NEFSC Program Reviews

NOAA Fisheries has developed a standardized peer review process to evaluate each aspect of its science enterprise across the nation. Reviews occur every year, at every science center, on a different aspect of the science program each year.

To conduct the reviews, we select experts in the topic area who are not associated with the science center being reviewed. Each science center dedicates several months to preparing background information and presentations for the week-long meeting. In addition to presentations, reviewers have time to discuss the state of the science with management and staff, to take public comments, and to prepare their individual review report and recommendations. The review panel summarizes their reports and recommendations. NOAA Fisheries will consider and respond to recommendations within approximately 60 days of receiving them. Reviews and NOAA responses are available on science center and Fisheries headquarters websites.

Ecosystem-Based Fishery Management Strategy Review (2018)

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 this meeting, a prototype fishery ecosystem plan for Georges Bank will be under scientific review. Information on the structure and function of the Georges Bank ecosystem, as well as the prototype ecosystem plan, will be presented to external peer reviewers by scientists from NOAA Fisheries and research partners in the region. The reviewers will evaluate 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.

Economics and Human Dimensions Science Program Review (2017)

The objective for this review is to evaluate the human dimensions and economic science programs of the NEFSC. This work provides social and economic information essential to the management, protection and restoration of ocean and coastal ecosystems, and to ensuring sustainable benefits to the Nation. The data collected and analysis done by the program is widely used within the NOAA Fisheries and by fishery management bodies in the region. This review will assess the extent to which the current science program is focused on the priority information needed to support the NMFS mission, on assessing the quality and effectiveness of the program, and on recommendations for the future.

Aquaculture Program Review (2016)

To ensure NOAA achieves its statutory mandates and implements interagency policies effectively, it is necessary to conduct periodic reviews of the scientific programs supporting marine aquaculture. Reviews include science programs at the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Science Centers, National Ocean Service (NOS) and other laboratories, and the Office of Aquaculture (OA). This review is being conducted to:

  • Evaluate the quality, relevance, and performance of research and development supported by NOAA and conducted at NOAA Science Centers and Laboratories (supported by a variety of NOAA budget lines and external funding).
  • Strategically position NOAA in planning effective aquaculture research and development activities.
  • Augment the Office of Aquaculture Strategic Plan.

For background information on NOAA Fisheries aquaculture research, see the NOAA Aquaculture Research Story Maps.

Ecosystem and Climate Science Review (2016)

The 2016 program review will evaluate the NEFSC science programs that support our understanding of ecological, oceanographic, climate, and habitat-related processes as they are linked to living marine resources. The NEFSC scientists will present information on data, research programs, and responsiveness to management needs. From that foundation, the review panel will provide advice on future research direction to address management and conservation needs.

Protected Species Science Review (2015)

The 2015 program review will evaluate the NEFSC science programs that support the agency's conservation and management of protected species under authority of the federal endangered Species Act and Marine Mammal Protection Act. Scientists will present information on data, research programs, and responsiveness to management needs. From that foundation, the review panel will provide advice on future research direction to address management and conservation needs.

Stock Assessment Methods Program Review (2014)

The 2014 program review will evaluate the modeling approaches used during regional stock assessments and the processes used to develop, peer reviewing, and report their results. From that foundation, the panel will provide technical input on improving stock assessment processes.

Stock Assessment Data Collection Program Review (2013)

The 2013 reviews focus on data used for stock assessments. The peer review panel will learn how data used in stock assessments are collected and how well these data collection programs are meeting stock assessment needs. From that foundation, the panel will provide technical input on improving fisheries data.