National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) - Northeast Fisheries Science Center


FLC Region

Security Lab



166 Water Street
Woods Hole, MA 02543-1026
United States

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Laboratory Representative


The Northeast Fisheries Science Center conducts a multidisciplinary data gathering, sampling, processing, and research effort focused on developing ecosystem-level knowledge of Northeast Continental Shelf Large Marine Ecosystem (LME), sustainable aquaculture and fisheries, and a better understanding of human influence on the ocean environment.

The Northeast Continental Shelf Large Marine Ecosystem (LME) comprises about 100,000 square miles of the northwest Atlantic. It is one of the world's most studied and commercially exploited LMEs. The waters are tem­perate, structurally complex, and characterized by marked temperature and climate changes, winds, river runoff, estuarine exchanges, tides, and circulation regimes, and functions supporting a diversity of sea life.

Each region within the NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries Service) has unique features and challenges. In the Northeast, we are marked by our place in the history of fisheries science, our complexity, and the Northeast's strong cultural identity as a place founded on fishing.

All of our activities support the mission and objectives of the agency and Center. Together they form a broad platform that we intend to strengthen and improve. We also support the broader NOAA Next Generation Strategic Plan, and our approach is consistent with that adopted by NOAA in crafting the larger agency plan.

Our science effort is therefore organized around four research themes:

•Monitor, value, and assess fish, invertebrate, and marine mammal populations, fish­eries, marine ecosystems, and the natural and human communities associated with them

•Understand, forecast, and mitigate effects of environmental change (including climate change) on marine ecosystems, coastal communities and economies

•Describe and assess the role of habitats in ensuring healthy marine ecosystems; healthy populations of fish, invertebrates, marine mammals, and sea turtles; and resil­ient coastal communities and economies

•Understand anthropogenic, ecological, and biological factors affecting development of sustainable marine aquaculture on the Northeast continental shelf.



Understand and predict changes to marine ecosystems and their subsystems affecting living marine resources, fisheries, habitats, ecosystem condition, productivity, aquaculture, and the generation of net National benefits.

Scientific Advice

  • Develop and provide the scientific foundation for management programs that has an ecosystem-based framework.
  • Enhance society's capability to respond to changing ecosystem conditions and to manage risk by developing science-based decision tools.

Education and Outreach

Engage and interact with individuals, partners, schools, communities, and industries to facilitate information flow, to assure coordination and cooperation, and to provide technical assistance in the management of living marine resources and their habitats.

Technology Disciplines

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Man Overboard Recovery Device
Microparticulate Fish Feeder
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James J. Howard Marine Sciences Laboratory @ Sandy Hook
Maine Field Station
Milford Laboratory
Narragansett Laboratory
Woods Hole Laboratory

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