Marine Resources Assessment Group (MRAG) Americas

MRAG Americas, Inc. is an independent consulting business dedicated to promoting responsible, rational and sustainable utilization of aquatic resources.

Location: 
Essex, MA
Type: 
Corporation
Category: 
Natural Resources Management
Website: 
http://www.mragamericas.com/

MRAG Americas, Inc. is an independent consulting business dedicated to promoting responsible, rational and sustainable utilization of aquatic resources, with offices in Massachusetts, Florida, California and Alaska. Our staff consists of a unique and highly motivated group of scientists and specialists with expertise in fisheries and aquatic resource science, management, and monitoring; fisheries observer programs; ecosystem and protected area management; government liaison and relations; and international conservation and management agreements.

MRAG Americas is a sister company to the Marine Resources Assessment MRAG Americas, Inc. is an independent consulting business dedicated to promoting responsible, rational and sustainable utilization of aquatic resources. We have offices located in Massachusetts, Florida, California and Alaska. Our staff are comprised of a unique and highly motivated group of scientists and specialists with expertise in fisheries and aquatic resource science, management, and monitoring; fisheries observer programs; ecosystem and protected area management; government liaison and relations; and international conservation and management agreements.

MRAG Americas is a sister company to the Marine Resources Assessment Group (MRAG Ltd), a leading international company with a long and highly productive track record of designing and implementing integrated resource management systems in marine, estuarine, riverine, and floodplain environments. Founded in 1986, MRAG has a core staff of more than 40 full time specialists located in offices in the US, Europe, Asia, and Africa. Our overall capability to service an extensive array of resource management needs is further extended through our network of associations and collaborations with internationally acclaimed experts from academic institutions and other private organizations worldwide. These skills have been utilized in more than 60 countries worldwide. MRAG Americas and MRAG welcome MRAG Asis Pacific, established in 2008, to the Global MRAG group.

Clients have included a broad range of government agencies including in the USA: US NOAA Fisheries, National Ocean Service, National Academy of Sciences, Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission, and the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean, Pacific, and North Pacific Fishery Management Councils. International clients have included the World Bank, Global Environmental Facility (GEF), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), UN Development Program, Inter-American Development Bank, and the European Commission. Non-governmental organizations worked for include the World Wildlife Fund; Conservation International; and Center for Marine Conservation (now Ocean Conservancy) and a range of private sector companies.

As a company with a core and multidiscipline staff we are capable of undertaking diverse studies and projects to support the development of aquatic resource management. Examples of this work include:

* Policy and Strategic Planning
* Development of Resource Management Programs
* Economic, Social and Biological Analyses
* Environmental Assessment
* Data and Information Management
* Institutional Development
* Technical Training

ImageThe work undertaken by MRAG Americas' staff and our colleagues is varied but ultimately focused on improving our ability to manage aquatic ecosystems and the resources and fisheries they support. Much of this work has a strong analytical basis (often using novel approaches to tackle issues that our clients are trying to resolve) to underpin the recommendations that are developed.

This analytical work has supported stock assessment reviews for the Northeast groundfish fisheries, management reviews for the red snapper fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico and for the assessment of fisheries impacts on Steller sea lion populations. These analyses have also considered the impacts that fisheries management will have on the social and economic characteristics of fisheries (as demonstrated for a suite of projects focusing on the Gulf of Mexico shrimp fisheries) and developed management tools and approaches such as the assessment of spawning potential ratios as management reference points, management options for target sedentary species in the Southwest Pacific and programs to reduce discard mortality (Alaska), fishing effort (US Caribbean) and fishing capacity (Monterey Bay).

MRAG's current and previous project experience includes the design and management of several international observer programs, the completion of more than fifteen major international scientific surveys of fish and squid stocks through complex data analysis and modeling and resource management policy advice at the highest level of government. MRAG's capability to service an extensive array of resource science and management needs is further extended through our network of associations and collaborations with internationally acclaimed experts, academic institutions, and other private organizations worldwide.

ImageMRAG Americas has undertaken a number of projects in support of Observer Programs in the North Pacific, Northeast, Southwest, US Caribbean, and Australia. In addition to managing observer programs (Alaska Marine Mammal Observer Program and New South Wales Ocean Haul Observer Program), our observer support has included extensive evaluations of the observer program in the Northwest, an evaluation of alternate methods of estimating bycatch and deploying observers on groundfish vessels in the North Pacific, and groundbreaking work to evaluate the feasibility of establishing observer programs in the US Caribbean. We have also been involved in developing outreach materials for observer programs, organizing national workshops and investigating the availability and utility of emerging technologies that would support remote data collection.

The company must possess strong information technology to collate, manage and analyze these fisheries data and information. The development of robust, flexible, scaleable and secure information systems is a prerequisite for this work and the company has a core staff that is dedicated to this task. These skills are not only deployed in support of individual projects but are also used to review and redesign existing information systems used by our clients.

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