Pacific Fisheries Environmental Laboratory

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An important aspect of the work at PFEL is the development of new techniques and data products which will assist in describing the variability in the ocean environment. ERD scientists also are actively involved in quality control of these data and products, and conduct ongoing research to understand how the data can be used to describe the ocean environment, and linkages between environmental variability and fluctuations in the abundance and distribution of marine populations.

In 1996, PFEL hosted a workshop identifying new directions in the application of environmental data to fisheries research and management. Research is directed to large-scale climatic variability, to environment/recruitment relationships in eastern boundary currents (EBC) and to mesoscale (smaller scale) processes affecting coastal circulation and fisheries recruitment. Examples of this research include studies of recurring ocean temperature changes off the west coast of the U. S. and their effects on groundfish recruitment, and investigation of the environmental changes in EBC ecosystems associated with El Nino and other climate events.

PFEL also prepares products in response to special requests for environmental data for specific research and management projects. PFEL contributes regularly to several NOAA programs, including NOAA Coastwatch, NOAA News,the NOAA Coastal Ocean Program and CEOS (Climate and Eastern Ocean Systems).

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