Fishery Independent Survey System

Geographical coverage

Geographical scale of the assessment Global,Sub-regional
Country or countries covered United States
Any other necessary information or explanation for identifying the location of the assessment, including site or region name

Conceptual framework, methodology and scope

Assessment objectives

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) conducts comprehensive fisheries-independent surveys in all of the eight large marine ecosystems within the U.S. This inventory of NMFS surveys and observations enables the integration of related survey data and metadata on a national level. These surveys are conducted from ships in the NOAA fleet, chartered commercial fishing and scientific research vessels, and small boats.

Mandate for the assessment

Most of the surveys included in the inventory are conducted under the U.S.’s Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the Endangered Species Act, or the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

Conceptual framework and/or methodology used for the assessment

Other (please specify)

Mandatory reporting from the National Marine Fisheries Service’s fishery science centers.

URL or copy of conceptual framework developed or adapted

System(s) assessed

  • Marine
  • Coastal
  • Inland water

Species groups assessed

Protected species, including marine mammals and marine and anadromous species listed as threatened or endangered with extinction under the Endangered Species Act.

Ecosystem services/functions assessed


  • Food


Supporting Services/Functions

  • Fisheries and biodiversity

Cultural Services

  • Commercial and recreational fisheries

Scope of assessment includes

Drivers of change in systems and services


Impacts of change in services on human well-being


Options for responding/interventions to the trends observed


Explicit consideration of the role of biodiversity in the systems and services covered by the assessment


Timing of the assessment

Year assessment started


Year assessment finished


If ongoing, year assessment is anticipated to finish

Periodicity of assessment


If repeated, how frequently


Assessment outputs


Communication materials (e.g. brochure, presentations, posters, audio-visual media)

Journal publications

Training materials

Other documents/outputs

Tools and processes

Tools and approaches used in the assessment

  • The National Marine Fisheries Service’s fishery science centers report annually on the fishery-independent surveys they have conducted.

Process used for stakeholder engagement in the assessment process and which component

Key stakeholder groups engaged

The number of people directly involved in the assessment process


Incorporation of scientific and other types of knowledge

  • Scientific information only

Supporting documentation for specific approaches, methodology or criteria developed and/or used to integrate knowledge systems into the assessment

Assessment reports peer reviewed



Accessibility of data used in assessment

The website allows the public to search for and view survey information, and to query and generate reports.

Policy impact

Impacts the assessment has had on policy and/or decision making, as evidenced through policy references and actions

Independent or other review on policy impact of the assessment


Lessons learnt for future assessments from these reviews

Capacity building

Capacity building needs identified during the assessment

Actions taken by the assessment to build capacity

How have gaps in capacity been communicated to the different stakeholders

Knowledge generation

Gaps in knowledge identified from the assessment

How gaps in knowledge have been communicated to the different stakeholders

Additional relevant information