Observer Policy Committee (Industry-Funded Monitoring), Standardized Bycatch Reporting Methodology (SBRM) Overview

The Observer Policy Committee was formed in 2014 and has spent most of its time to date working on the NMFS-led Omnibus Industry-Funded Monitoring (IFM) Amendment. Here are the related documents.

The Standardized Bycatch Reporting Methodology (SBRM) is the combination of sampling design, data collection procedures, and analyses used to estimate bycatch and allocate observer coverage in multiple fisheries within the available funding. The SBRM also provides a structured approach for evaluating the allocation of observer coverage (sea days) to multiple fisheries to monitor a large number of species under the 13 different New England and Mid-Atlantic Council fishery management plans and the Endangered Species Act.

The SBRM requires that every three years, the Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office, the Northeast Fisheries Science Center, and the New England and Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Councils form a Fisheries Management Action Team/Plan Development Team (FMAT/PDT) to review available data on discards and prepare a report assessing the effectiveness of the SBRM. Previous SBRM 3-year reviews summarized data from 2009-2011, 2015-2017, and 2018-2020. Work towards the SBRM 3-year review runs from April to October, and the SBRM 3-year review report is published as a NOAA Technical Memorandum and presented to the councils in December.

In 2020, the National Marine Fisheries Service determined that the SBRM 3-year Review Report – 2020 for the Greater Atlantic Region was consistent and sufficient with the national guidelines for an SBRM. A 3-year review report summarizing data for 2021-2023 will be published in 2023.

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