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AFSC Historical Corner:  2000 - Present

Agency Timeline
Early Pioneers
Research and Mgmt.

Continuing the Research into a New Century

sea ice during the 2008 Beaufort Sea cruise
AFSC scientists and partnering researchers make a historic cruise to the Beaufort Sea.
E. Acuna (AFSC), photographer, 2008.

Emerging into the 21st century, the Alaska Fisheries Science Center has played a key role in developing the knowledge needed for the management of the walleye pollock and other groundfish stocks in the North Pacific.

Center scientists have, and continue to make, significant contributions toward understanding the biology and population dynamics of other major species necessary for effective fishery management in the regions of the Bering Sea, Gulf of Alaska, and Aleutian Islands.

The protection and restoration of marine mammal populations in Alaska is an especially important objective. Numerous studies are focused on identifying and evaluating the ecosystem structure and variability, essential fish habitat, and the genetic structure of fish and marine mammal species. During the progession into the new century, considerable effort has been expended towards the impacts of climate change on the myriad of marine life found in Alaska waters.

Other significant events:

  • 2001 - On 7 October, Dr. Douglas DeMaster was named Director of the Alaska Fisheries Science Center.  More >>
  • 2003 - The Oscar Dyson was launched on 17 October in Pascagoula, Mississippi. The ship was the first of four new ships built by NOAA and was considered one of the most technologically advanced fisheries survey vessels in the world. Homeported in Kodiak, Alaska, the Dyson was commissioned on 28 May 2005.
  • 2005 - On 21 August, REFM's North Pacific Groundfish Observer Program formally became the Fisheries Monitoring and Analysis (FMA) Division as part of the AFSC.  More >>
  • 2006 - The AFSC Committee on Outreach, Education, and Diversity (COED) was formed from the former AFSC Diversity Panel. Its goal was to develop, maintain and improve education and outreach activities that support the AFSC's mission to communicate scientific information generated to protect, conserve, and manage living marine resources in Alaska.
  • 2007 - In May, the Auke Bay Laboratories moved into the new Ted Stevens Marine Research Institute at Lena Point in Juneau, Alaska. Scientists and staff occupied 85 offices and 14 laboratories in the new 69,000 square foot facility.
  • 2008 - On 30 August, AFSC scientists in collaboration with scientists from the University of Washington and University of Alaska successfully completed a historic research cruise to the Beaufort Sea. The project, funded by Minerals Management Service, gathered information on fishes in offshore waters during the brief ice-free season. The only fish survey to occur in the offshore waters previous to this was opportunistic and took place in 1977.  More >>
  • 2008 - On 13 August, the research vessel John N. Cobb was decommissioned in Seattle, Washington, as the oldest wooden boat in the NOAA fleet.  More >>
  • 2009 - NMML's Polar Ecosystem Program conducted an extensive study on seals in the Bering Sea. The research cruise focused on locating, capturing, sampling, and applying satellite-linked tags to ribbon and spotted seals. In addition, an evaluation was made on the utility of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) technology to improve ice seal abundance and distribution estimates by flying sensor test flights and limited line transect surveys with an Insight A-20 UAS.

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