CoastWatch/OceanWatch satellite data that are utilized for fisheries research and management include sea surface temperature, sea surface winds, ocean color and sea surface height.

Sea surface temperature is used to identify and evaluate habitat conditions for fisheries and aquaculture features as well as identify physical features such as fronts and upwelling zones where certain species are known to aggregate.

Ocean color is used to provide information about a variety of issues related to fisheries and aquaculture including phytoplankton biomass, harmful algal blooms and water clarity.

Ocean currents, ocean color and sea surface temperature are important for predicting the location of endangered species at risk for bycatch and fisheries relevant species.

Sea surface height is used in conjunction with sea surface temperature and chlorophyll to identify oceanographic features and processes of relevance to fisheries such as eddies and ENSO variability El Niño and La Niña.

Saharan Dust and its Impacts


  Winds blowing across the Sahara Desert send large clouds of dust that travel thousands of miles to the Atlantic Ocean or Mediterranean Sea. The growth of phytoplankton, microscopic plants at the base of the ocean food chain, is restricted by iron availability.  When Saharan dust is blown into the ocean, phytoplankton use the iron and nutrients from the dust and begin to grow and reproduce.


EcoCast: A tool to help fishers minimize bycatch off the US West Coast

medium_Ecocast tumbnail.png

  The EcoCast tool uses habitat suitability models and satellite-derived environmental data to predict where broadbill swoardfish and three bycatch species (leatherback turtle, blue shark and California sea lion) are likely to be each day. Daily EcoCast maps help fishers identify fishing spots minimize fisheries bycatch and maximize fisheries target catch.


Identifying Climate-Driven Shifts in Jumbo Flying Squid Fishing Grounds


  The jumbo flying squid (Dosidicus gigas), also known as the Humbolt squid, is an economically important fisheries species in the Eastern Pacific, currently accounting for approximately one third of the world's squid landings. Sea surface temperature and sea surface height data from NOAA OceanWatch Central Pacific node was used to research movements of their fishing ground. 


Improving Satellite Sea Surface Temperature Analysis


  Information about sea surface temperature is important for weather and ocean forecasting, climate monitoring, military and defense operations, ecosystem assessment, fisheries analyses and tourism operations. NOAA's Sea Surface Temperature Team is working to improve their products by reanalyzing past data with NOAA's Advanced Clear-Sky Processor for Oceans (ACSPO) using the enterprise algorithm. 


Ocean acidification in the Caribbean


  In collaboration with the NOAA Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory's Ocean Chemistry and Ecosystems Division and NOAA Coral Reef Watch, the Caribbean/Gulf of Mexico node of CoastWatch produces an ocean acidification product suite for the greater Caribbean region to track changes in the surface ocean that can be used as an important tool in coral reef research and management.


TurtleWatch: A Tool for Reducing Loggerhead Turtle Bycatch


  Fisheries bycatch has been implicated as a contributing factor in the population decline of endangered Pacific loggerhead turtles. In order to reduce interactions between longline fishing vessels based in Hawaii and loggerhead sea turtles, the NOAA Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center created an experimental information product called TurtleWatch.