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Peer Review workshop on blue crabs set for March 27-29

Staff with the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries will hold a three-day, in-person workshop March 27-29 with scientists who are peer reviewing a draft assessment of the North Carolina blue crab stock.

The workshop will be held at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel New Bern Riverfront, 100 Middle St., New Bern.

The discussions begin at 1 p.m. on March 27, 9 a.m. on March 28, and 9 a.m. on March 29 and will be open to the public. The open sessions allow the public to observe the peer review process, but do not include a public comment period.

When deemed necessary, the committee will close the meeting to the public to allow the peer reviewers to deliberate and complete a draft version of their peer review report.

A stock assessment is a scientific analysis that uses information gathered from commercial and recreational fishermen and data from on-the-water scientific sampling and observations to determine the health of a population and predict how that population may respond to different management measures.

A peer review is an evaluation of scientific work by independent experts. A peer review of a fisheries stock assessment evaluates the validity of the data used, the appropriateness of the assessment model used and the rationale of any assumptions used to determine if the science conducted is adequate for use in fisheries management. Peer review scientists have not been involved in or had input into the development of the stock assessment and have no stake in its outcome.

The open, in-person peer review process is meant to foster communication between the peer reviewers and division stock assessment scientists and to improve public understanding of fisheries stock assessments.

For more information, contact Jason Rock with the Division of Marine Fisheries at (252) 948-3874 or Jason.Rock@ncdenr.gov.

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