Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee Reports and Recommendations

MAFAC activities and advice provide necessary input to ensure that NOAA’s policies, programs, and activities are optimal for supporting sustainable fisheries and fishing communities and recovering and conserving protected species. MAFAC advice is developed during meetings of the Committee and is typically conveyed in meeting summaries, written findings and recommendations, and formal reports. MAFAC assists NOAA in maintaining a complete and accurate understanding of issues critical to the agency's missions.

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Cross-cutting Recommendations

Report of the MAFAC Coastal Resilience Working Group

November 2017

This report is a compilation of six individual sub-reports and an Executive Summary, and represents a body of MAFAC work that addresses coastal and community resilience issues and questions posed to MAFAC by NOAA and NOAA Fisheries leaders in late 2015.

Click here to access and learn more about the report


Recommendations on Draft 4th U.S. National Climate Assessment, Chapter 9, Oceans and Marine Resources

December 2017

These comments represent input from MAFAC's Full Committee and its Climate and Marine Resources Task Force on the Draft 4th U.S. National Climate Assessment, Ocean and Marine Resources Chapter (9). The Assessment was developed by the United States Global Change Research Program, of which the Department of Commerce is a member agency. 

Click here to access and learn more about MAFAC's comments 


Abundant Seas: Making the Most of America's Marine Resources

December 2016

This report was prepared by the Committee for the incoming Trump Administration's transition team and Department of Commerce and NOAA leadership, to share thoughts and recommendations regarding priority initiatives for marine resources. It presents an overview of fisheries and aquaculture in the United States, summarizes some of the major challenges to healthy oceans and thriving industries, and lists opportunities for the Administration to make important progress on addressing these challenges in the next four years. It also identifies actions and opportunities that the Committee feels the Administration could undertake in its first 100 days.

Click here to access the report (PDF, 9 pages)


Vision 2020 (v2.0): Charting a Course for the Future of U.S. Marine Fisheries

December 2012

This vision document provides an overview of the current trends in NOAA Fisheries’ program areas and, based on these trends and findings, provides summary recommendations to be undertaken by the Department of Commerce and NOAA in order to achieve a desired state of fisheries and other marine resources by 2020.  Recommendations address sustainable commercial and recreational fisheries and fishing communities, restoring and conserving protected species and marine habitats, and supporting aquaculture. The report also addresses enforcement, seafood safety and inspection, changing ocean conditions, and ocean governance issues. 

Click here to access the report, (PDF, 25 pages)


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Aquaculture Recommendations

Letter and Recommendations on Aquaculture

December 2017

This letter to Secretary Ross highlights the need to substantially increase domestic aquaculture production and support for the development of an effective national aquaculture initiative at NOAA.

Click here to access the letter (PDF, 2 pages) 


Report: Aquaculture-based Tools to Enhance Fisheries Resiliency During Climate Change

November 2017

This report examines the many possibilities associated with improving resilience in stocks, ecosystems, and communities by using different marine aquaculture tools and techniques.

Click here to access and learn more about the report


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Protected Resources Recommendations

Recovery Actions Retrospective Analysis

February 2016

MAFAC was asked by NOAA Fisheries Leadership to draw on member expertise and other sources to assess how the agency could improve the recovery of listed species under the Endangered Species Act. The Committee proceeded to examine recovery actions by status category (not started, ongoing, complete, etc.), and identify in this report characteristics that may increase the likelihood of recovery action success and help inform development of future recovery actions.

Click here to access to report (PDF, 28 pages)


Recommendations for Endangered Species Act Section 7 Consultations on Magnuson-Stevens Act Fishery Management Actions

December 2013

MAFAC considered the process for developing ESA section 7 consultations on Magnuson-Stevens Act fishery management actions, and developed recommendations on the following: 1) how to improve early collaboration and communication among Fisheries Management Councils and NOAA Fisheries' Offices of Sustainable Fisheries and Protected Resources in development of fishery management plans; and 2) how to improve transparency of data and the scientific bases for biological opinions.

Click here to access the report (PDF, 35 pages)


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Habitat and Ecosystems Recommendations

Comments on the NOAA Fisheries Service Habitat Enterprise Strategic Plan for 2016 to 2020

November 2015

MAFAC examined NOAA’s draft Habitat Enterprise Strategic Plan in November 2015 and provided detailed comments on the ambitious scope of the plan, its specific goals, and strategies.

Click here to access and learn more about the comments


Strategic Guidance for Implementing an Ecosystem-based Approach to Fisheries Management

May 2003

This document was prepared as an outline to assist the various marine management and regulatory agencies (with a primary focus on fishery resources and their habitats) in long-term planning to transition towards ecosystem-based management. The guidance statements made in this document are directed to NOAA Fisheries and their Fisheries Management Councils, States, Interstate Commissions, tribes, and other fisheries managers.

Click here to access the report (PDF, 61 pages)


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Sustainable Fisheries Recommendations

Report: Best Approaches and Future Needs to Prepare Fishing Communities and Fishing-dependent Sectors for the Impacts of Climate Change

November 2017

This report summarizes ideas and advice collected from interviews conducted with six U.S. fishing communities involved in community resilience projects to help other communities plan and engage in fishing.

Click here to access and learn more about the report


Reports: Examples of Fisheries Management Framework/Inseason Management Actions That Allow a More Nimble Response to Changes in Fisheries; and Data to Support Adaptive Management

November 2017

These reports seek to identify mechanisms and tools that are currently available to fishery managers to enable more agile and adaptive fishery management actions that were effective or could be strengthened when change is occurring, to increase resilience in U.S. fisheries.

Click here to access and learn more about the reports


Report: Climate Communications

November 2017

This report suggests effective communication strategies to provide forecasts of environmental changes and impacts to key fisheries audiences, stakeholders, and communities.

Click here to access and learn more about the report


Recommendations on Sustainable Seafood Certification

December 2013

This report recommends that NOAA Fisheries develop a seafood sustainability registration program. MAFAC MAFAC recommends a simple framework that offers value to the seafood industry consistent with the agency’s legal authorities and minimizes conflicts with existing third-party ecolabels. The envisioned approach would initially focus on wild-caught seafood from federally managed waters, and phase in a process for seafood derived from state-managed commercial fisheries or aquaculture products.

Click here to access the recommendations (PDF, 13 pages)


Magnuson-Stevens Conservation and Management Act Reauthorization and NOAA Fisheries' Regulations: Challenges and Recommendations- a Marine Recreational Fisheries Perspective

November 2013

This report identifies specific issue areas and recommendations for possible changes to the Magnuson Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA) during reauthorization, as well as possible changes to NOAA fishing regulations.

Click here to access the report (PDF, 19 pages)


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More Information

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