An Invitation from Bill Karp

Science & Research Director
NOAA/NMFS/Northeast Fisheries Science Center

I am writing to invite your participation in a program review of the stock assessment processes and modeling approaches we use to develop, peer-review, and report on the status of fishery stocks in the region as required by the Magnuson-Stevens Act.   The review meeting will take place in Woods Hole, MA on May 19-22, 2014. 

Similar reviews are being carried out at each of the NMFS regional science centers and at our headquarters Office of Science and Technology this year as part of a multi-year process to evaluate many aspects of our science enterprise.  The 2015 program review topic will be research in support of the federal Endangered Species and Marine Mammal Protection Acts.

A team of national and international experts will conduct the upcoming peer review.  The reviewers will consider both the assessment process and modeling approaches.  Reviewers will provide advice to the Center on the direction and quality of these program elements.  Opportunities for input by members of the public will be provided each day. Information on the meeting and how to participate, background documents, a list of panelists, the agenda, and presentations prepared for the review will be available on the Center’s website at: http://www.nefsc.noaa.gov/program_review/

Reviewers’ reports and the Center’s responses will also be made available at this website.  The Northeast Fisheries Science Center is essential to the development of fishery stock assessments in the region.  I expect this review will highlight some of our strengths but also identify areas where improvement is merited, and help us to chart a course to advance our stock assessments.  I consider peer reviews to be necessary steps in evaluating our science and in the process of change as we adapt to new challenges and new ideas.