What We Do
The Fishery Monitoring and Research Division provides key services for our nation’s ocean resources and habitats, including maintaining productive and sustainable fisheries, helping the recovery and conservation of protected species and supporting healthy marine ecosystems.
We focus on the collection and use of information from commercial and recreational fisheries to inform fisheries science and management and fills data gaps to complement fishery independent surveys through the utilization of commercial and recreational fishing platforms. Our Cooperative Research Branch and Fisheries Sampling Branch work closely with fishing industries to collect, process, and manage fishery dependent data, and use industry platforms to obtain data on fish biology, environmental variables, and socioeconomic factors in support of stock assessments and ecosystem-based fishery management. We develop and support cooperative efforts between the Northeast Fisheries Science Center and industry that are essential to create robust and accurate datasets, and conduct outreach across the region to keep constituents informed of activities.
In addition, our programs foster engagement between the Center and industry in the development of technology and data products to improve fisheries reporting and availability of data. This allows fishermen, scientists, and managers to manage fisheries proactively and support industry's adaptation to climate change and shifting species distributions.
The Fisheries Sampling Branch collects, processes, manages and provides fishery dependent data and biological samples from fishing vessels. Collection of these data is mandated or otherwise needed for management under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, The Marine Mammal Protection Act, the Atlantic Tuna Convention Act and the Endangered Species Act. Branch staff and observers under contract perform at-sea operations aboard commercial vessels to collect information on fishing operations, fishing effort, and catch, including by-catch and discard information, economic data and vessel efficiency, and biological samples of landed catch and discard. Data are processed and quality-controlled. New observers and at-sea monitors are trained and certified. The program monitors and samples takes of protected species, implements Standardized Bycatch Reporting Methodology, overseas industry-funded observer programs, and evaluates electronic monitoring systems.
The Northeast Cooperative Research Branch's mission is to expand and improve the effectiveness of collaborative research throughout the Mid-Atlantic and New England. This collaboration enhances the data upon which fishery management decisions are made and increases coordination, communication, learning, and trust among scientists, managers, and members of the industry.
We create opportunities to leverage expertise, research infrastructure, and unique field and analytical skills that further constructive collaboration within the Northeast and with diverse regional partners.
Emphasis is placed on working with industry to provide high quality fisheries and environmental data in near real-time to improve:
- The understanding of species distribution and environmental drivers.
- The predictive modeling of these factors.
- The precision of stock assessments.
- The temporal and spatial resolution of multi-species catch and life history data.
We are responsible for coordination; scientific and administrative oversight; peer review; and data archiving for NOAA Fisheries activities supported by Northeast and National Cooperative Research funds, as well as Congressionally-funded external (non-governmental) cooperative research programs.
Research Set-Aside Programs
Research Set-Aside programs are unique to federal fisheries in the Greater Atlantic Region. No Federal funds are provided to support the research. Instead, research funds are generated through the sale of set-aside allocations for quota managed or days-at-sea managed fisheries. There are active RSA programs established under the Atlantic Sea Scallop, Atlantic Herring, and Monkfish Fishery Management Plans.