Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors

What We Do in Alaska in the Winter: Rockfish Party!

Mar 25, 2014 | Uncategorized | 0 comments

February 21, 2014
by Molly Zaleski

It's a rockfish party up here in Juneau! We're bioprocessing young of the year (YOY) rockfish that were collected in 2013. What does 'bioprocessing' mean? It means we've taken fin clips from them so that a partnering lab can identify if they're Pacific Ocean perch or a different kind of rockfish. We've also taken tissue samples from some to measure their RNA/DNA ratios. On top of that, we removed their stomach contents so that we can get a snapshot of what these little fellows have eaten. This can be pretty difficult because, while most of them have been frozen nicely and look like this:

Some of them have been squished in the transfer from the Gulf of Alaska to Juneau and look like this:

But we've got a crack team on the job to pull the stomach contents proficiently! Shout-outs to our contractor team: Wess Strasburger, Casey Debenham, Hannah Findlay, Tayler Jarvis, and Eamon Conheady.

Finally, they rockfish are dried (to calculate how much of their bodies are tissue versus moisture), and then processed for their chemical components: energy, lipids, ash, and protein. The energy is calculated through bomb calorimetry which is a really fun way of saying we blow them up and calculate the resulting energy from their fish-splosion!


It's a lot of information from some very tiny fish! And while it's fun working with the rockfish, we've noticed, anecdotally, that their eyes seem to be the last things that grind up when we try to homogenize the fish into a fine powder, which leaves me with the Rockwell hit, “Somebody's Watching Me” stuck in my head. If it's now stuck in your head, you're welcome! 


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

WHo we are

Established in 2001, NPRB is a marine research organization that supports pressing fishery management issues or marine ecosystem needs.


More than 600 peer-reviewed publications have been produced through NPRB-funded research. Browse our library and our reports here.


NPRB comprises a 20 member Board, representing Federal, State, and other entitites while receiving advice from Science and Advisory Panels.


Looking to partner with NPRB? NPRB welcomes partnerships to co-fund research in areas of common interest and across its programs.


NPRB communicates and engages with a broad and diverse set of Alaskan stakeholders and audiences, from coastal communities to academia.


NPRB staff support the Board, Science, and Advisory Panels for funding decisions, science priorities, recommendations, and program management.

Funding Available

The Core Program offers year-round funding with flexible rolling submission options.


NPRB staff begins developing draft research priorities for the Core Program in late July and August. Submit before July 2nd to be considered for the current year’s RFP development. 

Our Programs

NPRB maintains scientific programs designed to address pressing fishery management issues and Alaska marine ecosystem information needs.


NPRB supports a competitive, peer-reviewed annual request for proposal (RFP) process dedicated to marine research in Alaskan waters.

The Arctic Integrated Ecosystem Reserach Program looked at how physical changes in the ocean influence the flow of energy through the marine food web in the Bering Strait, Chukchi Sea, and western Beaufort Sea from 2017-2021.


Supporting science communication, engagement, outreach, and education initiatives for all our research programs.


This program supports new or existing time-series research that enhance the ability to understand the current state of marine ecosystems.

The Bering Sea Project, a partnership between the North Pacific Research Board and the National Science Foundation, sought to understand the impacts of climate change and dynamic sea ice cover on the eastern Bering Sea ecosystem.


These are large-scale interdisciplinary ecosystem-based programs, requiring multiple agency coordination, collaboration, and investigation.


NPRB supports next generation scientists, researchers, and resource managers to further their studies in relevant fields of marine science and to our mission.

The Gulf of Alaska Project tested three main hypotheses about the survival and recruitment of five focal groundfish species (Pacific cod, Pacific ocean perch, walleye pollock, arrowtooth flounder, sablefish) during their first year of life.

About NPRB
  • Menu Item 1
  • Menu Item 2
  • Menu Item 3
  • Menu Item 4
  • Menu Item 5
  • Menu Item 6
  • Menu Item 7

Title Goes Here

Your content goes here. Edit or remove this text inline or in the module Content settings. You can also style every aspect of this content in the module Design settings and even apply custom CSS to this text in the

Title Goes Here

Your content goes here. Edit or remove this text inline or in the module Content settings. You can also style every aspect of this content in the module Design settings and even apply custom CSS to this text in the