The SCORE Approach

The SCORE Consortium is cultivating a responsible approach for developing sustainable and effective stock enhancement strategies, incorporating and refining the 10 principles outlined in a publication by SCORE scientists entitled A Responsible Approach to Marine Stock Enhancement (Blankenship and Leber, 1995). pdf file  >>read now.

SCORE is focused on advancing the science needed to develop and manage marine stock enhancement.  SCORE scientists conduct concurrent multi-disciplinary research activities in three coastal areas of the US -- the Gulf of Mexico, the Eastern Atlantic and Western Pacific oceans, incorporating all of the aspects of the responsible approach conceptualized by Blankenship and Leber. These activities are summarized below. These are essentially the 10 principles presented in the 'responsible approach' publication:

  1. prioritize and select target species for enhancement by applying criteria for species selection; once selected, assess reasons for decline of the wild population
  2. develop a management plan that identifies how stock enhancement fits with the regional plan for managing stocks
  3. define quantitative measures of success
  4. use genetic resource management to avoid deleterious genetic effects on wild stocks
  5. implement a disease and health management plan
  6. consider ecological, biological & life-history patterns in forming enhancement objectives and tactics; seek to understand behavioral, biological and ecological requirements of released and wild fish
  7. identify released hatchery fish and assess stocking effects on fishery and on wild stock abundance
  8. use an empirical process for defining optimal release strategies
  9. identify economic objectives and policy guidelines, and educate stakeholders about the need for a responsible approach and the time frame required to develop a successful enhancement program
  10. use adaptive management to refine production and stocking plans and to control the effectiveness of stocking

For any given species, simultaneous consideration of all of these issues requires a well-staffed, multi-disciplinary team, which can be assembled by pooling existing institutional resources through partnerships. Collectively, SCORE scientists span the range of disciplines and expertise needed to advance responsibly the science of stock enhancement and its development as an additional fishery management tool. SCORE will achieve this by focusing research and development on the activities listed above. The knowledge gained through SCORE research will be used to test the marine stock enhancement concept in fundamentally different habitats, and demonstrate how its potential as an additional fishery-management strategy will complement current approaches.