In February, leaders from the Northeast Regional Ocean Council (NROC) met with fishermen to share, discuss, and gather their perspectives on ocean planning. The workshop gave fishing industry representatives the opportunity to express their concerns and also make suggestions on how to ensure a robust, inclusive, and thoughtful ocean planning process.
The recommendations gathered from the workshop emphasize transparency, inclusiveness, and proactive communications efforts. Conversations also focused on governance considerations, such as the role of regional fishery management councils in future decision-making. Workshop participants acknowledged that a fundamental ingredient to success includes respect for the fishing industry's knowledge of the ocean and that true collaboration with industry is essential to the envisioned long-term outcomes.
What is Likely to Happen Next?
NROC has scheduled a series of sector-specific workshops throughout New England this summer. These sessions are targeted at the fishing industry, although other stakeholders are also encouraged to attend. In addition, NROC plans to carry out fishery-related mapping and further research of commercial and recreational fishing activity in the region. For more information, please visit www.nationaloceancouncil.org.