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New Priorities and Annual Guidance Document Sets the Agency’s Course for 2017

A Message from Eileen Sobeck, Head of NOAA Fisheries
November 7, 2016

Enthusiasm for the future, celebration of partnerships, appreciation for a job well done, sustainable U.S. seafood and the people who help make it happen are what makes NOAA Fisheries tick. This past year, we celebrated the success of 40 years of fisheries management under the Magnuson-Stevens Act. It was well worth highlighting the fact that U.S. fisheries are among the most sustainable in the world.

I also want us to recognize and celebrate all of the other fine work in 2016, including the launch of unprecedented initiatives such as the Ocean Noise Reduction Roadmap, the Climate Science Strategy, and the final Marine Mammal Protection Act Imports Rule. We also recommended $11 million for 50 projects under the Saltonstall-Kennedy Grants Program, $9 million in funding for community-based habitat restoration, and $5.4 million in grants for endangered and threatened species recovery, and we finalized new action plans that outline recovery efforts for our eight “Species in the Spotlight.” These are just a few of the 2016 highlights.

So, with that impressive list of accomplishments in mind, I am pleased to present our Fisheries Priorities and Annual Guidance for 2017. In this document we spell out Fisheries’ goals, priorities, and anticipated results for the next year. Our goals and priorities will drive the results and successes we expect to celebrate at the end of 2017.

You may notice that this year’s document is organized a little differently. What has not changed, however, is the purpose of   the document, the commitment by leadership to stick to the priorities, and the clear focus on our strategic goals. The purpose of this annual document is to provide guidance to all Fisheries employees in executing our core mission responsibilities. As   in the past, this year’s document also reflects high-level input and a commitment to execute this plan from every member of the agency’s Leadership Council—office directors, regional administrators, science center directors, and deputy assistant administrators.

While you may not see your specific role or office reflected in this document, you will see the agency’s high-level action items for the coming fiscal year organized and presented in the context of our three core mission areas—the drivers for all the work of agency staff, no matter where you are located:

So, as we step forward together into fiscal 2017, please accept my sincere appreciation for a job well done in 2016. I am confident that by working together and staying focused on our mission we can continue our successes into 2017.

Thank you.


Eileen Sobeck
Assistant Administrator for NOAA Fisheries