NEFSC Seeks Candidates for Stock Assessment Workshop Working Groups

The Northeast Regional Stock Assessment Workshop (SAW) is a formal scientific peer review process for evaluating and presenting stock assessment results. SAW Working Groups (WGs) prepare benchmark stock assessments that are peer reviewed by a Stock Assessment Review Committee and then published.  These stock assessments form the scientific basis for managing fish and invertebrate marine resources in the offshore US waters of the northwest Atlantic.  

Upcoming SAW WGs

Following guidelines developed by the Northeast Regional Coordinating Committee (NRCC), the Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC) is currently seeking SAW WG applicants for the following five stocks: Monkfish, Black Sea Bass, Surfclam, Ocean Quahog and Mackerel.

Selection Process

Recently, the NRCC developed new guidelines on SAW WG formation and selection.  As part of this new selection process, all candidates for SAW Working Groups, other than the SAW WG Chair and Lead Stock Assessment Scientist, will now be required to fill out a questionnaire, on which the SAW Chair and the SAW WG Chair will base their initial set of recommendations.  The list of all applicants, as well as these initial recommendations, will then be provided to a higher-level selection committee composed of Deputies from each of the five NRCC organizations: NMFS NEFSC, NMFS GARFO, MAFMC, NEFMC and ASMFC. This selection committee will make a final decision regarding approval of each candidate.

Selection Criteria

Criteria to be considered by the selection committee will include independence, expertise, and education of candidates, as well as SAW WG size, composition and balance.  Effective assessment workgroups typically consist of 4-8 members with a broad range of skills and proficiency and should include individuals from several disciplines. Applicant qualifications should be directly relevant to the particular stock they wish to assess.*


  • Questionnaire available to public:  September 1, 2015
  • Responses due back to NEFSC:  September 30, 2015 (September 21, 2015 for black sea bass – see note below)
  • Short list selected for SAW WGs:  October 14, 2015
  • All questionnaires and short list delivered to NRCC Selection Committee (target date):  October 16, 2015
  • NRCC decisions due to NEFSC (target date):  November 12, 2015
  • Public Announcement of Decisions (target date):  November 19, 2015

PLEASE NOTE: The WGs for Black Sea Bass are being formed on an accelerated schedule. Questionnaires are due to the NEFSC by September 21, 2015. Final NRCC selection decisions for this WG will be announced by October 1, 2015.

Application Instructions  

Please complete the questionnaire below, specifying a stock Working Group, and email to Sheena Steiner at no later than September 30, 2015 (or September 21, 2015, for Black Sea Bass only).  You may also mail the document to her c/o NEFSC, 166 Water Street, Woods Hole, MA 02543. If you wish to be considered for more than one stock WG, please submit a separate application for each stock. Please note that the questionnaire is posted in Adobe PDF format. If you would prefer to receive the document in Microsoft Word, or if you have any questions about the process, please contact Sheena either by email or at (508) 495-2177. Upon submission of your questionnaire, you will receive an email confirmation.

* Please note that the number of participants on the SAW WG is limited and appropriate qualifications do not guarantee you a position as a decision-making member of the WG. Composition and balance of the SAW WG will also be considered. Public participation in the WG meeting and discussion is still permitted. In addition, while the specific stock TORs are not yet available, the generic TORs attached to the questionnaire should provide a similar reference structure.