The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC) is currently in the midst of a strategic visioning process. Through this effort, the MAFMC is gathering industry input on a range of critical topics ranging from management of the region's fish stocks, successful and unsuccessful past management measures, and approaches to managing the region's marine resources more effectively.
The Visioning Initiative was officially launched in September 2011 and seeks fishermen's input to suggest feedback through a series of online surveys. These surveys pose broad management questions as well as species-specific information. In addition, MAFMC members and staff have held small group listening sessions in different fishing ports to allow fishermen from both the recreational and commercial sectors to share their input during the planning process. Ultimately, the MAFMC will use this information to develop a comprehensive blueprint for the management of Mid-Atlantic fisheries. The deadline to submit a survey is February 29, 2012 and a complete report of compiled survey results and comments from the listening sessions will be released at the April MAFMC meeting.
Improved stakeholder science and management education has already surfaced as an early outcome of the Visioning Initiative. In response, a group of representative industry stakeholders from the Mid-Atlantic region are collaborating with MAFMC staff and New England Marine Resources Education Program (MREP) founders to design an MREP for the region. Program implementation is expected to take place in late 2012.
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