The Port Meetings
The most recent Fish Tank series brought together commercial and recreational fishermen, scientists, and policy representatives from across the region to spark productive conversations and brainstorm ideas to improve the stock assessment process and data streams feeding into the assessment. The goals of these sessions included:
- identifying potential data gaps in the Gulf of Maine cod stock assessment,
- formulating industry-led research questions to address data gaps through collaborative research or the use of fishery-dependent data,
- sharing ideas with NOAA Fisheries on improving communications around stock assessments.
There were seven Fish Tank port meetings in total: five with commercial fishermen in Portland, Portsmouth, Gloucester, Plymouth and Warwick, and two with recreational fishermen in Portsmouth and Plymouth.
As a culmination of the port meetings, GMRI hosted Taking Stock: A Workshop to Collaboratively Improve Stock Assessments in November 2015. The goals of the workshop were to:
- Develop a prioritized set of New England groundfish research goals focused on improving stock assessments, and communicate priorities to the broader academic and science community and other key audiences.
- Explore and develop a shared understanding of current projects in the region that may contribute to and improve the stock assessment processes and generate additional environmental and fishery-dependent data.
- Enable partnerships to act on new research ideas to improve stock assessments and fill current gaps, specifically those identified at the Fish Tank port meetings, through development of research pre-proposals.
- Review communication recommendations and progress stemming from the Fish Tank Port meetings to improve stakeholder knowledge of and trust in stock assessment processes and subsequent actions taken by NMFS.