Future of Stock Assessment

In 2001, NOAA Fisheries published the first Stock Assessment Improvement Plan, in which we sought to bolster the capacity, content, extent, and infrastructure for conducting stock assessments. As a result, we have improved the scientific advice being provided to fishery managers allowing the recovery of many overfished stocks and dramatically reducing incidences of overfishing. However, given changes in legal mandates and decades of research and development of new scientific tools, there is a need for updating this important strategic document. NMFS is now drafting a next generation Stock Assessment Improvement Plan.

This document will provide a framework for moving toward a Next Generation Stock Assessment Enterprise. The vision of this NGSA enterprise is to improve timeliness and efficiency of assessments while maintaining their utility to fishery management, prioritizing work relative to available resources, expanding the scope of stock assessments to be more holistic and ecosystem-linked, and utilizing innovative modeling and data collection techniques. Thus, this document will help guide the agency towards its vision of resilient ecosystems, communities, and economies for future generations.