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Pfleger Institute of Environmental Research

Bridging the gap between scientific research and fishery management

With a hands-on and innovative field research approach that is targeted to the needs of our local community, sustainability and stewardship are kept at the forefront in addressing regional issues relating to overfishing, marine conservation, and fishery development in southern California.

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What's New at Pier

December 01, 2023

The aging lab at CISESE in Ensenada, Baja California MX has successfully extracted Opah otoliths!

The otolith, or “earbone” of a fish can be used to determine it’s age and growth and is an important component in sustainable management.  Our collaborators at CICESE pioneered a procedure for extracting the delicate otoliths of Opah, a task once considered impossible.

Read the full story here.


As scientists, fishers, marine conservationists, and consumers, we are personally dedicated to developing the cleanest and most sustainable fishing operations possible.

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Improving the sustainability of fishery management

For over 20 years, PIER has actively pursued the goal of improving the sustainability of fishery management through targeted field research by top scientists who are among the most experienced fishers in the region.

Innovative field-tested solutions

Our solutions draw upon our evidence-based scientific practices, our success in bridging industry with local management teams, and the breadth of our international ties with Mexico and throughout Latin America to enact changes that can be effectively applied in the field.


We seek to enhance domestic fisheries by applying scientific practices in our sustainable gear development work.  This unique approach uses the latest technologies to design and test innovative new solutions that benefit local fishers and consumers and lead to a better understanding of our marine environment.

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Our work focuses on stock assessments and structure, tagging, migration and spawning patterns, bycatch mitigation, and post-release survivorship for commercial and recreational fisheries.

We focus on species key to our Southern California bight including bluefin tuna, swordfish, thresher sharks, and white sea bass. We remain committed to sharing our knowledge of the local marine environment with stakeholders and our local communities through public education.