Habitat Assessment Improvement Plan (2010)
Report of NOAA Fisheries Habitat Assessment Improvement Plan Team. NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFS-F/SPO-108
Because of its mandated responsibility for promoting sustainability of marine fisheries resources, NOAA Fisheries has a unique role in habitat science and assessment. This document, for the first time, defines that role and lays out a plan to integrate habitat science into everyday decision-making that affects the contribution of marine fisheries to the U.S. and world economies, as well as the state of marine ecosystems. Recognizing that we cannot afford to delay decisions until we have a perfect understanding of the relationship between fisheries and the habitats that support them, this document provides an incremental approach that allows factoring of scientific information into habitat assessments as more knowledge is gained. An incremental approach ensures that the best scientific information to support management decisions affecting habitats is available and continually improving.