Fisheries Timeline



The Federal government assumes management of the Pribilof Islands fur seal resource.


The United States Commission of Fish and Fisheries, formed on February 9th is the first Federal agency concerned with natural resource

The nation's first fisheries laboratory is established at Woods Hole by the U.S. Fish Commission, the forerunner of today's NMFS. The first U.S. Fish Commissioner, Spencer F. Baird, selects Woods Hole for its central location, support facilities, clean water, and good access to offshore fishing sites. A survey of marine life in local waters begins. Others conduct research at Cape Hatteras and on the Great Lakes. Baird personally investigates the alleged decrease of southern New England fisheries, taking testimony from many witnesses.

The Fish Commission is directed by Congress ... to determine whether a diminution of the number of food-fishes of the coast and lakes of the U.S. has taken place; and, if so, to what causes the same is due; and whether any and what protective prohibitory or precautionany measures should be adopted in the premises.... Baird immediately initiates a broad spectrum of ecological research.

Vinal N. Edwards , the first permanent federal employee of the fisheries service is employed as an all-around technician, a position he holds until his death in 1919. Edwards had no scientific background but was often described as an "intuitive" naturalist with an encyclopedic knowledge of the ocean processes and marine life in and around Woods Hole.


American Fish Culturists Association appropriates $15,000 for the U.S government to begin fish culture development, adding aquaculture to the Fish Commission's charge.

In March, northern fur seal research on the Pribilof Islands begins when Henry Wood Elliott of the Treasury Department is sent to the islands to supervise fur seal management. Under Baird's direction, Elliott conducts the first seal studies, and his watercolors illustrate every aspect of seal life.

The Commission's summer station is set up at Eastport, Maine, and a special herring study is made.

On August 30th, Livingston Stone makes the first collection and fertilization of salmon eggs at Baird Station on the McCloud River in northern California and ships them to the east coast by rail. He is also appointed Secretary of the American Fish Culturist's Association

On October 23rd, 30,000 chinook salmon eggs are shipped from California to the East Coast; all but 7,000 die in transit. About 200-300 hatch and are raised to fingering size and planted unsuccessfully in the Susquehanna River in March 1873.


The Fish Commission's summer research station in Portland, Maine, is augmented by the loan of an 80-ton steamer from the U.S. Navy. Outer waters between Mount Desert and Cape Cod are also explored with the U.S. Coast Survey steamer Bache

In January Stone plants Great Lakes whitefish into Clear Lake, Calif., the first of many such unsuccessful efforts there.

Stone, with a special railway California Aquarium Car leaves Charlestown, N.H. for the Pacific coast on June 3rd. Approximately 300,000 fish, including catfish, eels, bullheads, perch, bass, trout, and lobsters, are accidentally planted in Nebraska's Elkhorn River when a railroad bridge collapses. Stone and his assistants swim to safety, but three people die in the accident.

On July 2nd, Stone releases 35,000 Hudson River shad into the Sacramento River. Shad transplants continue for several years, and the Atlantic species becomes well established on the Pacific coast.

Baird publishes the first of the annual USFC reports on the Commission's operations and research. The series provides a much-needed outlet for scientific reports on the Nation's fisheries and oceanographic studies. The first edition details Baird's findings on "The Condition of the Sea Fisheries of the South Coast of New England in 1871 and 1872."


"Baggage-masters will allow agents of the U.S. Fish Commission to ride in the baggage-cars and to attend to the tanks which they have charge."--A. J. Cassett, Pennsylvania Railroad Company.

The Baird Hatchery on the McCloud River is recognized as a permanent station of the Fish Commission. From it, fertilized salmon eggs are shipped around the world. The hatchery site now lies under the waters behind Shasta Dam.


The Commission's research work is centered at Noank, Conn., and an attempt is made to introduce shad to European waters.


A combination of federal and private funds make renovation of a shed into a more permanent, two-story lab at Woods Hole complete with a windmill for pumping seawater to research aquaria.


The Fish Commission presents a large exhibit of fish culture methods and aspects of American fisheries at the Philadelphia International Exhibition; carp are first imported from Germany


"To conductors and Baggage-masters. You will permit his Fish Commission deputy's cans of living fish to be carried in the baggage cars."--Gen'l Superintendent, Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railway Co., Cleveland.

The War Department furnished Baird station a military guard this year, which proved to be a very valuable acquisition.--Livingston Stone.

The first successful U.S. east coast sardine cannery is started at Eastport, Maine, 43 years after the world's first sardine cannery began operating in Nantes, France.

Fish Commission investigations resume at Salem, Mass., and later at Halifax, Nova Scotia. Federal carp ponds are established in Washington, D.C.

The Halifax Fishery Commission is charged with settling the amount of compensation to be paid by the United States for the privilege of fishing off the eastern Canadian Provinces and Commissioner Baird is summoned to testity. Baird's assistant, G. Brown Goode, reports that "The information at that time available concerning the fisheries was found to be so slight and imperfect that a plan for systematic investigation of the subject was arranged and partially undertaken." The full study of America's fisheries and their history and status would later be published as part of the Tenth U.S. Census.

The first salmon cannery in Alaska is established at Klawok.

The first major monograph on the menhaden, a prolific and widely useful species, is published by G. Brown Goode, Assistant Fish Commissioner. The menhaden is still one of the Nation's most important fisheries, and research into its ecology and utilization continues today.

J. R. Shotwell, in a letter to Baird, describes the efforts of a New Jersey gas company to remove harmful products from distilled coal waste before dumping in the Delaware River.


The U.S. Fish Commission occupies a permanent station in Gloucester, MA to supplement fish propagation studies ongoing at the Woods Hole Station. This would eventually become the first seafood technology lab in the United States.

The first clam cannery in the United States is established at Pine Point, Maine. Also, crab is first canned at Norfolk, Va.

The breeding of cod and haddock is accomplished at Gloucester, Mass.

The Commission publishes six annual or biannual reports totaling 5,650 pages during 1871-78 and they provide a much needed outlet for fisheries and oceanographic research papers and reports.


Commissioner Baird initiates a landmark study on the composition of fish to determine their food and nutritive values. The research, conducted by W. O. Atwater and Charles Woods, provides important bench- mark data, many of which are still useful today.

The field of fish technology opens with investigations of methods for freezing fish, and in 1882 net preservatives are studied.

The Fish Commission's summer station is located at Provincetown, Mass.

Oyster propagation is accomplished cooperatively with the Maryland Fish Commission and under the direction of Major Ferguson. Distribution of the German carp is also initiated--a move later rued.

One hundred and fifty east coast striped bass are successfully transplanted by Livingston Stone to the Pacific near Martinez, Calif.

The Fish Commission, cooperating with the Superintendent of the Tenth U.S. Census, dispatches specialists to all parts of the Nation to study and record the biological, statistical, and practical aspects of all U.S. fisheries. The results are published in 1887 as a huge, comprehensive seven-volume work on The Fisheries and Fishery Industries of the United States.

The Fish Commission's first research vessel, the 156.5-foot U.S.S. Fish Hawk is launched. The coal-burning steamer is built to serve as a floating hatchery in coastal waters for shad, herring, and striped bass production.


The Fish Commission's summer station is at Newport, R.I., where the Fish Hawk operates for the season. Over 50 Commission investigators are in the field.

Spencer Baird receives the first-honor prize at the Berlin Exposition from the Emperor of Germany, not only for the excellence of the Commission's fisheries display, but also owing to the international regard of Baird who was widely seen as the preeminent fish culturist for his successful promotion of fish culture and fish acclimatization--exchanging fish and fish ova throughout the world.

Prof. Addison E. Verrill estimates that in just 10 years, research, mainly by the Commission, has added 1,000 new species to the list of known marine creatures in New England waters--not including finfishes. About 100 newly discovered finfishes were added during the same period on the Atlantic coast.

Despite having a very stylish Washington address (1445 Massachusetts Ave.) Baird is characterized in an article "Celebrities at Home", as dressing in the plain and slightly old-fashioned style of a well-to-do country English farmer.

"This is ... a most wonderful fauna, vastly exceeding in richness and extent on anything known to science."--S. F Baird, on results of explorations of the Gulfstream slope 80 miles south of Martha's Vineyard, Mass.

More than 260,000 fertilized rainbow trout ova are shipped east from California for distribution to state fish commissions.


The lab receives its first presidential visit, from Chester A. Arthur. Arthur is taken for a collecting cruise off Woods Hole in the Commission steamer Despatch.

In April vessels report countless dead tilefish floating in an area from Georges Banks to Cape May. A conservative estimate made by Capt. J.W.Collins of the RV Grampus placed the number of dead fish at upwards of 1,438,720,000 (That's 1.43 billion fish!). Allowing 10 pounds for each fish he estimated this amounted to 288 pounds for every man, woman and child in the U.S. at the time. The mystery was never explained, but a plausable explanation for the deaths seemed to be a sudden chilling of the deeper waters along this stretch of ocean. No catch of tilefish was reported again for 15 years.

Albatross I

In March, the 234-foot U.S.S. Albatross, the first U.S. research vessel built exclusively for fisheries and oceanographic research, is launched. The ironhull, twin-screw vessel was designed to conduct its marine investigations in any part of the world's seas

Volume 1, for 1881, of the Bulletin of the United States Fish Commission is published "... for the purpose of utilizing and of promptly publishing the large amount of interesting correspondence of the Fish Commission in reference to matters pertaining to fish culture and to the apparatus, methods, and results of the fisheries.... Parts of the text were distributed signature by signature, the remainder in bound annual volumes." Now the quarterly, peer-reviewed journal Fishery Bulletin, this series has been in continuous publication for 115 years.


Woods Hole, Mass., property is deeded to the U.S. Government for the construction of the Commission's first full-time research laboratory.

Baird suggests that purer forms of salt be used to solve the problem of red cod a discoloration found in cured cod.


Construction of the laboratory building at Woods Hole begins.


The first permanent lab is completed, built on land given for the purpose by a local resident (Joseph Story Fay) with a combination of federal and private funds. The building remains useful until 1958. Because of the permanent facility, the Commission's research vessels Fish Hawk and the world-renowned Albatross begin to use Woods Hole as a base.

In summer, Atlantic shad are transported in a railroad car to the Pacific coast and planted in Washington Territory and Oregon waters. On return, clams, Tapes staminea, are collected and brought back to Woods Hole

Baird writes excitedly about acquisition of female and male pygmy sperm whales taken from Atlantic waters. These whales had been known to exist only in the Pacific Ocean,


The Grampus, another Commission research ship, is completed, providing a revolutionary new fishing vessel design.


On August 19th, Spencer F. Baird, first Commissioner of Fisheries, dies at Wood Hole, Mass. Confined to a wheelchair in his latter days, he reportedly requested that he be wheeled around the station for final contact with his handiwork. He is buried at Oak Hill Cemetery, Washington,

"... There rises again the thought that kept recurring then, that the sea is very ancient, that it ebbed and flowed before man appeared on the planet, and will ebb and flow after he and his words have dis- ppeared; and a singular, indefinite impression, as if something had passed that was, in some fashion, great and mysterious, and ancient like the sea itself."-- Edwin Linton, speaking of the day of Baird's death

The Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL), private research facility, is established at Woods Hole, and staff are given free access to Commission Facilities

Rainbow trout, a western species, is doing so well in eastern U.S. fish culture stations that shipments of them from the west are discontinued.

In September, George Brown Goode temporarily succeeds Baird, but he resigns atter 6 months to devote full time to his duties as Director of the U.S. National Museum.

The huge and extensive five-section, seven-volume review of the history and conditions of U.S. fisheries is published by the Commission. Edited by George Brown Goode, it is titled "The Fisheries and Fishery of the United States".


On January 20th, Congress establishes the U.S. Fish Commission as an independent agency of the Federal government and terminates its administrative relationship with the Smithsonian Institution. Marshall McDonald is appointed Commissioner at a salary of $5,000 per year

The Albatross sails to the Pacific Ocean where it is used for fisheries and oceanographic research and for marine mammal (fur seal) law enforcement patrols until 1914

On July 4th the first Federal efforts in fishery studies along the North Pacific coast begin as the Albatross leaves San Francisco to collect marine samples and observe fish and other aquatic life. It con- ducts fisheries investigations off the coasts of California, Oregon, Washington and Alaska

W. O. Atwater publishes the 200-page report on the nutritive values of various fishes in the Report of the Commissioner of Fisheries for 1888-1889.- It provides a basic reference on proximate composition of fish and shellfish and remains valuable today for comparison of composition ranges in relation to species size and distribution

The Pacific halibut fishery is inaugurated as a sailing schooner returns to Seattle with its catch.


H.V.P. Wilson publishes his classic fish embryology paper on sea bass, based on his work at the Fish Commission lab.

Pacific halibut is shipped to the east coast by rail, and as the market develops and demand grows, the fishery gradually extends farther offshore.

The Albatross is ordered to escort the Dawes Commission along the Pacific coast.

Livingston Stone likens the Pacific salmon of Alaska to the buffalo and calls for the formation of a National Salmon Park.


The Albatross carries two presidentially appointed commissions to study the plight of the fur seal; their reports confirm that seal populations are being seriously harmed by pelagic (high-seas) seal hunting.


September 6th, Vineyard Haven, Mass.: About 7 o'clock last evening, during the southeasterly storm, United States Fish Commission schooner Grampus, bound to Woods Holl (sic) from Hyannis, ran ashore on L'Hommidieu shoal, Vineyard Sound. United States Fish Commissioner Col. McDonald, his wife and daughter, Assistant Commissioner Capt. J. W. Collins and Mrs. Bean and Patten, left the schooner in a dory, and succeeded in making a safe landing at Falmouth.' The Grampus was later refloated.


Based on Stone's recommendations, Afognak Island, Alaska, is set aside as a Forest and Fish Cultural Reserve.

The last of four carloads with 1,000 specimens of fish representing 40 species is delivered by the Commission to the Chicago World's Fair for a fish culture exhibit.

A contract to complete a fishway at Great Falls, Va., on the Potomac River is accepted for $15,000.


The U.S. Fish Commission becomes responsible for northern fur seal research.


The Commission's Division of Propagation and Distribution of Food Fishes is established.

Marshall McDonald steps down as commissioner of the Bureau of Fisheries and Herbert A. Gill becomes acting commissioner.


Salmon research from the Albatross leads Congress to regulate Alaskan salmon fishing with net restrictions, closed seasons, spawning escapement requirements, etc.

The first successful Pacific coast sardine cannery is established at San Pedro, Calif.

The rainbow trout is now successfully acclimatized in almost every state east of the Rocky Mountains.


The Fish Commission publishes "A Manual of Fish Culture," and 60 years later it is still considered the most complete text on the subiect.


In response to commercial obstruction of Alaska's Karluk River, Congress passes its first salmon protection law.

George M. Bowers becomes commissioner of the Bureau of Fisheries.


The U.S. River and Harbors Act allows Alaska fishermen to secure a permit granted by the War Department to buy salmon traps. The War Department's sole interest in the matter is to assure that the traps would not obstruct navigation.

For the first time, total Commission production of fish eggs, fry, and larger fish exceeds one billion.


The western-style purse seine is first used in the Pacific herring fishery, gradually replacing the Norwegian style of oar-propelled seine boats.

President Theodore Roosevelt signs a law for construction of the second Federal fisheries laboratory in the United States at Beaufort, N.C. Its first director is Henry Van Peters Wilson, a University of North Carolina professor.


Charles A. Wilson begins summer work at the Woods Hole Laboratory, that culminates in publication of "The Copepods of the Woods Hole Region Massachusetts",- a standard reference in copepod biology.

The Commission employs a fish pathologlst on a part-time basis.


The American Fisheries Society places a granite monument to Baird at the Woods Hole lab, where it remains today in a public park.

The Nation's second Federal fisheries laboratory, in Beaufort, N.C., is occupied on May 26th. Though not yet complete, it provides a laboratory, aquarium, office, 12 bedrooms, storerooms, etc.


U.S. Fish Commission research activities are turned over to the Department of Commerce and Labor Bureau of Fisheries.

By Act of February 14th, the U.S. Fish Commission and the Office of the Commissioner of Fish and Fisheries are placed in the Department of Commerce and Labor which is also created by the new Act. The transfers take place on July 1st.

The formerly independent Fish Commission is named the U.S. Bureau of Fisheries. The new Bureau retains the scientific responsibilities of the Fish Commission and incorporates other fishery-related functions: i.e. jurisdiction, supervision, and control over the fur seal of Alaska are assumed from the Department of the Treasury.

David Starr Jordan is chosen to head a commlttee appointed by President Theodore Roosevelt to investigate the causes for the decline in the salmon fisheries of Alaska.

The first salmon-marking experiments are begun by Fred Chamberlain of the Bureau of Fisheries in southeastern Alaska.


One million whitefish, 100,000 brook trout, 53,000 lake trout, and 50,000 landlocked salmon eggs leave New York harbor for Argentina. Losses are later reported as only 10% except for lake trout which began hatching en route.


The first Federal hatchey in Alaska is established on a lake at Yes Bay in southeastern Alaska

In 1905, the fishing on New England banks was revolutionized by the introduction of the otter trawl ... which met with a great deal of opposition from many members of the industry--Herbert W. Graham, writing in 1952.


Bureau testing begins on a new wooden shipping case that holds 24 trays of eggs. Each tray can hold 192,000 lake trout eggs.

The Sponge Act is passed as the first assertion of Federal authority to manage marine fisheries. It set conservation rules for taking sponges from the Gulf of Mexico and Straits of Florida

During a raid on the Pribilof Island (Alaska) seal rookeries, five poachers are killed by bureau personnel acting in self defense, and a dozen others are jailed

The Albatross sails on a lengthy research cruise to the Aleutian Islands, Russia and Japan, making extensive biological collections and discovering hundreds of new genera and fishes. Capt. LeRoy Mason Garrett, U.S. Navy, thrown from the vessel in a violent storm is lost at sea.

"The 1906 cruise of the United States Fisheries steamer Albatross had for its especial object the investigation of the fish and fisheries of the Japanese seas, where the ship spent most of the time. The journey out was made by way of the Aleutian Islands, at several of which they stopped, Petropaulski, Kamchatka, and the Kuril islands. They returned by way of Honolulu. As the purpose of the expedition was the investigation of fish and marine invertebrates, and the ship was usually occupied in work offshore, their opportunities for collecting birds theyre reather limited, especially as their time was largely taken up by their duties in connection with the marine work, as the representative of the Bureau of Fisheries."

·         Unalga Pass (24 May 1906?);

·         Dutch Harbor/Unalaska (24-28 May 1906);

·         off Bogoslof Islands (28 May 1906);

·         Atka (30-31 May 1906);

·         at Bower’s Bank (3 Jun 1906);

·         off Semisopochnoi (?);

·         Agattu (7-8 Jun 1906);

·         off Semichi Islands (?);

·         Attu (9-11 Jun 1906);

·         Copper Island SIBERIA (13-14 Jun 1906);

·         Bering Island SIBERIA (15-16 Jun 1906);

·         Petropavlovsk/Avacha Bay KAMCHATKA (17-20 Jun 1906);

·         off Cape Lopatka SIBERIA (?);

·         Simushir KURILES (23-24 Jun 1906);

·         Japanese waters and ports (27 Jun 1906-20 Sep 1906);

·         Korsakoff SAKHALIN (24 Sep 1906);

·         off Cape Patience/Terpenia SAKHALIN (27 Sep 1906);

·         off southern KURILES (1 Oct 1906);

·         Japanese waters and ports (4 Oct 1906-10 Nov 1906); and

·         Honolulu (24 Nov 1906-2 Dec 1906).

From the paper entitled " The Birds Collected and Observed during the Cruise of the United States Fisheries Steamer "Albatross" in the North Pacific Ocean, and in the Bering, Okhotsk, Japan, and Eastern Seas, from April to December, 1906"


Rachel Louise Carson is born on May 27th. The famed conservationist, author, marine biologist, and Bureau employee wrote "The Sea Around Us" (1951), "Silent Spring" (1962), and other books that heightened public environmental awareness.

The Albatross leaves San Francisco for a 2-1/2 year cruise to Midway, Guam, Philippines, Borneo, Dutch East Indies, and Formosa.


The second Federal hatchery in Alaska is built at Litnik Lake on Afognak Island, near the site selected in 1889 by Livingston Stone and on the resereve established earlier by Presidential proclamation.


A.E. Verrill completes his study of the specimens collected during the survey that began at the Woods Hole lab in 1871. The project has formed the basis of hundreds of scientific papers on invertebrates. The specimen collection includes some 2,000 species taken from 3,000 locations in New England and is eventually given to the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard with duplicates in the Peabody Museum of Yale University.


On July 7th the United States~ Great Britain (for Canada)~ Japan, and Russia conclude a convention for the protection of the North Pacific fur seals that had been virtually decimated by overhunting on the high seas. This provides a sound basis for managing the species.

The Albatross returns to San Francisco after a trip along the California coast in which six yearling elephant seals, thought to be extinct, are captured and sent to the New York Aquarium.

The Alaska Fishery and Fur Seal Service is separated from the Division of Scientific Inquiry and made an operating Division of the Bureau of Fisheries.


H.B. Bigelow begins sixteen years of research on the oceanic fisheries in the Gulf of Maine. This fundamental work, along with extensive investigations with W.B. Schroeder results in the 1953 treatise "Fishes of the Gulf of Maine," a standard reference in the field.

The eruption of Alaska's Mount Katmai covers a Bureau salmon hatchery with nearly a foot of volcanic ash.


The Bureau of Fisheries publishes results of a massive bottom sampling program operated out of Woods Hole, describing the distribution of about 250 animal and plant species at several hundred sampling stations.

The Department of Labor is separated from the Department of Commerce, which retains the Bureau of Fisheries.

A study on age determination of Pacific salmon is begun by Charles Gilbert, initially using the scales of fish collected from the Columbia and Fraser Rivers.


A small office opens in Seattle's historic Smith Tower Building as an administrative center for the Bureau's Pacific coast operations.


The Department of Commerce and Labor becomes the Department of Commerce.

William F. Thompson, an early student of David Starr Jordan's, begins his study of the halibut fisheries of the North Pacific; later he will become the director of investigations for the International (Halibut) Fisheries Commission, the International Pacific Salmon Fisheries Commission, and the Fisheries Research Institute of the University of Washington. This halibut research is the first scientific study made on the Pacific coast fishery that is aimed at fishery management.

Congress approves the appointment of a full-time fish pathologist to the Bureau staff.

1915-21 The Albatross conducts research off Oregon, Washington, and California, including tuna studies of southern California and Baja California. However, during World War I, the Albatross is placed under U.S. Navy direction and patrols the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea region.


The Albatross undergoes repairs for a November transfer to the U.S. Navy for the duration of WWI. It is returned to the Bureau in 1919

Research emphasis at the lab is changed from general interest to work concentrating on the immediate increase of aquatic food supplies--a change precipitated by the onset of World War I. During this time, the Navy occupies the lab.

Fire destroys the fisheries laboratory building at Fairport, lowa, with total loss of a collection of rare scientific papers related to freshwater mussels.


The U.S. Navy takes over the Bureau's Beaufort, N.C., fisheries laboratory in World War I to study the fouling of ship bottoms, and returns it to the Bureau in 1920.

Funding is approved for the first fishery products laboratory, in Washington, D.C. to house rooms for drying, smoking, canning and refrigerating of fish. An experimental kitchen is also built.

The first of 125 nationwide cooking demonstrations begins in Seattle to show consumers the best and most economic ways of preparing and cooking fish.

The Supreme Count confirms its prior opinion enjoining Alaska Pacific Fisheries "from maintaining" and compelling it to remove, a fish trap erected by it in Annette island Waters. Alaska.


The Bureau reports that, "In no branch of the fisheries is there greater need for exhaustive study than in the methods or preservation of fishery products"

Vinal Edwards dies on April 5. Vinal was the first permanent employee of the Bureau of Fisheries.


Jurisdiction over all land fur-bearing animals, except those of Alaska and the Pribilof Islands, is transferred from the Bureau of Fisheries (Commerce Department) to the Agriculture Department.

Mussels reared in lowa are successfully planted along the Potomac River at Harpers Ferry, W.V.

Fire destroys the dining hall, kitchen, and laundry room of the Woods Hole Laboratory

With cooperation of the Naval Aviation Service and Chesapeake Bay fishermen, the Bureau inaugurates use of aeroplanes to locate menhaden.


The Albatross is decommissioned and retired from service on October 29th, but the scientific research into as well as the naming and cataloging of the many hundreds of thousands of specimens it has collected will continue for decades.

For the first time, Bureau of Fisheries scientists begin research to determine fat contents of fish oils at its Washington D.C., laboratory. Such research would continue during 1926-30 at a Reedville Va. laboratory on menhaden oil manufacture. Later Bureau research would target the vitamin content of fish oils and other healthful and nutritional attributes of fish oils.

Pacific salmon studies by Willis H. Rich, in cooperation with the Oregon Fish Commission, begin on the Columbia River. Meanwhile, salmon studies by Charles Gilbert begin in Bristol Bay and on Karluk River and Karluk Lake in Alaska.


Willis H. Rich former student of David Starr Jordan, becomes chief of the Bureau's Division of Scientific Inquiry. He later heads the Pacific Fishery Investigations at the Bureau's Stanford station and is Director of the Montlake Laboratory in Seattle.

Over 180 million fish are rescued in the Mississippi Valley and relocated from overflow ponds and lakes. The practice is abandoned in 1939 owing to improved flood control measures.


Herbert F. Prytherch makes his first report on his work with artificial propagation of oysters. He works in facilities provided by the Connecticut Oyster Farms Company of Milford, CT. Increased interest in molluscan culture for stock enhancement and direct sale eventually leads to establishment of a full-scale research facility at Milford, which is still a laboratory of the NEFSC, concentrating on pollution effects on marine life and molluscan and finfish aquaculture.


Congress passes the White Act in an effort to deal with the use of fish traps in the Alaska salmon fishery. It sets a 50% escapement level for streams where fish could be counted or reliably estimated giving the Commerce Secretary authority to limit catches and set seasons, but it does not allow the limitation of the amount of gear in the fishery.

Henny O'Malley, Bureau Comissioner and a member of the Halibut Commission, sends Harlan Holmes to Seattle to find working space for the Bureau. A small staff of Bureau employees work at the University of Washington's Fisheries Hall Number 4 until construction of the Montlake Laboratory is completed in 1931.

N.A. Cobb begins to spend his summers working at Woods Hole fisheries lab. Cobb was a world-known nematode specialist whose contributions included many discoveries regarding these animals, as well as in the taxonomy of nematodes. Cobb's outstanding contributions included using these animals to study biological problems such as heredity, phylogeny, adaptation, and parasitism.


P.S. Galtsoff begins lifelong work on the American oyster which culminates in the extensive classic "The American Oyster," published by the service in 1952.


The Bureau's steamer Fish Hawk is relinquished. Shortly after, the Bureau obtains the ocean tug Patuxent from the Navy. It is renamed the Albatross II and outfitted for research use.


Elmer Higgins, former student of David Starr Jordan, becomes chief of the bureau's Division of Scientific Inquiry.


The Bureau begins studying problems and methods of fish passage at various water diversion projects along the Pacific coast.


Columbus Iselin (Became director of WHOI) in center, O.E. Sette on right onboard Atlantis

O.E. Sette becomes director of the Fisheries lab and brings his pioneering work tagging and reporting on the schooling of mackerel.

New investigations begin on the sockeye salmon in Bristol Bay under Alan Taft and on the Copper River under Seton Thompson. Investigations on the pink salmon of southeastern Alaska begin under Fred Davidson.

Enforcement of Pacific salmon regulations is emphasized, and the Bureau employs 228 agents using 24 vessels and the Bureau's first airplane.

Planting of oak brush in Georgia's lower Duplin River proves successful for collecting oyster spat.


The small coal-burning steamer Phalarope under the command of Capt. R. N. Veeder, was used for collecting trips to fish traps, or for dredging or taking plankton samples around Woods Hole.

The Sockeye Salmon Fisheries Convention is signed to address conflicts between U.S. and Canadian fishermen in Puget Sound and the Strait of Georgia, where they compete for sockeye salmon bound for the Fraser River in B.C. Despite the Convention, questions remain unresolved, including the role of the Commission in regulation of the fishery, the division of catch between the fishermen of the two countries, and the agencies responsible for investigations. Bureau studies of the fishery would begin in 1931.

Although law enforcement work has long been a part of many U.S. Fish Commission and Bureau activities, an official Division of Law Enforcement, is not set up until this year.

On May 21st, the Preservation of Fishery Resources Act (Mitchell Act) is passed to provide for the conservation of the fishery resources of the Columbia River.

A new Act (H.R. 7405) is approved, authorizing construction of more than 25 Bureau fish culture stations, three new laboratories, and two fish distribution railroad cars over the next 5 years.


Victor Loosanoff is hired by Paul Galtsoff (now lab director) to go to Milford and work with the oyster industry. Loosanoff would eventually become, along with Galtsoff, a world-class expert on oyster culture.

Rachel Carson is hired by the Bureau's Chesapeake Bay Investigations Division as a biologist.

Biologist William C. Herrington begins his studies of haddock in the Gulf of Maine, incorporating both fishery dependent and independent information. This work is the foundation for the longtime series of information on haddock response to fishing effort in this highly productive region.

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) is established with H.B. Bigelow as its first director.

The Bureau's Montlake Laboratory opens on May 22nd in Seattle. Present at the Open House are Henry O'Malley of the Bureau: Miller Freeman, editor of the Pacific Fisherman; and U.S. Senator Wesley Jones, author of the Jones Act; as well as local Bureau staff members and International Fisheries Commission (commonly known as the Halibut Commission) staff. A 1931 reponse by O'Malley states:

... Personnel and equipment of the Stanford field station were transferred to the new Fisheries Biological Laboratory in Seattle, along with all of the Bureau's Pacific biological investigations dealing with Pacific coast fishery problems, except shellfish and the cooperative work on Calfornia trout...

The Halibut Commission moves to the Montlake facility in July.

A study of the biology of Puget Sound runs of sockeye salmon begins under the direct supervision of Montlake Laboratory director Joseph Craig.

A small, short-term Rogue River steel head trout tagging operation is started in the winter of 1930-31 and completed in 1931.

An extensive herring tagging program begins in southeastern Alaska using the new metal "belly" tag which can be recovered by a magnetic detection system on the conveyer belts at processing plants. Ed Dahlgren's ideas led to the development of this tag, and he also devised and developed the electronic and magnetic systems for recovering the tagged herring or the tags as they passed through the reduction plant.

More than 4,100 flounder are tagged and released during an investigation into their migratory patterns near the Woods Hole Laboratory.


The Bureau's long-sought experimental station for fish disease research is set up at Leetown, West Virginia.


A cooperative project between the Bureau, Cornell University, and the State of New York results in an experimental laboratory for fish nutrition research at Cortland, NY

The Bureau's Beaufort Laboratory is seriously damaged by a hurricane on September 16th- later the Public Works Administration provides funds to hire workers and restore buildings and equipment.

Lauren Davidson is appointed Montlake Laboratory director and focuses on statistical analysis of fisheries research. He hires a statistical analyst, and, at about the same time, the Halibut Commission begins to apply Baranof's theory of fishing to the regulatory problems of the halibut fishery.

The Alaska Territorial Civil Works Administrator is authorized to furnish the Bureau with 198 unskilled laborers to improve salmon spawning streams in southeast Alaska.


Temporary field facilities for pink salmon survival studies are built on Sashin Creek near the Little Port Walter Field Station in southeastern Alaska. They include the weir cabin, built in Seattle, barged to Alaska, and still in use in 1995.

The Columbia River Investigations program begins at the Montlake Laboratory and is closely associated with the water use development program for the Columbia River basin. An early and major part of the program is a comprehensive survey of all accessible salmon streams in the Columbia system.

Bureau coho salmon researchers in Puget Sound, Wash., study the relationship between the release time of young salmon from the hatcheries and the ultimate number of returns of adults.

On March 10th, Public Law 732 is enacted to provide for the mitigation of losses to fish and wildlife caused by Federal government construction.


The Bureau begins large-scale tagging experiments on white shrimp, and Peterson disc tags are used to determine growth rates and alongshore movements. Later, scientists would use biological stains and numbered internal plastic tags to mark the shrimp.

Initiative 77 is passed by the Washington State Legislature to eliminate all fixed fishing gear (i.e. traps and set nets) from state waters and divide the Puget Sound fishing area into an inner area for gill nets and an outer area for all remaining legal gear

Rachel Carson is recruited by Henry Higgins, head of the Bureau's Division of Scientific Inquiry, to write scripts for some Bureau radio broadcasts on marine life. She would serve with the Bureau until 1952.


The Sockeye Salmon Fisheries Convention between the U.S. and Canada is ratified by the U.S. Senate; ratification documents are exchanged between the countries in 1937.

Frederick F. Fish, stationed at the Bureau's Leetown, W.V., hatchery, reports that an epidemic of blue sac is causing heavy losses among the brook and brown trout fry.


By Congressional mandate, the Bureau establishes the South Pacific Investigations Program at Stanford University to study the decline in the California sardine fishery. This program is the foundation of the California Cooperative Sardine Research Program which would later become the California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigations (CalCOFI) program.

California Current Resources Laboratory (CCRL), one of the forerunners of today's Southwest Fisheries Science Center, is established at Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif., with O. E. Sette as Director

The U.S. Congress appropriates funds for a Fishery Market News Service in the Bureau of Fisheries

A U.S. Canada treaty sets up the International Pacific Salmon Fisheries Commission to manage those regional fisheries and coordinate extensive salmonid research programs. W. F Thompson is Director of investigations.


A hurricane and its accompanying storm wave demolishes many of the Woods Hole lab facilities, but equipment and boats are relatively undamaged.

An expansion of the Alaska fishery research program at the Seattle Montlake Laboratory begins with a large, comprehensive two-part program of study on the salmon runs in the Bristol Bay area of the Bering Sea. A field station and experimental area are established on Brooks River. One part studies the freshwater life history of the Bristol Bay sockeye salmon and the environmental factors affecting their survival. The other part studies the ocean life history of salmon and is done in close cooperation with the U.S. Coast Guard using the cutter Redwing. The studies end in 1941 with the outbreak of WWII and Japan's invasion of the Aleutian Islands.

Congress authorizes $25,000 to establish a fishery laboratory at Little Port Walter, Alaska.


The Bureau of Fisheries is transferred to the U.S. Department of the Interior.

The Bureau's monthly publication Fishery Market News begins in January as "a review of conditions and trends of the commercial fisheries."

Harlan Holmes, an expert on fish passage, becomes Biologist-in-charge of the new Hydraulic Engineering Section at the Montlake Laboratory. The section is to review all Federal power permit applications and develop, design, and restore needed fish-passage structures and de- vices including fish screens on the Columbia River.

The first trial marking of sardines results in a 10% recovery of 964 metal tagged sardines recovered by magnets.


The 1940 Reorganization Plan No. III, effective June 30th, merges the Bureau of Fisheries and the Biological Survey as part of the Interior Department's Fish and Wildlife Service; in addition, it provides for the establishment of five regional fisheries offices. The Bureau of Fisheries and Biological Survey groups would be separated again in 1956 as the renamed Bureau of Commercial Fisheries and the Bureau of Sport Fisheries and Wildlife.

The Little Port Walter Station opens and as of 1995 is the longest continually operating fisheries research facility in Alaska.

Between 1872 and 1940, the Fish Commission/Bureau plants and distributes 200 billion fish and other aquatic animals in national and international waters.

The U.S. Congress appropriates $100,000 for a 1-year study of the potential of an Alaska king crab fishery. The report is favorable and provides many data on harvest areas, fishing gear, preservation, canning, and the fishery potential.

The Bureau's Alaska Technological Laboratory is set up in Ketchikan; it moves to Kodiak in 1971.

A fisheries utilization laboratory operates for a few years in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, during the 1940's.

The Woods Hole lab is closed, and the buildings occupied by the Navy until the spring of 1944. Limited scientific work continues in space borrowed from the MBL.


On October 23rd Japan terminates the international fur seal convention but protection for the Pribilol herd is arranged by a provisional agreement between Canada and the United States.

Rachel Carson's first book "Under the Sea Wind," is published just before Pearl Harbor is bombed. She continues her Federal service as an aquatic biologist until 1946 when she would become an information specialist and, later, editor-in-chief of the Information Division of the Fish and Wildlife Service.

William C. Herrington publishes his circular entitled "A crisis in the haddock fishery" based on 10 years of sampling and biological work conducted in cooperation with the fishing industry. The paper warned of the dangers caused by a developing market in baby haddock, a situation not unlike that caused by fish discards in the present era. Herrington maps out the likely results of removing large numbers of young fish with such precision that the description resonates in today's NW Atlantic haddock fishery.


"Fish for war is the present aim of the Fishery biological investigations of the [Fish and Wildlife] Service," states the Department's Annual Report.

Samuel F. Hildebrand moves to Smithsonian Institution's National Museum to continue his fish systematics and taxonomy work for the agency. This is the beginning of todays NMFS National Systematics Laboratory, part of the NEFSC until 1995.

A 108-page supplement to the May issue of the Fishery Market News reviews "The Alaska King Crab, noting that Alaska waters hold ... an enormous reserve of edible fish--notably sole and pollock--which is at present wholly underutilized"

"In every major war fought by the United States, the fishing fleet has formed a second line of naval defense, fishing boats and fishermen being employed in various capacities for patrol as mine sweepers in supplying protein food to the armed forces and the civilian population." Charles E. Jackson.

The first permanent station was built at Milford. After working out of a building donated and moved across the harbor by a local oyster company, the staff is presented with a real scientific laboratory.


During World War II, the agency's Ketchikan Laboratory is asked to investigate potential emergency sources of marine foods in case military activities in Alaska cause food shortages. It studies various sharks and the Steller sea lion as well as groundfish and shellfish.


A second hurricane ravages Woods Hole, destroying the docks, part of the seawall, and much of the roofs, windows, porches, and outer skins of Woods Hole buildings.

The War Food Administration frees sperm whale oil from restricted civilian use, allowing it to be used for grinding oils, carbon paper, mimeograph inks, typewriter ribbon, etc.

The War Manpower Commission emphasizes the need "for encouraging employees to adapt more fishing jobs to the employment of women ... women can do much of the work in fish processing plants that formerly was considered for men only."

Selective Service State Directors are given authority to recommend draft exemptions for 18-25-year-old captains of fishing vessels of 20+ gross tons.

Of the 600 fishing boats requisitioned for emergency use by the U.S. Army, Navy, and Coast Guard, 142 are released to the War Shipping Administration by the military; 13 are returned to their original owners.

The dogfish shark, once considered a pest becomes the nation's chief source of vitamin A.


President Harry S. Truman issues a proclamation asserting U.S. jurisdiction "... over the natural resources of the continental shelf under the high seas contiguous to the coasts of the United States and its territories and providing for the establishment of conservation zones for the protection of fisheries in certain areas of the high seas contiguous to the United States."

The September issue of the agency's Fishery Market News publishes a warning to the fishing industry about a new pesticide: In spite of its apparent usefulness in improving sanitary conditions in such fishing industry plants DDT may have undesirable and even dangerous effects unless its use is properly controlled....~ Rachel Carson would later draw on such early Federal research in writing her acclaimed volume "Silent Spring."

Lionel Walford becomes Director of research and reorganizes the entire fisheries research program.

A study on the population dynamics of salmon spawning in the tributaries of the Columbia River begins with funding by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.


Operation Crossroads the nuclear testing at Bikini Atoll begins and Woods Hole Laboratory oyster expert Paul S. Galtsoff is an invited scientist on the project.


Rebuilding after the hurricane results in a useable lab and a small number of investigations resume.

A fisheries technology lab is established in Boston.

Fish promotion and "home extension" type work by the bureau creates thousands of new fish recipes, puts on countless fish cookery demonstrations which taught America how to use fish.

While progress in establishing conservation zones in the Pacific and other waters to protect salmon and other fisheries is temporarily suspended, the State Department advises of its "Firm intention to resume attention to this highly important matter at the earliest possible opportunity."

The 80th Congress declares the policy of developing and maintaining the enormous and untapped high-seas fisheries resources of the tropical and subtropical Pacific territories. Public Law 329 leads to the formation of the Pacific Oceanic Fishery Investigations (POFI) unit and the construction of the agency's Honolulu Laboratory.


Intensified interest in health of fish stocks off New England results in transfer of fisheries investigation offices from Cambridge, MA to Woods Hole.

The Albatross III, formerly a steam trawler in the New England groundfishery, is commissioned in ceremonies at the Boston Fish Pier.

W.S. Royce becomes director of the Woods Hole station.

The Boston Technological Laboratory initiates a major study of freezing fish at sea.

The Columbia River Fishery Development Program begins.

The final draft is made of the convention forming the International Commission for the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries (ICNAF) which will govern fishing in international waters of the North Atlantic until the middle 1970's.


Rachel Carson (center), then chief editor of publications for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Marie Rodell become the first women to spend more than a few hours aboard a U.S. fisheries research vessel. They reported on the 10-day cruise to Georges Bank. [Contrary to what is often reported, Carson never worked at the fisheries lab in Woods Hole. She was, however, at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole while she was a graduate student, beginning in 1930.]

The California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigations (CalCOFI), a consortium of industry, university, state, and Federal agencies, is established to investigate causes of the collapse of the Pacific coast sardine fishery.

Delegate E. L. Bartlett of Alaska introduces a bill in Congress to provide for the gradual reduction and ultimate elimination of salmon traps in Alaska waters; a Department of Fisheries is created by Alaska's Territonal Legislature.


The International Commission for the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries (ICNAF), a treaty organization, is set up on July 3rd to study and report on fisheries activities and fish stocks in more than two million square miles of ocean outside the territorial waters of the nations rimming the northwest Atlantic. Research activities for areas of U.S interest are largely headquartered at the Woods Hole Laboratory.

The Tuna Conventions Act of 1950 is passed to enforce international agreements on fishing rights, fishery management, and preservation.

The CCRL establishes a field station at Pt. Loma in San Diego, Calif., for CalCOFI ichthyoplankton work.

Columbia River research is focused almost exclusively on problems of fish passage at dams, especially in the diversion of downstream migrants away from turbine intakes and other sources of mortality.

A sixth regional fisheries office is established in Alaska to facilitate administration of the Territory's fisheries.

RV John N. Cobb

The RV John N. Cobb is commissioned with a public open house at Seattle, Wash.

A field station at Pascagoula, Miss., is established for fishing and gear research and to catalog marine fauna of southeastern regional waters.

Significant benefits from early Gulf of Mexico exploratory research surveys include extension of the brown and pink shrimp grounds, discovery of a royal red shrimp fishery, and establishment of a longline fishery for tuna and swordfish.

The RV Oregon becomes the first research vessel designed for exploration of marine fauna of southeastern waters; it pioneers marine research in the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean Sea, and tropical western Atlantic.


H.W. Graham becomes director of the Woods Hole station.

Tuna investigations begin in the northwest Atlantic, leading to a new and growing east coast tuna industry.


An oceanographer with the Honolulu Laboratory, Townsend Cromwell, discovers a major new ocean current, now named after him, in the tropical Pacific. It is about 3,000 miles long and carries more than 1,000 times the volume of the Mississippi River

The first ICNAF meeting is held at Woods Hole.


National Tuna Week, November 5-14 celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the tuna canning industry. In 1903, the entire U.S. tuna industry consisted of one cannery in San Pedro, Calif., supplied by a few boats fishing nearby waters.

Preliminary explorations for salmon in the offshore waters of the Aleutian Islands are made by the John N. Cobb, mainly to develop techniques for fishing salmon with gill nets on the high seas.

The International Convention for the High Seas Fisheries of the North Pacific Ocean establishes the International North Pacific Fisheries Commission (INPFC)

The Annapolis Biological Laboratory is opened by the BCF.

Publication of fundamental work, "Fishes of the Gulf of Maine," a standard reference, By W.B. Schroeder and H.B. Bigelow


Hurricane Carol strikes Woods Hole, destroying much of the lab and its environs, the saltwater pipes and pumps, and resulting in closure of the public aquarium for several years.

J. Coulton and R. Marak begin plankton surveys of the Gulf of Maine and Georges Bank to determine the drift of eggs and larvae in the area.

Extensive population studies of sea scallops begun by J.A. Posegay.

The first factory trawler, the British vessel Fairtry, appears in international waters on the Grand Banks, ushering in the high-tech, high-volume fishing vessels that play a major role in declarations of 200-mile EEZs by countries of the NW Atlantic.

The 83rd Congress passes Public Law 466, popularly known as the Saltonstall-Kennedy (S-K) Act, which sets aside funds for fishery-product and market research, fisheries development, and other research.

The Cooperative Game Fish Tagging North Program begins at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution; it later will be transferred to the NMFS Southeast Fisheries Science Center


The first survey to determine the distribution of salmon in the eastern North Pacific Ocean is made in the spring by John N. Cobb, and is followed later this year by similar cruises with two chartered halibut schooners, the Mikkov and the Paragon. The general distribution of North Pacific Ocean salmon will be firmly established by 1961.

The first coastwide samples from the Atlantic menhaden reduction fishery are acquired; sampling is continuous during the next 40 years.

Congress appropriates money for rebuilding the Woods Hole lab after hurricane damage.

The Boothbay Harbor Lab is administratively separated from Woods Hole.


All biological research associated with the Alaska finfish fisheries (except that being performed for the International North Pacific Fisheries Commission) is transferred from the Montlake Laboratory in Seattle to Juneau.

From 1956 through 1964, the Montlake Laboratory studies and defines the biology and populations of king crab in the eastern Bering Sea.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service establishes two bureaus-the Bureau of Sport Fisheries and Wildlife (BSFW) and the Bureau of Commercial Fisheries (BCF) with the Boothbay, Woods Hole, Milford, Boston, and Annapolis Labs going to BCF.


Scripps Tuna Oceanography Research (STOR), composed of Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO) oceanographers and largely supported by BCF, is established in La Jolla, Calif.

Following full reorganization of the USFWS early in the year, Donald L. McKernan is designated Director of the new BCF. The Bureau now has a headquarters and five regional organizations including 80 field installations, plus the Pacific Ocean Fishery Investigations office in Hawaii.

On February 9th a new interim North Pacific Fur Seal Convention is concluded by Canada, Japan, the USSR, and the United States similar to the 1911 Convention. Japan had withdrawn from the 1911 convention in 1941.

The Bureau's new Fisheries Loan Program begins operation late in the year, initially with assistance from the Small Business Administration.

BCF exploratory longline fishing in the North Atlantic reveals several species of tunas in an area north of their previously known winter ranges and within 15 hours sailing time of Massachusetts Nantucket Lightship.

By the end of the year, a large number of Gulf of Mexico shrimpers have converted from single-trawl to the more efficient two-trawl rigs.

A new protocol to the U.S.-Canada Sockeye Salmon Convention of 1930 be- comes effective in July, extending the same type of protection to the pink salmon fisheries of the Fraser River system as that provided the Fraser's sockeye salmon runs.

Bureau exploratory fishing operations off Alaska locate new Pacific ocean perch and shrimp resources.

For the first time, shrimp discovered off Washington in earlier BCF research cruises by the John N. Cobb are fished commercially and landed.

BCF assumes the administration of the Columbia River Fishery Development Program which had begun in 1948. Construction begins on three new salmonid hatcheries and two major fishways. Program hatcheries release 65 million salmon and steelhead trout.

Exploratory research in the central, eastern, and northern Pacific reveals that Japanese and American fishermen are exploiting the same stocks of albacore.

Successful redfish tagging at Eastport, Maine, provides the first direct evidence that the growth rate of this species is extremely slow, less than one-sixth inch in 9 months.

BCF research shows that the yield of sea scallops in the North Atlantic can be materially increased by regulating the sizes of the rings used in the scallop dredges.

New markets are found for Lake Erie rough-fish, as the pet-food and mink food industries take nearly the entire catch of freshwater sheepshead.

Bureau research conclusively shows that improved processing and packaging techniques can extend the storage life of frozen fishery products by many months. Bureau technologists publish a conprehensive five-part manual on handling, processing, freezing, storing, and distributing fresh-frozen and precooked and frozen fishery products, the only authoritative reference on all phases of the frozen fishery product industry.

Bureau home economists develop thorough series of fish and shellfish recipes for use by the Food Service Div of the Army and Air Force and by the Quartermaster Food and Container Institute of the Armed Forces

With fishing industry help, the Bureau organizes a safety program to reduce the number of accidents on fishing vessels.

The Bureau begins participation in the international Geophysical Year (IGY) operations as its Pacific Oceanic Fishery Investigations unit occupies an oceanographic station off Oahu, Hawaii.

The Bureau's Honolulu Biological laboratory initiates a program to study tuna behavior in their natural environment.


Construction at the Woods Hole station begins with demolition of old buildings.

A new laboratory is established in Pascagoula, Miss., for regional fisheries utilization research.

A July article in the Bureau's Commercial Fisheries Review by Charles Butler, entitled "Nutritional value of fish in reference to atherosclerosis and current dietary research," notes the early interest in heart disease and the eating of fatty foods, and discusses the implications of current knowledge of atherosclerosis as applied to the marketing of fish. An S-K study is initiated on the relationship of fish oils to circulatory diseases.

Congress passes the Alaska Statehood Act, and the new state will eventually be responsible for its fish and wildlife resources.

Japan agrees, under terms of the North Pacific Fisheries Convention, to abstain from salmon fishing on the high seas of the North Pacific east of long. 175 deg. W while research continues to determine the proper line to divide Asian and North American salmon stocks equitably.

The first United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea convenes in Geneva during February-May, with 86 nations participating. The U.S. delegation uses background documents on U.S. and world fisheries during the deliberations. For the first time, broad agreement is reached on a system of rules to guide nations toward preserving marine species. A fishery attache post is established in Tokyo in conjunction with the State Department Foreign Service Program.

Research shows that red salmon of the North American type appears to predominate in the North Pacific as far west as long. 175 deg. E.

The Bureau's Biological Laboratory at Stanford, Calif., obtains indices of air circulation changes over the North Pacific for a 32-year period (1926-57) and studies their effects on sea temperatures, up- wellinq, and fish populations.

A new fleet headquarters opens at Kewalo Basin for the 10-year-old Honolulu Biological Laboratory.

Research begins in Honolulu on the use of paper chromatography to identify adult tunas and tuna larvae. Bureau scientists continue their IGY participation by studying the Pacific Equatorial Undercur- rent (Cromwell Current), a newly discovered easterly flow beneath the Equator of about 30,000,000 m^3/second.

The Bureau's Galveston Biological Laboratory successfully tests a new shrimp-marking technique using vital stains which remain with the shrimp even as they molt. Research shows that Everglades bays are an important nursery area for the Tortugas pink shrimp and that brown and white shrimp peak in abundance at different seasons of the year.

Beaufort Biological Laboratory scientists develop a method for estimating the relative abundance of each new year class of menhaden prior to its entry into the commercial fishery, allowing accurate catch predictions for each year class.

The Bureau of Commercial Fisheries moves its laboratory in Annapolis to a site in Oxford, Maryland to be in a better site to investigate MSX disease, which has wiped out commercial oyster concentrations in Chesapeake Bay.

A Fisheries Technology Lab is opened in Ann Arbor.

Woods Hole Biological Laboratory scientists develop a method to determine the age of scallops using marks on the shell and ligament as annual rings.

A fluorinated nitrophenol chemical, discovered the previous year, is used to treat eight streams entering the Great Lakes. Developing lamprey larvae are killed, bringing hope for an effective control of this fish predator.

A prototype automatic deicing and weighing machine is developed and tested by Bureau technologists to increase efficiency of unloading fish at the dock.

Bureau scientists show that introducinq fish oils into the diet markedly reduces high serum-cholesterol levels; test animals also show more rapid growth rates than control animals. The researchers also develop an accurate method for measuring the nutritive value of fish meals through controlled-diet feeding studies.

A tilapia rearing program in href="http:/cgi-bin/ to provide baitfish for tuna vessels produces over 1,000,000 tilapia fry.

A new Biological Laboratory is set up in Washington, D.C., to study the mechanisms by which the elements of the marine environment affect commercially important fishes and invertebrates.


Two new fishways are completed on Columbia River tributaries for a total of 20 major fishways constructed since the Columbia River Fishery Development Program began in 1948.

La Jolla Biological Laboratory researchers design a high-speed plankton sampling device to study the continuous distribution of plankton in the environment of the sardine. And, using erythrocyte antigens as genetic indicators to study subpopulations, they find three sardine blood systems, designated A, B, and C.

An underwater viewing chamber is installed in the stern of the BCF vessel Charles H. Gilbert to facilitate tuna behavior studies.

Bureau insecticide reports show DDT is toxic to adult white shrimp at concentrations of 15 ppb; endrin and lindane are toxic to postlarval shrimp at 0.5 and 2.0 ppb, respectively; and endrin is also highly toxic to fish, killing the sailfin molly at 2.5 ppb.

Exploratory fishing operations off North Carolina find an extensive commerical hard-clam bed and sizeable concentrations of calico scallops.

A new test method to determine quality is developed at the Colleoe Md., Technology Laboratory and is put to use in the Bureau's inspection and certification service.

Bureau technologists at the Gloucester Laboratory demonstrate the practicality of using refrigerated sea water (RSW) to store whiting prior to processing.

On October 13th the "Don McNeil Breakfast Club Show" includes a fish for health message to 30 million listeners, announcing a major nutritional breakthrough resulting from Bureau- sponsored research which indicated the value of fishery products in lowering blood cholesterol levels.

"Outdoor Fish Cookery," a Bureau- financed motion picture, is honored with a showing at the 1959 American Film Festival.

A new Biological Laboratory is established at San Diego, Calif., to investigate tuna ecology and tuna fishing operations in the eastern Pacific and to apply specific oceanographic and biological findings to problems of the west coast tuna industry.

The South Atlantic fisheries exploration and gear research program begins.

The Bureau is called upon to intensify fishing treaty enforcement and foreign fishing surveillance in international waters, especially off the Alaska coast where Japan and Russia have concentrated their greatest fishing efforts.

Federal management of Alaska's commercial fisheries ends on December 31st as the new state's agency assumes that responsibility.


A newly recruited team of biologists, histologists, and parasitologists begin a long-term study of diseases, including MSX, of molluscs at the Oxford Laboratory.

The nation's first saltwater sport fish lab is established by BSFW at Sandy Hook, NJ. Dr. Lionel Walford is its first director.

The Boston Technology Lab is moved to Gloucester.

Research at the BCF Seattle Technological Laboratory on composition and taste of various sharks finds wide variability in palatability between shark species.

The Bureau s northern fur seal and whale research studies are combined in Seattle and designated as the Marine Mammal Biological Laboratory.

The Auke Bay Laboratory near Juneau opens to house the Alaska fisheries research programs.

The Pacific Northwest trawl fleet begins catching bottom fish off Washington on grounds newly discovered by the BCF research vessel John M Cobb.

In February, the Honolulu Biological Laboratory makes the first successful transfer of skipjack tuna from the sea to a holding pool ashore; it is the first time that oceanic skipjack have been held for more than a few hours or have been induced to feed. In addition, albacore, bigeye, and bluefin tuna larvae, previously unknown, are tentatively identified, opening the way for studies of their seasonal and geographical distribution and abundance throughout the Pacific.

The Galveston Biological Laboratory announces significant advances in identifing specific penaeid shnmp larvae; early larvae derived from known parents were obtained for three species and comparable results are anticipated for several other species.

Bureau researchers discover extensive calico scallop fishing grounds over a 1,200-square-mile area off the Florida coast. Also 1,000,000 pounds of hard clams are taken by commercial vessels from a new bed discovered last year by Bureau scientists off North Carolina.

Woods Hole lab is completely reopened in the new buildings.

Spring dedication ceremonies open the Bureau's new Technological Laboratory in Gloucester, Mass.

Researchers at Woods Hole find that oysters suspended from rafts on cultch strings reach commercial size in less than half the time needed by bottom-grown stock in the same areas, and mortalities are less than one-fourth of those grown under usual industry practices.

A milestone in Great Lakes sea lamprey control is achieved with the chemical treatment of all lamprey-producing streams feeding Lake Superior. Treatment of Lake Michigan and Lake Huron streams to eradicate lampreys begins in cooperation with the Fisheries Research Board of Canada.

Bureau chemists demostrate the use of thin layer chromotography for isolating and characterizing chemical classes of lipid compounds in fish oils, a new basic test procedure for chemical laboratories.

An Alaska fisheries exploration and gear research program is initiated, based at Juneau. Also, the use of radioactive materials in biological research is new, and a radiobiological consultant is assigned to the BCF Central Office to advise Bureau laboratories on use of radioactive materials in biological research.


Between Feb. and April, more than 220,000 inches of newspaper food column space are devoted to fish topics, of which one-third is based on the Bureau's consumer education releases to food editors.

Serological studies of the Pacific sardine show that there is a genetically distinct stock in the Gulf of California, the third sardine subpopulation to be found in the eastern Pacific.

The Bureau establishes the Tiburon Marine Laboratory near San Francisco, Calif., to conduct research on migratory gamefishes.

The Bureau's Biological Laboratory in Honolulu develops a new method for predicting the seasonal catch of skipjack tuna for the Hawaiian Islands based on the time of zero rate of temperature change of the ocean climate--the time and rate of warming and salinity change occurring during late February and early March of each year.

Exploratory research locates promising fishing grounds off North and South Carolina for vermillion snapper, grouper and scup.

The BCF research vessel Delaware tests the effectiveness of trawls with various parts made of polypropylene, finding these new nets to be more efficient than the standard manila trawls.

The first comprehensive program to study juvenile salmonid migrants in the Columbia and Snake Rivers is initiated.

Bureau research into the drastic declines of Lake Erie blue pike and walley produces evidence of marked environmental changes, including increases of chemicals related to domestic and industrial wastes. Severe oxygen depletion is found over thousands of square miles of the lake along with dramatic changes in the abundance of fish-food organisms livinq on the bottom.

Bureau researchers develop new analytical techniques to produce better fish oil fractions and devise new methods to determine rapidly the chemical components of such fractions.

The new Bureau-produced film "Fishing the Five Great Lakes" makes 20 such educational films in national distribution. Since 1946, the Bureau's educational motion pictures have earned 18 national and international film festival awards.

The Bureau begins a major study of the manufacture of fish protein concentrate (FPC), a fine powder containing essential amino acids, minerals, and vitamins necessary for human health. The FPC is viewed worldwide as a potential human dietary supplement that could combat world hunger while creating a use for under or non-utilized fishes.

In response to increasing numbers of foreign vessels fishing along U.S. coasts, the Bureau increases its surveillance efforts to ascertain possible effects on U.S. fisheries.

On August 30th, Congress authorizes construction at Milford, Conn., of a shellfish laboratory for research and training.

The Bureau's new 65-foot exploratory fishing and gear research vessel Kaho is commissioned in late October and based at Saugatuck, Mich., for Great Lakes studies.


Victor Loosanoff, the first station director, moves from the Milford laboratory to the Tiburon Lab where he stayed until his retirement. The next laboratory director, Dr. James Hanks, stays with the service in that capacity until 1984.

Congress approves a marine geology program for the USGS, and a five-year geological survey of the continental shelf and slope between the U.S./Canada border in the north and the tip of Florida on the south. Although the focus of the study is marine geology and topography, scientists at Woods Hole process the benthic samples taken in this project for biological specimens. This is the first and last large-scale baseline benthic survey conducted in the U.S. Atlantic.

Formar BCF biologist/writer/editor Rachel Carson publishes her landmark environmental book "Silent Spring," drawing in part on BCF and other Federal and university studies on pesticides like DDT.

The George B. Kelez is acquired for the Seattle Laboratory from the U.S. Navy, and for the first time it allows the Bureau's oceanographic and high-seas salmon studies to be extended into the winter season.

A new fishery for royal red shrimp begins off Florida's east coast and in the Gulf of Mexico, and 19 commercial trawlers are converted for it within the year. Bureau explorations first discovered the deepwater shrimp grounds in 1956.

An active commercial fishery for snow crab develops in southeastern Alaska waters as a result of Bureau explorations.

Congress, on October 9th, authorizes $10 million for construction and operation of the "National Fisheries Center and Aquarium" in Washington, D.C., for fisheries research and displays.

The Bureau's foreign fishery reporting program expands, receiving regular fishery reports from about 90 U.S. embassies and consulates and the three full-time fishery attaches in Copenhagen, Tokyo, and Mexico City.

The Bureau makes it's first whale marking and observation cruise off southern California and northern Baja California to determine the condition of the North Pacific whale stocks and those pursued by the two U.S. whaling companies.

A 2-year emergency Alaska salmon research program concludes, having determined the carrying capacity of the freshwater spawning and nursery areas of the state, with a better understanding of the Pacific salmon runs and their management, and with data needed for renegotiation of the International North Pacific Fisheries Convention in 1963.

The Bureau's first winter high-seas salmon survey cruise in the North Pacific finds a significant concentration of immature red salmon in a broad area about 200 miles south of Kodiak Island and helps toward understanding the distribution and survival of salmon at sea. Methods are also developed to distinguish between North American and Asian pink salmon.

Bureau scientists at the La Jolla Laboratory studying the early development of fishes use a temperature-gradient block to study the development of one group of fish eggs at 18 diHerent temperatures simultaneously.

The new Biological Laboratory at Woods Hole, Mass., is dedicated on June 23nd. The 3-story building has 24,000 square feet of floor space devoted to wet laboratories, as well as other laboratories, offices, a scientific library, and a conference room. A second building houses maintenance facilities and an aquarium.

Several insurance underwriters offer a 5% reduction in protection and indemnity insurance premiums for all New England fishing vessels that install new trawl wire level-winders on the main winches of the vessels as a result of the Bureau s fishing vessel safety program.

A new 187-foot research vessel, the Albatross IV, is delivered to the Woods Hole Laboratory in November; a contract is also awardad for another new 158-foot vessel to be named the Townsend Cromwell for use in the central Pacific.

New shellfish genetics research begins at the Bureau's Milford Conn. Biological Laboratory, and the goal is to produce strains of oysters and clams with better growth ratas, disease resistance, and market qualities.


The cooperative shark tagging program of the NEFC begins, with about a dozen volunteer taggers. Today the program has several thousand volunteers worldwide and is the source of most of the data collected on the migration, reproduction, growth, longevity, and exploitation in the Atlantic.

1963-1977--The era of aggressive prosecution of fisheries by factory trawlers in the NW Atlantic and an equally active era for the cooperative research projects between NEFSC scientists and those of the other nations involved in ICNAF. During this period, NEFSC staff took part in more than 200 at-sea research projects, on 40 different vessels, representing 8 nations.

The NEFC autumn bottom trawl surveys begin. These are the source of the longest continuous time series of marine research vessel sampling data in the world. For the finfish survey, about 300 sites are randomly chosen in waters 2 to 200 fathoms deep off the NE U.S. from the Gulf of Maine to Cape Hatteras. Spring surveys are added in 1968.

Groundbreaking ceremony is held for the new BCF Fishery-Oceanography Center in La Jolla. Calif.

The 565-ton Townsend Cromwell. a 158-foot reseanch vessel, is completed. It has a top speed of 13.5 knots, a 10,000- mile cruising range, and can perfomm a wide variety of scientific missions anywhere in the world s oceans and under most severe weather and sea condions

U.S. biologists are placed on some Japanese trawlers and factory ships in the Bering Sea and the Gulf of Alaska, obtaining data on the catch by species, area, and quantity, and on gear efficiency.

Bureau sciantists confirm the successful use of tetracycline antibiotic marking of fishes with marked adult silver salmon returning in the fall to the Clatskanie Hatchery on the lower Columbia River

Gulf gear research demonstrates that electrified trawl net can significantly improve the efficiency of commercial shrimp trawling methods.

Bureau analyses of Atlantic coast shore-station sea-surface temperature records show a warming trend which started near the turn of the century and reached a peak in the early 1950s

Use of a chemical toxicant in Lake Superior streams reduces lampreys there by over 80%, bringing a substantial increase in the average size, survival, and spawning populations of lake trout.

The Bureau participates in two international oceanographic expeditions: The International Indian Ocean Expedition (IIOE) and the International Cooperative Investigations of the Tropical Atlantic (ICITA).

Over 215 million pounds of fishery products are inspected and certified by Federal inspectors in 17 states nationwide. Since 1956, the Bureau has developed grade standards for 14 fishery products upon which the inspections and certifications are based.

Research programs to prevent botulism in smoked fish and salmonella are initiated when several consumers are stricken by those microorganisms.


Construction begins on a new laboratory at Milford, CT. The staff occupies the new station in 1967.

The new fishery-oceanography center in La Jolla, Calif., is dedicated on October 31st. BCF s CCRL and Tuna Research Laboratory, along with the Inter-American Tropical Tuna commission (IATTC), STOR, the CalCOFI Coordinator, and U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) field station per- sonell move into the new facility.

The BCF s Seattle Technological Laboratory initiates research on the Pacific whiting, then called hake, another potentially large fishery.

The Bartlett Act, Public Law 88-308, of May 20th, prohibits fishing in U.S. territorial waters by foreign-flag vessels unless allowed by treaty. Pre-MFCMA (1976) territorial waters were within 3 miles along most US coastlines.

Scientists at the Bureau's Seattle Biological Laboratory use the results of pioneering studies in serology, or blood group analysis, to identify several subpopulations of salmon in the eastern North Pacific Ocean.

A new MPDI (Marine Products Development Irradiator) is dedicated at the Bureau's Technological Laboratory in Gloucester, Mass. By processing up to 1 ton of fish per hour at 250,000 rads, scientists can study the extension of seafood shelf life by using radioisotopes to destroy the bacteria that cause food spoilage.

The first coastwide samples from the Gulf of Mexico menhaden reduction fishery are acquired, and sampling is continued through the next 31 years.


Sandy Hook sportfish biologists begin long-term investigations into egg and larval fish surveys, red tide, and behavior of adult blue fish

Regular surf clam and ocean quahog surveys begin at tha Woods Hole Laboratory, providing a continuous time series of species information comparable to that supplied by the finfish survey sampling program since 1963.

After completing a BCF charter, the St. Michael fishes Pacific whiting successfully in Puget Sound, Wash., taking about 100 tons in 13 tows; it is the first commercial fishing operation for this species in the North Pacific area and the beginning of a new regional fishing industry.

For the first time in a laboratory, blue king crab,Paralithodes platypus, are raised from the egg through four zoeal stages and one glaucothoe larval stage.

Seattle Biological Laboratory scientists find scale characters useful in distinguishing Asian from Bristol Bay, Alaska, sockeye salmon, and for identifying stocks of intermingled salmon in the Gulf of Alaska from various North Amencan river systems. Pink salmon are also identified to their area of origin by scales.

The Biological Laboratory at Gulf Breeze, Fla., establishes a cooperative nationwide system to monitor nearly a dozen organochlorine pesticides using monthly analyses of clam, mussel, and oyster samples from 150 coastal stations.

An ecological benchmark of the distribution and abundance of groundfish on New England banks is completed, based on 3 years of intensive surveys with Bureau vessels.

The Bureau's comprehensive systematic and anatomical study of the giant tunas, genus Thunnus, is completed, and a study on systematics and distribution of sharks continues.

The Milford, Conn., Biological Laboratory begins a long-term study of the genetics of commercial mollusks aimed at hybridization and selective breeding.

The Honolulu Biologicat Laboratory establishes a sampling station on Palau for studies on the substantial skipjack tuna fishery in the Trust Territories of the Pacific Islands.

The Anadromous Fish Conservation Act is passed to conserve, develop, and enhance anadromous fisheries covered under international agreements and the fisheries of the Great Lakes and Lake Champlain,

The 171-foot RV David Starr Jordan, a new BCF research vessel, replaces the 35-year-old, 150-loot Black Douglas at the La Jolla, Calif., research center

With an increase in the fishery demonstrated, California legalizes the taking of anchovies for meal and oil. The Bureau's research laboratory in La Jolta, Calif., shifts emphasis from sardines to anchovy.


Sandy Hook staff begin studies of experimental reef fisheries

The BSFW establishes a laboratory at Narragansett, RI to take on the gamefish responsibilities of the Sandy Hook laboratory, which began to concentrate more on habitat and environment

A new law passed on November 2nd authorizes the development of economical processes for producing fish protein concentrate from unutilized and underutilized species of fish

Congress recognizes the need for a comprehensive, long-range oceanography program and passes the Marine Resources and Engineering Development Act of 1966 (MAREDA) which sets up a National Council at the Secretarial level with a 15-member Commission. Later, Congress amends the MAREDA with the href="http:/cgi-bin/goto.plNaltional Sea Grant College and Program Act of 1966.

Congress passes Public Law 89-658, extending the U.S. fisheries zone 9 miles beyond the 3-mile territorial sea, making a full 12-mile zone in which the United States will exercise the same exclusive rights in respect to fisheries as it has in its territorial sea. This is in response to the increased foreign fishing activity off the U.S. coasts.

Scientists with the Ketchikan Technological Laboratory discover a new method for peeling Alaska's pink shrimp quickly and maintaining their quality and color, thus overcoming a major obstacle to commercial production.

A biologist at the Auke Bay, Alaska, Biological Laboratory devises a new type of lightweight, simple, and inexpensive plastic driftcard to chart surface ocean currents. A patent on it is secured for the Bureau.

Bureau and contract personnel create a new model sonic tag to place inside fish. Tests on adult chinook salmon and steelhead trout at the Bonneville Field Station are positive.

The Bureau's California Current Resources Laboratory in La Jolla rears Pacific mackerel and sardines from the egg to an advanced juvenile stage in its expermental seawater aquarium.

The Honolulu Biological Laboratory completes the "Oceanoqraphic Atlas of the Pacific Ocean," providing a definitive summany of data from more than 50,000 oceanographic stations taken by various agencies between 1917 and 1964. It also describes the environment of every known and potential fishery resource of the Pacific Ocean.

The Honolulu scientists also develop evidence leading to the identification of one of the last large untouched tuna resources in the world in the Central Pacific Ocean, an intermediate size group, only a small portion of which is fished from Hawaii.

Bureau marketing personnel introduce such underutilized Gulf of Mexico species as mullet, Spanish mackerel, calico scallops, and soft clams to restaurant chains, state school lunch programs, and state institutions.

The Bureau's Environmental Oceanic Research Program in Washington, D.C., completes detailed bottom topographic mapping of the Middle Atlantic Continental Shelf and arranges for publication of the maps by the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey.

The first commercial shellfish hatchery opens on the Pacific coast it and nine other private shellfish farms use data and techniques derived from research at the Bureau's Milford, Conn., Biological Laboratory.

A large study is completed into conditions causing drastic changes since 1900 in fish populations in Lake Michigan. Important factors include high fishing intensity and the explosive increase in the sea lamprey population in the 1940 s.

In promoting fishery products, Bureau efforts produce over 74,000 column inches of space in newspapers and magazines with a total readership of over 300 million subscribers or purchasers. In addition, Bureau home economists develop and test 633 recipes during the year for consumers, as well as for institutional, school lunch, and restaurant use.

A new cooperative study is begun on the northern anchovy on the Pacific coast to assess the species abundance, distribution of various life stages, and rates of fecundity and mortality, to facilitate its conservation,

Programs at the Bureau s Biological Laboratories at Galveston, Tex., and Pascagoula, Miss., help deterimine the feasibility of using crewed spacecraft to obtain natural resource infommation. Particular emphasis is on determination of sea surface temperatures, current patterns, sea state, shoaling processes, bioluminescence, and productivity. Sensing devices being tested employ photography, radar, infrared, Passive microwave, and spectroscopy.

The Fur Seal Act is passed to protect the fur seal herd and administer the Pribilof Islands in the Bering Sea.

The Jellyfish Act is passed to protect fish and shellfish resources in coastal water, promote water-based recreation, and to control and eliminate jellyfish and other aquatic pests.


Dr. Bruce B. Collette (with R.H. Gibbs) of the National Systematics Laboratory publishes a benchmark work on the comparative anatomy and systematics of tunas.

A campaigning Hubert H. Humphrey visits the Woods Hole facility, with Sen. Edward Kennedy, for a full-press walk-about.

1967-1972--Beginning of the era of ecologically-based fisheries research and management in the Northeast.

On January 9th President Lyndon B. Johnson appoints the 15 members of the Stratton Commission who immediately begin their study of the Nation's marine problems and needs.

Two southwest laboratories (CCRL and the Tuna Research Laboratory) are merged into one and the director, Alan Longhurst, also becomes EASTROPAC (Eastern Tropical Pacific) Director and launches the 4-year expeditionary EASTROPAC program which seeks to learn the distribution and abundance of skipjack tuna resources and to understand how fish distribution is related to the oceanography of the eastern tropical Pacific.

The Sandy Hook Laboratory begins studies of natural and artificial marine reefs which lead to several national and regional programs to create new artificial reef habitat.

A new $3 million 215-foot ocean research vessel, the Miller Freeman, is launched and it is designed with laboratories and equipment especially for North Pacific oceanographic and fisheries studies. In addition, several field stations are established on the Columbia River and Puget Sound.

A salmon aquaculture program is established at the Bureau's Seattle Laboratory, with a field station at Manchester, Wash., on Puget Sound. The station soon demonstrates the rapid growth of coho salmon in salt- water rearing pens from 0.3 ounces to a marketable 8-ounce size in just 6 months.

Studying immersion freezing of fish, the Bureau's Technological Laboratory at Terminal Island, Calif., finds that Freon 12 effectively preserves and maintains tuna quality and that residual levels of Freon 12 are low. Propylene glycot is also studied as a freezing agent.

Rearing of pelagic fish larvae, a problem for over a century, is improved at the Bureau s Fishery-Oceanography Center in La Jolla, Calif., where sardine, anchovy, Pacific mackerel, and more than 20 other species are reared from egg to advanced juvenile or to adult stages.

Catfish culture production, which grew from just a few thousand pounds in 1963 to 15 million pounds in 1965, gets new impetus from the Bureau s cooperative technical assistanca project which helps finance a technical assistance program for the industry in nine U.S. south central states.

Biological studies begin on the culture of four shrimp species which have been hatched and reared to postlarvae in the Bureau's Galveston, Tex., Biological Laboratory.

Biological data acquired by scientists at the Bureau s Biological Laboratory at St. Petersburg, Fla., aids in obtaining the first denial of a dredge-fill permit by the Corps of Engineers owing to the effect upon living resources and based on provisions of the Fish and Wildlife Coordination act.

The Bureau and three Gulf states begin an inventory of estuarine resources under the auspices of the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission.

The Oregon II replaces the Oregon as the research vessel at the Pascagoula, Miss., laboratory. It discovers new stocks of northern tilefish in the Gulf of Mexico which average 6-6 pounds--the first evidence of commercial concentrations of mature tilefish in the region.

A series of cooperative U.S.-U.S.S.R. fishery surveys are conducted in the Middle Atlantic Bight to provide a common base to estimate stock abundance and manage the harvests. Participating are the Bureau's vessel Albatross IV and a Russian vessel likewise named Albatross.

Efforts by the Bureau and coagencies to control the predatory prey in the Great Lakes shows progress: Lake trout populations Superior increase almost 35 percent over 1960 levels.

Experiments at Bureau Technlogical Laboratories in Seattle, Wash., and Ann Arbor, Mich., show that the shelf life of perishable foodstuffs can be increased by placing them in gaseous environments that inhibit growth of spoilage organisma Different ratios of the gases CO2 O2 and N2 have been tested alone and in combination with irradiation.

A new program at the Honolu labratory is designed to increase the yeild and efficiency of the pole-and-line fisery for skipjack tuna as well as the efficency of the Hawaiian longline fishery. Efforts are also under way to develop fisheries for high-seas skipjack tuna and for fish and shellfish other than tunas.


Sandy Hook staff begin a special investigation to evaluate the effects on marine life of oceanic disposal of sewage sludge. Journalists dub the study area "the Dead Sea."

Two new research units are established at Seattle's Montlake Lab to study the physiology and biocheistry fish and the effect of thermal and petroleum products (and other environmental contaminantsl on fish.)

During spring and summer, exploratory BCF fishing demonstrates the feasibility of using large steel pots to catch offshore New England lobsters in deep water, stimulating commercial fishermen to enter the fishery.

A contract is awarded in October to build a demonstration FPC plant in Aerdeen, Wash., to show the commercial feasibility of FPC and to get operating and cost data for such an operation,

Scientists at the Seattle Technological Laboratory modify a refrigerated brine technique used to freeze tuna by incorporating dissolved CO2 in it. The new technique increases the shelf-life of samon by 10-18 days because the CO2 inibits bacterial qrowth.

BCF and Japanese scientists cooperatively study several U.S. fish species as potential ingredients for surimi, a frozen fish product used in Japan to make fish sausages and fish cakes. Studied are the spiny dogfish, starry flounder, and several Pacific coast rockfishes.

Seattle Technological Laboratory researchers demonstrate that otherwise wasted proteins can be inexpensively and simply recovered from diluted solutions in processing plant effluents. Comparative feeding tests (protein efficiency ratio) indicate that the nutritive value of the complexed protein is about equal to the value of the noncomplexed protiein.

Honolulu Biological Laboratory researchers show that skipjack tuna of the western Pacific (which forms Japan's largest tuna fishery) differ genetically from those of the eastern and central Pacific, with the dividing line at about long. 155 deg. E near Marcuis Island. The discovery is based on chemical analyses of the tuna's blood systems.

The Pascagoula Technology Laboratory removes a roadblock to the marketing of snapper fillets: A newly devised chemical treatment with TDP and cryovac packaging prevents fillet and skin discoloration and curling during cooking.

Scientists at the BCF Beaufort Biological Laboratory conduct what is believed to be the largest fish tagging program in the world, tagging more than 844,000 menhaden in five areas off the Atlantic coast. The 93,000 recovered tags provide much information on the species migrations.

Scientists with the Gloucester Technological Laboratory conceive and benchtest a simple oyster-shucking procedure using microwave heating to open the shells. The technique later shows a 50% increase in shucking productivity without reduction in total meat vields.

The Gloucester Laboratory also discovers that the characteristic iodine flavor of the ocean quahog can be removed by several washings, allowing the species to be used in such products as chowders or clam puffs.


Gloucester laboratory begins pioneering study of fish irradiation as a method of extending shelflife

The Stratton Commission presents its final report on January 11th and recommends creation of a new Federal entity-a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency to include initially the BCF and other Federal marine and anadromous fishery functions, the National Sea Grant College Program, and other agencies.

The first rearing of larval tunas beyond the yolk-sac stage from eggs collected in the ocean is reported by BCF scientists at the Tropical Atlantic Biological Laboratory at Virginia Key, Fla.

Fish schools are first counted and measured by sonar off California from the BCF's research vessel David Starr Jordan.

Three BCF diver-scientists participate with the U.S. Navy, NASA, and other diver-scientists in the new TEKTITE I project, spending 60 consecutive days on the ocean floor at a 50-foot depth.

Scientists at the Seattle Biological Laboratory provide estimates of growth, morality, and other data for Pacific whiting and Pacific ocean perch; this research forms the basis for the U.S. position in discussions with the U.S.S.R. to reduce its whiting fishery.

Auke Bay Laboratory scientists provide U.S. negotiators and management agencies with background data on king crabs in the Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska. The data help U.S. representatives obtain a 48% reduction in the king crab quotas of Japan and the U.S.S.R.

The Honolulu Biological Laboratory successfully tests another baitfish the freshwater threadfin shad, to replace the native nehu. This shad is as effective as the nehu in the skipjack fishery and survives better in baitwells.

Honolulu Biological Laboratory researchers track a small tuna with an ultrasonic transmitter and find that it traveled farther at night than in daylight and was always at the surface at night-leading to the possibility of developing a night tuna fishery.

Artificial mid-water pup-tent-shaped structures placed off Panama City, Fla., in July attract commercial quantities of round scad, scaled sardines, and Spanish sardines as much as 25 tons of fish--and consistently attracting 0.5-5.0 tons daily.

The New England haddock decline since 1966, due partly to heavy Soviet fishing, is accurately predicted by BCF scientists who have studied the fishery since 1931.

A new Remote Underwater Fisheries Assessment System (RUFAS) is developed by the Pascagoula Laboratory as a remotely controlled underwater sled equipped with television and motion picture cameras which can be towed at varying depths.

For the first time ever, tuna eggs, collected at sea, are hatched in a laboratory and the young survive about 3 weeks. href="http:/cgi-bin/ Biological Laboratory staff collected the eggs from a sample of mixed plankton from nearby waters.

Scientists at the Ann Arbor Biological Laboratory provide data on fish contamination that lead to banning or reducing the use of DDT in some states adjacent to the Great Lakes. The studies also show that the ordinary preparation of fillets of fish such as perch produces an edible product well within safe tolerance limits.

The Bureau establishes a small environmental forecasting unit of the U.S. Navy's Fleet Numerical Weather Center in Monterey, Calif., to identify the part of the Navy's vast oceanographic and meteorological data that can be used for related fisheries oceanographic forecasting.

The Bureau and the University of California study 175 female northern fur seals found at San Miguel Island, Calif.--the first confirmed record of these seals breeding on other than the Pribilof Islands.

The first meeting of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) is held in Rome, Italy, beginning a period of U.S.-foreign cooperation in research on important oceanic fisheries.


The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is formed. The Bureau of Commercial Fisheries and the saltwater labs of the BSFW become its National Marine Fisheries Service. In subsequent reorgnization actions, the Ann Arbor Biological Station is moved to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. There is a prposal to close both the Milford and Ann Arbor Technology Stations. The Gloucester Lab is moved under the Division of Fishery Products Technology, Office of Management Services, along with the nation's other fisheries technology labs.

Bruce L. Freeman and Lionel A. Walford at the Sandy Hook lab begin collecting information that will eventually become an eight- section atlas describing sport fish distribution, abundance, life history, and industry shoreside facilities from the Gulf of Maine to the Florida Keys. The atlases are published between 1974 and 1976 under the title "Angler's Guide to the United States Atlantic Coast."

Bureau scientists in La Jolla, Calif., successfully spawn the northern anchovy in the laboratory, the first time any important commercial pelagic fish has been induced to spawn under artificial conditions.


The Office of Resource Research is formed. The National Systematics Lab and the Atlantic Environmental Group are moved into that office.

The Boothbay Harbor Lab is closed and its functions moved to the Woods Hole Lab.

The Ann Arbor Fisheries Technology Lab is closed.

Robert White, first NOAA Administrator, establishes four major offshore fisheries research centers throughout the Nation: the Northwest and Alaska Fisheries Center (NWAFC), Southwest Fisheries Center (SWFC), Northeast Fisheries Center (NEFC), and Southeast Fisheries Center (SEFC). They report to NMFS headquarters. Three coastal fisheries research centers, which report to Regional Directors, are also established: Gulf Coast Fisheries Center (GCFC), Atlantic Estuarine Fisheries Center (AEFC), and Middle Atlantic Coast Fisheries Center (MACFC). The basic five-regional office structure is retained.

The Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee (MAFAC) is established by the Secretary of Commerce to advise on marine fisheries resource issues.

Research on fish protein concentrate production culminates in construction of an experimental plant (which began operation in March) and issuance of U.S. Patent 3,598,606 for a novel washing pro- cedure that removes the bulk of the lipids.

Techniques to reduce mortality of porpoises caught accidentally in tuna fishing operations are evaluated by the SWFC.

Techniques are developed at the SWFC for rapid countinq and aerial mea- surement of fish schools by sonar.

NWAFC scientists successfully rear coho salmon in floating saltwater pens - a technique that shows great promise as a commercial salmon production venture.

Inexpensive and lightweight deepwater fish traps are developed at the NWAFC, found to be effective, and are adopted commercially.

NMFS Auke Bay Laboratory scientists survey prior to and after detonation of nuclear device at Alaska's Amchitka Island; no significant damage to marine fauna or environment is found.

An international tagging program is reviewed by the NEFC Narragansett Laboratory which describes blue shark migration routes.

MACFC scientists find fin rot disease in fish to be caused by several pathogenic bacteria. Incidence of the disease appears to be related to environmental pollution.

Parasitic amoebae and bacteria from several fish and shellfish are identified and characterized by MACFC scientists.

SEFC scientists complete an atlas on the distribution of tunas and billfishes in the Atlantic Ocean.

SEFC scientists successfully test a low light level image intensifier system to locate fish schools at night by detecting the bioluminescent halo that surrounds them.

GCFC scientists determine optimum culturing techniques for larval shrimp and for diatoms used as shrimp food.

GCFC scientists document the rate that fish colonize newly constructed canals and assess the freshwater requirements of marine fishery resources in coastal Louisiana and south Florida.

AEFC scientists prove that the Atlantic menhaden resource is composed of one stock of migrating fish. Gulf research indicates that menhaden populations east and west of the Mississippi River may constitute separate stocks.

AEFC scientists develop mathematical models that indicate that a large proportion of total marine productivity is required to support exploited fish populations.

The National Fisheries Engineering Laboratory is located at the National Space Technology Laboratories (Miss.) to launch a remote sensing program and to modify satellite technology to support fisheries research. It is renamed the Bay St. Louis Laboratory.

U.S. commercial whaling ends as of December 31st.


NMFS Director Philip Roedel announces that the agency, under NOAA, has a much broader charter than its predecessor agencies and is now resource-oriented rather than user-oriented.

The Marine Mammal Protection Act is passed and establishes a moratorium on taking marine mammals in U.S. waters and by U.S. citizens on the high seas.

The Coastal Zone Management Act is passed to provide guidance, expertise and funding to help states protect and manage U.S. coastal areas.

Another first, the spawning of haddock in captivity at the NEFC Narragansett Laboratory, is announced.

A program for reef fishery descriptions and analyses for southeastern U.S. water begins.

The Bay St. Louis, Miss. Laboratory installs the first computer-based scientific data-logging system aboard the Albatross

The GCFC is dedicated at Panama City Fla., to study the biology and ecology of coastal marine fishes, with emphasis on Sport species.

The Central Western and South Pacific Fisheries Development Act is passed to establish a program for the development of tuna and other fishery resources of those Pacific regions.

The Fisheries Loan Program receives more than $2.2 million this year. Since 1956, $31.3 million has been loaned to fishing vessel owners.


The Endangered Species Act is passed to protect species and populations whose numbers are small or declining; NMFS is responsible for marine species under the law.


The Atlantic Environmental Group is moved to the NEFC Narragansett Laboratory. The group analyzes the marine environment of western North Atlantic and its influence on fishery resources.

Publication of large volumes on ocean variability within the U.S. Fishery Conservation Zone begin. Staff at the Narragansett Laboratory are in the forefront of mapping and tracking physical and chemical processes in relation to fish distribution, abundance, and stock composition.

The NMFS-wide Marine Resources Monitoring, Assessment, and Prediction (MARMAP) Program is established, based largely on the advice of NEFSC staff members Dr. Ken Sherman and Dr. Robert Edwards. The project forms the basis for uniform data collection necessary for fisheries management, and critical to the ecosystems approaches now being developed by fishery management councils. Data collected over time includes biological surveys of fish, fish eggs and larvae, predators, prey, water circulation, sea temperatures, water column structure, biological production, and pollution.

The NMFS Atlantic Environmental Group is moved from Washington, D.C., to the NEFC Narragansett Laboratory.

The NMFS Gloucester Laboratory initiates a landmark program on quality assurance of fresh fish fillets, including a U.S. Department of Commerce Inspection Program, which provides for quality assurance tests at dockside, at the processing plant, and at retail outlets.

Remote sensing applications to fisheries research in southeastern U. S. waters are stimulated when SEFC scientists find significant relationships between water color and Gulf menhaden distribution pat- terns.

The Auke Bay Laboratory (ABL) in Alaska becomes a part of the NWAFC.

A mandatory Marine Mammal Observer Program is implemented in the U.S. purseseine fishery for yellowfin tuna in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean.

In November, 30,000 young silver salmon reared at the NMFS Tiburon Laboratory are released. Many will return in 1976 to San Francisco Bay, which never before had silver salmon


The Mid-Atlantic Center is incorporated into the Northeast Fisheries Center.

The National Laboratories and Technology Labs are incorporated into the Centers, with the National Systematics Lab the AEG, and the Gloucester Tech Lab organized into the NEFC.

The Helgoland undersea habitat project was conducted in the Gulf of Maine to study spawning behavior of sea herring. The equipment belonged to Germany, the project logistics were conducted by Poland, and scientists on the study hailed from five countries, including the U.S.

Annual sea scallop surveys begin at the NEFSC, providing a continuous time series of species information comparable to that supplied by the finfish survey sampling program since 1963.

The NMFS Tiburon Laboratory near San Francisco becomes another element of the SWFC.

Some 195 cases are investigated relating to the Marine Mammal Protection Act as are 381 cases involving endangered species and related products including seizures of quantities of sperm whale oil and teeth, raw baleen and scrimshaw.


The Magnuson Fisheries Conservation and Management Act is signed into law. The NMFS mission becomes the study of commercially fished species and the environmental factors affecting their numbers and health.

The Polish Plankton Sorting and Identification Center in Szczecin, Poland opens for business. The facilities and staff were established and trained in a multinational effort in order to process samples taken in the massive ongoing research efforts during the ICNAF era. Scientists from the NEFSC were instrumental in training staff to identify and classify zooplankton and in helping establish laboratory procedures. The Sorting Center proved so successful that it is still operating today.

The Pacific Environmental Group, now the Pacific Fisheries Environmental Group (PFEG) in Monterey, Calif., becomes another element of the SWFC.

The NMFS Southeast Fisheries Center is reorganized to include the research that had been done under four smaller laboratories. Headquarters are in Miami, Fla., and additional research facilities are in Beaufort, N.C.; Charleston, S.C.; Miami and Panama City, Fla.; Bay St. Louis and Pascaooula, Miss.: and Galveston, Tex.

On October 1st, The Northwest Fisheries Center in Seattle officially becomes the Northwest and Alaska Fisheries Center (NWAFC).

Further NMFS consolidation on the east coast incorporates the Woods Hole, Sandy Hook, and Narragansett Laboratories with four regional laboratories into the Northeast Fisheries Center.

The Pacific Utilization Research Center is brought into the NWAFC and renamed the Utilization Research (UR) Division.

NMFS Pascagoula Laboratory Harvesting Systems Division develops the first defined efficiency value (Q) for a sampling trawl.

NMFS agents investigate and assist with a stranding where 28 false killer whales are successfully unbeached and returned to sea at Dry Tortugas, Fla. All but one survive.


A long-term environmental monitoring program was established by the NEFSC in its Ocean Pulse and Northeast Monitoring Programs. This project was later expanded to a nationwide project, NOAA's Status and Trends Program in 1984-85.

During the extremely cold winter of 1977-78, SEFC scientists first discover the apparent hibernation of sea turtles, finding loggerhead sea turtles overwintering and sheltered in the mud of the Port Canaveral, Fla., ship channel.


Dr. Bruce Collette and others publish a paper definitively showing that Spanish mackerel prevalent in the Gulf of Mexico and along the U.S. East Coast were a species distinct from Spanish mackerels known in Brazil. These results convinced U.S. fishery managers not to base decisions on the only available biological data, which was from the Brazilian fishery, preventing a sure failure since the Brazilian fish were larger, and had very different maturity characteristics.

The College Park Technological Laboratory is moved from Maryland to Charleston, S.C., and renamed the Charleston Laboratory.

The SEFC begins an extensive gear research and development program to reduce the incidental capture and mortality of sea turtles in shrimp trawls, leading to the development of various trawling efficiency devices (TED's).

NMFS conducts tests to develop excluder panels that keep turtles from being caught in shrimp nets while permitting shrimp harvest.

Loggerhead and green sea turtles are listed as threatened for all populations worldwide.

On April 1st, four NMFS biologists set up camp in snow caves at Cape Lisburne, Alaska, to study and count endangered bowhead whales during their spring migration.

The Bay St. Louis Laboratory designs an at-sea porpoise impoundment system for marine mammal research in the Gulf of Mexico.

The NMFS Pascagoula Laboratory and the Engineering Laboratory at Bay St. Louis, Miss., are merged to form the Mississippi Laboratories.


In February the NWAFC Marine Mammal Division is designated as the National Marine Mammal Laboratory.

The Mississippi Laboratories designs the prototype satellite-linked porpoise tracking tag which successfully charts the position of porpoises off Hawaii.


On March 12th, scientists of the NWAFC Resource Assessment and Conservation Engineering (RACE) Division discover a large concentration of walleye pollock eggs in Shelikof Strait, Alaska, near Kodiak Island. In subsequent years researchers measure the spawning population and trace the movements of the eggs and larvae. This research has expanded into The Fisheries Oceanography Coordinated Investigations (FOCI) program, a joint effort with NOAA scientists at the Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory.

The original FCMA is officially renamed The Magnuson Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MFCMA) in honor of Sen. Warren Magnuson.

The Mississippi Laboratories achieves success with its prototype satellite-linked sea turtle tracking tag in the Gulf of Mexico.

The NMFS Mississippi Laboratories Harvesting Systems Division develops the first turtle excluder device to prevent capture of endangered sea turtles in shrimp trawls.


NEFSC staff become part of the boundary dispute that had been simmering between the U.S. and Canada over how to divide Georges Bank in light of 200-mile EEZs claimed by both countries. Outlining species distribution, abundance, spawning areas, and traditional uses of commercial fishermen in the areas, the staff reports generated over several years formed the basis of the ICJ decision dividing the Bank.

The SWFC promotes cooperative interregional rapport on west coast groundfish research and oversees an NMFS technical committee to plan a groundfish conference as an annual forum for reviewing and coor- dinating NMFS groundfish research with the states, academia, and Canada. The first Groundfish Conference is held in Gleneden Beach. Ore. November 18-20

A computer-based albacore fishery and resource modeling effort is under- taken by SWFC staff and University of Washington contract scientists.

SEFC Charleston Laboratory

A major compilation of the research on the chemical composition and nutritive values of fishes and fish products is published by SEFC Charleston Laboratory scientists.

The Southeast Area Monitoring and assessment Program (SEAMAP) is initiated. It is a collaborative State/Federal University effort for collection, management, and dissemination of marine data from the U.S Gulf of Mexico, South Atlantic, and Caribbean regional waters.

New Lacey Act Amendments are passed to make it illegal to trade in fish wildlife, or plants taken in violation of any U.S. or Indian tribal law, treaty, or regulation.

The NMFS Northwest Regional Office moves to the first completed building at the new NOAA Western Regional Center at Sand Point in Seattle.


The Northern Pacific Halibut Act is passed to enforce the terms of the U.S.-Canada agreement prohibiting fishing by unauthorized foreign vessels.

The Southeast Region's SEAMAP Resource Survey begins in cooperation with the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission.


The SEFC begins a series of research cruises to develop an effective strategy to understand latent or underutilized fishery resources. The studies help generate new fisheries for the Gulf butterfish and other species. Coastal herrings and associated species are estimated to have a potential yield of up to 5 million metric tons per year.

SEFC scientists develop yield-per-recruit models for the major species found along the southeastern U.S. coast and set the pattern for reef fish management by the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic Fishery Management Councils.

On March 10th, the FCZ is designated as the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) by Presidential Proclamation.

On August 15-18, the NMFS sponsors the Symposium on Ontogeny and Systematics of Fishes in La Jolla, Calif., an international symposium dedicated to the memory of its late scientist Elbert Halvor Ahlstrom.


Dr. James Hanks steps down as Milford laboratory director after 22 years.

The NWAFC's Center Director's Office and its RACE and Resource Ecology and Fisheries Management (REFM) divisions move to the new NOAA Western Regional Center at Sand Point in Seattle. The National Marine Mammal Laboratory (NMML) also moves to the new facility.

On August 18th, a plane carrying four biologists from the National Marine Mammal Laboratory crashes into the frigid waters of the Arctic Ocean during bowhead whale surveys. Miraculously, all survive.

The Eastern Pacific Tuna Licensing act of 1984 is passed to issue and enforce rules protecting designated species of tuna under the Eastern Pacific Tuna Fishing Agreement

The Atlantic Striped Bass Conservation Act is passed to assist in the conservation, restoration, and management of the species and enforce compliance with the Interstate Fisheries Management Plan for Striped Bass.

Cooperative U.S.-Japan squid surveys in the Gulf of Mexico are initiated at the NMFS Mississippi Laboratories.


An arsonist destroys the Sandy Hook laboratory building housing the research aquarium facilities, many records, and the library.

The NMFS Southwest Region signs the first Memorandum of Understanding between the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and NOAA/NMFS for fisheries habitat enhancement.

The NMFS Northeast Fisheries Center's Woods Hole Laboratory is rededicated in August, celebrating its first century of research accomplishment and service.

SEFC scientists begin a new fish oil program to help the biomedical community ascertain the effects of the omega-3 fatty acid subcomponents on human health.


National Systematics Laboratory staff publish a paper identifying various species of spiny lobster from the tails alone. This was to address difficulties military purchasers were encountering with buying "U.S. origin only." The paper was reprinted by Osprey Books as a mass-market illustrated guide popular with processors and buyers.

The SWFC develops strategic plans for the joint SWFC-SWR-California Department of Fish and Game Marine Recreational Fisheries Program.

The Congressionally mandated, 5-year program to survey dolphin populations in the eastern tropical Pacific is launched, and the first expedition is carried out using two NOAA research vessels.

NMFS petitions the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to seek affirmation of menhaden oil and partially hydrogenated menhaden oil as being Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS), culminating 9 years of research into the chemistry of fish oils and the history of their safe use.

The Interjurisdictional Fisheries Act of 1986 is passed to distribute Federal money to the states for use in developing research programs to enhance the management of interstate fisheries.


A multi-year collaboration among NEFSC scientific staff and outside colleagues results in publication of a comprehensive atlas of Georges Bank, a benchmark work published by MIT Press under the title "Georges Bank"

The SWFC plays a vital role in the development and signing of the MEXUS-Pacifico agreement for fisheries cooperation between Mexico and the United States.

The South Pacific Tuna Treaty between the governments of certain Pacific Island States and the U.S. government is signed in Papua New Guinea, giving U.S. tuna fishermen access to over 10 million square miles of rich fishing grounds in the South Pacific.

NMFS signs a joint Memorandum of Agreement with the Port of Los Angeles for the largest wetlands restoration project (600+ acres) in southern California (Batiquitos Lagoon).

The Driftnet Impact Monitoring, Assessment, and Control Act is passed to monitor, assess, and reduce adverse impacts of driftnets on marine fisheries.

Using data collected by the Sandy Hook laboratory the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) closes the 12-mile sewage sludge dumpsite in the New York Bight.

1987-88 John Pearce of the NEFSC chairs the New Jersey Governor's Blue Ribbon Panel on Ocean Incidents which leads to a State of the Ocean report, quelling rumors and misperceptions about the New York- Middle Atlantic Bight water quality.


The SWFSC receives the Group Award for Excellence from the American Institute of Fisheries Research Biologists, in recognition of the Center's outstandinq achievements in marine biological research.

The South Pacific Tuna Act is passed by Congress, implementing the treaty between the United States and various Pacific Island states, covering prohibitions and licensing procedures for tuna fishing and authorizing NMFS to carry out U.S. obligations under the treaty. The SWR establishes a field office in Pago Pago, American Samoa, to take species composition and length-frequency samples of U.S. catch from the Treaty area, inspect vessel logbooks, and facilitate the placement of observers aboard vessels.

The NWAFC is divided into the Alaska Fisheries Science Center and the Northwest Fisheries Science Center

The Maurice Stansby Fish Oil Biomedical Test Materials Laboratory is dedicated at the NMFS Charleston Laboratory.

The first comprehensive film on shrimp trawl design and performance is produced by the Mississippi Laboratories Harvesting Division.

NMFS receives a report of three gray whales trapped in ice near Barrow Alaska. For three weeks, NMFS leads an international rescue operation that allows two of the whales to swim free from the ice on October 28th.


New James J. Howard Marine Sciences Labratory - Sandy Hook NJ Laboratory

A groundbreaking ceremony is held for a planned state-of-the art laboratory facility for oceanic and estuarine marine research to replace the Sandy Hook laboratory facility destroyed by fire.

The Coast Watch Program begins receiving satellite imagery of sea surface temperatures used to study and manage red tides and sea turtle/fishery interactions.

The winter run of chinook salmon in California's Sacramento River is listed as a threatened species.


Clyde L. MacKenzie, Jr. of the NEFSC Sandy Hook Laboratory publishes "The History of the Fisheries of Raritan Bay," a modern classic of regional history combining information on fisheries and science.

The Mississippi Laboratories Harvesting Systems Division develops a protocol for the qualification of new turtle excluder devices using captive-reared turtles.

The Mississippi Laboratories Harvesting Systems Division develops Bycatch Reduction Devices (BRD's), selective gear modifications to reduce catches of nontargeted species in shrimp trawls. It also develops new trawling technology for sampling and harvesting coastal pelagic species in the Gulf of Mexico.

Monetary value of U.S. commercial fisheries landings are at over $3.5 billion at dockside with economic value of recreational fishing an additional $13.5 billion. --Letter from American Fisheries Society to U.S. Senate Committee.


At a symposium organized for the purpose, Sandy Hook staff report the results of a four-year study into the recovery of marine life and habitat at the 12-mile dumpsite off New Jersey. The intensive, multidisciplinary effort described changes in the physical oceanography, sediment processes, and biota. The results will be reported in a dedicated issue of a peer-reviewed journal in 1995.

The nationwide Coastal America Program (CAP) is established. The SWR chairs the first meeting of the CAP Southwest Regional Implementation Team, composed of representatives from the Department of the Interior, EPA, Corps of Engineers, and NOAA.


An interdisciplinary team of scientists headquartered at Woods Hole begins the first large-scale ecosystems study of Georges Bank GLOBEC. The resulting work will be the first attempt to describe and model the processes and marine life on the bank as a complete system.

The Convention for the Conservation of Anadromous Stocks in the North Pacific Ocean is signed in Moscow by Canada, Japan, Russia, and the United States establishing the North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission.

The North Pacific Anadromous Stocks Convention Act repeals the North Pacific Fisheries Act of 1954 and implements protective measures for salmon and shad.

A NOAA/NMFS lawsuit results in successful judgment prohibiting the Glenn-Colusa Irrigation District in California from violating the ESA by diverting Sacramento River water during the endangered winter-run chinook salmon migration period

The Central Valley Project (CVP) Improvement Act is passed to balance competing demands of humans, fish, and wildlife for use of CVP water throughout California

A ban is imposed on importation of shrimp caught with gear that harms sea turtles unless the country in question has a strong turtle conservation program in effect

The High Seas Driftnet Fisheries Enforcement Act is passed to maintain a list of nations that allow large-scale driftnet fishing (which entangles protected mammals and fish as well as commercial fish) beyond their EEZ.


The NEFSC Cooperative Shark Tagging Program marks its 30th anniversary. The value of the in-kind contribution of the volunteers is estimated at $8 million annually. Shark scientists decide to aggregate results of the program for a benchmark publication on distribution and migration to be published in 1995.

NMFS issues a biological opinion (with alternatives) concluding that longterm operation of the Central Valley Project in California will likely jeopardize the continued existence of the Sacramento River endangered winter-run chinook salmon

The new NMFS facility at Sandy Hook, N J., now named the James J. Howard Laboratory, is officially dedicated, replacing the one destroyed by arson.


The new NMFS laboratory at Sandy Hook, the James J. Howard Laboratory, is officially opened.

The SWR and other Federal and state resource agencies, working with public and private interests, reach a hardfought, three-year Bay-Delta agreement on water quality standards to protect the Sacramento-San Joaquin estuary in California.

A South Korean fishing company, whose vessel was caught poaching fish from U.S. waters in the western Pacific settles in U.S. District Court for a $1 million fine and agrees to have its fleet of 17 fishing vessels tracked by satellite for 5 years. The provision allowing satellite tracking by U.S. authorities is unprecedented.

Fall 1994The federal Marine Mammal Protection Act is reauthorized and amended to include a requirement for the service to develop, with stakeholders, plans for reducing and eventually eliminating significant takes of marine mammals in all fisheries known to frequently or occasionally capture marine mammals. Nearly all of the category 1 and 2 fisheries occur along the U.S. eastern seaboard.


The Delaware II is sent to Detyen's Shipyard in Charleston, South Carolina, to undergo an RTE (Repair to Extend its useful life), under the Fleet Replacement and Modernization (FRAM) Program.

Management of the Pacific halibut and sablefish fisheries off Alaska is converted from an open-to-entry derby-style system to individual fishing quotas, allowing an 8-month season, improved product quality, and availability of fresh halibut and sablefish to the consumer.

Florida State University and the SEFSC Panama City Laboratory sign an agreement to study new ways to increase stocks of declining fisheries. Seagrasses (which serve as fish nurseries) and sharks (which are dwindling) are early research targets.

1995-1996--Due to a budget impasse in Washington, the National Marine Fisheries Service employees are among those government workers furloughed with full pay from December 22, 1995 to January 8, 1996.


The Fisheries celebrates it's 125th anniversary by, among other things, co-sponsoring two exhibits at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC. - Ocean Planet and "Science at Sea"

An oil spill occurs in Narragansett Bay when the vessel North Cape runs aground during a storm. NOAA Fisheries NEFSC diverts the NOAA Ship Albatross IV to the scene to sample marine life at the site in order to provide a baseline against which to measure recovery. The NOAA Fisheries Northeast Regional Office assists the State of Rhode Island with seafood inspection and closures of Narragansett Bay to fishing until the spill effects are dissipated.

Peter and James Spalt, owners of Cape Spray Fisheries, are served with violation notices in the largest fishery violation case to date. The notice includes more than 100 counts seeking damages of $5.8 million for damage done to groundfish and sea scallop stocks owing to their violations of fishing regulations intended to rebuild these stocks.

A new field test that confirms the presence of bleach on the abdomens of female lobsters is approved for use by NOAA Fisheries Enforcement agents. The test was developed by NOAA Fisheries agents and seafood specialists in partnership with other scientists. It is illegal to land an egg-bearing lobster, and bleach can be used to remove the eggs. Word of the new test results in a zero incidence of bleached females.

Amendment 7 to the New England groundfish recovery plan is put in place. For the first time, the plan includes measures to end overfishing and rebuild the stocks.

Sea scallopers test the first ever electronic reporting system in the northeast. As part of a voluntary experiment, the vessels use transponders linked to a satellite to report their use of days at sea.


NOAA Fisheries goes to public hearing with a plan intended to reduce takes of large whales in gillnet, lobster, and shark drift gillnet gear off the East Coast as required by the Marine Mammal Protection Act. The hearing set in motion a unique program of cooperative research and training to reduce large whale entanglements.

NOAA Fisheries scientists report first progress toward rebuilding for Georges Bank groundfish stocks, noting improvements in the weight of the spawning stocks for cod, haddock and yellowtail flounder.

For the second time in the organization’s 95- year history, the U.S. hosts the annual meeting of a convention organization, the International Council for Exploration of the Sea (ICES), in Baltimore, MD. NOAA Fisheries NEFSC and the National Science Foundation do most of the work organizing the meeting. More than 500 scientists from 28 countries attend. The meeting’s keynote address was on harmful algal blooms (HABs) and the event coincidentally occurs during an outbreak of pfiesteria, a harmful algal bloom, in Chesapeake Bay, attracting significant local interest in the ICES meeting.

New England Fishery Management Council committee confirms that for the first time in more than 20 years, Georges Bank stocks are not being overfished.


A tanker vessel strikes and kills a blue whale, probably during its transatlantic crossing. The whale is spotted across the tanker’s bow, towed to shore near Middletown, RI, and attracts national attention as the carcass is necropsied by a group of nationally known whale scientists. It is only the second recorded stranding of a blue whale off the U.S. Atlantic coast in this century.

The Spalt brothers settle their case with the government, pay $2 million in fines and accept a lifetime ban on fishing commercially.

The regions first all-female scientific party conducts the annual marine mammal survey aboard the NOAA Ship Albatross IV

NOAA Fisheries NEFSC assists in conducting the most formal experimentation to date involving commercial scallopers in research that has direct implications for evaluating management schemes to be used in their fishery. Six commercial vessels conduct survey and depletion experiment work in Closed Area II on Georges Bank, resulting in more than 1700 tows and important measurements that can be used to evaluate the effects of rotational closure to manage the scallop stock sustainably.

Within weeks of one another in different incidents, two Massachusetts whale watch vessels strike whales while returning from Stellwagen Bank, the first such recorded incidents in the region