Area Monitoring and Assessment Program (SEAMAP)
Southeast Area Monitoring and Assessment Program (SEAMAP) is a
state/federal program designed to collect, manage and disseminate fishery-independent data in the southeastern U.S. Three components
currently partner with NMFS: SEAMAP-Gulf; SEAMAP-South
Atlantic; and SEAMAP-Caribbean. Each component operates independently, planning and conducting surveys, and disseminating information in accordance with cooperatively established administrative policies and guidelines.
Congress has allocated SEAMAP funding since 1983. The program is noncompetitive,
with funds allocated to the southeastern states for surveys and
studies. A portion of the funding is used by NMFS for its portion of the survey work, plankton sorting, and administrative responsibilities. SEAMAP cooperative agreements are multi-year, but funds are awarded annually. NMFS Office/Region/Science Center staff review and evaluate proposals based on technical merit, soundness of design, ability of the applicant to perform the proposed work, potential contribution of the project to national or regional goals, and appropriateness of proposed costs.
Surveys of shrimp, groundfish, plankton, and reef fish are conducted in the Gulf of Mexico. Shallow water trawl surveys, a survey of Pamlico Sound, benthic characterization and bottom mapping projects are the primary activities in the South Atlantic. Reef fish, spiny lobster, and queen conch surveys are done in the Caribbean, as well as habitat assessment and bottom mapping. Surveys by individual components reflect distinct regional needs and priorities, but surveys in one area often provide data important to researchers in other geographic regions.