MAFMC Research Plan
The Magnuson Stevens Reauthorization Act of 2006 requires that each Council develop a five-year research priority plan. The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council), in consultation with its Scientific and Statistical Committee, first developed a research plan to meet this requirement in 2008 through examination of research needs identified in numerous stock assessments, Council FMP/Amendment documents and through the Council's Research Set Aside Program.
Since then, the Council embarked on a Visioning Project to map out the future course of marine fisheries management in the Mid-Atlantic region. The Visioning Project resulted in the development of the Council’s Strategic Plan which outlines the Councils strategies for implementing the Council’s vision for improved federal fisheries management in the Mid-Atlantic. A central theme that emerged from this exercise was the lack of public confidence in the data and science that drive fishery management decisions. As a result, one of the major goals of the Council’s Strategic Plan is to ensure that Council management decisions are based on timely and accurate scientific data that are analyzed and modeled in a manner that improves management performance and build stakeholder confidence. To this end, the Council’s intent is to expand cooperative research and rebuild stakeholder confidence in the data and analyses which support its management programs. This updated research plan is responsive to and organized around key themes/elements articulated in the Strategic Plan relative to improving the timeliness and accuracy of information used in the management of marine resources under the purview of the Council.