Fishery Management Plan Support in the Northeast

An overview of the management plans for fisheries in the Northeast and how they relate to our socioeconomic research.

Fishery management plans (FMPs) in the Northeast U.S. are primarily developed by the Mid-Atlantic and New England Fishery Management Councils. The Mid-Atlantic Council maintains six active FMPs, while the New England Council maintains eight. Our staff supports the Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office on one FMP as well as on ad hoc Secretary-generated Emergency Action modifications to Council-developed FMPs.

Our social scientists also support the Greater Atlantic Regional Office by providing the economic analysis needs for Marine Mammal Protection Act and Endangered Species Act compliance. 

While the two Councils operate somewhat differently, our contributions to plan development are roughly similar. The Mid-Atlantic Council uses Fishery Management Action Teams while the New England Council employs Plan Development Teams. See the table below for details.

Management support typically follows a three-step pattern: 

  1. Alternatives development: This step includes all of the initial work to frame a fishery management problem and develop baseline conditions for future analyses.
  2. Impacts analysis: This process may be straightforward but more often includes the development of ad hoc tools specific to the alternatives under consideration. For example, analysis of output-based options would require different analytical tools than a similar analysis of input-based options.
  3. Certification of compliance: After the analyses are completed and relevant decision makers have made decisions, our staff is asked to certify the accompanying management documents for compliance with existing law, most notably E.O. 12866 and the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

Last updated by Northeast Fisheries Science Center on January 31, 2020