October 29, 2013
By: Shelley Dawicki
The Northeast Salmon Team (NEST)
The Northeast Salmon Team (NEST) operates within the Northeast Region of NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries Service) to promote the recovery and future sustainability of Atlantic salmon. NEST is comprised of fisheries managers and scientists based out of the Woods Hole, Massachusetts Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC), the Gloucester, Massachusetts Great Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office (GARFO), the Narragansett, Rhode Island Laboratory and the Orono, Maine Field Station.
To recover and maintain naturally reproducing Atlantic salmon populations and their ecosystems to provide a surplus for fisheries consistent with existing laws.
To identify, quantify and minimize threats to Atlantic salmon; conserve and enhance habitat; and evaluate our progress toward recovery by assessing the viability of these populations at critical life history stages.
Prior to the listing of the Gulf of Maine distinct population segment (GOM DPS) of Atlantic salmon as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), efforts focused on Atlantic salmon were carried out by a small group of individuals from GARFO and NEFSC. These efforts concentrated on international fishery issues, field monitoring programs and reviewing the status of remnant Atlantic salmon populations in Maine. The listing of the GOM DPS in 2000 brought new challenges and opportunities to NOAA staff working on Atlantic salmon. The recognition of the dire status of these populations, coupled with the legal requirements of the ESA focused additional resources towards the species. This resulted in program growth of both science and management staff. The necessary interconnectivity between science and management required a more formal relationship between scientists and managers, and the NEST was formed to combine the two in a dynamic work team.
NEST is part of a larger effort to protect and recover Atlantic salmon in New England. NOAA Fisheries Service shares jurisdiction of Atlantic salmon with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) at the federal level. Within Maine, NOAA Fisheries Service primarily focuses on the life stages in the estuarine and marine environment, while the Maine Atlantic Salmon Commission and USFWS focuses on the freshwater life stages. NOAA Fisheries Service also works closely with other federal agencies (particularly the U.S. Geological Survey), the University of Maine System and a wide range of state, academic, public and private partners.
NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service
Questions can be emailed to Kathy.Libby@noaa.gov