Navigating the marine science and management process of our wild fisheries is not easy – and there is a lot at stake. At the same time, profound changes are happening in our waters across many regions, some due to natural variations and others due to man-made disasters, such as the Gulf of Mexico Deep Water Horizon oil spill. It is clear that we are seeing economic impacts to our fisheries and tensions have risen about who has the right to fish and about how much can be taken from the sea.
MREP Southeast was created by fishermen for fishermen. It specifically runs through the fisheries science and management processes, demystifies the acronyms and vocabulary, and equips fishermen with the tools to engage with tough issues facing the managers of our wild fisheries. In a neutral setting, fishermen work through the ‘how’ of the whole process, meet the people behind agency jobs, and share important feedback from the fishing community.
The program is offered as a series of workshops that build upon each other: a three-day Fishery Science Workshop followed by a three-day Fishery Management Workshop. Presenters are drawn from NMFS Regional Office and Science Center, the Fishery Management Councils, research institutions, and the fishing community. Workshops are designed and held as a collaborative effort, and they always provide for an industry moderator to help inject questions and keep the discussion real.
Participants leave the workshops prepared to engage confidently in fishery management and to critically evaluate the science affecting their fishery.