Roffer’s Ocean Fishing Forecasting Service, Inc. (ROFFS™) is a scientific consulting company based in West Melbourne, Florida (U.S.A.) that is involved with fisheries oceanography and environmental science. Founded in 1986 by Mitchell A. Roffer (Ph.D.) in Miami, Florida, we are best known for our tactical and strategic fisheries forecasts that are the result of the integration of satellite and other fisheries oceanographic data. However, we are intensively involved a broad range of projects from ship routing, oil and gas drilling operations, seismic and fish surveys, fisheries development, aquaculture, environmental monitoring, and applied scientific research.
All of our operational fish forecasting products are designed to allow fishing vessels to concentrate their fishing effort in the most productive waters to increase operational efficiency. The analyses incorporate numerous factors including water temperature, water color, orientation of local currents, history of ocean fronts, bottom topography, biological quality of the water (chlorophyll, plankton, clarity, colored dissolved organic matter, etc.), forage preference of the target species, availability of forage, as well as, habitat preference of the forage and target species.
Our analyses have been used successfully by commercial, professional tournament, recreational fishermen and researchers for a variety of fish species including tuna, marlin, sailfish, swordfish, mahi, wahoo, shark, mackerel, sardine, anchovy, pilchard, herring, bluefish, squid, as well as, cod and hake.
ROFFS™ continues to work on numerous fisheries related consulting and research projects. Some of these have involved bluefin tuna, other tunas, mahi, billfish, sharks, squid, pilchard, including work on migrations, daily movements, population dynamics and reproductive ecology in both domestic U.S. and international waters. In addition, we have been involved in marine mammal population surveys and stranding investigations along the U.S. east coast and in the Gulf of Mexico. The research involves providing real-time oceanographic analyses operationally to a variety of federal and state governmental, as well as, academic researchers. We have conducted research related to new fisheries development in waters off the Azores, Oman, Libya, South Africa and United States (Hawaii). ROFFS™ also provides services for aquaculture site evaluations and penning operations. We are presently involved in a collaborative research project with National Marine Fisheries Service that is primarily funded by NASA related to highly migratory species reproductive ecology, habitat modeling and stock assessment. ROFFS™ is also involved in fisheries oceanographic research with the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS), Southeast Coastal Ocean Observing Regional Association (SECOORA) involving demersal fish species stock assessment.
Leveraging our skills and experience in remote sensing and operational oceanography we also provide real-time ocean current information to the oil and gas industry on world-side basis for oil drilling operations, redeployment of equipment, seismic surveys, and ship routing. Our products are designed to provide real-time detailed information on ocean conditions to maximize the operational efficiency and for risk abatement.
ROFFS™ is active in Homeland Security issues related to search and rescue and environmental science and monitoring issues. We provide real-time analyses related to the location and movements of specific water masses that may carry pollutants. Our expertise and reputation resulted in a contract as the “Independent Scientist” for the State of Florida Department of Environmental Protection Piney Point Phosphate Waste Water Dispersal Program (2003-2004). After hurricanes Katrina and Rita in the Gulf of Mexico in 2005 we provided daily maps of the distribution of the coastal, potentially polluted waters that were used by numerous federal, state emergency management officials, resource managers, and oceanographers. In 2010 in response to the British Petroleum Deepwater Horizon oil spill episode ROFFS™ produced a widely used daily Oil Oceanographic Analysis that provided maps and analyses on where the oil and water – oil- dispersant mix had moved and where it was likely to travel over the next 24 hours.
ROFFS™ also provides search and rescue support and other environmental monitoring (chemicals, biota, and currents) to both government and private entities.
We remain active in both the scientific community, as well, as the fisheries resource management community locally, regionally, nationally and on an international basis. We are currently funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to study the effects of climate and ocean variability on highly migratory pelagic fish resources and to develop easy-to-use satellite based tools for resource managers. We have been a member of NASA’s Biodiversity & Ecological Forecasting Science Team since 2004. We are also working on tarpon and bonefish research with the Bonefish and Tarpon Trust and billfish research with The Billfish Foundation. ROFFS™ is an active participant in several regional and state associations. ROFFS™ is an institutional host in the Southeast Coastal Ocean Observing System Regional Association (SECOORA). ROFFS™ is an Associate member in the Florida Institute of Oceanography and a Member of the Florida Ocean Alliance.