Welcome to the Ecosystems Surveys Branch Webpage
Scientist sorting a catch aboard the NOAA Ship Henry B. Bigelow
The Ecosystems Surveys Branch collects fishery-independent data during standardized research vessel surveys from Cape Hatteras to the Scotian shelf. These surveys and other data collection programs also provide oceangraphic and plankton data for monitoring the health and status of marine resources and their habitat. The branch gathers data on abundance, distribution, feeding ecology, size and age composition of stocks of economically and ecologically important species. The data is vital for assessment, management and a wide variety of research programs. The branch designs, builds, and tests much of its sampling gear and evaluates hydroacoustic sensing systems. Branch staff also conduct vessel and gear standardization studies to ensure comparability of survey indices over time and to perform statistical evaluations of sampling adequacy.