The Northeast Regional Ocean Plan sets up a structure that fundamentally changes the relationships between federal agencies and those who use the water. The draft plan requires federal agencies to follow a set of best practices for identifying and engaging with stakeholders who might be impacted by their decisions. A critical part of this engagement is understanding how certain ocean users like fishermen are going to be affected by specific projects. Creating processes that embed this understanding in federal agencies gives coastal communities in New England a stronger voice in future decisions.

By providing important contextual information about the fishery and outlining some common concerns that fishermen have when they are facing changing ocean uses, this document helps set the stage for a more positive and constructive dialogue.