Posted on February 26, 2024

Request for Proposals

The New England Fishery Management Council (Council) is looking for an independent contractor to facilitate public workshops related to its Atlantic Cod Management Transition Plan.

APPLICATION DEADLINE – TIME SENSITIVE: The application deadline is March 15, 2024. This is a temporary position, commencing on or about April 1, 2024. Work is expected to be completed by June 30, 2024.

WHAT IS THE CONTRACTOR’S ROLE: The contractor will assist with: (1) planning and facilitating three public workshops; and (2) preparing a report summarizing the outcomes of the workshops. More specifically, the contractor will work with a representative of the Council and the Groundfish Plan Development Team to, among other duties:

  • Assist in developing a workshop agenda, format, and scope to be applied at all three workshops;
  • Prepare workshop materials and organize workshop logistics;
  • Serve as the lead facilitator at the workshops, a role that includes moderating discussions, ensuring meeting norms, and encouraging stakeholder engagement;
  • Prepare a brief summary of each workshop that includes: (a) participant information, (b) a list of identified challenges, opportunities, and questions, and (c) a summary of recommendations, all to be delivered within one week of each workshop’s completion; and
  • Prepare a workshop report collating information from the three workshops. A draft report should be submitted by June 10, 2024, and the final report should be submitted by June 30, 2024.

WHY IS THE COUNCIL HOLDING THESE WORKSHOPS: Atlantic cod historically has been assessed as two biological units – Gulf of Maine cod and Georges Bank cod. However, based on the conclusions of an interdisciplinary working group and a new Atlantic Cod Research Track Stock Assessment, Atlantic cod will be assessed as four biological units going forward, beginning with the June 2024 Management Track Stock Assessments.

To address this profound change on the science side, the Council embarked on a multiyear effort to develop a transition plan to determine how best to manage Atlantic cod under the new stock structure. In order to ensure stakeholder engagement through the Atlantic cod management transition planning efforts, the Council made it a priority to conduct at least one focused workshop in the first half of 2024 to “identify challenges and develop alternatives for addressing Atlantic cod management considering the new biological units.”

THREE WORKSHOPS: The Council decided to hold three workshops to cover a broad geographic range of stakeholders. The workshops will take place in April and May 2024 with one in Portland, Maine, one in Gloucester, Massachusetts, and one in the Providence, Rhode Island area. All workshops will be held in-person. The same agenda and format will be applied at all workshops with flexibility to adjust to meet specific regional needs.

WHAT WILL BE DISCUSSED AT THE WORKSHOPS: The Atlantic Cod Management Transition Plan will be carried out through two phases. Phase I will address measures to be implemented for the 2025 groundfish fishing year. Phase II will focus on long-term management measures for Atlantic cod.

Workshop attendees will:

  • Consider changes in allocation of quota among fishery participants across the commercial and recreational sectors;
  • Address potential measures to enhance cod productivity by protecting spawning cod; and
  • Consider future changes in stock distribution under climate drivers.

CONTRACTOR SKILLS AND APPLICATION SUBMISSION INFORMATION: A full description of the desired experience and demonstrated skills from the contractor can be found in the request for proposals (RFP). Application submission information also can be found in the RFP. Remember, the application deadline March 15, 2024.