sunriseoceansThe Atlantic Coast Cooperative Statistic Program (ACCSP) is demonstrating how closer coordination across jurisdictional lines can produce dependable and timely fishery statistics for all users.

The ACCSP was established in 1995 to address deficiencies in the data available for fisheries management along the Atlantic coast. These included incompatibilities between state and federal data systems, a lack of standardized trip-level catch and effort reporting by partner agencies, lack of universal permit and vessel registration data, and a general need for more and better data to support new requirements in fisheries management.

Since its inception, ACCSP has helped foster an improved atmosphere of cooperation among its partners. It has succeeded in establishing coast-wide fisheries data standards that all program partners have agreed to adopt. By establishing and maintaining data collection standards and providing a data management system that incorporates state and federal data, ACCSP ensures that the best available statistics can be used for fisheries management.

“Challenging old ways can be very hard,” says ACCSP Director Mike Cahall. “We have found that building consensus solutions among all agencies has been a very effective way to overcome these obstacles.”