New Partnership Will Update and Improve Mid-Atlantic and Northeast Commercial Fisheries Data Products

Apr 28, 2020

The Mid-Atlantic Regional Council on the Ocean (MARCO) and the Northeast Regional Ocean Council (NROC) are partnering with the Responsible Offshore Development Alliance (RODA) to engage commercial fishermen in the development of updated maps and data for the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic Ocean Data Portals.

These data portals are critically important, and are used to inform planning and management of offshore wind development, aquaculture, telecommunications cables, ocean disposal site designation, and other uses. Maps and data depicting how different fisheries use the ocean are among the most highly used on both regional data portals. This new project, which will be implemented from January to September 2020, will increase collaboration with the fishing industry on updating and developing products that represent their knowledge and experience, and seeks to improve fishing industry trust in the data used to inform decisions.

Most fishing industry participation in this project will be facilitated by RODA, a regional organization focused on the compatibility of the fishing industry with offshore development. RODA’s members span the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions, as well as the West Coast, and represent a broad spectrum of sectors, gear types, and businesses that operate in the area. MARCO, NROC, and RODA will convene focus groups to inform the development and review of fisheries data products that will be posted on the data portals. The data products for review will include those currently being developed by a variety of entities in both regions, as well as new products that may be developed through this project.

This project is funded through a recent federal appropriation administered by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and awarded to MARCO and NROC to enhance capacity for sharing and integration of data for regional priorities.  The partnership with RODA aims to increase collaboration, trust, and data and information sharing around a high priority ocean management issue in both regions, and will create a roadmap for ensuring that data products are updated and developed in collaboration with industry in the future. Interested parties should contact the individuals listed below for more information. We especially encourage fishermen and fishing industry leaders interested in this project to inquire with RODA about joining the focus groups.


Fiona Hogan, Research Director, Responsible Offshore Development Alliance

Avalon Bristow, Mid-Atlantic Regional Council on the Ocean

Nick Napoli, Northeast Regional Ocean Council  


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