North Atlantic Right Whale Recovery Plan Southeast Implementation Team

North Atlantic Right Whale Recovery Plan
Southeast U.S. Implementation Team

The Endangered Species Act (ESA) authorizes NOAA Fisheries to appoint recovery teams to assist with the development and implementation of recovery plans. The North Atlantic Right Whale Recovery Plan Southeast U.S. Implementation Team (SEIT) was established to assist NOAA Fisheries SERO on issues related to the status and conservation of right whales. The objectives of the SEIT are:

  1. Coordinate and effect recovery plan implementation in Southeast U.S. while making efficient use of available resources via recommendations to NOAA Fisheries Service SERO.
  2. Involve stakeholders in implementation of the recovery plan.
  3. Promote creative solutions.
  4. Monitor effectiveness of recovery plan implementation and adapt accordingly.
  5. Identify and prioritize information needs that can be best addressed through enhanced partnerships.

Issues related to right whale interactions with commercial fisheries are addressed under the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Team process. However, on occasion, the SEIT may address or implement fisheries-related recovery tasks that have a high priority in the Southeast U.S..

SEIT Terms of Reference

A Terms of Reference describes the team operating rules and has been agreed to by all Team members.  This document serves as an agreement between each member of the Team and NOAA Fisheries.  The Terms of Reference does the following (not an inclusive list):

  • Clarifies the purposes of the Team
  • Details the responsibilities of NOAA Fisheries with respect to the Team
  • Details the roles of Team members, the Team Leader, and the Team Liaison
  • Describes Team operating rules
  • Etc.

SEIT Members

The SEIT represents a multi-disciplinary team in support of North Atlantic right whale recovery plan implementation in the Southeast U.S..  Stakeholder group representatives possess many specific criteria (see p. 10 of Terms of Reference).