Today, NOAA Fisheries has released five geographic strategic plans that tier from the national plan. They provide detail of specific areas of increased emphasis for commercial and recreational fishing opportunities and the conservation of marine resources (2020–2023).
The plans reflect the vision of the Department of Commerce and NOAA to help the American economy grow. They also provide a practical approach to managing our fisheries and marine resources by advancing NOAA Fisheries’ three national goals:
- Amplify the economic value of commercial and recreational fisheries while ensuring their sustainability.
- Conserve and recover protected species while supporting responsible fishing and resource development.
- Improve organizational excellence and regulatory efficiency.
High-priority areas of focus highlighted in these plans include:
- Maximizing the economic yield of U.S. fisheries
- Reducing bycatch and entanglement
- Fostering U.S. marine aquaculture
- Focusing species recovery on the most at-risk Endangered Species Act-listed species
These geographic plans help the agency achieve the three strategic goals and act effectively in its priorities around the country. The plans identify some of the key challenges in today’s strategic landscape. We will address these challenges by investing in the people, programs, and technology platforms that most advance our highest priorities. The plans also reflect our continued commitment to improving our operations and streamlining our regulatory processes to execute our stewardship mission efficiently.
The plans acknowledge that we must be willing to move in new directions—while choosing what must be phased out—to achieve these strategic goals. We will continue to address our high-priority activities, while minimizing or eliminating efforts on low-priority activities, to provide the best value to the American public.