NOAA FISHERIES NORTHEAST REGIONAL OFFICE
55 Great Republic Drive
Gloucester, MA 01930-2276
Telephone: (978) 281-9300
FAX: (978) 281-9333
ABOUT THE NORTHEAST REGIONAL OFFICE (NERO)
The NERO is located in Gloucester, MA, which is on the North Shore of Massachusetts, approximately 35 miles Northeast of Boston. The NERO employs approximately 200 people in the Gloucester offices and various field offices located along the East Coast. Click here to learn more. For additional information on the local area, please visit our Area Information Webpage.
NORTHEAST REGIONAL OFFICE
DEPUTY REGIONAL ADMINISTRATOR
The Northeast Region administers NOAA's programs in the Northeastern United States to manage living marine resources for optimum use. It represents the Assistant Administrator for Fisheries with other Federal, state, and private conservation agencies; commercial and recreational fishing industries and interests; consumers; other constituents; and the general public for the eastern coastal states of Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina; and the inland western states of Vermont, Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and West Virginia. It conducts multi-disciplinary research programs to provide scientific and technical information necessary to manage living marine resources and to support the information requirements and decision-making processes of Regional Fishery Management Councils. The Northeast Regional Office is responsible for planning, organizing and implementing programs for fishery management, resource allocations, and habitat and protected species (endangered and threatened species and marine mammals) conservation. The Office administers grants and cooperative agreement programs; analyzes trade and economic conditions and related opportunities and impacts associated with fishery management activities; implements programs to maintain robust habitats and stocks of living marine resources; coordinates state/Federal cooperative programs with and among the states, fishery management councils, marine fisheries commissions, and other Federal agencies; and provides administrative and technical support to Regional Fishery Management Councils. The Regional Office is comprised of five divisions: Sustainable Fisheries, Habitat Conservation, Protected Resources, Fisheries Statistics, and Operations and Budget Division.
SUSTAINABLE FISHERIES DIVISION
ASSISTANT REGIONAL ADMINISTRATOR
The Sustainable Fisheries Division provides and oversees technical/scientific/administrative coordination between the Fishery Management Councils and the Secretary for purposes of developing, implementing and monitoring performance of fishery management plans prepared by the New England Fishery Management Council and the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council under 16 United States Code (USC) 1853. The Division administers special programs/projects in support of the Regional Administrator's responsibilities to open/close/monitor fisheries under management or development; reviews fishery management plans to ensure consistency with National Standards under 16 USC 1851, regional and national policies and procedures, identify and report need for amendments/revisions, and work with the councils, General Counsel, and the Assistant Administrator to facilitate and expedite the approval and implementation of plans and amendments to plans.
The Sustainable Fisheries Division also works closely with marine fisheries agencies from each state in the Northeast Region and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission.
HABITAT CONSERVATION DIVISION
ACTING ASSISTANT REGIONAL ADMINISTRATOR
The Habitat Conservation Division of the Northeast Regional Office is charged with the protection, management, and enhancement of the nation's marine fishery resources. The Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, as well as the Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act, authorizes the NMFS to evaluate development projects proposed or licensed by federal agencies, including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. If coastal development projects have the potential to adversely affect marine, estuarine, or anadromous species or their habitat, the NMFS makes recommendations on how to avoid, minimize, or compensate these impacts.
PROTECTED RESOURCES DIVISION
ASSISTANT REGIONAL ADMINISTRATOR
The Northeast Region Protected Resources Division is comprised of three programs: the Marine Mammal Program, Section 7/Sea Turtle Program, and the Salmon, Sturgeon, and Species of Concern Program. The Marine Mammal Program is dedicated to protecting whales, dolphins, porpoises, and seals from harm caused by human activities. The program carries out the mandates of the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972: to conserve healthy populations and to rebuild (or "recover") populations that are strategic. The Section 7 Program assists Federal agencies in fulfilling their obligations under Section 7(a)(2) of the Endangered Species Act (ESA), which requires them to consult with NOAA Fisheries Service to ensure that any action they authorize, fund, or carry out is not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of any threatened or endangered species or result in the destruction or adverse modification of critical habitat. The Sea Turtle Program is focused on managing, conserving, and rebuilding populations of threatened and endangered sea turtles in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic waters. The Salmon, Sturgeon and Species of Concern Program is dedicated to the protection and recovery of threatened or endangered marine and anadromous species such as salmon, sturgeon, and various species of concern. The Protected Resources Division works with state agencies, other federal agencies, industry, environmental groups, and other organizations and individuals to prevent the extinction of marine species as well as to protect them from any harm caused by human activities.
OPERATIONS AND BUDGET DIVISION
ASSISTANT REGIONAL ADMINISTRATOR
HAROLD C. MEARS
The Operations and Budget Division serves as the focal point for regional program planning, budgeting, and management analysis. It administers programs of financial assistance under which Federal funds are made available to states and other non-Federal interests (including Fishery Management Councils and Fishery Development Foundations) for carrying out projects consistent with the authorizing legislation (Atlantic Coastal Fisheries Cooperative Management Act, Interjurisdictional Fisheries Act, Saltonstall-Kennedy Act) relating primarily to further the conservation, management and utilization of fishery resources of the Northwest Atlantic. It also performs program analysis, reviews, and evaluations required for program emphasis and resource allocation decisions. OBD manages regional office financial operations, and coordinates the budget processes for all NMFS regional elements. It prepares policies and procedures for the Regional Administrator's consideration in implementing regional program plans and activities, and it provides services to the regional office that include property management, space utilization, small purchase procurement, records management, office supply and equipment, mail distribution, and reproduction services. OBD also ensures coordination of and input into the conservation, development and enhancement of aquaculture/mariculture issues/policy.
FISHERIES DATA SERVICES DIVISION
ASSISTANT REGIONAL ADMINISTRATOR
The Fisheries Data Services Division (FDSD) in the Northeast Region of NMFS has the primary responsibility for the collection of fishery dependent information from commercial fishery operations for most federally managed species from Maine through Virginia. For some species this responsibility extends throughout the entire range of the commercial fisheries on the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of the United States. In addition, the FDSD has responsibility for establishing quality standards for fisheries dependent data collections that are managed by the Northeast Regional Office, improving the quality of fishery dependent data and the collection of biological information from commercial catches
The coastal states also collect fishery dependent information for use in the management of marine resources within state jurisdiction. FDSD assists the states in the collection of these data or shared collection responsibility.
The mission of the Division is to collect accurate and timely data on the landings and effort of the commercial fisheries in the northeastern United States.
The goals of the Fisheries Data Services Division are:
- To acquire data through mandatory reporting programs on the landings and effort of regulated fisheries of the northeastern United States;
- To provide timely and accurate landings and effort data on the federally regulated fisheries in the northeast for in-season management and analysis;
- To collect dockside biological samples from commercial fishing trips for federally regulated fisheries in the northeast; and
- To provide finished data products to support fisheries management and scientific analyses.
To achieve these goals, the Fisheries Data Services Division has established the following objectives:
- Provide landings and effort data with sufficient temporal and spatial resolution to support management objectives for federally regulated fisheries;
- Provide fishery-dependent biological data collections as requested by the Northeast Fisheries Science Center;
- Coordinate with Atlantic Coast Cooperative Statistics Program for the collections of inshore, non-federally permitted fisheries data;
- Improve the quality of fishery-dependent data collections in support of management programs in the northeast region;
- Develop data collection programs to supplement information in areas not adequately covered by base data collection programs;
- Work with IRM to develop access systems to fishery-dependent information for use by fisheries managers, scientists and industry;
- Through direct interaction with members of the fishing industry promote improvements in the quality of the information provided by the industry and a greater understanding of the regulations.
ANALYSIS AND PROGRAM SUPPORT DIVISION
ASSISTANT REGIONAL ADMINISTRATOR
The Analysis and Program Support Division provides permit services and fisheries data to the public and other offices within the agency. Products include data and analyses to support catch monitoring and fishery management decisions, including briefing materials for senior officials in NMFS, NOAA, and DOC. The division is organized into two sections, which are responsible for the following programs.
Permits and Limited Access Programs Section
The section provides the permits (vessel, dealer and operator permits) and other fishing authorizations that are required in order to participate in the Northeast Region's fisheries. The section also responds to data requests and maintains fishing vessel catch histories. The section implements the region's limited access vessel permit programs and maintains the vessel eligibility and allocation records. This includes administering the region's transferable allocation programs, including the days-at-sea transfer program, individual fishing quota transfer programs, and scallop trip exchanges. When new limited access permits or catch share programs are established, the section administers the application and eligibility review process.
Monitoring and Analysis Section
The section analyses fishery dependent data to support and evaluate the region's fishery management programs. Catch and landings reports are provided to the public on a weekly basis and internal users as needed to monitor fishery performance against the thresholds defined by the fishery management plans for the region's fisheries. These plans often specify inseason management adjustments that are triggered when specific harvest levels are attained, and the section provides projections and recommendations to support inseason management decisions. The section has developed new methods to monitor the region's fisheries as the management programs in the region have implemented annual catch limits. These limits require the monitoring program to account for both the landed and discarded catch in the fisheries, and we will continue to work to improve catch monitoring methods using fishery-dependent data.
Section analysts provide technical support to the New England and Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Councils as members of their technical teams. They also provide analyses as needed to senior NOAA managers, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, and constituent groups, as requested.
INFORMATION RESOURCE MANAGEMENT
REGIONAL DIRECTOR IRM
The Information Resource Management (IRM) staff supports the need for data management and systems development/operation for all of the programs/offices/divisions of the regional office by reviewing with managers their requirements and determining/devising the appropriate manner to meet the needs. IRM ensures compliance with the NOAA Information Technology (IT) Security Program that implements policies, standards, and procedures that are consistent with Government-Wide Laws and Regulations, to assure an adequate level of protection for IT systems whether maintained in-house or commercially. It provides programming support; procures, installs and maintains hardware and software and maintains the data base system support. The office coordinates with the Regional Data Base Administrator, headquarters, and procurement offices in fulfilling responsibilities. It maintains the facility LAN (Local Area Network); and provides training and support to employees as needed. The office maintains control of ADP inventory for the region; telephone system management; and maintains the library. It represents the Regional Administrator in providing reports and developing/implementing national systems and procedures.