By Paul J. Howard
Fishery management successes do not come easy. In an era where fisheries around the world are declining, here in New England for the first time in over a decade we are experiencing significant improvements in many stocks, especially sea scallops. Without a doubt, the rapid turn around of the sea scallop fishery is a success story. Today, we know that collaborative research and adaptive conservation plans can work, the stocks will rebound, and the benefits can be huge.
By James H. Gilford
More and better fisheries data are needed to meet the long term needs of rational fisheries management as well as the current mandates of the Magnuson-Stevens Act; that’s a given. No matter what the source, those data must pass scientific peer review with respect to quality and credibility and they must be available and useable by fisheries managers; that is a given, too!
By Randy Fisher
Just the other day someone asked me if cooperative studies were useful to the interstate management process. The obvious answer is “Yes” but, after a few sips of wine, I’ve sat back and given this question more thought. What really is a cooperative study?
Cooperative research remains NFCC focus
One of the best ways to build bridges between managers and user groups, between scientists and advocates, between fishing communities and interest groups is through collaborative efforts to collect information. The NFCC has been thinking and writing about cooperative studies since the mid-1990s. Some of our board members have been innovators in cooperative work on the ocean, in working fishing boats. Our board and staff have written extensively about the subject, presented seminars on cooperative data collection, and participated in a report released in December 2003 by the National Academy of Sciences.
By Penelope D. Dalton
Fishermen and government scientists working together to collect and analyze fisheries data? Impossible you say? Not only possible, but happening in growing numbers and as a top priority of NOAA Fisheries.
By Brock Bernstein
Cooperative studies are an attractive tool for fishery management because of their potential for reducing conflict, improving the knowledge base for management decisions, and attracting additional sources of funding and expertise.