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Population & Ecosystems Monitoring & Analysis Division

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Chief: Dr. Wendy Gabriel

The Population and Ecosystems Monitoring and Analysis Division (PEMAD) collects samples and data from fishery resources and the environment. These collections create data streams used throughout the NEC, and by external users, to assess the status and trends of fishery resources and the dynamics of the ecological processes that control resource productivity.


The scale of the PEMAD's activities also make it a laboratory for development of QA/QC best practices and for application of advanced technologies in marine ecosystem monitoring.

Finally, Division scientists provide relevant advice and information to living marine resource managers at the regional, national, and international levels.

Ecosystems Surveys Branch

Chief: Peter Chase

The Ecosystems Surveys Branch collects fishery independent data during standardized research vessel surveys from Cape Hatteras to the Scotian Shelf. Surveys also provide oceanographic and plankton data for monitoring the health and status of marine resources and their habitat. During research vessel surveys, the Branch gathers data on distribution, abundance, feeding ecology, and size and age composition of stocks of economically and ecologically important species. Data collected in these programs are archived into computer data files which are vital for assessment and management. The Branch designs, builds, and tests much of its sampling gear and evaluates hydroacoustic sensing systems. Branch staff also conduct vessel and gear standardization studies to ensure comparability of survey indices over time and perform statistical evaluations of sampling adequacy. For more information, visit the Ecosystems Surveys Branch website »

The Fisheries Acoustic Research Program Advanced Sampling Technologies Research Group (ASTRG) implements state-of-the-art fisheries acoustic technologies to provide cost-effective and accurate fisheries-independent population estimates of commercially important pelagic fish and squid stocks in the Northwest Atlantic. For more information, visit the ASTRG website »

Population Biology Branch

Chief: Dr. Richard McBride

The NEFSC’s Population Biology Branch investigates and documents the biology and ecology of fishes in the western North Atlantic Ocean. Our products and services focus on growth, reproduction, feeding, and movements of marine fishes.

The branch has programs in Woods Hole MA (Fishery Biology Program, Food Web Dynamics Program) and Narragansett RI (Apex Predators Program).

Fishery Biology Program website »
Food Web Dynamics Program website »
Apex Predators Program website »

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