FishNews – September 6, 2017

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NOAA Fish News

September 6, 2017



Flooding near Otey, TX
NOAA aerial imagery of flooding near Otey, Texas

NOAA’s Hurricane Forecast, Preparation, Response
NOAA, with the nation, has been focused on responding to Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Louisiana and preparing for Hurricane Irma in Florida. In Texas, NOAA conducted aerial surveys of the flooded area to aid emergency personnel, while NOAA boats from Galveston participated in search and rescue operations. NOAA’s National Hurricane Center is now working to monitor and predict the path of Hurricane Irma. The recovery and restoration following Harvey—and possibly Irma—will span months to years, and NOAA’s focus will shift to supporting impacted fishing communities and marine ecosystems.


Fishermen Scientists Collaborate

Fishermen and Scientists Collaborate at Sea
Scientists from the Northwest Fisheries Science Center, along with university and state partners, are part of a NOAA Fisheries science initiative that employs local fishing boats as floating research platforms. The program, now in its third year, promotes collaboration between scientists and local fishermen through quarterly research surveys off Newport, Oregon.


Stellers in water

Thousands of Citizens Help Count Steller Sea Lions
By the end of August, more than 6,500 people participated in Steller Watch, a citizen science project that invites the public to help classify thousands of images of Steller sea lions. Their help has been invaluable to scientists working to determine why the sea lion population continues to decline in the western Aleutian Islands.


Bluefin EFH

Final Amendment on Essential Fish Habitat for Atlantic Highly Migratory Species
NOAA Fisheries announces the availability of Final Amendment 10 to the 2006 Consolidated Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Fishery Management Plan on Essential Fish Habitat and an associated Environmental Assessment. Maps and shape files depicting updated essential fish habitat boundaries will be available on our website.


IUU site header

Seafood Import Monitoring Program Roundtable
NOAA Fisheries is hosting another roundtable in Honolulu on September 7 to discuss the U.S. Seafood Import Monitoring Program’s traceability data reporting and record-keeping requirements before they become mandatory in 2018. The roundtable will address topics relevant to foreign exporters and U.S. domestic importers of seafood species covered by the program.




Belugas from Hexacopter Permit-20465
Photo by H. Europe and J. Barbaro / NOAA Fisheries, Permit #20465

Field Dispatch: Beluga Whale Photogrammetry
Scientists from the Alaska Fisheries Science Center’s Marine Mammal Laboratory wrapped up their fieldwork collecting photos of beluga whales. In addition to conventional photos, the researchers took more than 16,000 photos from the hexacopter. Scientists will use the photos to measure the whales and collect data on growth and condition.


Beluga from Side Permit-20465
Photo by Paul Wade / NOAA Fisheries. Permit #20465

Public Invited to Help Count Cook Inlet Belugas
NOAA Fisheries and partners invite members of the public to participate in a new event called “Belugas Count!” this Saturday, September 9, in the greater Anchorage area. Cook Inlet beluga whales are one of NOAA Fisheries’ eight Species in the Spotlight.

West Coast


Central Valley Salmon Habitat Partnership

NOAA Scientists Join Partnership to Restore Central Valley Salmon
The Southwest Fisheries Science Center’s Fisheries Ecology Division has joined a broad group of stakeholders in the new Central Valley Salmon Habitat Partnership. The group will work together to support robust fisheries and self-sustaining wild populations of Central Valley salmonids through science-based habitat restoration.




Revised Reporting for Federal Seafood Dealers Impacted by Harvey
After Hurricane Harvey made landfall near Corpus Christi, Texas, on August 25, NOAA Fisheries determined that catastrophic conditions exist in all coastal and adjacent counties in Texas and in Cameron and Vermillion parishes in Louisiana. NOAA has temporarily revised reporting requirements for federal seafood dealers in the affected areas.


Gulf Fishery News fall

Summer Issue of Gulf Fishery News Available
The latest issue of the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council’s newsletter, Gulf Fishery News, is now available. Topics include new Council members, updates from the August Council meetings, management actions awaiting implementation, and more.


South Atlantic Update Fall

South Atlantic Update Summer 2017 Available
The latest issue of the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council’s newsletter, South Atlantic Update, is now available. Read about changes to hogfish management and regulations, new spawning Special Management Zones, plans for the September Council meeting, a possible red snapper season, and more.


Greater Atlantic


Windowpane Flounder

NOAA Removes Windowpane Flounder Accountability Measures
Following newly available data showing that the 2016 southern windowpane flounder catch was below the annual catch limit, we are removing the accountability measures for this stock for both the groundfish fishery and non-groundfish trawl vessels.



Northeast Groundfish Operational Assessment
The Northeast Fisheries Science Center is conducting regularly scheduled stock assessments for New England groundfish. The peer review will take place September 11 to 15. Draft groundfish operational assessments and a range of additional materials are now available online.


NOAA Ship Henry B. Bigelow

NOAA Ship Henry B. Bigelow Shipyard Update
NOAA Ship Henry B. Bigelow headed to dry dock in Norfolk, Virginia, in early August to undergo motor repairs. NOAA’s Office of Marine and Aviation Operations now estimates that the ship will be back in service in early November. This does impact several planned Northeast Fisheries Science Center research surveys, and scientists are working to determine alternatives.




September 7
Roundtable on the U.S. Seafood Import Monitoring Program reporting and record-keeping compliance, in Honolulu.

September 7
Northeast Fisheries Science Center’s Groundfish Assessment Port Meeting in Plymouth, Massachusetts.

September 7
Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Advisory Panel meeting (and webinar) in Silver Spring, Maryland.

September 9
Belugas Count! Event in Anchorage, Alaska.

September 11-15
South Atlantic Fishery Management Council meeting in Charleston, South Carolina.



September 8
Applications due for seats on the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council’s Red Snapper and Grouper-Tilefish Individual Fishing Quota Advisory Panel.

September 15
Entry deadline for Pacific Islands Regional Office’s Hawaiian Monk Seal Photo Contest.

September 18
New or revised ideas for restoration projects to address 2010 oil spill injuries due to the Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group.

September 22
Applications due for the Southeast region’s FY 2018 Cooperative Research Program Grants.

October 10
Pre-proposals due for FY 2018 Saltonstall-Kennedy Grants.

October 17
Applications due for FY 2018 John H. Prescott Marine Mammal Rescue Assistance Grants.

November 1
Applications due for FY 2018 Species Recovery Grants to States.

November 1
Applications due for FY 2018 Species Recovery Grants to Tribes.

Federal Register Actions

Visit for a list of only those actions open for public comment. Scroll search for National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

For a list of all daily actions, check the Federal Register online.