How to Participate in the Process

How to Participate in the Process

Improving Stakeholder



Fisheries Management

Patricia Fiorelli

New England Fishery Management Council Staff

MREP – March 29, 2011

Elements of Successful Management

1. Availability of timely scientific


2. Quality and quantity of information

3. Opportunity for thorough analyses of

options under consideration

4. Fishing community and public input

EARLY in the process (scoping and

development of alternatives)

Importance of Effective Participation

• Intent of the Council process is to

maximize public participation

• Effective participation increases

individual and organizational


• Effective participation allows

fishermen to make the maximize time

off the water and in meetings

Importance of Effective Participation

• Reduces end-runs (undue political

influence and lawsuits)

• Results more effective and acceptable

• Improves compliance

• Reduces regulatory costs on fishermen

Process is defendable in court (and

required by law, NEPA)

Importance of Effective Participation

• The Council relies on fishermen’s expertise

to complement available scientific

information and to develop effective FMPs

• Scientific data are not always complete and

management options are rarely perfect –

community and public participation can

lead to better technical solutions

• Effective participation is critical for the

long-term fisheries management success

Council Process

‣ Integrated public participation of those

affected by and interested in effective

fishery regulations

‣ Follows NEPA requirements (and more)

‣ Normal process – public scoping;

hearings on draft EIS with analysis of

alternatives; final choice and comment

on proposed rules that implement that


FMPs, Amendments and Frameworks

Committee and Council identify management issues

SCOPING – Council seeks comments on management issues

Committee and Council select options for analysis

Stakeholder Proposals

Input from Advisors

PDT analyzes measures and develops Draft EIS

PUBLIC HEARINGS – and 45-day public comment period

Committee and Council select final measures

for submission to NMFS

Public Comment

Input from Advisors



Direct committee to develop: problem statement, management

strategy, goals and objectives, measures acceptable to achieve

goals, PDT tasking and timelines. Focus on timelines and

consequences of delay.

Take action as directed by Council. Give

direction to PDT. Consider input from advisory

panel and public.





Refer to operating policies (page 15) for the SSC for a

complete description of SSC responsibilities.


Approve problem statement, management

strategy, goals and objectives, etc. from



Develop options as directed by

Committee and Council,

conduct technical analyses, and

write plan documents.


Review PDT options, advisory

panel advice and public input.

Refine or choose preferred

alternative and prepare report

to Council.


Review PDT options and give advice

(recommendations to refine) to Committee.

Provide final advice on

management program.



Review PDT options, committee, SSC

and advisors' recommendations, take

public comment and approve final

measures for plan.

Evaluate and critique effectiveness

of plan and measures to meet FMP




Review, approve,

implement and administer


Why should you participate?

• To provide your expertise and experience

• To be involved in decisions about your

livelihood – allocation

• To get the “scoop” firsthand – to

understand the legal requirements and

the social/economic impacts of

management decisions

• To educate and involve others in your


How can you participate?

• Get involved EARLY in the process

• Attend committee and Council meetings

when proposals are being developed

• Become an advisor for the fisheries in

which you are involved

• Submit comments on management

proposals and attend public hearings

Guidelines for Providing Public


‣ Public comments at Council meetings

‣ Limits on comments

‣ Additional time for comments at Council


‣ Submission of written materials

‣ Public input at other types of Council

meetings (committees, hearings, etc)

‣ Don’t pick fights – “you people”

‣ Suggest solutions – not objections

‣ Recognize that your fishery observations,

although important, may be localized

Other Important Elements of Participation

• Communicate with Council members

Participate in local industry groups and

talk to other stakeholders

• Work with others to develop management

proposals and initiatives

• Talk to advisors

• Talk to Council staff

• Encourage others to get involved

Where Can You Get Information?

• Make sure you are on the Council’s mailing


• Check the NEFMC and NMFS websites: - =,

(look at links too!)

• Talk to Council members and advisors

• Check with the Council staff – they will

always give you the best information!

• Read fisheries-related publications

How Can You Be Effective?

‣ Timing: earlier is (usually) better

(example: Council sets management

priorities each November)

‣ Organization

‣ Do your homework – understand the


‣ Persistence

‣ Patience - there are different points of

view – not adversaries

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