NOAA Fisheries Service - Southwest Region

The Southwest Regional Office and the Southwest Fisheries Science Center integrate policy expertise and cutting-edge scientific research in some of the world’s most diverse and productive habitats along California’s 1,100 miles of coastline, in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean, and in the Southern Ocean off Antarctica. We work closely with the Pacific Fishery Management Council, the State of California, commercial and recreational fishing organizations, universities, and international organizations. Responsibilities include maintaining healthy fish stocks for commercial, recreational, and subsistence fishing; conserving and recovering populations of protected species; restoring marine habitat; and coordinating with domestic and international organizations to implement and monitor fishery agreements and treaties.


Our scientists conduct some of the world’s largest, long-term ecosystem-based surveys and provide evaluations and assessments of the region’s marine and anadromous fish, marine mammal, marine turtle, seabird, and invertebrate populations. We also conduct research on the impacts of environmental variability and climate change and on fishery and conservation socio-economics. Our scientists are leaders in the development of acoustic and optical survey technologies, molecular ecology, and the design of management paradigms. Terabytes of oceanographic and environmental products are provided daily to the public via the Internet.

Sustainable Fisheries

We provide scientific advice and regulatory expertise and authority for the management of coastal pelagic species and highly migratory fishes, and coordinate aquaculture and Marine Protected Area issues. Our managers participate with the Pacific Fishery Management Council, negotiate international fishery agreements in consultation with the U.S. Department of State, manage the nation’s “dolphin-safe” labeling program and the region’s fishery observer program, and issue permits for coastal pelagic and highly migratory fish species.

Protected Resources

Our managers administer conservation and management programs for species listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and for marine mammals within the region and in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean. Activities include the management of the marine mammal and turtle stranding network; technical assistance and formal consultation with federal agencies; ESA status reviews; and collaboration with state and local governments to develop and implement recovery plans for listed species, including California salmon, steelhead, green sturgeon, abalone, marine mammals, and marine turtles.

Habitat Conservation

We review and evaluate human impacts within the region on marine, estuarine, and anadromous fishery resources and their habitats. In addition, we conserve and restore coastal estuarine and riparian habitats, conduct interagency coordination, and provide mitigation recommendations.


We collaborate in international research and provide scientific advice in support of international treaties, commissions, and conventions, such as the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission, International Scientific Committee for Tuna and Tuna-like Species, Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources, International Whaling Commission, and International Dolphin Conservation Program Act.

Southwest Regional Office

501 West Ocean Blvd.
Long Beach, CA 90802

(562) 980-4001

Southwest Fisheries Science Center

8604 La Jolla Shores Drive
La Jolla, CA 92037

(858) 546-7000

NOAA Fisheries Brochure

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