Aquaculture for all

NOAA Fisheries Service Outlines Top Research Priorities

US - The federal ocean fish managers of NOAA's Fisheries Service have outlined the top science and research priorities that its scientists will follow for the next three years.

Published in the latest Strategic Plan for Fisheries Research the agency places an increased emphasis on managing fish stocks not as isolated populations, but rather linked together and influenced by the marine ecosystems that they inhabit.

"This strategic vision reaffirms NOAA's commitment to advancing credible, peer-reviewed knowledge about the ocean," said Dr. Steve Murawski, chief scientist and director of science programs at NOAA's Fisheries Service. "As a world leader in fisheries research, NOAA has elevated the profile of marine ecosystems science to support holistic approaches to ocean management."

Other priorities include continuing the work to produce the next generation of fishery stock assessments. This will be more sophisticated and accurate and have the ability to reduce uncertainty and incorporate ecosystem considerations.

The plan also stresses a need for continued development of advanced technologies such as acoustic techniques, remotely operated vehicles, autonomous underwater vehicles, and submersible research to directly evaluate deep water fisheries and their habitat.

And, aquaculture is also key priority. The agency will evaluate new candidate species for commercial production and is calling for more studies on the environmental, ecological, social, and economic impacts of fish farming and stock enhancement activities. It believes that science-based strategies and guidelines that avoid and minimise and the negative impacts of aquaculture activities is vital for success of this sector. This will be the focus of the agency's work in this area.

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