Marine fisheries management is a delicate balance of providing jobs, providing fishing opportunities, and providing for the long-term availability of both.
Management of such a delicately balanced system could easily lead to the exclusion of the very people who depend on it for their livelihoods. Fortunately, federal fisheries management in the US considers the needs of fishermen and others with a stake in marine fisheries by requiring their participation in regulatory decisions. Key to effective participation, however, is a comprehensive understanding of the science and policy which underlies the management system. The Marine Resources Education Program (MREP) aims to provide fishermen with the comprehensive understanding which empowers them to effectively participate in marine fisheries management.
Created by fishermen, for fishermen.
The Marine Resource Education Program (MREP) was founded by local New England fishermen in 2001 to provide members of their community with the tools and information to actively and effectively participate in fisheries science and management. Over the next 15 years the program slowly expanded into other regions as other fishermen have expressed a need for that information.
MREP West is a workshop series designed for west coast fishermen interested in building their understanding and involvement in fisheries science and management decisions.
It was developed to equip fishermen with the tools to confidently engage with the tough issues facing their region today. It specifically runs through the fisheries science and management processes, demystifies the acronyms and vocabulary, and exposes fishermen to the ‘how’ of the whole fisheries management process. Additionally, the program provides a neutral setting in which fishermen can meet the people behind agency jobs, ask personally relevant questions, and share important feedback from the fishing community.
The program is offered as a series of two, three-day workshops.
These workshops build upon each other: a three-day Fishery Science Workshop followed by a three-day Fishery Management Workshop. Presenters are drawn from NMFS Regional Offices and Science Centers, the Fishery Management Councils, research institutions, and the fishing community. Workshops are designed and held as a collaborative effort, with industry moderators keeping the discussion relevant to the fishing community.
Participants leave the workshops prepared to engage confidently in fishery management and to critically evaluate the science affecting their fishery.