Populations and Ecosystems Monitoring and Analysis Division
Acting Chief: Philip Politis
Woods Hole Laboratory
Ecosystems Surveys Branch
The Ecosystems Surveys Branch collects fishery independent data during standardized research vessel surveys from Cape Hatteras to the Scotian Shelf. Surveys also provide oceanographic and plankton data for monitoring the health and status of marine resources and their habitat. During research vessel surveys, the Branch gathers data on distribution, abundance, feeding ecology, and size and age composition of stocks of economically and ecologically important species. Data collected in these programs are archived into computer data files which are vital for assessment and management. 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 perform statistical evaluations of sampling adequacy.
The Fisheries Acoustic Research Program Advanced Sampling Technologies Research Group (ASTRG) implements state-of-the-art fisheries acoustic technologies to provide cost-effective and accurate fisheries-independent population estimates of commercially important pelagic fish and squid stocks in the Northwest Atlantic.