Program Review: Ecosystem-Based Fishery Management
The New England Fisheries Management Council is exploring options for ecosystem-based fishery management. As part of that process, the council requested a peer review of a proposed management procedure, including the models used to test that procedure.
An ecosystem-based approach to management would allow a variety of factors—from fishery stock status to ecosystem conditions to human dimensions—to be considered in developing fishery management decisions.
During the 2018 program review, a prototype fishery ecosystem plan for Georges Bank underwent scientific review. Information on the structure and function of the Georges Bank ecosystem, as well as the prototype ecosystem plan, was presented to external peer reviewers by scientists from NOAA Fisheries and research partners in the region. The reviewers evaluated simulation studies conducted to assess the performance of this management procedure as well as the data to support such a procedure. The results will help shape the way forward for the council as it explores use of fishery ecosystem plans for the Northeast.