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Groundfish and Shellfish Assessment Surveys

Sample Request Instructions

How the submission process works
After a sample request is submitted via the online form, the requestor will be sent an automatic confirmation email indicating that the request was received. The request will then be reviewed by RACE Groundfish and Shellfish Assessment Programs staff relative to both internal sampling priorities and other sampling requests. Sampling time during research cruises is limited, and while the time required to accomplish a single sampling request may appear reasonable, the cumulative time required to address multiple sampling requests adds up quickly. If we have concerns about the magnitude or complexity of your request or cannot attempt to fulfill your request for other reasons, you will be notified at the email address that you provided with your request. The submission of a request does not guarantee that it will be included in the sampling protocol. Our acceptance of your request and inclusion within our sampling protocol also does not guarantee that we will successfully fulfill your request.

Requestors can submit requests for more than one survey by filling out the online form for each survey. We do not accept "standing requests," so if you have a request that you would like to submit for more than one year, you must fill out the appropriate online forms each year to do so. This ensures that unnecessary requests do not remain in our sampling protocol. The RACE Groundfish and Shellfish Assessment Programs will not assume the continuation of any request unless it is submitted through the online form system by the posted deadline.

Tissue Collections
Tissues of fishes for genetic analysis should be requested directly through the University of Washington Fish Collection (UWFC), with the exception of tissues required for population-level analyses (i.e., large numbers of tissues from common, easily identified species).
Our Systematic Laboratory staff works closely with the UWFC to routinely collect and archive tissues from fishes in our survey area, and the UWFC may be able to immediately provide tissues taken during earlier surveys. If tissues are not presently available, the UWFC will coordinate sample requests with our staff. A searchable database of the holdings at the UWFC is available at Burke Museum Ichthyology Collections Database. Contact the Collections Manager, Katherine Maslenikov, to submit a request or for more information.

For invertebrate tissues, requests should be submitted directly to RACE. Generally, invertebrates routinely collected at sea for identification purposes are preserved in 95% ethanol, unless requested otherwise, and are deposited in the collections of the California Academy of Sciences, Department of Invertebrate Zoology and Geology. Requestors are encouraged to consult the searchable database at Institute for Biodiversity Science & Sustainability for available material previously collected during our surveys. Contact the Collections Manager, Christina Piotrowski, for more information.

Preservation and Chemicals
We have the capability to freeze significant numbers of samples on most of our research vessels. Freezing is the safest form of preservation for our staff. We do accept requests involving other forms of preservation (alcohol, formalin etc.) on a very limited basis. Anyone requesting samples from a survey requiring chemicals will need to supply the chemicals, appropriate MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) forms, appropriate safety containers, or any other supplies needed to fulfill the request.

Sample Storage
Since our laboratory freezer space continues to be limited, it is important to pick up, ship out, or work up samples promptly. Please contact Nancy Roberson (contact information below) to inquire about collected samples and the status of a particular survey. Unless special arrangements are made prior to the survey, we will not hold samples for more than 30 days after a given survey.

Requestors will be responsible for shipping supplies and shipping costs, if shipping is necessary. If the samples are frozen, a cooler and a prepared Federal Express or United Parcel Service (UPS) slip (with your account number) for the return of the samples will need to be sent to the address shown below.

Shipping Address:

ATTN: Nancy Roberson
NOAA/NMFS/Alaska Fisheries Science Center
7600 Sand Point Way N.E., Building 4
Seattle, Washington 98115

If the samples are preserved in chemicals, requestors must be aware of the HazMat shipping guidelines for Federal Express and UPS, and send the proper shipping container and labels for the shipping of the samples. Shipping chemicals has become very problematic for us so we strongly recommend that samples preserved in chemicals are picked up at the Alaska Fisheries Science Center rather than shipped.

Research Acknowledgment
When samples collected during RACE Groundfish and Shellfish Assessment Programs sponsored cruises are used to generate publications, the authors should include an acknowledgment similar to the following:

"The authors thank the RACE Groundfish and Shellfish Assessment Programs of the NOAA Fisheries Alaska Fisheries Science Center and the crew of the [name of the fishing vessel] for their assistance in securing biological samples utilized during this study."

In cases where scientific staff cooperation is significant, study authors should consider including as co-authors one or more scientists of the RACE Groundfish and Shellfish Assessment Programs staff as co-authors in products resulting from their studies.

If you have questions, please contact:

Thank you in advance for your cooperation!

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