Background About the SCORE Consortium

The Science Consortium for Ocean Replenishment was initiated in 2000 by scientists and fishery agencies managers and funded by Congress in 2001. This alliance was formed to focus stock enhancement research in the US on advancing the science needed to develop and manage marine stock enhancement to achieve effective and economical results. SCORE unites a multidisciplinary team of scientists working in three coastal areas of the US -- the Gulf of Mexico, the Eastern Atlantic and Western Pacific oceans.

SCORE projects in California, Florida, Mississippi, New Hampshire, and Washington state are making significant progress in all fields relevant to successful fishery replenishment. This research addresses critical questions related to the biological and economic effectiveness of stocking marine organisms, understanding life-history and ecology of wild stocks in their natural habitats, conditions of the receiving waters, specific habitat requirements and increasing the probability of successfully restoring depleted fishery stocks by releasing aquacultured juveniles into the sea.

Collectively, the SCORE team focuses on all fields relevant to marine fisheries enhancement: fisheries science, fisheries management, adaptive management, marine aquaculture, population genetics, aquatic animal health, population ecology, behavioral ecology, community ecology, resource economics, social science and institutional analysis and design, statistics and experimental design, tagging technolgy and communications and outreach. 

The founding members of the consortium and their positions at the time included:

  • H. Lee Blankenship, a research scientist and administrator at the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (now retired and Director of Research at Northwest Marine Technology's Olympia, WA office)
  • W. Hunt Howell, professor of Zoology and Director of the Coastal Marine Laboratory at the University of New Hampshire
  • Ken Leber, a fisheries ecologist and Director of the Center for Fisheries Enhancement at Mote Marine Laboratory.
  • Conrad Mahnken, a research scientist and Director of the Manchester Laboratory, NMFS Northwest Fisheries Science Center (now retired and a Fishery Commissioner for the State of Washington).

After retiring from their agencies, Blankenship and Mahnken, both active members of the Hatchery Scientific Review Group, became the chief science advisors to SCORE.