The Secretary of Commerce, in consultation with the Councils, shall establish a cooperative research and management program to address needs identified under this chapter and under any other marine resource laws enforced by the Secretary. The program shall be implemented on a regional basis and shall be developed and conducted through partnerships among Federal, State, and Tribal managers and scientists (including interstate fishery commissions), fishing industry participants (including use of commercial charter or recreational vessels for gathering data), and educational institutions.
The Secretary shall make funds available under the program for the support of projects to address critical needs identified by the Councils in consultation with the Secretary. The program shall promote and encourage efforts to utilize sources of data maintained by other Federal agencies, State agencies, or academia for use in such projects.
The procedures of this section shall not apply to research funded by quota set-asides in a fishery.