NOAA Fisheries Science Program Review

Sound science is critical for making the right decisions when it comes to managing our nation’s fisheries and protected species. To maintain our world-class science, we continually strive to advance the science that informs fisheries and protected resources management.

As part of our ongoing improvement efforts, we began a systematic peer review process in 2013 at all six of our regional science centers and our headquarters Office of Science and Technology. Experts from within and outside the agency carefully examine our science programs on a 5-year peer review cycle to improve integration, identify best practices, and share successes and challenges within our science enterprise. The review process will include opportunities for public involvement, which will be part of our broader dialog with fishery management councils, fishing industry, and other stakeholders.

Science Centers and National Science Program 

In 2017, each science center and our national Office of Science and Technology conducted public meetings as part of the review process. Click on the links below for more information. 

Economics and Human Dimensions

Planned for 2017.

The NOAA Fisheries Economics & Human Dimensions Science Program conducts research and provides science advice that can be used to evaluate the consequences of management actions and to design policy that maximizes societal benefits from ocean and coastal ecosystems. Within this context, we conduct economics and sociocultural research on commercial and recreational fisheries and fishing communities to provide information on the potential effects of fishery management options on people.

Ecosystem, Climate, Habitat Science

Completed in 2016.

The objective for these reviews is to evaluate the current scientific programs of the centers and Office of Science and Technology that are directed to provide information relative to the management, protection and restoration of resilient and productive ecosystems. Here we define ecosystem-related science programs as those elucidating ecological, oceanographic, climate, and habitat-related processes as they are linked to living marine resource species.

Protected Species Science

Completed in 2015.

The objective for the protected species science reviews is to evaluate the current scientific programs that are directed to provide information relative to the conservation and management of marine mammals, endangered or threatened wildlife, and species of concern under our jurisdiction.  In addition, these reviews will assess the extent to which current science programs are focused on the highest information needs identified by NOAA Fisheries managers. For more information please see the terms of reference.

Stock Assessment Programs

Completed in 2014.

Stock assessments are demographic analyses designed to provide particular scientific advice to living resource managers. The 2014 review objective was to examine and evaluate fishery stock assessment programs conducted pursuant to the Magnuson-Stevens Act and comparable international agreements. The 2014 focus on the overall program of assessment modeling, approach, review process and communication complemented the 2013 data reviews. Reviewer reports and agency responses will post on the past program review page.

Data Collection and Management

Completed in 2013.

The objective for the 2013 reviews was to review and evaluate the center’s current scientific fishery-dependent and fishery-independent data as it relates to fishery stock assessments conducted pursuant to the Magnuson-Stevens Act. The review included examination of NOAA ship-based surveys, cooperative research surveys, logbook and observer data, and data management and quality control. For more details, links to reviewer reports and agency responses on the past program review page