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Atlantic HMS Management-Based Research Needs and Priorities

Notice of Availability and Request for Comments

Posted July 10, 2014

What is it?

The Atlantic HMS Management-Based Research Needs and Priorities document was developed by the Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Management Division of the National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries) to communicate key research needs that directly support Atlantic HMS management. Atlantic HMS are defined as bluefin, bigeye, albacore, yellowfin, and skipjack tunas, swordfish, billfish (blue marlin, white marlin, roundscale spearfish, longbill spearfish, and sailfish), and sharks.  The document contains a list of near- and long-term research needs and priorities that can be used by individuals and groups interested in Atlantic HMS to identify key research needs, improve management, reduce duplication, prioritize limited funding, and form a potential basis for future funding.  The priorities range from biological/ecological needs to socio-economic needs.

This Atlantic HMS Management-Based Research Needs and Priorities document is one of several efforts to highlight key research needs for HMS.  One early effort, the HMS Research Plan, was developed by NOAA Fisheries scientists across HMS disciplines in response to discussions at HMS Advisory Panel (AP) meetings.  The HMS AP was interested in identifying specific research needs based upon known data gaps, however, the HMS AP felt that early versions of the HMS Research Plan needed more specificity with clear prioritization.  Further revisions to that document are underway.  This document complements the HMS Research Plan currently in draft and, although of different purpose, some aspects of the HMS Research Plan were included in this document.  Other efforts are also underway in the Agency to identify key research needs relevant to Atlantic HMS management, such as the National Recreational Action Agenda and Regional Plans and the National Bycatch Reduction Engineering Program.

While some of the priorities were derived from stock assessment reviews, other priorities were identified while developing and proposing management measures.  Many of the research priorities address key data gaps and/or ways to reduce fishing mortality and/or bycatch to more effectively manage HMS fisheries, either directly or by improving stock assessments.  Because these needs were identified by fishery managers, these research priorities may not correspond directly with the research priorities and needs identified by the scientists throughout NOAA Fisheries.

The document is posted on the HMS website at:; Comments are requested by August 11, 2014.

How do I comment?

The HMS Management Division requests comments on this document including the content, usefulness, and format.  Comments can be mailed to Highly Migratory Species Management Division, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910 or sent via email to Steve Durkee at


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