Our Research Mission and Challenges

The mission of the Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center is to conduct high-quality, timely research to support the stewardship of fisheries resources, protected species, and ecosystems in the central and western Pacific Ocean. Our research helps ensure that NOAA and partner organizations have a solid scientific foundation for management decisions and conservation actions affecting marine ecosystems, our economy, and Pacific island fishing communities. Our scientists are active in many research areas: coral reef ecosystem science; marine ecosystem analysis and oceanography; fisheries biology; bycatch mitigation; fisheries monitoring; economic and human dimensions research; protected species population monitoring and recovery research; and more.

The Center's research supports NOAA Fisheries Service goals in several broad areas:

Maintaining Healthy and Sustainable Fisheries and Fishing Communities—Our science supports domestic and international management of fisheries, enabling maximum long-term benefits to U.S. fishermen, coastal communities, the seafood industry, and consumers.

Conserving Marine Habitats and Ecosystems—We help build an understanding of marine habitats and associated biological communities, the ecosystem services they provide, and the forces affecting them, including climate change.

Recovering Protected Species—We assess and monitor populations of marine mammals, sea turtles, and other protected marine species and identify ways to restore them to healthy states.

Other Research Activities—The Center’s administrative and technical support staff provides critical services enabling our research endeavors. In addition, our scientific staff is often called upon to take time from the Center’s normal activities to join a NOAA task force or lead an agency team in response to an urgent, unplanned mission requirement.

In the following pages, we highlight some of the Center’s key accomplishments in these areas of research during 2010.

Readers seeking further information on our research are welcome to visit our website at http://www.pifsc.noaa.gov/ or send an e-mail to Samuel.Pooley@noaa.gov.

Longline boats in Honolulu Harbor Reef fish Turtle