Ecosystem Based Fisheries Management Strategy Review for Georges Bank

April 30, 2020

Center for Independent Experts Program Review
Northeast Fisheries Science Center
Woods Hole, MA 02543
April 30 - May 3, 2018

The New England Fisheries Management Council explores options for ecosystem-based fishery management. As part of that process in 2018, 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 (EBFM) would allow a variety of factors -- from fishery stock status to ecosystem conditions to human dimensions -- to be considered in developing fishery management decisions.

The research-track program review used a prototype fishery ecosystem plan for Georges Bank to illustrate how applying the proposed EBFM strategy and conceptual framework could provide information needed by the New England Fishery Management Council. 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.

This review addressed the council’s resolution to evaluate examples of fisheries management measures. These measures include control rules supporting the council’s Fishery Ecosystem Plan initiative and the operating models and supporting data for those worked examples. The review evaluated simulation studies assessing management procedures based on specific system-level catch ceilings and associated measures.

The peer 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 have helped shape the way forward for the council as it explores use of fishery ecosystem plans for the Northeast.

Reports, Materials and Publications

Final Report

Program Review

Review Panelists

  • Lisa Kerr, Panel Chair - Gulf of Maine Research Institute
  • Villy Christensen - University of British Columbia
  • Daniel Howell - Institute of Marine Research, Bergen Norway
  • Keith Brander - Technical University of Denmark, Lyngby Denmark (retired)

Relevant Publications 

Last updated by Northeast Fisheries Science Center on 05/11/2020