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.
Building Resiliency At NOAA Fisheries, Navigating the Next Four Years
MAFAC developed this report of recommendations and priorities for the incoming Administration officials in the Department of Commerce and NOAA. The recommendations address pressing issues for U.S. fisheries, fisheries science and management, and other marine resources, particularly in light of the challenges posed by climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic. The recommendations focus on needs for science, management, and investment to address: integrated ecosystem management and responses to climate change; increasing U.S. consumption of U.S. seafood; aquaculture and growing healthy seafood, jobs, and preserving working waterfronts; improving recreational fishing opportunities; offshore ocean use, including offshore wind development; and protecting critical endangered resources.
A Vision for Salmon and Steelhead: Goals to Restore Thriving Salmon and Steelhead to the Columbia River Basin
MAFAC’s Columbia Basin Partnership Task Force (Partnership) developed an overarching long-term vision, qualitative and quantitative goals for recovery of all Columbia Basin salmon and steelhead. The Phase 2 (Final) Recommendations Report presents a shared purpose gained through collaboration and envisions a future where coming generations enjoy healthy and abundant salmon and steelhead runs across the Columbia Basin.
Report of the Offshore Wind Ad Hoc Working Group
In this report and transmittal letter to the Secretary of Commerce, MAFAC articulates its continued concern about the rapid pace of national offshore wind development and the challenges and impacts it poses on: fish stocks, fishermen, processors, fishing communities, and the ability to supply sustainable seafood to our nation; important marine ecosystems and protected resources; and the challenges it poses to the NOAA Fisheries science and research mission. The report recommends how to improve planning and coordination of offshore wind development for better engagement of stakeholders; reduce or mitigate impacts to fishing activities, protected species, and NOAA Fisheries science and mission-related activities; and identifies funding needs.
Report of the MAFAC Coastal Resilience Working Group
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.
Recommendations on Draft 4th U.S. National Climate Assessment, Chapter 9, Oceans and Marine Resources
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.
Abundant Seas: Making the Most of America's Marine Resources
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.
Vision 2020 (v2.0): Charting a Course for the Future of U.S. Marine Fisheries
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.
Establishing a National Seafood Council: Report and Recommendations
This report outlines MAFAC's recommendations and concept for a National Seafood Council under the Fish and Seafood Promotion Act (Act). The goal is to serve the U.S. seafood industry by conducting marketing, education, research, and promotion of U.S. seafood, generically. The report provides detailed insight and feedback received during extensive engagement with the U.S. seafood industry on the proposed concept, analysis of and background on the Fish and Seafood Promotion Act, and analysis of government capabilities to oversee generic marketing efforts.
Letter and Recommendations on Aquaculture
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.
Report: Aquaculture-based Tools to Enhance Fisheries Resiliency During Climate Change
This report examines the many possibilities associated with improving resilience in stocks, ecosystems, and communities by using different marine aquaculture tools and techniques.
Better Defining the Universe of Offshore Recreational Anglers
Fishery managers and scientists face limitations to their understanding of recreational impacts on federally managed species nationwide, in part because saltwater recreational fishing licenses traditionally do not distinguished between anglers that fish inshore from those that fish offshore in federal waters. To address this, MAFAC members evaluated how to identify the subset of licensed anglers that target federal species in federal waters to help improve accuracy, as well as communication with anglers. As part of this evaluation, members sought input from state and federal fishery managers, recreational fishing organizations, and academic literature. This is MAFAC’s final report and recommendations on this effort, which was deliberated upon, finalized, and by consensus approved at their October 2020 meeting.
Protected Resources Recommendations
Recovery Actions Retrospective Analysis
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.
Recommendations for Endangered Species Act Section 7 Consultations on Magnuson-Stevens Act Fishery Management Actions
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.
Habitat and Ecosystems Recommendations
Comments on the NOAA Fisheries Service Habitat Enterprise Strategic Plan for 2016 to 2020
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.
Strategic Guidance for Implementing an Ecosystem-based Approach to Fisheries Management
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.
Sustainable Fisheries Recommendations
Report: Best Approaches and Future Needs to Prepare Fishing Communities and Fishing-dependent Sectors for the Impacts of Climate Change
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.
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
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.
Report: Climate Communications
This report suggests effective communication strategies to provide forecasts of environmental changes and impacts to key fisheries audiences, stakeholders, and communities.
Recommendations on Sustainable Seafood Certification
This report recommends that NOAA Fisheries develop a seafood sustainability registration program. 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.
Magnuson-Stevens Conservation and Management Act Reauthorization and NOAA Fisheries' Regulations: Challenges and Recommendations- a Marine Recreational Fisheries Perspective
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.