Chief: Amy Van Atten
Woods Hole Laboratory
Fisheries and Ecosystems Monitoring and Analysis Division
Fisheries Sampling Branch
The Fisheries Sampling Branch collects, processes, manages, and provides fishery dependent data and biological samples obtained from fishing vessels. Collection of these data is mandated or otherwise needed for management under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the Atlantic Tuna Convention Act, and the Endangered Species Act.
Branch staff and observers under contract perform at-sea operations aboard commercial vessels to collect information on fishing operations, fishing effort, and catch, including by-catch and discard information, economic data and vessel efficiency, and biological samples of landed catch and discard. Considerable effort is directed towards monitoring and biological sampling of takes of protected species. The data are processed and maintained in a central database for access by users or provided directly to the user. Biological specimens and samples (e.g., scales and otoliths) are collected and distributed.