MARINE RESOURCE EDUCATION PROGRAM: PROFESSIONAL TRAINING FOR FISHERMEN IN THE NORTHEAST REGION AND A FORUM FOR DIALOGUE AMONG FISHERMEN, SCIENTISTS AND MANAGERS

The Marine Resource Education Program (MREP) Implementation Team offers this proposal
for continued funding of course offerings for fishermen in the Northeast Region in the 2012-
2013 time frame. MREP seeks to satisfy the essential information needs of diverse fishing
communities, fostering trust and pragmatic working relationships in a rapidly changing
industry.

Now in its eleventh year, with over 400 graduates, MREP has attracted consistent acclaim
from fishermen and the regulatory community of New England. An OIG report to Congress,
as well as the recent Pate/Touchstone Report commissioned by NMFS, cites MREP as
having contributed to more effective participation by stakeholders in the management of New
England fisheries and to an increasingly positive perception of fishery science and
management.

Funding from NMFS would enable MREP to continue delivery of fishery science and
management curricula tailored specifically for fishermen and relevant stakeholder groups.
MREP consists of three program components: Introduction to Fisheries Science (MREP 100
Science), Introduction to Fisheries Management (MREP 100 Management) and an advanced
science module, Insights into Stock Assessments (MREP 200 Science).

 Through a unique collaboration between Gulf of Maine Research Institute and industry partners, comprising the MREP Implementation Team, the curricula have been developed for relevance to the fishing community, with fishermen moderators serving a prominent role in delivery and development.

With continued funding in 2013 the MREP Implementation Team will carry out four initiatives:
  •  Deliver one MREP 100 Science module and one MREP 100 Management module in a
New England location;
  •  Deliver a MREP 200 Insights into Stock Assessments for New England and Mid-Atlantic fishermen;
  •  Perform active outreach in building a fishing community network to support ongoingdevelopment of professional training opportunities in the MREP model, incorporating both Mid-Atlantic and New England social structure; and
  • Design and deliver an “experimental” MREP-concept module to a target communityidentified in outreach, with material specific to the needs of that community.Modules’ delivery will be evaluated along established protocols, with continuing developmentof instruments to track program relevance. Testimonials and other feedback will be captured both in writing and with photography.