fish populations, which were, by that time, recognized to be vulnerable to depletion by human activity. It was later renamed the Bureau of Fisheries, and still later it became the Bureau of Commercial Fisheries. NMFS conducts regulatory and scientific research necessary to conserve, protect, and manage marine resources. The agency assesses and predicts fish stocks, ensures compliance with fisheries regulations and reduces wasteful fishing practices. NMFS administrative functions include nationwide oversight of law enforcement offices that carry out more than 35 federal statutes and enforce U.S. treaties and international laws.

NMFS' own Scientific Publications Office hosts a robust database of current and historical NMFS publications and highlights this line office's 150 year legacy of publishing research.

About this guide: Publications from both contemporary and historic offices and labs are included in this guide. Also included is a tab for cruise reports by NMFS' fisheries science centers. Where possible, links are provided to the series through NOAA's Institutional Repository. However, in some cases and particularly for ESSA series, materials are only available in the library's catalog. Additionally, while many publications have already been digitized in PDF format, others must be obtained in print.

Alaska Fisheries Science Center (AFSC)

AFSCThe AFSC monitors the health and sustainability of fish, marine mammals, and their habitats across nearly 1.5 million square miles of water surrounding Alaska, which produces more than half of the fish caught in the United States. The nation’s largest fishery observer program is managed by AFSC. The five research divisions that form AFSC are the Auke Bay Laboratories Division, Marine Mammal Laboratory Division, Fisheries Monitoring & Analysis Division, Resource Assessment & Conservation Engineering Division, and the Resource Ecology & Fisheries Management Division. 

 

Current Publications

Historical Publications

Alaska Regional Office (AKRO)

AKROThe Alaska Region is one of five regional offices that together support marine resource management in all Federal waters of the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone. In addition to AKRO's resource management role in U.S. waters, AKRO supports the international management of a variety of species and ecosystems by entities including the International Whaling Commission, the International Pacific Halibut Commission, the Pacific Salmon Commission, the North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission, and the Convention on the Conservation and Management of Pollock Resources in the Central Bering Sea. AKRO has three research divisions, Sustainable Fisheries, Protected Resources, and Habitat Conservation, and supports two programs, Restricted Asset Management and the Analytical Program.

Current Publications

Northwest Fisheries Science Center (NWFSC)

NWFSC This regional center has as its domain the habitats of the Washington, Oregon, and northern California coasts and in freshwater rivers of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. NWFSC's  research provides information to help decision-makers and natural resource managers build sustainable fisheries, recover endangered and threatened species, maintain healthy ecosystems, and protect human health. The research divisions of NWFSC are Conservation Biology, Environmental & Fisheries Science, Fish Ecology, and Fishery Resource Analysis & Monitoring.

Current Publications

Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC)

NEFSCNEFSC is headquartered in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, where fisheries research began as early as 1871, when this center of marine science was conceived by Spencer Fullerton Baird, first US Commissioner of Fisheries. NMFS' regional science center for the Northeast manages a multidisciplinary program of basic and applied research to better understand living marine resources of the Northeast Continental Shelf Ecosystem, from the Gulf of Maine to Cape Hatteras. NEFSC's research divisions include Ecosystems & Aquaculture, Fishery Monitoring & Research, Population & Ecosystems Monitoring & Analysis, and Resource Evaluation & Assessment.

Current Publications

Historical Publications

Office of Policy (OP)

OPThe NOAA Fisheries Policy Office is responsible for coordinating and implementing agency priorities, especially multifaceted initiatives that cross-cut headquarters program offices, regional offices, and science centers, as well as NOAA line offices and other government agencies. This office supports policy analysis and manages both the NOAA Fisheries Leadership Council and the Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee.

Historical Publications

Office of Protected Resources (OPR)

OPRThe OPR is responsible for the conservation, protection, and recovery of more than 150 endangered and threatened marine species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA). OPR's work includes: listing species under the ESA, monitoring species status, designating critical habitat, recovery of endangered and threatened species, developing ESA policies, guidance, and regulations and working with partners to conserve and recover species.

Current Publications

Office of Sustainable Fisheries (OSF)

OSFThe main thrusts of OSF's responsibilities are implementation of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA), managing fisheries for Atlantic highly migratory species (tunas, sharks, swordfish, and billfish), and helping ensure the safety of seafood sold in the United States. Its divisions are Domestic Fisheries, the National Seafood Inspection Laboratory, Operations & Regulatory Services, and Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Management. Together, the divisions of OSF support science-based management, sustainable fisheries and sustainable economies.

Current Publications

Pacific Island Fisheries Science Center (PIFSC)

PIFSCPIFSC was created out of the Honolulu Laboratory, until 2003 a component of the NOAA Fisheries NOAA Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center. PIFSC conducts resource surveys and stock assessments, fishery monitoring, economic and sociological studies, oceanographic research and monitoring, critical habitat evaluation, life history and ecology studies, and advanced oceanographic and ecosystem modeling and simulations. The western-most regional office of NMFS covers the Pacific Islands Region of Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands and the Pacific remote island areas. Before NOAA’s establishment in 1970, the Honolulu Laboratory was part of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, originating in 1948 as the Pacific Oceanic Fishery Investigations (POFI). The PIFSC research divisions are Ecosystem Sciences, Fisheries Research & Monitoring, Protected Species, and Science Operations. 

Current Publications

Scientific Publications Office (SPO)

SPONMFS has been publishing the results of its research for almost 150 years, and the tradition of scientific publishing is continued today by the NMFS Scientific Publications Office (SPO) in Seattle, Washington, which is part of the Fisheries Economics and Social Sciences Division of the Office of Science and Technology at NMFS headquarters. The SPO also provides technical and administrative editorial support to NMFS headquarters offices.

 

Current Publications

Historical Publications

Southeast Fisheries Science Center (SEFSC)

SEFSC The SEFSC is responsible for scientific research on living marine resources that occupy marine and estuarine habits of the continental southeastern United States, as well as Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. SEFSC develops the scientific information required for fishery resource conservation, fishery development and utilization, habitat conservation, protection of marine mammals and endangered marine species. This regional center is organized with labs across the southeast region of the U.S and three research divisions, Fisheries Statistics, Protected Resources, and Sustainable Fisheries. 

Current Publications

Historical Publications

Southeast Regional Office (SERO)

SEROSERO manages, conserves, and protects living marine resources and their habitats in the Gulf of Mexico, South Atlantic, and U.S. Caribbean. In addition to the coastal states and islands, this region covers  the inland states of Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Tennessee. The research divisions of SERO are Habitat Conservation, Protected Resources, and Sustainable Fisheries. Additionally, the directorate oversees two programs, Aquaculture, and Gulf of Mexico Environmental Compliance (GoMEC).

Current Publications

Southwest Fisheries Science Center (SWFSC)

SWFSCEstablished in 1964 to study the sardine and tuna fisheries of the U.S. west coast, the SWFSC provides scientific information to support fisheries management and the conservation of protected species in the California Current, throughout the Pacific Ocean and in the Southern Ocean off Antarctica. SWFSC is headquartered in La Jolla, California, at the site of the Scripps Oceanographic Institute. SWFSC's research divisions consist of Antarctic Ecosystem Research, Environmental Research, Fisheries Ecology, Fisheries Resources, and the Marine Mammal & Turtle Division. 

 

Current Publications

Historical Publications

Atlantic Estuarine Fisheries Center (AEFC)

Historical Organization

AEFCThis former regional center, located in Beaufort, North Carolina, is believed to have eventually become part of the Southeast Fisheries Science Center, which operates its Beaufort Lab in cooperation with NOAA's National Ocean Service and the North Carolina Estuarine Research Reserve. Estuarine and radioecological research conducted by the AEFC was concerned with energy relations in ecosystems, distribution and cycling of radionuclides and trace metals, and environmental stress on the physiology of marine organisms. In its day, AEFC was one of three "coastal" fisheries research centers, alongside the Gulf Coast Fisheries Center (GCFC) and Middle Atlantic Coast Fisheries Center (MACFC).

Historical Publications

Northwest and Alaska Fisheries Center (NWAFC)

Historical Organization

 In the early days of NMFS, NWAFC was originally and briefly named the North Pacific Fisheries Research Center before being titled the Northwest Fisheries Center from 1971-1976. Subsequently, the office was known as the Northwest and Alaska Fisheries Center between 1976 and 1990, when the Center was separated into the Alaska Fisheries Science Center (AFSC) and the Northwest Fisheries Science Center (NWFSC). This split reflected both a programmatic and regional reorganization that continues to be reflected in the divisions of the two successor organizations to this day. The Alaska Region's NMFS-AFSC NOAA Technical Memorandum series continues the NMFS-F/NWC series established in 1970.

Historical Publications