link to AFSC home page
Mobile users can use the Site Map to access the principal pages

link to AFSC home page link to NMFS home page link to NOAA home page

MESA: Marine Ecology

ABL Home
Marine Ecology & Stock Assessment
Marine Ecology:
Benthic Habitat
Deep-sea Corals
Forage Species
Rockfish Habitat
Program Activities:
Data Sets
Longline Survey Data
2013 Survey Calendar
Reports & Activities
Delta submersible survey in southeast Alaska
Delta submersible survey in southeast Alaska.
Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) Phantom
Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) Phantom.
Winter sampling in Alaska
Winter sampling in Alaska.

The marine ecology element of the MESA program produces important research on benthic fish habitat, deep sea corals, forage fish, and estuaries. A variety of gear types are used in these studies. Towed cameras and manned submersibles allow scientists to identify habitat associations of many fish species, discover extensive coral gardens in the Aleutian Islands, and provide insights into the catchability of trawl gear for groundfish. Large research vessels are used to collect high resolution sonar data to generate benthic habitat maps of important conservation areas and fishing grounds in the Gulf of Alaska and Aleutian Islands. Smaller research vessels are used for nearshore operations. Scuba divers examine life history and distribution patterns of a variety of corals and sponges. Traps and remotely operated cameras are used to sample and identify juvenile fishes. Beach seines and skiffs are used to sample forage fish species and delineate estuarine essential fish habitat. Scientists continue to develop new studies to describe unknown life history characteristics and habitat requirements for many species.

Kalei Shotwell
Auke Bay Laboratories
Alaska Fisheries Science Center, NOAA Fisheries

Ted Stevens Marine Research Institute
17109 Pt Lena Loop Rd
Juneau AK 99801


Featured Research, Publications, Posters, Reports, and Activities

  • SIGLER, M. F., M. F. CAMERON, M. P. EAGLETON, C. H. FAUNCE, J. HEIFETZ, T. E. HELSER, B. J. LAUREL, M. R. LINDEBERG, R. A. McCONNAUGHEY, C. H. RYER, and T. K. WILDERBUER. 2012. Alaska Essential Fish Habitat Research Plan: a research plan for the National Marine Fisheries Service's Alaska Fisheries Science Center and Alaska Regional Office. AFSC Processed Rep. 2012-06, 21 p. Alaska Fish. Sci. Cent., NOAA, Natl. Mar. Fish. Serv., 17109 Pt. Lena Loop Road, Juneau, AK 99801. (.pdf, 704 KB).  Online.
  • HANSELMAN, D. H., P. D. SPENCER, D. R. McKELVEY, and M. H. MARTIN. 2012. Application of an acoustic-trawl survey design to improve estimates of rockfish biomass. Fish. Bull., U.S. 110:379-396. 
  • ECHAVE, K., M. EAGLETON, E. FARLEY, and J. ORSI. 2012. A refined description of essential fish habitat for Pacific salmon within the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone in Alaska. U.S. Dep. Commer., NOAA Tech. Memo. NMFS-AFSC-236, 104 p. (.pdf, 4.51 MB).  Online.

See the publications and poster databases for additional listings.


To view and print these documents, you must install Adobe Acrobat Reader freeware.  Adobe also offers free tools for the visually disabled

             Home | Site Map | Contact Us | Webmaster | Feedback | Privacy | Disclaimer | Accessibility | Print            doc logo