The Age and Growth Program is a cutting-edge research organization that provides age data that contributes to our basic
understanding of a species whether it is in the context of sustainable fisheries, species conservation, or species ecology.
The program is primarily focused on age data for age structured modeling of exploited fish populations.
Age structures, primarily otoliths, are collected from NMFS survey cruises, the
Fisheries Observer Program, foreign fisheries agencies, and state
agencies. Current species being aged and studied include walleye
pollock, sablefish, Pacific cod, Atka mackerel, yellowfin sole,
Pacific ocean perch, and various other flatfish and rockfish
species. Quality control is provided through 20% repeated readings
by experienced age readers. Ageing methodologies are validated
using known age fish, tagged fish, marginal increment studies, OTC
marked fish, and radiometric studies.