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Stock Assessment Peer Review:

Findings and ActionsShannon Cass-Calay

Caribbean Fishery Management CouncilApril 2015Southeast Fisheries Science CenterBackgroundNOAA Fisheries developed an annual, standardized peer review process to review major programs:

U.S. Department of Commerce|National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration|National Marine Fisheries Service|Page 2FYReview Topic13Data collection programs supporting stock assessments14Stock assessment programs15Protected species programs16Ecosystem and climate science programs17Economics and social science programs18Strategic plan review and updateFY14 Terms of ReferenceScience and technical approachAssessment processPeer review processCommunicationResearch OpportunitiesEcosystem considerations and next generation assessmentsOrganization, priorities and accomplishmentsU.S. Department of Commerce|National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration|National Marine Fisheries Service|Page 3PanelistsNameAffiliationMichael HansenUSGS Great Lakes Science Center (Chair)Ewen BellUK, Center for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture ScienceJoe HightowerNC State U., Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research UnitBob AtlasNOAA Research, Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological LaboratoryBill KarpNOAA Fisheries, Northeast Fisheries Science CenterU.S. Department of Commerce|National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration|National Marine Fisheries Service|Page 4Key Findings SEFSC ResponseStreamline the SEDAR process and put stronger emphasis on update assessmentsSimplify harvest control rules and stock assessmentsAdopt plans for Methods Working Group to standardize data inputs and analytical approaches Strengthen communications for stakeholders, using Marine Resource Education Program as a model

U.S. Department of Commerce|National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration|National Marine Fisheries Service|Page 5Key Findings (continued)Simplify stock assessment documentationEmploy Management Strategy Evaluations to optimize investments in assessments and data inputsBalance assessment scientists portfolio between operational science and research to improve assessmentsImprove fishery-independent data collections

U.S. Department of Commerce|National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration|National Marine Fisheries Service|Page 6SEFSC Actions and TimelinesActionTarget DateHelp complete the national stock assessment prioritization tool; with Councils adopt or adapt2016Conduct a Data Methods Workshop to standardize/streamline approaches2015Contribute to the Marine Resources Education Program2015-2016Simplify harvest control rules to enable simpler (faster) stock assessments2015-2016Revisit stock assessment reports and generate a streamlined template2015Balance research and operational stock assessment investmentsContinuousContinue to invest in improving data used in stock assessmentsContinuousU.S. Department of Commerce|National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration|National Marine Fisheries Service|Page 7National Actions and TimelineActionTimelineTest prioritization system and finalize protocol2015Make database available to regional coordinating committees charged with setting priorities for regional assessments2015 Support application of the prioritization process, possibly through decision support system facilitators.2016Convene working group to address best practices to improve stock assessment process efficiency, standardizing the process and guidelines for use of benchmark and update assessments2016Evaluate efficacy of the NOAA Fisheries Toolbox and develop a plan to update it2015Coordinate MSEs to evaluate impact of surveys and sample sizes on stock assessment performance2015Allocate staff time for research and fund cross-Center development of MSEs2015Develop MSE expertise through hires and training 2016Reinstate the National Stock Assessment Workshop on a biennial basis 2015U.S. Department of Commerce|National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration|National Marine Fisheries Service|Page 8National Actions and Timeline (continued)ActionTimelineAnnual performance plans for stock assessment scientists include a minimum of 20% time allocated for research to improve assessment methods, establish linkages to ecosystem and environmental factors, and publish results2016Create opportunities for assessment staff to pair with staff in other regions when conducting assessments in both regions2015Create opportunities for international sabbaticals and collaborations2015Provide funds to hire one to two new stock assessment scientists per Center2015Develop student pipelines through partnerships with academia 2015Develop opportunities to recruit quantitative fisheries scientists through existing educational programs and authorities.2016U.S. Department of Commerce|National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration|National Marine Fisheries Service|Page 9For More InformationSEFSC Program Review url:http://www.sefsc.noaa.gov/program_reviews/2014/default.htmLinks to Panelists reports and SEFSC responseNational Overview url:http://www.st.nmfs.noaa.gov/science-program-review/indexLinks to national overview and each Fishery Science Centers review websitesU.S. Department of Commerce|National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration|National Marine Fisheries Service|Page 10