2009 External Review Provides Expert Critique of the Center's Pelagics Research Programs

The Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center invited an external panel of experts to review and evaluate the Center's pelagics research programs and offer advice on ways to improve the science to better support several key NOAA goals: ensuring sustainable fisheries, recovering protected species, and conserving marine habitats and ecosystems. The review covered a wide range of topics including research on highly migratory species such as tunas and billfishes; studies of cetaceans and sea turtles; modeling and mitigation of fisheries bycatch; fisheries oceanography; pelagic ecosystem science; and international research collaborations. During June 23-25, 2009, the review panel learned about the Center's pelagics research directly from the scientists involved and also consulted with the Center's principal stakeholders on the job we are doing to meet their needs and priorities.

Discussions between the panelists and Center staff were stimulating and constructive. Comments from the review panel provided the Center with a better sense of our directions and priorities for pelagics research, underscored the soundness of our scientific approaches, and identified opportunities for new research to improve our support of agency goals. The Panel's report, available below, incorporates stakeholder comments, including some provided after the panel's deliberations. The report gives us assurances that we are on the right track and offered useful, cogent advice on ways to strengthen the Center’s pelagics research programs to meet emerging needs of our clients.