NOAA Fisheries holds consultations with a number of countries and fishing entities on a regular basis to exchange views and enlist support for U.S. fisheries trade and conservation and management initiatives in international fora.
NOAA Fisheries has been working closely with Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) in Australia for over 40 years and formalized the relationship in 2010 through a Memorandum of Understanding. NOAA fisheries has a long list of science engagements with Australia including research on bycatch reduction devices, use of genetic tools to estimate population sizes of Bluefin tuna and swordfish, tracking and predicting movements of sharks among various coastal areas, and fish species identification. Within the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) and the South Pacific Regional Fishery Management Organization NOAA Fisheries cooperates closely with Australia on the protection of vulnerable marine ecosystems, improvements in fisheries management measures, and adoption of measures to combat illegal, unregulated, and unreported (IUU fishing). The Atlantis model was created by CSIRO and co-developed with NOAA Fisheries. It has strongly influenced the direction of Integrated Ecosystem Assessments, which are essential to projecting ecosystem impacts of various climate scenarios and coastal management regimes on coral and providing guidance to marine resource managers regarding appropriate harvest targets for forage fish.
Canada and the United States meet annually for discussion on transboundary fisheries management and science issues. The collaboration strives to develop complementary and integrated approaches that can be implemented domestically, as required by both countries. For years, joint fisheries surveys have been conducted in the Pacific and Atlantic and the U.S. and Canada participate in several international agreements pertaining to shared species. NOAA Fisheries has a long-standing relationship with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO). Executed primarily through the Northeast, Northwest and Alaska Fisheries Science Centers, NOAA and DFO collaborate on a variety of topics including: marine mammals, climate change impact on fisheries, ecosystem approaches to fisheries management, and transboundary stock ecosystem monitoring.
Collaboration with China on international science is encouraged under the US-China Science and Technology Agreement, initially signed in 1979 by Heads of State. Under this agreement, the “Protocol on Cooperation in the Field of Marine and Fishery Science and Technology” provided the framework for collaboration on marine and fisheries specific issues between the Chinese Academy of Fisheries Science (CAFS) and NOAA. The most active protocol bilateral panels are the Panel on Living Marine Resources (LMR) Panel and Panel on the Role of the Ocean in Climate Change. The LMR Panel is the formal body that implements collaborative science activities on fisheries and related issues. This Panel is chaired by the NMFS Chief Science Advisor and the President of CAFS.
As two of the world’s largest harvesters of seafood and two of the largest importers, the United States and the European Union (EU) seek to assure consumers that their seafood, whether domestically produced or imported, has been legally and sustainably harvested. The EU and the U.S. have committed to domestic actions to end overfishing and rebuild depleted stocks through a variety of innovative management approaches and will continue to strengthen regional partnerships to advance these goals for international fisheries. Below are some of our joint activities.
As a strategic ally of the United States, with a widening economy and growing investment in scientific endeavors including Earth observations and Fisheries, India offers new and ample opportunities for data sharing, reciprocal capacity building, and access to local resources for NOAA fisheries. NOAA formalized its partnership with India’s Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) in 2008. Since then, NOAA Fisheries and MoES have collaborated to conduct research on forecasting yields of key pelagic fish stocks and harmful algal blooms. NOAA is also engaged in numerous programs, partnerships and collaborations with MoES and other Indian science agencies. These efforts are to improve the short-term prediction of sardine, mackerel, and anchovies of the southeast. Additional areas of collaboration are meteorology, climate variability and change, hydrology, oceanography,and coastal and ocean management.
In 2017, NOAA Fisheries and the Japan Fisheries Research and Education Agency (FRA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to promote scientific research exchange on the following topics: productivity/oceanography, living marine resources and fisheries, climate change, ecosystem soundness, aquaculture, socioeconomics, communication, and ecosystem modeling. The MOU formalized many years of ongoing research cooperation. NOAA Fisheries also collaborates with Japan to develop sustainable aquaculture techniques under the U.S./Japan Cooperative Program in Natural Resources (UJNR). Aquaculture is one of the areas where the U.S. is lagging behind other countries and has much to gain from interactions with foreign scientists.
NOAA Fisheries and the Mexican Secretariat for the Environment, Natural Resources and Fisheries (known as SEMARNAP in Spanish) conduct an extensive fisheries cooperation program. This program was initiated in 1983 and cooperative projects have included: fisheries management, enforcement, seafood trade, endangered species conservation, aquaculture, and scientific cooperation. Periodic meetings provide a forum to exchange views and plan cooperative projects. The achievements in dolphin and turtle conservation, and cooperative scientific research have been particularly notable. NOAA Fisheries and SEMARNAP scientists also meet annually to coordinate research in the Gulf of Mexico and Pacific through two research cooperation programs.
In September 2008, the Ministry of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs of Norway and NOAA executed a Memorandum of Understanding intended to strengthen, promote and further develop cooperation on the conservation and management of living marine resources. This was followed in 2012 by an addendum on Cooperation in Marine Ecosystems Research and Assessment between NOAA Fisheries and the Norwegian Institute of Marine Research (IMR). This led to over a decade of collaboration through joint sponsorship of scientific workshops, scientist echanges and cooperative research. The two organizations alternate hosting annual science bilateral meetings to have in-depth discussions on science and policy coordination, focused on fisheries stock assessment sciences, advancements in acoustic observing technologies, machine learning and data visualization programs, eDNA, aquaculture, data management, climate vulnerability and integrated ecosystem assessments.
In 1988, the United States and Russia signed the “Agreement Between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on Mutual Fisheries Relations,” establishing the U.S.–Russia Intergovernmental Consultative Committee. The agreement primarily aims to maintain a fisheries relationship that benefits both countries. The United States and Russia cooperate on scientific research, consult on issues of fisheries conservation and management beyond their exclusive economic zones and third-party zones, and cooperate to address illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing activities.