NOAA Fisheries Priorities and
Annual Guidance for 2018- Released 2/07/2018- the first priority is now – • Maximize fishing opportunities while ensuring the sustainability of fisheries and fishing communities.
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A Message from Chris Oliver
Assistant Administrator for NOAA Fisheries
U.S. Department of Commerce | National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration | National Marine Fisheries Service 1
Dear Friends and Colleagues:
Fresh into my tenure as the newly appointed Assistant Administrator for NOAA Fisheries, I am pleased to
introduce our Fisheries Priorities and Annual Guidance for 2018. While our overall strategic goals have not
changed substantially, the context in which we approach those goals has changed; therefore, those goals and our
associated priorities and anticipated results will reflect a more practical approach to managing our fisheries and
associated marine resources. I am proud to be part of this Administration, which through a series of Executive
Orders and other actions has initiated a comprehensive approach to agency and regulatory reform. We must work
to execute our stewardship mission more efficiently, with an emphasis on streamlining our regulatory processes and
approaching that mission in a more business-minded manner. While we operate under many long-standing, mostly
successful governmental processes, we will proactively seek and take advantage of opportunities for improved
operational excellence and efficiency.
Anchored by my lengthy experience in the North Pacific, my primary goal continues to be the long-term
sustainability of our fisheries, for the benefit of commercial, recreational, and subsistence fishermen, processors,
other support industries, and the coastal communities that depend on those fisheries. We do not want to roll back
any of our successes at ending overfishing, rebuilding fisheries, and conserving protected species, but we do want
to maximize our commercial fisheries production to the extent possible, and provide ample fishing opportunities,
stability, and predictability for our recreational fisheries. As I have stated many times, we can have it both ways, and
we can reinvigorate our efforts to promote and facilitate marine aquaculture production to increase our overall U.S.
NOAA Fisheries enjoys a world-class reputation for our robust science and research capabilities, and successful
management of our marine resources will require a continued adherence to a science-based management
approach. But we have to combine that scientific underpinning with practicality and common sense, in order to be
just as effective while doing so more efficiently.
As we are coming off the recent 40-year anniversary of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, I want to congratulate and
thank you for the tremendous job you all have done in 2017. It is also the 45-year mark of the Marine Mammal
Protection Act, and also approaching 45 years for the Endangered Species Act. I eagerly look forward to working
with all of our dedicated employees, and our various management partners, as we continue our successes into
2018. Our three Strategic Goals for 2018, as adjusted to reflect the vision of this Administration, are as follows:
• Maximize fishing opportunities while ensuring the sustainability of fisheries and fishing communities.
• Recover and conserve protected species while supporting responsible fishing and resource development.
• Improve organizational excellence and regulatory efficiency.
Again, please accept my gratitude for a job well done, and my enthusiasm to work with you to continue, and
improve, our successful stewardship mission.