More About SCORE

Background (cont.)

The Science Consortium for Ocean Replenishment (SCORE) addresses critical uncertainties about enhancement of important commercial and recreational species that range the different coastal environments in the U.S.   SCORE is a national partnership established to develop the full potential of marine stock enhancement as a solution to the current “maxed out” status of U.S. coastal fisheries. SCORE partner institutions are Mote Marine Laboratory (MML) of Florida, the NOAA-Fisheries Manchester Marine Research Station, the University of New Hampshire (UNH), the University of Southern Mississippi’s Gulf Coast Research Laboratory, and (coming on board soon) Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute. The consortium is designing and coordinating integrated research programs and field trials needed to develop and test enhancement potential in a variety of coastal habitats with multiple species. SCORE provides a critical, science-based forum for conducting and evaluating individual fisheries enhancement practices.  SCORE scientists are developing an economically viable marine stock enhancement technology, documenting progress in peer reviewed scientific journals and evaluating progress in sustainable fisheries production using experimental fish releases. This work is showing the validity of the stock-enhancement concept.

As scientific gains are made in understanding replenishment potential, SCORE scientists are partnering with NMFS and regional fishery-management agencies to develop policy and apply fishery-enhancement science to rebuilding depleted coastal stocks. SCORE scientists envision that much of enhancement technology developed will be supported by funds generated by contributions and license fees paid by stakeholders and user groups.  To fully embrace and use the marine stock-enhancement concept, demonstrated success stories are needed in a few key states. SCORE research is planned and coordinated to achieve such successes. Built around the principles of a responsible approach to marine stock enhancement, SCORE scientists are conducting key experiments to resolve critical uncertainties about how to conduct and monitor the biological, ecological, and economic effectiveness of stock enhancement.

SCORE brings together a powerful synergism of scientific expertise and practical experience.  Collectively, its members have expertise in fisheries science, genetics, nutrition, pathology, ecology, biometrics, animal behavior, parasitology, and reproductive physiology. They also have expertise in hatchery technology, grow-out, marine aquaculture engineering, biofiltration, fish tagging, fisheries economics, recreational and commercial fishing.  Each group has done pioneering work in the new science of marine stock enhancement.  The geographic distribution of SCORE partners enables parallel research to be done in the cold, temperate, and semi-tropical ocean environments of the Western Atlantic Ocean, Eastern Pacific Ocean, and Gulf of Mexico.