Fisheries Science

Providing Sound Science

Sustainable management of fisheries relies on accurate and timely scientific advice. The Commission's Fisheries Science Program strives to produce sound, actionable science through a technically rigorous, independently peer-reviewed stock assessment process. Assessments are developed using a broad suite of fishery-independent surveys and fishery-dependent monitoring, as well as research products developed by a vast network of fisheries scientists at state, federal, and academic institutions along the coast. The Program also seeks to develop new, innovative scientific research and methodology, and enhance the states’ stock assessment capabilities. It provides for the administration, coordination, and expansion of collaborative research and data collection programs.

Through its 2019 - 2023 Strategic Plan, the Commission committed to ensuring sound science is available to serve as the foundation for the Commission’s evaluation of stock status and adaptive management actions. The Plan identified the following objectives for the Fisheries Science Program to achieve its goal.

  • Conduct stock assessments based on comprehensive data sources and rigorous technical analysis;
  • Characterize the risk and uncertainty associated with the scientific advice provided to decision-makers
  • Provide training to enhance the expertise and involvement of state and staff scientists in the development of stock assessments
  • Streamline data assimilation within individual states, and among states and ASMFC
  • Proactively address research priorities through cooperative state and regional data collection programs and collaborative research projects, including stakeholder involvement
  • Explore the use of new technologies to improve surveys, monitoring, and the timeliness of scientific products
  • Promote effective communication with stakeholders to ensure on-the-water observations and science are consistent
  • Utilize ecosystem and climate science products to inform fisheries management decisions


Patrick Campfield, Director, Fisheries Science Program
Assessment Science Committee, Jared Flowers, Chair
Management & Science Committee, Kathy Knowlton, Chair

Guiding Documents

ASMFC Fisheries Research Priorities (April 2018)
Technical Support Group Guidance and Benchmark Stock Assessment Process (revised August 2019)
Fishery-Independent Data Use Policy (May 2015)
Stock Assessment Training Program Guidance Document (August 2011)
Development and Use of Reference Points (December 2008)
Guide to Fisheries Science and Stock Assessments (June 2009)