Lenfest Ocean Program

Supporting Science and Communicating Results

Published Paper

Building Effective Fishery Ecosystem Plans

A Report from the Lenfest Fishery Ecosystem Task Force

The Lenfest Fishery Ecosystem Task Force, convened with support from the Lenfest Ocean Program, consists of 14 preeminent researcher scientists in fisheries management. The Task Force aimed to provide a blueprint for fisheries ecosystem plans (FEPs) to provide guidance to managers on implementing EBFM. The Task Force charge focused on answering three questions: (1) What are the key principles of EBFM that should be included in an FEP, and what is the current status of fisheries ecosystem planning that incorporate these principles?; (2) What are the gaps between scientific knowledge and planning?; and (3) What new approaches can be used to fill these gaps?

The first six chapters of this report are for an audience with knowledge of and interest in fisheries. Although clarity was sought, it was assumed readers would have a level of familiarity with basic concepts of fisheries science and management. The report also includes an Implementation Volume and three Appendices, which are intended mainly for a narrower audience of managers, Council staff, Council advisers, and other managers and technical professionals.

  • The Implementation Volume provides detailed guidance on a range of scientific tools and policy instruments to carry out this process.
  • Appendix A: An overview of the principles of EBFM and fisheries as systems.
  • Appendix B: A table of challenges to EBFM identified from the scientific literature, with suggestions for how a new generation of FEPs can overcome them.
  • Appendix C: Narratives of the case studies used in Chapter 5 of the full report.

Novice and non-U.S. readers should find the general points useful, especially regarding the workings of the U.S. Council system and the laws governing fisheries.

Task Force Members

  • Timothy Essington, chair, University of Washington
  • Phillip Levin, co-chair, The Nature Conservancy, University of Washington (formerly NOAA Northwest Fisheries Science Center)
  • Lee Anderson, University of Delaware
  • Alida Bundy, Bedford Institute of Oceanography
  • Courtney Carothers, University of Alaska Fairbanks
  • Felicia Coleman, Florida State University
  • Leah Gerber, Arizona State University
  • Jonathan Grabowski, Northeastern University
  • Edward Houde, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science
  • Olaf Jensen, Rutgers University
  • Christian Möllmann, University of Hamburg
  • Kenneth Rose, Louisiana State University
  • James Sanchirico, University of California, Davis
  • Tony Smith, CSIRO Australia

Advisory Panel

  • Phillip Levin, chair, The Nature Conservancy, University of Washington (formerly NOAA Northwest Fisheries Science Center)
  • Michele Culver, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
  • Mark Dickey-Collas, International Council for the Exploration of the Sea
  • Michelle Duval, North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources
  • Michael Fogarty, NOAA Northeast Fisheries Science Center
  • Peter Kendall, commercial fishermen
  • Julie Morris, New College of Florida
  • Galen Tromble, NOAA Fisheries
  • Bill Tweit, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service Liaisons

  • Jason Link, Senior Scientist for Ecological Research
  • Douglas Lipton, Senior Research Economist
  • Richard Methot, Senior Science Advisor for Stock Assessments

Project Management Team

  • Kristin Marshall, University of Washington
  • Laura Koehn, University of Washington