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Fishery Monitoring & Research Division

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Chief: Amanda McCarty

The Fishery Monitoring and Research Division (FMRD) provides key services for our nation’s ocean resources and habitats, including maintaining productive and sustainable fisheries, helping the recovery and conservation of protected species and supporting healthy marine ecosystems.


The FMRD focuses on the collection and use of information from commercial and recreational fisheries to inform fisheries science and management and fills data gaps to complement fishery independent surveys through the utilization of commercial and recreational fishing platforms. The FMRD includes the Cooperative Research and Fisheries Sampling Branches, both of which work closely with fishing industries to collect, process, and manage fishery dependent data, and utilize industry platforms to obtain data on fish biology, environmental variables, and socioeconomic factors in support of stock assessments and ecosystem based fishery management. The Division develops and supports cooperative efforts between the NEFSC and industry that are essential to create robust and accurate datasets, and conducts outreach across the region to keep constituents informed of activities.

In addition, Division programs foster engagement between the NEFSC and industry in the development of technology and data products to improve fisheries reporting and availability of data to fishermen, scientists, and managers to proactivelymanage fisheriesand support industry's adaptation to climate change and shifting species distributions.

Fisheries Sampling Branch

Chief: Amy Martins

The Fisheries Sampling Branch collects, processes, manages and provides fishery dependent data and biological samples from fishing vessels. Collection of these data is mandated or otherwise needed for management under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, The Marine Mammal Protection Act, the Atlantic Tuna Convention Act and the Endangered Species Act. Branch staff and observers under contract perform at-sea operations aboard commercial vessels to collect information on fishing operations, fishing effort, and catch, including by-catch and discard information, economic data and vessel efficiency, and biological samples of landed catch and discard. Data are processed and quality-controlled. New observers and at-sea monitors are trained and certified. The program monitors and samples takes of protected species, implements Standardized Bycatch Reporting Methodology, overseas industry-funded observer programs, and evaluates electronic monitoring systems.

Fisheries Sampling Branch website »

Northeast Cooperative Research Branch

Chief: Anna Mercer

The Northeast Cooperative Research Branch seeks to expand and improve the effectiveness of collaborative research throughout the Mid-Atlantic and New England to enhance the data upon which fishery management decisions are made, and to increase coordination, communication, learning, and trust among scientists, managers, and members of the industry. The Branch creates opportunities to leverage expertise, research infrastructure, and unique field and analytical skills that further constructive collaboration within the NEFSC and with diverse regional partners. Emphasis is placed on working with industry to provide high quality fisheries and environmental data in near real-time to improve the understanding of species distribution and environmental drivers; the predictive modeling of these factors; the precision of stock assessments; and to enhance the temporal and spatial resolution of multi-species catch and life history data. The Branch is responsible for coordination; scientific and administrative oversight; peer review; and data archiving for NMFS activities supported by Northeast and National Cooperative Research funds, as well as, regional Research Set-Aside programs and Congressionally-funded external (non-governmental) cooperative research programs.

Northeast Cooperative Research website »

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