NOAA Fisheries Service - Northeast Region

The Northeast Regional Office and the Northeast Fisheries Science Center manage and study living marine resources and their habitats over approximately 100,000 square miles of the northwest Atlantic. The region encompasses the temperate but structurally complex large marine ecosystem found from the Gulf of Maine to Cape Hatteras. It is characterized by marked temperature and climate changes, winds, river runoff, estuarine exchanges, tides, and circulation regimes. It provides nursery and feeding grounds for a diversity of sea life. Our primary responsibilities are for fishery resources, protected species such as marine mammals, and ocean habitats. We manage commercial and recreational marine fisheries, working with the New England and Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Councils and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission.


NOAA Fisheries Service began in the Northeast in 1871. The Science Center has been headquartered in Woods Hole since then, and has research facilities in Maine, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Washington, D.C. Our science program is multidisciplinary and focused on developing ecosystem-level knowledge, sustainable aquaculture, and a better understanding of human influences on ocean environments.

Sustainable Fisheries

The region is home to the nation’s oldest fishing ports and some of its most valuable commercial fisheries. We use ecosystem-based strategies to manage 18 fisheries, end overfishing, rebuild depleted fish stocks, and support profitable fishing businesses.

Protected Resources

Our managers work with government, industry, environmental, and other groups to protect marine mammals from any harm caused by human activities. The region is home to 22 protected marine mammal species, 6 endangered whale species, 2 endangered fish species, and 4 endangered
or threatened sea turtle species.

Habitat Conservation

We strive to protect, conserve, and restore habitats of living marine resources in the region, which has diverse and conflicting resource uses and needs. Our managers review hundreds of projects proposed annually for nearshore areas, advising on their habitat effects.


The region is active in policy and research organizations concerned with shared ocean resources around the North Atlantic rim. We participate in international organizations such as the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization, the International Whaling Commission, the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization, and the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea.

Northeast Regional Office

55 Great Republic Drive
Gloucester , MA 01930

(978) 281-9300

Northeast Fisheries Science Center

166 Water Street
Woods Hole, MA 02543

(508) 495-2000
NOAA Fisheries Brochure

New NMFS National Brochure!

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