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6 Incentives and Constraints to Cooperative Research The primary institutions and participants from which the committee heard information were the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), fishing industry organizations, and academic participants in cooperative research. Other institutions that either participate directly or have a say in funding, plans, and results of cooperative research include the Congress, the regional fishery management councils, Sea Grant, the states, private science institutions, recreational fishing organizations and individual anglers, and environmental groups and their members. Each of these sectors has its own decision-making processes, planning schedules, governance structures, financial arrangements, and motivating interests. All ofthese factors can influence how cooperative research projects are conceived and carried out. In some cases, administrative structural is- sues can become constraints to cooperation even when motivation to col- laborate is high. Cooperative research entails the interaction of fishermen and scientists at both personal and institutional levels. A common theme in presentations to this committee was the importance of institutional attributes and indi- vidual personalities in the success or failure of cooperative research projects. On an institutional level, commercial fishermen participate in coop- erative research through industry organizations and private businesses, as crew members and boat owners. To a lesser extent, recreational fishermen, conservation advocates, or environmental groups also participate. Scien- tists engage in this work through their positions at universities, state natu- 75

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76 COOPERATIVE RESEAR CHIN THE NATIONAL MARINE FISHERIES SERVICE rat resource agencies, federal agencies (such as the NMFS), extension ser- vices, and as industry or environmental group consultants. Institutional cultures and structures can inhibit or facilitate coopera- tive research. An organizational culture that is flexible, adaptive, and open will be more likely to promote cooperative research than one that is rigid and closed. Structural variables include funding, staffing levels and exper- tise, organizational mandate, personnel policies, and bureaucratic require- ments. Organizations must be structured so that the extra time, resources, and flexibility required to conduct cooperative research can be accommo- dated. Incentives play an important role in cooperative research. Positive mo- tivations for scientists and managers include professional advancement, ad- ditional resources for getting necessary work done, improved information for decision making, and better relationships among fishermen and scien- tists. For the industry, better information, increased understanding of sci- ence, potential for additional catch, and cash or in-kind (additional quota) payments provide incentives. Negative motivations can also be effective in the support of cooperative research. Fear of closures, quota reductions, penalties for bycatch, and loss of income can be strong motivators for fisher- men to participate in cooperative research projects as well. This chapter will examine the incentives and constraints in NMFS, academia, and the fish- ing industry that affect the success of cooperative research. NATIONAL MARINE FISHERIES SERVICE Structure and Culture NMFS is a decentralized and complex agency. It has resource manage- ment tasks from enforcement and seafood inspection to ecological assess- ments and protection of endangered species, from gear technology devel- opment and fishery management to resource surveys and stock assessment. These jobs are carried out in eight distinct offices, within headquarters, five regional offices, and five science centers. Eight regional fishery manage- ment councils and three interstate fisheries commissions have interwoven roles in both management decision making and the planning and imple- mentation of research. NMFS has a number of difficult and potentially conflicting roles in- cluding regulation, science, conservation, and management. How do these roles affect the agency's ability to conduct successful cooperative research?

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INCENTIVES AND CONSTRAINTS TO COOPERATIVE RESEARCH 77 Is fisheries collaboration a discrete program or a philosophy of conducting improved fishery science? If it is a discrete program, are projects ad hoc or will they be conducted according to long-term systematic procedures? On the other hand, if cooperation is a philosophy, what must the agency do to develop the kind of values in NMFS scientists and administrators that fos- ter collaboration? What incentives can it provide to encourage and support cooperative research? The committee heard from many participants that NMFS's regulatory and enforcement responsibilities infiltrate and undermine cooperative data- gathering efforts in several ways. Where industry mistrust of NMFS runs deep, cooperative research may be perceived as a maneuver to promote a predetermined policy. Despite the fact that industry is directly involved in the design and implementation of many cooperative research efforts, a con- sistent thread running through presentations to the committee was the con- cern that the data from such efforts could be used "against" them because industry has had little voice in the interpretation of the data. The role of the regional fishery management councils (FMCs) in re- questing, designing, and considering the results of cooperative research needs to be clarified. In some regions, FMCs were partners from beginning to end. In others their role was seen as too political and not objective. Yet the committee heard from most presenters that the information needs of decision makers should guide development of research priorities and fund- ing. However, it also was pointed out that the constraints and requirements of the regulatory system (when annual quotas are set, FMC schedules, statu- tory decision deadlines) can complicate, delay, and defeat cooperative ef- forts. Another concern was that pressure on NMFS to develop outreach ac- tivities and improve its constituent relations could either foster good coop- erative research or undermine authentic and scientifically rigorous collabo- ration with superficial public relations projects (the so-called Discovery Channel projects). Another danger that was pointed out lies in the kinds of projects that are mandated by specific budget line items and are widely viewed as cash assistance to fishing communities rather than scientifically valuable research projects. Finally, there was concern that the culture of a science and manage- ment agency like NMFS does not necessarily seek out, hire, train, foster, or reward the skill sets or attributes that contribute to successful cooperative research.

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78 COOPERATIVE RESEAR CHIN THE NATIONAL MARINE FISHERIES SERVICE Administrative and Fiscal Constraints A primary constraint to NMFS participation in cooperative research is its inability to control the funding cycle for cooperative research. The time lines for funding, management needs, data requirements, and priority set- ting are not aligned, making it difficult to plan accurately. The administra- tion of cooperative agreements is a long process. It can take five months to contract with a fishing vessel, and field offices need to start a year in ad- vance to get administrative paperwork completed before beginning the re- search. Not only do field offices not control their funding time lines, they do not know when to expect funds to be dispersed. The committee was told of instances in which funds were received in the middle of a project year. Such lack of control makes scientific staff hesitant to plan with industry because they don't know when funds will arrive. This can erode trust between NMFS and fishermen if an agreement for work has already been made. The expectations of the fishery are raised and then NMFS is unable to carry through. Potential conflicts between fishermen and agencies in arranging survey schedules to accommodate fishing season openings have been resolved in regions with successful cooperative relationships. In other areas they have doomed projects. Even more significantly, the agency may not even have much say in the content of cooperative research. Often line items for specific projects ap- pear in the NMFS budget because constituents in the fishing industry have told their members of Congress what they want to see funded. On the other hand, industry has worked with Congress to expand NMFS's base budget for research and stock assessment as well as for cooperative research. Another fiscal constraint is that only 15 percent of the funds appro- priated for cooperative research can be used within the agency by NMFS scientists. Cooperative projects require substantial staff time commitment and infrastructure to support them. The committee heard that there are not enough scientists to handle the current research workload, so coopera- tive projects come as an additional burden, even at the cost of basic activi- ties. Managers feel that cooperative projects have to be relevant to already- stated research needs and can be undertaken only where they have staff to . . partlclpate.

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INCENTIVES AND CONSTRAINTS TO COOPERATIVE RESEARCH 79 Incentives anal Disincentives to Cooperation The main incentives for agency participation in cooperative research appear to be improved relationships with industry, increased credibility and acceptance of biological information, and the addition of research plat- forms, practical expertise, and manpower. Mandates, of course, provide clear motivation to do cooperative research but also cause resentment. An incentive that does not exist at present but was suggested to the committee as a positive way to encourage collaboration is to reward NMFS employees and scientists for participation in cooperative research. This could be done by: recognizing the work as a path to professional advancement; counting the publication of the results of such projects as part of professional development; and . providing opportunities for training and tradeoffs relative to tradi- tional research, rather than making cooperative research projects an addi- tional burden. In contrast, the disincentives to NMFS scientists to participating in collaboration with industry partners include: cooperative research may be used as a vehicle by which to prove NMFS wrong; . improperly planned or unsuccessful cooperative research projects may divert funds from necessary projects; emphasis on collaboration may limit dollars for most effective re- search (and may limit research on long-term or politically unpopular issues such as habitat or bycatch); a shortage of scientists for collaboration; and a lack of administrative and infrastructure support for cooperative research projects. There are far more fishermen than scientists willing and able to enter into cooperative projects because the incentives are present for them (see below). This imbalance, coupled with the increasing insistence of govern- ment to enter into such partnerships without increases in government sci- ence money, results in high workloads and stress levels for scientists. Many are running a number of cooperative research projects simultaneously.

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80 COOPERATIVE RESEAR CHIN THE NATIONAL MARINE FISHERIES SERVICE AGAI)EMIA In general, neither the socialization into science that students receive while in college or the training that scientists receive from the institutions they work for promotes cooperative research. First, as a rule science is competitive and not cooperative. Students compete to get into graduate school. They compete for fellowships and grants and for their major professor's time and attention. junior faculty compete for grants, publication space, and tenure. They not only need to publish, they should be first author on most of their publications and prin- cipal investigator on most of their grants. Both graduate students and fac- ulty are rewarded for original ideas and the expansion of theory. These are individual pursuits, and recognition in the form of tenure and promotion is for individual contributions. Second, most research universities promote basic over applied research. In presentations to this committee, some fishermen worried that scientists are rewarded for "hotshot" science, not "roll up your sleeves" science. There was broad agreement that there are not enough field-oriented scientists to do the kind of research fishermen would like done. Third, faculty face time constraints. Research is only one of three aca- demic duties, the others being teaching and professional service. Teaching loads can vary from one to four courses a semester, depending on the uni- . . , .. ,_ . . . . verslty and one s position. Cooperative research can oe more time consum- ing than "traditional" research because a good working relationship with fishermen is key to its success. This requires numerous meetings, visits to geographically dispersed ports, and phone calls. The pressure to publish in peer-reviewed journals and present at professional meetings can place addi- tional time burdens on cooperative researchers who are also expected to write peer-reviewed project reports and present results to management and industry partners. It can force them to choose between publishing venues that are highly regarded by university administrators but have no manage- ment impact and venues that are not highly regarded by university admin- istrators but will have a management impact. Fourth, scientific training does not adequately prepare students to do cooperative research. As mentioned above, students are socialized to com- pete rather than cooperate. In addition, they are taught that an understand- ing of the natural world must be based on information derived from the scientific method. The scientific method is a very particular way of generat- ing knowledge based on observation, hypothesis testing, and the ability for

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INCENTIVES AND CONSTRAINTS TO COOPERATIVE RESEARCH 81 results to be replicated. It does not easily incorporate the experiential and anecdotal knowledge of fishermen. Changes in the reward structure in academia need to take place if more academics are going to participate in cooperative research. The current prestige structures that place higher value on peer-reviewed journals than on peer-reviewed reports and white papers need to be reevaluated and con- tributions to management and policy need to "count" in tenure and pro- . . motions equations. INDUSTRY Current depressed conditions in a number of fisheries around the United States and the accompanying management measures that limit catches, seasons, and effort have provided a strong motivating factor for fishermen to participate in cooperative research, whether as a supplemen- tal income source to fishing or as work that has a direct bearing on quotas, allocations, and seasons. Throughout discussions it appeared that industry members who were very much engaged in cooperative research felt they had a stake in the fishery and believed that by participating in research they were contributing to research that may help conserve fishery resources and allow them to fish with reduced impacts on nontarget and protected species. Structure and Culture By definition, cooperative research involves participants from groups with different priorities, histories, traditions, backgrounds, and standards of behavior. In some instances, these cultural differences contribute to mis- communication and misunderstanding, mistrust, conflict, delay, and the real possibility of failure. Case studies and comments to the committee clearly show that the differences in cultures among professional researchers and scientists and fishermen must be recognized and dealt with if coopera- tive efforts are to succeed. Although fishermen do form associations, marketing cooperatives, and other organizational structures for collaboration, the business, at its core, is a solitary pursuit. Independence and a lack of cohesion of industry sectors are of long-standing tradition. The committee heard in all regions about the difficulty in communicating with and engaging a majority of any fish- ing sector or gear group and the importance of leadership in accomplishing

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82 COOPERATIVE RESEAR CHIN THE NATIONAL MARINE FISHERIES SERVICE them. Confidentiality is an important aspect of competitive advantage, and collaboration may be viewed as a threat to that privacy. It also needs to be acknowledged at the outset that fishermen are the "regulated community" and NMFS is the "regulator." The commitment required to overcome the adversarial aspects of this relationship and to move into a collaborative relationship is not insignificant, but there are ways to do it. Time at sea is highly valued and can be a basis for building trust. But time spent at sea fishing is different from time spent conducting research. Fishing culture, where time is money, calls for a much faster rhythm and pace than do scientific surveys. However, presenters appearing before the committee and reports in all case studies emphasized the trust building that resulted from time spent in a project at sea solving problems. Not enough can be said about the importance of long-standing rela- tionships of the type that historically were built when NMFS personnel spent more time on the docks talking to fishermen personally. The com- mittee heard from both fishermen and agency officials that cooperative projects were more likely to be undertaken and to succeed where agency personnel had not just an open door policy but a policy of truly listening to fishermen. Finally, fishermen evaluate and interpret evidence very differently from scientists. Efforts to produce statistically significant results look like redun- dancy to fishermen, who are more willing to depend on their personal observations and experience and to base conclusions on smaller amounts of data and different types of information. Administrative anal Fiscal Constraints Fisheries management is an unavoidably bureaucratic system. Most of the cooperative data-gathering efforts the committee heard about became enmeshed in bureaucracy at some point in their history. Whether legal concerns about confidentiality, rules of the Paperwork Reduction Act, in- surance, permits, or timing, all these examples pointed out the importance of a serious commitment, staying power, and ability to navigate the system on the part of industry leaders. Financial issues are not simply administra- tive or legal, however. Whether it is a matter of contracting with a vessel as a research platform or working with fishermen from the inception of a project in its design to its implementation, money is tied up in vessels, equipment, crew, and the skipper's own time. One industry representative told the committee that prosperous fisher-

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INCENTIVES AND CONSTRAINTS TO COOPERATIVE RESEARCH 83 men make better partners for NMFS than desperate ones do, and in many cases, participants in cooperative research brought significant capital to a project that enabled it to go forward in ways that could not have happened with agency resources alone. However, even prosperous fishermen need to , . . . . . . . . have some business certainty to participate in a cooperative project. One concern was that NMFS does not disburse money quickly or on schedule. This can pose a problem for collaborating partners because fish- ing businesses are very sensitive to cash flow, don't carry large lines of credit, and will avoid relationships where payment is delayed. Some fishermen the committee heard from encountered problems with the grants process. They noted there is often competition for funds between the scientific commu- nity and industry, making it difficult for fishermen to put in a proposal that is competitive. The committee heard information on numerous grants op- tions, each one with its own rules, deadlines, requirements for review, and so on. It would help the process of finding collaborating partners if there were a clearinghouse, fact sheet, or common place where prospective part- ners could examine various options for receiving grants, contracts, experi- mental fishing permits, total allowable catch research set-asides, and similar awards. Assistance in putting together proposals and assurance that the grants process is open for everyone and that there is a level playing field where industry partners can compete are also important elements. Incentives and Disincentives to Cooperation Fishermen need incentives to participate in cooperative research, and they have to be significant to overcome the inertia of not participating. Incentives can include compensation, more fishing time, catch to sell, changes in the information decision makers use that could affect manage- ment measures, or a better understanding of scientists and the scientific process. In addition, the committee heard of instances where cooperative projects provided recognition and empowerment to fishermen. For example, questions that fishermen have had with assessments or management decision issues can be addressed and then proven or disproved. One commenter told the committee that fishermen are seen as more valu- able to society when they are data gatherers as well as producers of seafood. Fishermen who participate in cooperative research projects get scientific products that have more credibility because they contributed to them. Fishermen want to use their knowledge of fishing in the management sphere, and cooperative research is a mechanism for legitimizing that knowledge.

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84 COOPERATIVE RESEAR CHIN THE NATIONAL MARINE FISHERIES SERVICE Another incentive for participating in cooperative research is the fact that there is so much information that must be collected that additional participants and vessels are necessary to fulfill the need. This may become a problem in areas like the West Coast, where fishery closures and catch re- strictions are driving the downsizing of the trawl fleet and the kind of lead- ers that make collaboration work are taking other jobs and no longer fish- ing. An agency official told the committee that as fleet size declines it is more and more difficult for captains to find quality crew members (who usually exit first). Yet another vigorous incentive is the requirement for bycatch reduc- tion. Fishermen in several regions have tested gear, applied for experimen- tal fishing permits to develop gear, and collaborated with NMFS gear spe- cialists to test gear the agency develops. Not only do these efforts contribute to knowledge about bycatch and fish behavior, the development of gear that reduces bycatch allows some fisheries to stay open longer. These projects also provide a venue for give and take between the agency and industry and an outlet for the kind of practical advice that fishermen have developed from years on the water. Disincentives and Constraints Although it is less true today than it was as recently as the mid-1990s, cooperative data gathering is still seen as a change from the status quo, in which NMFS has the principal responsibility for data collection, analysis, and interpretation. Overcoming the financial risks, practical impediments, and bureaucratic obstacles of cooperating with the regulatory agency re- quires strong motivation for fishermen. The disincentives are many. The committee heard that cooperative research is sometimes looked upon as nothing more than disaster aid, putting fishermen in the position of being seen as a drain on public resources. Even if a project is significant, working on cooperative research can sometimes mean making less than if the same vessel and crew were at work fishing. And just as for agency scien- tists, fishermen face the risk that a data collection project could prove them wrong. OTHER CONSTITUENT GROUPS . Although cooperative research is most often conceptualized as involv- ng agency and university scientists with commercial fishermen, other stake-

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INCENTIVES AND CONSTRAINTS TO COOPERATIVE RESEARCH 85 holders, such as environmental groups, recreational fishermen, and even former NMFS and academic scientists have also participated. Environmental Organizations Several presenters to the committee stated that environmental organi- zations should be involved as partners in cooperative research. To date, their involvement has been limited. Bernstein and Iudicello (2000) ana- lyzed six cooperative research projects. Of these, two involved environmen- tal groups. Out of eight case studies submitted to the committee for inclu- sion in this report, none involved environmental organizations. In those . . . . . . . . .. . cases involving environmental organizations, environmentalists were 1n- volved primarily via membership in advisory stakeholder groups. Another way in which environmental groups have participated in cooperative re- search is as intermittent observers of the process on research voyages. This happened in a limited fashion in the Gulf of Mexico and Pacific. An excep- tion to this limited participation occurred in Hawaii, where the National Audubon Society helped conduct research and write a research report. The limited participation of environmental nongovernmental organi- zations in the actual execution of the research cannot be explained by their lack of scientific expertise. Many employ scientists with advanced degrees. It is important to examine potential causes of their lack of participation given the importance of participating in fieldwork for the construction of trust among partners (Bernstein and Iudicello, 20001. Structure and Culture There are two types of tension inherent in many environmental orga- nizations that can erode trust between scientists and industry on the one hand and environmental organizations on the other: 1. The potential tension between achievement of conservation goals and the promotion of the fishery The environmental community is diverse. Organizations differ in their approach to the use of natural resources, their use of scientific information, and their preferred mode of action (e.g., litigation, research, lobbying, stake- holder groups). Despite this diversity, environmental organizations have at least one thing in common. They were formed to promote conservation. Although many environmental groups want to preserve commercial fisher-

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86 COOPERATIVE RESEAR CHIN THE NATIONAL MARINE FISHERIES SERVICE ies, they are generally more willing to support short-term limits to the fish- ery in order to make long-term gains. In the bycatch excluder case study presented in Bernstein and Iudicello (2000), several environmental organi- zations that were members of the cooperative group were suing NMFS for failing to curb overfishing. In another case, fishermen felt that the environ- mentalists used the media in a manner that harmed the collaboration. Ac- tions like these contribute to a climate of distrust between fishermen and environmental organizations. Fishermen feel that pressure from environ- mental groups contributes to stricter regulations. Environmental organizations, however, can aid in the promotion of cooperative research through their endorsements. Environmental organiza- tions supported testing industry gear as well as NMFS-designed gear in turtle excluder device (TED) experiments, thus opening up the range of TEDs to be examined. 2. The tension between the promotion of sound science and activism Environmental organizations provide public education and a venue for public activism. Fishermen have complained about the misrepresentation of fishery issues and fishermen by environmental organizations. This can lead to questions about the neutrality of scientists from environmental or- ganizations and their ability to participate in a cooperative research effort. Like NMFS, environmental organizations' dual mandate can erode trust. Administrative and Fiscal Constraints An environmental group might not be able to participate in coopera- tive research because of its own limitations. Lack of scientific staff with the appropriate background limits an organization's capability to conduct or participate in research. There are only a few large organizations with a di- verse fisheries scientific staff, although some smaller organizations do have staff dedicated to research and are currently participating in cooperative research. Most environmental organizations identify a few key initiatives and hire staff with expertise in these key areas. If a cooperative research project does not fall into one of an organization's campaigns, it might be unable to fully participate. This could be one reason that environmental organizations seem to participate through committees rather than in the . ~ . execution ot projects.

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INCENTIVES AND CONSTRAINTS TO COOPERATIVE RESEARCH 87 Incentives and Disincentives The incentives for environmental organizations to participate in coop- erative research are related to promoting sound conservation of fishery re- sources and the marine environment as well. Through participation in co- operative research, they can promote their goals while building trust with industry and NMFS. Disincentives might come from members. Most environmental groups rely on members for some degree of funding and volunteer activities. Mem- bers hold a range of views about fisheries issues and some may view col- laboration with fishermen as co-optation. There is a lot of pressure in multi- stakeholder collaboration to reach consensus, and organizations losing sight of their original goals during the course of collaboration have been docu- mented (Wondolleck and Yaffee, 20001. Therefore, environmental groups can risk their credibility when they participate in cooperative research.

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REFERENCES Bergh, M.O., E.K. Pikitch, J.R. Skalski, and J.R. WalIace.1990. The statistical design of comparative fishing experiments. Fisheries Research 9~2~: ~ 43- ~ 63. Bernstein, Brock and Suzanne Tucticello. 2000. National Evaluation of Cooperative Data Gathering Efforts in Fisheries: A Report to the National Marine Fisheries Service. National Fisheries Conservation Center Project Report. Unpublished. Fisher. R.B.. J. Harms. M. Hosie. B. McCain. R. Schonin~ and (it. Sylvia teds]. Working , , , ~ _ 7 ~ o 7 ~ Together for West Coast GrouncIfish: Developing Solutions to Research Needs in 1998, ~ 999, 2000, and Beyond. Conference Proceedings, Portland Oregon July ~ 6- ~ 7, ~ 998. Hatfield Marine Science Center, Newport, Oregon. Graham, Gary. 2002. Cooperative Research Constituency Workshop Final Report. Unpublishecl report. Hall, M.A. ~ 99g. An ecological view of the tuna-clolphin problem: impacts and trade-offs. Rev. Fish Biol. Fisheries, 8: T-34. Harms, J. and G. Sylvia. ~ 999. Industry-Scientist Cooperative Research: Application to the West Coast Groundfish Fishery. Report to NOAA Fisheries Northwest Fisheries Science Center. Cooperative Institute for Marine Resource Studies, Newport, Oregon. Harte, M. 2001. Collaborative Research: Innovations and Challenges for Fisheries Management in New ZealancI. Microbehavior and Macroresults: Proceedings of the Tenth Biennial Conference of the International Institute of Fisheries Economics ant! Tracle, July ~ 0-14, Corvallis, Oregon. Leaman, B.M. ~ 99g. Experimental rock fish management ant! implications for rockfish harvest refugia. p.23 In Yoklavich, Mary (EcI.), NOAA Technical Memorandum: Marine Harvest Refugia for West Coast Rock fish: A Workshop, Aug. ~ 998, pp ~ 7-26. Melvin, E.F., and J.K Parrish, K.S. Dietrich, and O.S. Hamel, 2001. Solutions to seabirc3 bycatch in Alaska's demersal longline fisheries. Washington Sea Grant Program. Project A/FP-7 National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA). 2002. Courts, Congress, and Constituencies: Managing Fisheries by Default. National Academy of Public Administration, Washington, D. C. National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS).2001. NMFS Strategic Plan for Fisheries Research. U.S. Dep. Commerce. NOAA, National Marine Fisheries Service, Silver Springs, Maryland National Research Council (NRC). 2002. Science and its Role in the National Marine Fisheries Service. National Academy Press, Wagon, D.C. gg