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Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee: Regional Ocean Governance. Mark C. Holliday, Ph.D. Office of Policy. Objective/Purpose:.

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marine fisheries advisory committee regional ocean governance

Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee:Regional Ocean Governance

Mark C. Holliday, Ph.D.

Office of Policy

objective purpose

The purpose of this session is to identify & discuss issues most important to NOAA in anticipation of a future based on regional ocean governance, and to identify the steps or actions needed to prepare for those outcomes.

background context
  • Joint Ocean Commission Initiative Report (April 2009)
  • - There is still work left undone
  • - Recommendations to Obama Administration
  • New NOAA Administrator
  • - CEQ/White House leader for the Oceans
  • - Goal: Fulfill missing elements of ocean policy & governance

Summary of Ocean Priorities: April 2009 JOCI Recommendations

  • Improved Governance
  • President by Executive Order should establish a National Ocean Policy and a high level ocean advisor
  • Congress should pass a comprehensive ocean policy and framework that—
    • Advances marine spatial planning
    • Provides Federal support for regional governance
  • Codify and strengthen NOAA
    • Establish NOAA as lead civilian ocean agency
    • Reorganize NOAA around core missions
  • Regional collaboration, including science-based ecosystem assessments
  • Bolster International Leadership
  • Law of the Sea
  • Arctic
  • Specific Management Challenges
  • Strengthen and reauthorize the CZMA
  • Expedite implementation of MSA
  • Employ innovative, science-based approaches to ecosystem-based management
  • Strengthen Ocean Science
  • Reaffirm JSOST and bolster NOPP
  • Codify ORRAP
  • Elevate ocean science coordination to WH level (OSTP, CEQ . . .)
  • Establish Ocean Policy Trust Fund




what are the missing elements
What are the Missing Elements?
  • Statement of national ocean policy founded on ecosystem health
  • An interagency strategy to execute policy
  • Independent ocean advisor to President
  • Comprehensive marine spatial planning
  • Federal leadership implementing regional ocean governance
sample national ocean policy statement
Sample National Ocean Policy Statement
  • Through Executive Order, legislation or otherwise:
  • It is the policy of the United States that maintaining a healthy, resilient and sustainable ocean ecosystem function is the guiding principle for all federal agency activities and actions affecting the ocean.
essential characteristics underlying the policy
Build ecosystem resilience

Protect biodiversity

Adopt a precautionary approach

Balance passive and consumptive uses

Chose ecologically relevant scales

Adopt best science, technology and information

Integrate ocean, land & atmosphere

Promote collaboration & partnerships

Ensure national security interests

Ensure transparency & stakeholder engagement

Essential Characteristics Underlying the Policy
actions to achieve unmet governance needs
Actions to Achieve Unmet Governance Needs
  • A US ocean policy will rely heavily on collaboration and partnerships with states, other levels of government and stakeholders.
  • How do we bring together in one place multiple management authorities, sectors and constituencies?
five planning regimes in use worldwide
Five Planning Regimes in use Worldwide
  • Individual sectors w/out common ends
  • Sectors w/agreed common ends
  • Virtual organizations (partnerships, committee structures , co-management)
  • An overall coordinating body
  • An overall management agency
  • Increasingly from “soft” (1) to “hard” (5) governance
current us situation
Current US situation
  • State-organized regional collaboration alliances

- Big 8:West Coast Governors’ Agreement, Great Lakes Commission, Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment, Northeast Regional Ocean Council, Mid-Atlantic Regional Ocean Council, Governors' South Atlantic Alliance, Gulf of Mexico Program, Gulf of Mexico Alliance

  • Regional Fishery Management Councils
  • Regional Federal entities (EPA, FWS, MMS, military)

- NOAA Regional Teams

- NMFS Regional Offices


Current Capacity for Regional Governance

  • Interviewed NOAA personnel serving on major regional collaboration organizations& NOAA Regional Teams.
  • How well are the regional organizations positioned to help NOAA advance regional ocean governance?
  • Results:
  • Most ecosystem-centered; variable priorities, some NOAA overlap.
  • More collaboration vs. governance --no authority to actually implement and enforce policy.
  • Varied public & stakeholder participation – mixed transparency.
  • Lacking Independent scientific or judicial review of actions.
future regional ocean governance implementation
Future Regional Ocean Governance Implementation
  • New Regional Ocean Councils/Partnerships (e.g., Pew Report, HR 21)?
  • Modify roles for regional alliances, states, Fishery Management Councils, interstate commissions?
  • Must Address
    • “Hard” vs. “soft” governance
    • Ability to resolve conflicting mandates
    • Authority to implement, monitor & enforce policy
    • Transparency/public participation
    • Judicial review?

Integration, Conflict Resolution

  • Issues and Considerations
    • No existing mechanism exists to look at ocean policy decisions strategically in an integrated manner
    • Limited ability to effectively resolve competing or conflicting uses or impacts
    • Need to consider cumulative impacts among uses
    • NOAA Fisheries/RFMC under MSA and ESA, and NOS under Sanctuaries Act, are the two principal regional ocean governance authorities outside the Territorial Sea – broadest federal agency mandate to conserve ecosystems
  • Options
    • Identify interagency strategies/policy goals that cross jurisdictional lines
    • Continue use of processes available under NEPA and other existing statutes
    • Charge SIMOR or new entity with overarching duty to resolve conflicts
    • Congressional action vs. Executive Order



let s plan for changing roles and responsibilities
Let’s Plan for Changing Roles and Responsibilities
  • What changes need to occur in NOAA and NMFS in a future based on regional ocean governance?
  • What responsibilities, authorities, research focus, oversight, accountability, provision of data and services, resources will need change?
data process requirements
Data & Process Requirements
  • Integrated Ecosystem Assessments
  • Data/models at regional level -- climate, habitat, social science and biological scales
  • Means to engage public
  • Appropriate venue
  • Coordinated decision-making between federal (international), regional, state and local bodies
  • Sufficient authority
  • Competent leadership
regional ocean governance possible discussion questions
Regional Ocean Governance –Possible Discussion Questions
  • What role(s) should NMFS and NOAA as a whole have and/or what responsibilities?
  • How would potential Regional Ocean Councils interact with Regional Fishery Management Councils? NMFS Regional offices?
  • What are NOAA’s strengths related to this issue; what services could we provide?
regional ocean governance possible discussion questions1
Regional Ocean Governance –Possible Discussion Questions
  • What should the roles be for NMFS regions, science centers, or HQ offices?
  • How will these responsibilities impact current activities or future strategies for resource management (i.e., how do ecosystem based management, integrated ecosystem assessments and regional ocean governance fit in?)