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The NEFMC is embarking on an external review of how it does business, and is reaching out to its stakeholders for input.
By Toby Lapinski  |  November 27, 2017

One of the biggest complaints that I hear from recreational fishermen and women across New England and beyond is that they generally feel that their voice is not heard by those who manage the fisheries. Each state has its entity which manages state waters and there are public meetings when major issues require input. The New England Fishery Management Council (Council) is charged with conserving and managing fishery resources in federal waters off of New England. The Council manages the following species: groundfish (i.e winter flounder, yellowtail flounder, witch flounder, windowpane flounder, Atlantic halibut, American plaice, cod, haddock, pollock, Acadian redfish, ocean pout, white hake and wolffish), sea scallops, monkfish, Atlantic herring, skates, whiting, red hake, red crab, spiny dogfish and Atlantic salmon.

Well, recently an email came across my computer announcing that the Council is embarking on an external review of how it does business, and is reaching out to its stakeholders for input. The Council is looking to assess past performance, gather feedback on the strengths and weaknesses of the Council process and operations, and identify areas for improvement. I commend them for entering into what will likely be a heated discussion.

In any event, here is the full announcement from the Council as well as the public meeting schedule. If you cannot attend a meeting you can also complete a short online survey which can be found HERE. To register for the webinar, go HERE. The call information is +1 (213) 929-4212 - Access Code: 839-533-461.

November 2, 2017
Dear Stakeholders,

The New England Fishery Management Council needs your help. We want you to let us know three things: what we’re doing right; what we’re doing wrong; and how we can improve the way we serve you.

Like every organization, the Council can benefit from periodically reviewing how it does business, which is why we have initiated an external review of our operations. A panel of outside fisheries management and science experts will conduct the review during a public meeting in early 2018. But first, in order to broaden the information provided to the reviewers, we are reaching out to you – our stakeholders – for input. We’ve hired a contractor to conduct a sizable outreach effort and summarize the results for the review panel.

I encourage you to attend one of the 14 port meetings that have been scheduled from Maine to New Jersey and take an online survey to provide additional feedback. The survey and other information related to this Council Program Review can be found on our website. Tell us: Do you have access to the information you need to participate in the Council process? Can we improve our means for sharing information? Do you feel as though you can contribute to the decision-making process in a meaningful way? What changes would improve our process so that it more effectively produces the results we need?

As for what will come next, the review panel will present its findings to the Council and public in the spring or early summer, and then the Council will address the panel’s recommendations. I hope you will take the time to provide input to our review. Our nation deserves the very best management possible of its valuable fisheries resources.


Thomas A. Nies
Executive Director

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