Marine Resource Education Program: Serving the needs of Fishing Communities and Fishery Management in the Northeast Region

Alexa Dayton, Gulf of Maine Research Institute

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 2013-
2014 time frame. MREP seeks to satisfy the essential information needs of diverse fishing
communities, fostering trust and pragmatic working relationships in a rapidly changing
Now in its twelfth year, MREP has attracted consistent acclaim from fishermen and the
regulatory community of New England. An OIG report to Congress, as well as the 2010
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
Science 100), Introduction to Fisheries Management (MREP Management 100) 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 2014 the MREP Implementation Team will carry out five initiatives:

Deliver one MREP Science 100 module and one MREP Management 100 module in a
Mid-Atlantic location;

Deliver a MREP 200 Insights into Stock Assessments for New England and Mid-
Atlantic fishermen;

Convene a taskforce of select fishery leaders, NMFS, MAFMC, NEFMC and
institutional partners to design a long-term governance structure appropriate to a
permanent regional program and a strategy for transition;

Develop a new MREP 200 module to be offered to MREP graduates; and

Perform active outreach in building a fishing community network to support MREP
training and recruiting throughout the Northeast Region, and seek opportunities to
expand the program training reach to more fishermen at less cost.

Modules’ delivery will be evaluated along established protocols, with continuing development of instruments to track program relevance. Testimonials and other feedback will be captured both in writing and with photography.