As NMFS moves into 1996, a review of its 125 years of science and service reveals some surprising similarities with its early years:
The study of marine resources and ecosystems, home to our important fisheries, is just as important now as when Spencer Baird initiated such research in 1871.
Working with the peoplethe commercial and sport fishermen, fish culturists and processors, and conservation and environmental groupsremains a top priority of the agency.
Studying the biology, systematics, and environmental and habitat needs of the marine fishes, mammals, and other species continues to be important.
Working with various research and management groupsFishery Management Councils, State agencies, interstate commissions, and international bodiesremains a key part of protecting America's fishery resources.
Researching and assessing the effects of various pollutants and disease organisms are still important agency tasks.
Today, most U.S. fisheries are at a mature stage, requiring research, management, and in some cases restoration. With its solid background of 125 years of biological and oceanographic research and achievements, the National Marine Fisheries Service is well established and ready to meet the challenges of the 21st century.