On March 12th, scientists of the NWAFC Resource Assessment and
Conservation Engineering (RACE) Division discover a large concentration
of walleye pollock eggs in Shelikof Strait, Alaska, near Kodiak Island.
In subsequent years researchers measure the spawning population and
trace the movements of the eggs and larvae. This research has expanded
into The Fisheries Oceanography Coordinated Investigations (FOCI)
program, a joint effort with NOAA scientists at the Pacific Marine
The original FCMA is officially renamed The
Conservation and Management Act (MFCMA) in honor of Sen. Warren
The Mississippi Laboratories achieves success with its prototype
satellite-linked sea turtle tracking tag in the Gulf of Mexico.
The NMFS Mississippi
Laboratories Harvesting Systems Division develops
the first turtle excluder device to prevent capture of endangered sea
turtles in shrimp trawls.
NEFSC staff become part of the boundary dispute that had been
simmering between the U.S. and Canada over how to divide Georges
Bank in light of 200-mile EEZs claimed by both countries.
Outlining species distribution, abundance, spawning areas, and
traditional uses of commercial fishermen in the areas, the staff
reports generated over several years formed the basis of the ICJ
decision dividing the Bank.
The SWFC promotes cooperative interregional rapport on west coast
groundfish research and oversees an NMFS technical committee to plan a
groundfish conference as an annual forum for reviewing and coor-
dinating NMFS groundfish research with the states, academia, and
Canada. The first Groundfish Conference is held in Gleneden Beach.
Ore. November 18-20
A computer-based albacore fishery and resource modeling effort is under-
taken by SWFC staff and University of Washington contract scientists.
SEFC Charleston Laboratory
A major compilation of the research on the chemical composition and
nutritive values of fishes and fish products is published by SEFC
Charleston Laboratory scientists.
The Southeast Area
Monitoring and assessment Program (SEAMAP) is initiated. It is a collaborative State/Federal University effort for
collection, management, and dissemination of marine data from the U.S
Gulf of Mexico, South Atlantic, and Caribbean regional waters.
New Lacey Act Amendments are passed to make it illegal to trade in fish
wildlife, or plants taken in violation of any U.S. or Indian tribal
law, treaty, or regulation.
The NMFS Northwest Regional Office moves to the first completed
building at the new NOAA Western Regional Center at Sand Point in
The Northern Pacific Halibut Act is passed to enforce the terms of the
U.S.-Canada agreement prohibiting fishing by unauthorized foreign
The Southeast Region's SEAMAP Resource Survey begins in cooperation
with the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission.
The SEFC begins a series of research cruises to develop an effective
strategy to understand latent or underutilized fishery resources. The
studies help generate new fisheries for the Gulf butterfish and other
species. Coastal herrings and associated species are estimated to have
a potential yield of up to 5 million metric tons per year.
SEFC scientists develop yield-per-recruit models for the major species
found along the southeastern U.S. coast and set the pattern for reef
fish management by the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic Fishery
On March 10th, the FCZ is designated as the U.S. Exclusive Economic
Zone (EEZ) by Presidential Proclamation.
On August 15-18, the NMFS sponsors the Symposium on Ontogeny and Systematics of Fishes in La Jolla, Calif., an international symposium
dedicated to the memory of its late scientist Elbert Halvor Ahlstrom.
Dr. James Hanks steps down as Milford laboratory director after 22
The NWAFC's Center Director's Office and its RACE and Resource Ecology
and Fisheries Management (REFM) divisions move to the new NOAA Western
Regional Center at Sand Point in Seattle. The National Marine Mammal
Laboratory (NMML) also moves to the new facility.
On August 18th, a plane carrying four biologists from the National
Marine Mammal Laboratory crashes into the frigid waters of the
Arctic Ocean during bowhead whale surveys. Miraculously, all survive.
The Eastern Pacific Tuna Licensing act of 1984 is passed to issue and
enforce rules protecting designated species of tuna under the Eastern
Pacific Tuna Fishing Agreement
The Atlantic Striped Bass Conservation Act is passed to assist in the
conservation, restoration, and management of the species and enforce
compliance with the Interstate Fisheries Management Plan for Striped
Cooperative U.S.-Japan squid surveys in the Gulf of Mexico are
initiated at the NMFS Mississippi
An arsonist destroys the Sandy
Hook laboratory building housing the
research aquarium facilities, many records, and the library.
The NMFS Southwest Region signs the first Memorandum of Understanding
between the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and NOAA/NMFS for fisheries
NEFSC Lab - Woods Hole
The NMFS Northeast Fisheries Center's Woods Hole Laboratory is
rededicated in August, celebrating its first century of research
accomplishment and service.
SEFC scientists begin a new fish oil program to help the biomedical
community ascertain the effects of the omega-3 fatty acid subcomponents
on human health.
National Systematics Laboratory staff publish a paper identifying
various species of spiny lobster from the tails alone. This was to
address difficulties military purchasers were encountering with buying
"U.S. origin only." The paper was reprinted by Osprey Books as a
mass-market illustrated guide popular with processors and buyers.
The SWFC develops strategic plans for the joint SWFC-SWR-California
Department of Fish and Game Marine Recreational Fisheries Program.
The Congressionally mandated, 5-year program to survey dolphin
populations in the eastern tropical Pacific is launched, and the first
expedition is carried out using two NOAA research vessels.
NMFS petitions the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to seek
affirmation of menhaden oil and partially hydrogenated menhaden oil as
being Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS), culminating 9 years of
research into the chemistry of fish oils and the history of their
The Interjurisdictional Fisheries Act of 1986 is passed to distribute
Federal money to the states for use in developing research programs to
enhance the management of interstate fisheries.
A multi-year collaboration among NEFSC scientific staff and outside
colleagues results in publication of a comprehensive atlas of Georges
Bank, a benchmark work published by MIT Press under the title "Georges
The SWFC plays a vital role in the development and signing of the
MEXUS-Pacifico agreement for fisheries cooperation between Mexico and
the United States.
The South Pacific Tuna Treaty between the governments of certain
Pacific Island States and the U.S. government is signed in Papua New
Guinea, giving U.S. tuna fishermen access to over 10 million square
miles of rich fishing grounds in the South Pacific.
NMFS signs a joint Memorandum of Agreement with the Port of Los Angeles
for the largest wetlands restoration project (600+ acres) in southern
California (Batiquitos Lagoon).
The Driftnet Impact Monitoring, Assessment, and Control Act is passed to
monitor, assess, and reduce adverse impacts of driftnets on marine
Using data collected by the
Hook laboratory the Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) closes the 12-mile sewage sludge dumpsite in
the New York Bight.
John Pearce of the NEFSC chairs the New Jersey Governor's Blue Ribbon
Panel on Ocean Incidents which leads to a State of the Ocean report,
quelling rumors and misperceptions about the New York- Middle Atlantic
Bight water quality.
The SWFSC receives the Group Award for Excellence from the American
Institute of Fisheries Research Biologists, in recognition of the
Center's outstandinq achievements in marine biological research.
The South Pacific Tuna Act is passed by Congress, implementing the
treaty between the United States and various Pacific Island states,
covering prohibitions and licensing procedures for tuna fishing and
authorizing NMFS to carry out U.S. obligations under the treaty. The
SWR establishes a field office in Pago Pago, American Samoa, to take
species composition and length-frequency samples of U.S. catch from
the Treaty area, inspect vessel logbooks, and facilitate the placement
of observers aboard vessels.
The NWAFC is divided into the Alaska Fisheries Science
Center and the Northwest Fisheries
The Maurice Stansby Fish Oil Biomedical Test Materials Laboratory is
dedicated at the NMFS Charleston Laboratory.
The first comprehensive film on shrimp trawl design and performance is
produced by the Mississippi
Laboratories Harvesting Division.
NMFS receives a report of three gray whales trapped in ice near Barrow
Alaska. For three weeks, NMFS leads an international rescue
operation that allows two of the whales to swim free from the ice on
New James J. Howard Marine Sciences Labratory - Sandy Hook NJ
A groundbreaking ceremony is held for a planned state-of-the art
laboratory facility for oceanic and estuarine marine research to
replace the Sandy
Hook laboratory facility destroyed by fire.
The Coast Watch Program begins receiving satellite imagery of sea
surface temperatures used to study and manage red tides and sea
The winter run of chinook salmon in California's Sacramento River is
listed as a threatened species.