National Academies Press: OpenBook
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2004. Improving the Use of the "Best Scientific Information Available" Standard in Fisheries Management. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11045.
×

IMPROVING THE USE OF THE “BEST SCIENTIFIC INFORMATION AVAILABLE” STANDARD IN FISHERIES MANAGEMENT

Committee on Defining Best Scientific Information Available for Fisheries Management

Ocean Studies Board

Division on Earth and Life Studies

NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
Washington, D.C.
www.nap.edu

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2004. Improving the Use of the "Best Scientific Information Available" Standard in Fisheries Management. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11045.
×

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
500 Fifth Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20001

NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance.

This report is funded in part by a contract from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The views expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of NOAA or any of its subagencies.

International Standard Book Number 0-309-09263-9 (Book)

International Standard Book Number 0-309-53347-3 (PDF)

Additional copies of this report are available from the
National Academies Press,
500 Fifth Street, N.W., Lockbox 285, Washington, DC 20055; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area); Internet, http://www.nap.edu

Copyright 2004 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.

Printed in the United States of America

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2004. Improving the Use of the "Best Scientific Information Available" Standard in Fisheries Management. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11045.
×

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine

The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences.

The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Wm. A. Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering.

The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine.

The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts and Dr. Wm. A. Wulf are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council.

www.national-academies.org

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2004. Improving the Use of the "Best Scientific Information Available" Standard in Fisheries Management. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11045.
×

COMMITTEE ON DEFINING BEST AVAILABLE SCIENCE FOR FISHERIES MANAGEMENT

JON SUTINEN (Chair),

University of Rhode Island, Kingston

GEORGE BOEHLERT,

Oregon State University, Newport

LOUIS BOTSFORD,

University of California, Davis

FELICIA COLEMAN,

Florida State University, Tallahassee

ROBERT DITTON,

Texas A&M University, College Station

TERRANCE QUINN,

University of Alaska, Fairbanks

WILLIAM RODGERS,

University of Washington, Seattle

EDELLA SCHLAGER,

University of Arizona, Tucson

STAFF

SUSAN ROBERTS, Study Director

JOANNE BINTZ, Study Director

JODI BACHIM, Senior Program Assistant

DENISE GREENE, Senior Program Assistant

BYRON MASON, Senior Program Assistant

REBECCA NADEL, Intern

AMINA RICHARDSON, Intern

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2004. Improving the Use of the "Best Scientific Information Available" Standard in Fisheries Management. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11045.
×

OCEAN STUDIES BOARD

NANCY RABALAIS (Chair),

Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium, Chauvin

LEE G. ANDERSON,

University of Delaware, Newark

WHITLOW AU,

University of Hawaii, Manoa

ARTHUR BAGGEROER,

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge

RICHARD B. DERISO,

Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission, La Jolla, California

ROBERT B. DITTON,

Texas A&M University, College Station

EARL DOYLE,

Shell Oil (retired), Sugar Land, Texas

ROBERT DUCE,

Texas A&M University, College Station

PAUL G. GAFFNEY II,

Monmouth University, Long Branch, New Jersey

WAYNE R. GEYER,

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Massachusetts

STANLEY R. HART,

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Massachusetts

RALPH S. LEWIS,

Connecticut Geological Survey (retired), Hartford

WILLIAM F. MARCUSON III,

U.S. Army Corp of Engineers (retired), Vicksburg, Mississippi

JULIAN MCCREARY, JR.,

University of Hawaii, Honolulu

JACQUELINE MICHEL,

Research Planning, Inc., Columbia, South Carolina

JOAN OLTMAN-SHAY,

Northwest Research Associates, Inc., Bellevue, Washington

ROBERT T. PAINE,

University of Washington, Seattle

SHIRLEY A. POMPONI,

Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution, Fort Pierce, Florida

FRED N. SPIESS,

Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, California

DANIEL SUMAN,

University of Miami, Florida

STAFF

SUSAN ROBERTS, Director

JENNIFER MERRILL, Senior Program Officer

DAN WALKER, Senior Program Officer

ALAN B. SIELEN, Visiting Scholar

NANCY CAPUTO, Research Associate

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2004. Improving the Use of the "Best Scientific Information Available" Standard in Fisheries Management. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11045.
×

ANDREAS SOHRE, Financial Associate

SHIREL SMITH, Administrative Coordinator

JODI BACHIM, Senior Program Assistant

SARAH CAPOTE, Program Assistant

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2004. Improving the Use of the "Best Scientific Information Available" Standard in Fisheries Management. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11045.
×

Preface

Understanding what comprises the best available science for fisheries management is a subject of evolving interest to Congress, scientists, and stakeholders interested in effective management of the nation’s living resources. The science used to support fisheries management is integral to providing sustainable fisheries.

To this end, the National Research Council Committee on Defining Best Available Science for Fisheries Management (Appendix A) was charged with the difficult task of examining the application of the term “best scientific information available” as the basis for fishery conservation and management measures required under National Standard 2 of the Magnuson-Stevens Act and recommending approaches for the more uniform application of the standard based on the “best scientific information available” for fisheries management. The committee gave careful consideration throughout this process to keeping its recommendations within the context of current and future fisheries management efforts.

Committee members were chosen for their expertise in fisheries science and management. The committee met on two separate occasions to discuss and plan this report. At the first meeting in Seattle, Washington, on July 16-17, 2003, the committee organized a workshop to draw upon additional expertise and points of view on the perceived need for further definition of “best scientific information available” and to explore approaches for improving the application of National Standard 2 in the preparation of fishery management plans. The workshop was convened in Washington, D.C., on September 8-9, 2003 (Appendix B). At the workshop, the committee and attendees heard keynote presentations and participated in panel discussions on perspectives from regional fisheries management councils, House and Senate sub-committees involved in reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and organizations involved in fisheries-related lawsuits. In breakout groups, participants were asked to comment on how “best scientific

Page viii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2004. Improving the Use of the "Best Scientific Information Available" Standard in Fisheries Management. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11045.
×

information available” should be defined, if a ranking or bar system should be employed to information submitted to councils, and whether it should be codified in law or in guidelines or regulations. Workshop participants, panels, and discussions helped set the stage for the fruitful committee discussions that followed. The committee also relied on written comments provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA’s) regional fisheries science centers and regional fishery management councils responding to an e-mail questionnaire on how they interpret best science to develop fishery management plans (Appendix C).

The committee hopes that the recommendations provided in this report can be used to guide NOAA Fisheries continued commitment to the effective management of the nation’s fisheries resource for the benefit of all stakeholders.

Committee on Defining Best Available Science for Fisheries Management

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2004. Improving the Use of the "Best Scientific Information Available" Standard in Fisheries Management. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11045.
×

Acknowledgments

This report was greatly enhanced by the participants of the workshop held as part of this study. The committee would first like to acknowledge the efforts of those who gave presentations at meetings: Dayton Lee Alverson, Carli Bertrand, Eric Bilsky, William Fox, David Fluharty, Daniel T. Furlong, Peter Huhtala, Andrew Minkiewicz, Graciela García-Moliner, Jake Rice, John Sibert, Margaret Spring, Patrick J. Sullivan, Usha Varanasi, Catherine Ware, and Pat White. These talks helped set the stage for fruitful discussions in the closed sessions that followed. In addition, the committee and staff would like to thank the following fisheries science center directors and the fishery management council executive directors for their prompt responses to the questionnaires; this was much appreciated, and the responses were extremely useful to the committee.

  • Regional Fisheries Science Center Directors: Douglas P. DeMaster (Alaska), John Boreman (Northeast), Usha Varanasi (Northwest), Jeff Polovina (Pacific Islands), Nancy Thompson (Southeast), and Michael F. Tillman (Southwest)

  • Regional Fishery Management Council Executive Directors: Paul J. Howard (New England), Chris Oliver (North Pacific), Daniel T. Furlong (Mid-Atlantic), Donald McIsaac (Pacific), Robert Mahood (South Atlantic), Kitty Simonds (Western Pacific), Wayne Swingle (Gulf of Mexico), and Miguel A. Rolon (Caribbean)

This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the National Research Council’s (NRC’s) Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2004. Improving the Use of the "Best Scientific Information Available" Standard in Fisheries Management. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11045.
×

responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their participation in their review of this report:


DAVID FLUHARTY, University of Washington, Seattle

MARK LUNDSTEN, Queen Anne Fisheries, Inc., Seattle, Washington

GORDON H. ORIANS, University of Washington, Seattle

ELLEN PIKITCH, Pew Institute for Ocean Science, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, New York, New York

JAKE RICE, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Ottawa, Ontario

ALISON RIESER, University of Maine, Portland

J.B. RUHL, Florida State University, Tallahassee

ANDREW SOLOW, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Massachusetts

PATRICK SULLIVAN, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York

VIDAR WESPESTAD, Resource Analysts, International, Lynnwood, Washington


Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by John Burris, Beloit College, appointed by the Divison on Earth and Life Studies, and May Berenbaum, University of Illinois, appointed by NRC, who were responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2004. Improving the Use of the "Best Scientific Information Available" Standard in Fisheries Management. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11045.
×
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2004. Improving the Use of the "Best Scientific Information Available" Standard in Fisheries Management. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11045.
×
Page R1
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2004. Improving the Use of the "Best Scientific Information Available" Standard in Fisheries Management. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11045.
×
Page R2
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2004. Improving the Use of the "Best Scientific Information Available" Standard in Fisheries Management. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11045.
×
Page R3
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2004. Improving the Use of the "Best Scientific Information Available" Standard in Fisheries Management. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11045.
×
Page R4
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2004. Improving the Use of the "Best Scientific Information Available" Standard in Fisheries Management. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11045.
×
Page R5
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2004. Improving the Use of the "Best Scientific Information Available" Standard in Fisheries Management. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11045.
×
Page R6
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2004. Improving the Use of the "Best Scientific Information Available" Standard in Fisheries Management. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11045.
×
Page R7
Page viii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2004. Improving the Use of the "Best Scientific Information Available" Standard in Fisheries Management. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11045.
×
Page R8
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2004. Improving the Use of the "Best Scientific Information Available" Standard in Fisheries Management. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11045.
×
Page R9
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2004. Improving the Use of the "Best Scientific Information Available" Standard in Fisheries Management. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11045.
×
Page R10
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2004. Improving the Use of the "Best Scientific Information Available" Standard in Fisheries Management. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11045.
×
Page R11
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2004. Improving the Use of the "Best Scientific Information Available" Standard in Fisheries Management. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11045.
×
Page R12
Next: Executive Summary »
Improving the Use of the "Best Scientific Information Available" Standard in Fisheries Management Get This Book
×
Buy Paperback | $42.00 Buy Ebook | $33.99
MyNAP members save 10% online.
Login or Register to save!
Download Free PDF

Under the Magnuson-Stevens Fisheries Conservation and Management Act (FCMA), managers are required to use the “best scientific information available” in the preparation of federal fishery management plans (National Standard 2 in the FCMA). However, the Act provides no further guidance as to how conformance to this standard should be determined. Because adherence to this standard has often been contentious, Congress has considered adding a definition for what constitutes “best scientific information available” in the reauthorization of the FCMA. This report examines both the current application and the controversy over the standard and concludes that a legislative definition would be too inflexible to accommodate regional differences and future advances in science and technology. Instead, the report recommends that NOAA Fisheries adopt procedural guidelines to ensure that the scientific information used in the development of fishery management plans is relevant and timely and is the product of processes characterized by inclusiveness, transparency and openness, timeliness, and peer review.

  1. ×

    Welcome to OpenBook!

    You're looking at OpenBook, NAP.edu's online reading room since 1999. Based on feedback from you, our users, we've made some improvements that make it easier than ever to read thousands of publications on our website.

    Do you want to take a quick tour of the OpenBook's features?

    No Thanks Take a Tour »
  2. ×

    Show this book's table of contents, where you can jump to any chapter by name.

    « Back Next »
  3. ×

    ...or use these buttons to go back to the previous chapter or skip to the next one.

    « Back Next »
  4. ×

    Jump up to the previous page or down to the next one. Also, you can type in a page number and press Enter to go directly to that page in the book.

    « Back Next »
  5. ×

    Switch between the Original Pages, where you can read the report as it appeared in print, and Text Pages for the web version, where you can highlight and search the text.

    « Back Next »
  6. ×

    To search the entire text of this book, type in your search term here and press Enter.

    « Back Next »
  7. ×

    Share a link to this book page on your preferred social network or via email.

    « Back Next »
  8. ×

    View our suggested citation for this chapter.

    « Back Next »
  9. ×

    Ready to take your reading offline? Click here to buy this book in print or download it as a free PDF, if available.

    « Back Next »
Stay Connected!