Passive ocean-color data at 32 wavelengths in the visible domain and laser-induced fluorescence line heights of chlorophyll and phycoerythrin, measured simultaneously from an aircraft in the New York Bight area, are used to examine the problem of developing algorithms for pigment retrieval from ocean-color data that would be capable of distinguishing between chlorophyll and phycoerythrin. Using factor analysis, it is shown that it is indeed possible to develop such algorithms. Furthermore, the wavelengths used in the algorithms can be reduced from 32 to 6 (similar to the SeaWiFS channels) without much loss in information. These multiwavelength algorithms yield significantly higher correlation coefficients for chlorophyll compared with the conventional blue-green ratio used for retrieval of this pigment. The Coastal Zone Color Scanner wavelengths appear to be inadequate for quantitative retrieval of the phycoerythrin signal.