California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigations

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Program Overview

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CalCOFI 75 Sta PatternThe California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigations (CalCOFI) are a unique partnership of the California Department of Fish & Wildlife, NOAA Fisheries Service and Scripps Institution of Oceanography. The organization was formed in 1949 to study the ecological aspects of the sardine population collapse off California. Today our focus has shifted to the study of the marine environment off the coast of California, the management of its living resources, and monitoring the indicators of El Nino and climate change. CalCOFI conducts quarterly cruises off southern & central California, collecting a suite of hydrographic and biological data on station and underway.  Data collected at depths down to 500 m include: temperature, salinity, oxygen, phosphate, silicate, nitrate and nitrite, chlorophyll, transmissometer, PAR, C14 primary productivity, phytoplankton biodiversity, zooplankton biomass, and zooplankton biodiversity.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 25 February 2014 13:17

2014 Cruise Schedule

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Loading New Horizon at MarFac

2014 Cruises:
Cruise dates are subject to change
so check back often or check the ship's schedule

Current or Upcoming -

  • CalCOFI 1411NH • 25 Oct - 11 Nov 2014 • RV New Horizon • Load & Setup 22-24 Oct 2014 • Loading & offloading location - 10th Ave Marine Terminal, San Diego; offload in San Diego 12 Nov 2014.

Completed -

Additonal Information:
RV Bell M Shimada Information & Schedule Contact -- RV New Horizon Information & 2014 Schedule -- RV Ocean Starr Information 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 29 July 2014 11:07


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1950-present CalCOFI ichthyoplankton & hydrographic databases are available in queryable form.
Go to the ERDDAP home page and search for CalCOFI.

ERDDAP (the Environmental Research Division's Data Access Program) is a data server that gives you a simple, consistent way to download subsets of scientific datasets in common file formats and make graphs and maps. This particular ERDDAP installation has oceanographic data (for example, data from satellites and buoys).
The data now served through ERDDAP are derived from the entire 1950-present CalCOFI ichthyoplankton (all 450+ species) and hydrographic databases (i.e. both SWFSC and SIO managed databases). These data are accessible either through a GUI on ERDDAP, or from analysis programs (such as R, Matlab or NCL) using a URL and an Opendap-type protocol. The data are available in a variety of output formats for download.  
Last Updated on Monday, 09 December 2013 11:30

Available Data

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Since 1949, hydrographic and biological data of the California Current System have been collected on CalCOFI cruises. The 64+ year hydrographic time-series includes temperature, salinity, oxygen and phosphate observations. In 1961, nutrient analysis expanded to include silicate, nitrate and nitrite; in 1973, chlorophyll was added; in 1984, C14 primary productivity incubations were added; and in 1993, CTD profiling began.

>> Hydrographic Data - 1949 to Latest Update

CalCOFI Data Reports


Hydrographic Bottle


Primary Productivity




Spatial Pattern Figures

description       description       description       description      
example       example       example       example      
download - mirror •       download - mirror •       download - mirror •       download - mirror •      
* Latest update: 201301.

Database Ready Files 


MS Access MDB


CSV - Btl / Cast Files


XML - Btl / Cast Files


SQL - Btl / Cast Files

14 Table - 50 MB Zip •       MDB Output - 38 MB Zip •       MDB Output - 50 MB Zip •       MDB Output - 45 MB Zip •      
example       example       example       example      
download - mirror       download - mirror       download - mirror       download - mirror      
* Latest update: 201301.

IEH Archive Files


IEH 128 Column

* Latest update: 201301.

>> CTD Data - 1992 to Latest Update

CTD Zip Files


CTD Data


Data Descriptions


SBE Formats


CalCOFI Formats

latest final 1210       final       final asc - hdr       final csv-plot      
latest prelim 1404OS       preliminary       preliminary asc - hdr       preliminary csv-plot      
browse all       cast       cast       metadata      
* Latest update: 08May2014: CalCOFI 1404OS preliminary CTD data posted; 1210 Final bottle-corrected CTD data & plots posted

>> Net Sampling

Online Databases


MacroZooplankton Biomass Data


Data Zoo






Pelagic Invert DB

Wet displacement volume from starboard side of Bongo Net•       CalCOFI Data •       Ichthyoplankton DB •       Zooplankton Database•     Collection Search Form•
downloadable csv       download, plot, filter •       Mark Ohman Lab •       Mark Ohman Lab •     SIO •
 * Latest update: 201301.

>> Underway Sampling

Maps, Data, & DataBases


TSG & Meteorological




Mammal Observations


Bird Observations

Underway Data       SWFSC - FRD       Census       Census      
Information       Information       Census Log       Census Log      
* Latest update: 201101.


Data Usage and Distribution Policy
CalCOFI hydrographic and plankton data are distributed to the community for use without restriction. Unless otherwise noted, these data can be considered to be final data which have been evaluated using CalCOFI data quality control procedures. Methods for data collection and processing are summarized in CalCOFI Data Reports introduction. To see the introduction or methods used on specific cruises, refer to the Data Report PDF page. Preliminary data from recent cruises for which the data processing is not complete can generally be made available to those programs for which there is an operational need. Refer to the Contacts page for addressing such requests. We ask that these preliminary data not be published or redistributed.


Last Updated on Thursday, 08 May 2014 15:14

Vol 55 2014

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CalCOFIReportsCover55CalCOFI Report Vol. 55, 2014

Last Updated on Wednesday, 21 May 2014 12:50


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Volunteers on CalCOFI


Opportunities to volunteer on CalCOFI Cruises in 2014

  • CalCOFI Summer Cruise Dates: July 6 - 23 2014
  • CalCOFI Fall Cruise Dates: Oct 25 - Nov 11 2014

Interested in participating in an oceanographic cruise? CalCOFI cruises are staffed by personnel from the following agencies: Southwest Fisheries Science Center (NOAA), Integrative Oceanography Division at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and California Department of Fish & Wildlife. Volunteers are recruited to help deploy equipment, collect data, and draw and analyze seawater samples. General criteria:

  • sea-worthiness (experience at sea, recreational is acceptable)
  • good health; able to lift 50lbs safely
  • scientific background
  • ability to follow detailed instructions carefully
  • ability to work safely on an oceanographic cruise
  • availability - most cruises are 18 - 20 days; some winter & spring cruises are longer. Winter & spring cruises often have a 2nd fisheries trawling leg.
  • ability to work a 12hr watch (noon to midnight or midnight to noon) for +18 days
  • must have completed two years in college in the field of science

Additional information is available in the CalCOFI Handbook. If you are interested in participating, please send a resume and a brief description of your seagoing experience and interests to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it at Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

Last Updated on Monday, 24 March 2014 14:02

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