The Massachusetts Ocean Partnership Fund (MOPF), a public/private collaborative, was formed to support efforts in Massachusetts to move toward comprehensive ocean management through implementation of an ecosystem-based approach. MOPF is producing a science plan as a basis for future work of the partnership. In order to set the science plan on the best possible footing, this gap analysis was developed to explore the science needed to support comprehensive EBM.
This report presents a review of current research (including data and monitoring activities) in Massachusetts coastal and marine waters, and where applicable, the wider Gulf of Maine. Also identified are the gaps in research, data, monitoring, infrastructure and funding. Data derived for this analysis came from two sources 1) a review of research priorities from 35 organizations and 2) interviews, conducted in January and February 2007, with experts representing a variety of disciplines, including but not limited to: economics, social science, physical oceanography, geology, marine biology, ocean and coastal management and user groups. Organizations and interviewees were chosen based on involvement in scientific activities and/or monitoring programs in Massachusetts waters. A smaller subset of federal agencies and national organizations working within the broader Gulf of Maine, but informed on Massachusetts issues, also were included. This was done to gain insight into Massachusetts’ role in the broader ecosystem context as well as to determine external influences on Massachusetts’ waters.