The Magnuson-Stevens Act requires that Councils update five-year research priorities on an as-needed basis:
§ 302 “Each Council shall, in accordance with the provisions of this Act — (7) develop, in conjunction with the scientific and statistical committee [SSC], multi-year research priorities for fisheries, fisheries interactions, habitats, and other areas of research that are necessary for management purposes, that shall — (A) establish priorities for 5-year periods; (B) be updated as necessary; and (C) be submitted to the Secretary and the regional science centers of the National Marine Fisheries Service for their consideration in developing research priorities and budgets for the region of the Council; ….”
Research priorities cover a wide range of topics and are organized online through a publicly accessible database that can be queried for changes in research status and can also be downloaded completely for detailed information about all of the Council’s research needs. Ranking of research topics is done using four priority categories: Critical ongoing monitoring, Urgent, Important (near term), and Strategic (future needs). These priority categories have specific definitions which emphasize correspondence of research to the Council’s time horizon of management concerns. The current list of Council research priorities, as identified at the June 2017 Council meeting, is provided here.
Research Priority Process
In accordance with Council procedures, the SSC and Council review research priorities each year at the Council’s June meeting. Prior to Council review, the Council’s Plan Teams (GOA and BSAI Groundfish, Crab, and Scallop) review existing research priorities and make recommendations for modifications or additions to the list, as needed. Following the June meeting, the updated five-year research priorities are provided to the Secretary of Commerce, the Alaska Fishery Science Center, as well as research and funding entities including the University of Alaska, University of Washington, Oregon State University, North Pacific Research Board, Alaska Department of Fish and Game, and the Alaska Ocean Observing System.
Staff contact is Jim Armstrong: 907-271-2805