Status of Fishery Resources off the Northeastern United States

NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service
Northeast Fisheries Science Center

Resource Evaluation and Assessment Division
Population Dynamics Branch

(Edited by - Ralph Mayo, Fred Serchuk and Elizabeth Holmes)

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This website was established in 1998 to provide a convenient, up-to-date source of information on the status of fishery resources off the northeast coast of the U.S. The initial version of the website was as reported in NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFS-NE-115,"Status of Fishery Resources off the Northeastern United States for 1998." Beginning in January of 2000, NEFSC scientists began revisions to species synopses and other chapters. These revisions have in most cases been posted on the website and will be further revised as new information is made available. Latest revision dates are as indicated on the species synopses and other chapters (see main page and species list), and links are provided to earlier versions and to relevant documents or advisories posted elsewhere. Articles on fishery economics and other fishery-related topics will be posted as they become available.

The NEFSC develops assessments for 62 finfish and invertebrate species stocks in cooperation with other federal and state agencies and academic institutions. Assessments are completed using a variety of models and data sources; but they fall under two broad categories, these being detailed or "benchmark" assessments and "updates". The former may be of a pioneering nature, incorporating new or revised analytical techniques and /or including several additional years of data, and would normally be subject to peer review through established fora such as the Northeast Regional Stock Assessment Workshop (SAW) process or the Transboundary Resources Assessment Committee (TRAC). Updates, in contrast, are done using previously peer-reviewed data sources and methods and are often not subjected to peer review.

Timing and character of assessments are driven by management needs, which vary from year to year due to many factors including fishery conditions, data availability and legislative mandates. Scientists from Canada and the USA complete assessments for stocks of interest to both countries each spring for subsequent peer review by the TRAC each June; and SAW working groups typically complete assessments for peer review by the SAW Stock Assessment Review Committee (SARC) in June and November. Annual updates for other groundfish and invertebrate stocks are also completed by SAW working groups or Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission Technical Committees.

For further information

Clark, S.H., ed. 1998. Status of fishery resources off the Northeastern United States for 1998. NOAA [National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration] Tech. Memo. NMFS-NE-115. 149p.


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