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Scientific Research, Research Set-Aside,
Cooperative Research Programs

Research Permits and Acknowledgements

Undertaking scientific research on regulated fisheries may require special permits, as required by experimental fishing regulations established under the Magnuson Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson Act). There are three main types of research permits for exemption from Greater Atlantic Region fishery regulations:  Exempted Fishing Permit (EFP); Temporary Possession Letter of Authorization, and Exempted Educational Activity Authorization (EEAA). The Magnuson Act also includes scientific research provisions that enable NOAA Fisheries to acknowledge, through a Letter of Acknowledgment, certain activities that are not subject to Greater Atlantic Region fishery regulations. Click here to find out if you will require an EFP, Temporary Possession Letter of Authorization, or EEAA, or are eligible for a scientific research Letter of Acknowledgment. 

You may also need to obtain approval from NOAA Fisheries’ Protected Resources Division for research that may impact species protected under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and/or Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA). To learn more about ESA and MMPA exemptions and authorizations, click here.

Research Set-Aside Programs

Research Set-Aside (RSA) programs are unique Federal grant programs established through Greater Atlantic Region fishery management plans (FMPs) that promote collaboration between fishermen and scientists to address high priority research issues. RSA programs support applied research projects that are intended to support management decisions, and to refine and improve stock assessments. Through each respective RSA program, pounds or days-at-sea are awarded through a competitive grant process to fund the research. RSA programs have been established under the following FMPs:  Atlantic Sea Scallop; Monkfish; Atlantic Herring; Bluefish; Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass; Spiny Dogfish; Squid, Atlantic Mackerel and Butterfish; and Golden Tilefish. Click here for more information on RSA programs and projects that have been awarded.

Cooperative Research Program

Cooperative research promotes better science and management for fisheries, as well as effective communication and collaboration among fishing professionals. Visit the Northeast Fisheries Science Center's Cooperative Research Program webpage for information on cooperative research opportunities and how this information is being incorporated into science and management.

Listen to GARFO's Cooperative Research Liaison Ryan Silva discuss cooperative research in this 2016 Cape Ann TV podcast.

Contact Us

If you are interested in learning more, contact Ryan Silva, Sustainable Fisheries Division, at or call him at 978-281-9326. 

2017 Exempted Fishing Permit Federal Register Actions


 Click Below for Past Federal Register Actions & Public Comments:

2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000