FishNews – October 4, 2017

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NOAA Fish News

October 4, 2017



Seafood Month 2017

NOAA Celebrates National Seafood Month
Chris Oliver, head of NOAA Fisheries, highlights seafood and the people who help make our country a global leader in seafood sustainability. Join us all month long as we celebrate the fishermen, the farmers, and the science-based stewardship behind U.S.-produced seafood.

IUU site header

Seafood Import Monitoring Program - Pilot Testing for Data Transmission
This week, NOAA Fisheries, in consultation with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, initiated pilot testing for electronic transmission of harvest and traceability data required for the Seafood Import Monitoring Program. SIMP established requirements for importing certain priority fish and fish products identified as being particularly vulnerable to IUU fishing or seafood fraud.

International Aquaculture Research

International Team Investigates Impacts of Harmful Algal Blooms on Aquaculture
To investigate how harmful algal blooms can impact shellfish aquaculture, a team of American and French researchers have joined forces on a project to better understand how toxins accumulate in shellfish over time.

MRIP Strategic Plan

MRIP Response to National Academies Recommendations and 5-Year Strategic Plan
NOAA Fisheries has released its Framework for Addressing the National Academies Recommendations and the final version of the 5-year MRIP Strategic Plan. Both documents will serve as important guideposts as we continue our commitment to making improvements to catch and effort surveys and the resulting estimates.

Sea Grant Fellows

2017 NOAA Fisheries–Sea Grant Fellows
NOAA Fisheries, together with NOAA’s National Sea Grant College Program, announced the 2017 NOAA Fisheries–Sea Grant Joint Fellowship recipients. This fellowship program supports students pursuing doctoral degrees in population and ecosystem dynamics and marine resource economics.




Pacific Halibut illustration

Proposed Compensated Halibut Reallocation – Open for Public Comment
By November 17, please submit your comments on a proposed rule authorizing a non-profit Recreational Quota Entity to represent the halibut charter sector in southeast Alaska and the central Gulf of Alaska. The purpose of the RQE is to purchase commercial halibut quota shares to supplement recreational fishing quota.


Bowhead Whales

Field Dispatch: Bowhead Whale Calves in Arctic
Most bowhead whale calves are born during the whales’ spring migration from the Bering Sea to the Beaufort Sea. NOAA Fisheries’ Aerial Surveys of Arctic Marine Mammals project expends extra effort to document the presence or absence of bowhead whale calves, providing important insight into the overall health of the population.


Beluga Calf v3

Stranded Beluga Calf Transported for Treatment
The Alaska SeaLife Center received a stranded male beluga whale calf from Cook Inlet last weekend. The solitary animal, estimated to be 2 to 4 weeks old, was found stranded near Trading Bay. With no adult belugas nearby and attempts to encourage it back into the water unsuccessful, NOAA decided to transfer the calf to Seward for rehabilitation.

West Coast


SoCal Oyster Restoration

Forum on Southern California Oyster Restoration
Olympia oysters, long identified with the Pacific Northwest, once thrived along the entire West Coast, including Southern California. Earlier this year, NOAA scientists participated in a forum convening shellfish and restoration experts to develop ideas for restoring Olympia oysters to Southern California bays and estuaries.


Research Award

International Prize for Northwest Ocean Research
Every few weeks since the early 1960s, scientists have set out from Newport, Oregon, to sample ocean conditions, continuing one of the longest and most consistent ocean monitoring programs on the continent’s western coast. Recently, the international North Pacific Marine Science Organization recognized the Northwest Fisheries Science Center and Oregon State University for their joint work on the data collection.


Larval Fish

Warming Waters Draw Spawning Fish North
Unusually warm ocean conditions off the Pacific Northwest in the past few years led anchovies, sardines, and hake to begin spawning in northwest waters much earlier in the year than biologists had previously recorded. The rapid northerly shifts in spawning may offer a preview of future conditions if ocean warming continues.


Burrowing Shrimp Research

Coastal Burrowing Shrimp: Estuarine Engineers
Coastal burrowing shrimp are more than just good bait for sturgeon and salmon. As they create their complex burrows beneath the sand, they play a key role in moving nutrients around in estuarine ecosystems. NOAA scientists and partner researchers have teamed up to study the diets of burrowing shrimp and their impacts on the estuaries they inhabit.


Pacific Islands


Green Sea Turtles Nesting

Green Sea Turtles in Hawaii, By the Numbers
Every year, many green sea turtles make the 1,200-mile round-trip migration between the main Hawaiian Islands and their nesting sites at French Frigate Shoals in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Since 1973, NOAA scientists have also made the annual journey out to French Frigate Shoals to monitor the nesting behavior.


False Killer Whale video

Video: False Killer Whales in the Hawaii Islands
Despite their name, false killer whales are not closely related to true killer whales, though they have similarly shaped skulls. Watch a new video to learn more about the three populations of false killer whales that live in Hawaiian waters and how NOAA is working to conserve them.




Revised Reporting for Federal Seafood Dealers Impacted by Irma
After Hurricane Irma made landfall on September 10, NOAA Fisheries determined that catastrophic conditions exist in nine counties in Florida. NOAA has temporarily revised reporting requirements for federal seafood dealers in the affected areas.


Greater Atlantic


Warming Chesapeake

Warming Climate Could Increase Bacterial Risks in Chesapeake Bay
Researchers have found that three common species of Vibrio bacteria in Chesapeake Bay could increase with changing climate conditions by the end of this century. Water or shellfish contaminated with Vibrio species can cause human illness (vibriosis).


Amphipod Mats

Why are Quahogs Gone in Sandy Hook Bay?
In the 1970s, the amphipod Ampelisca abdita arrived in Sandy Hook Bay, New Jersey. The tiny crustaceans built dense mats of tubes across the bay’s muddy bottom, creating habitat for quahogs to settle and thrive. But in 2011, the amphipod disappeared, and with it the little quahogs that grew on its tubes. Scientists are searching for the cause of the changes.


COASTSPAN Shark Survey

East Coast Estuaries House Shark Nursery Habitat
Every summer, scientists from the Northeast Fisheries Science Center and their colleagues in East Coast states conduct surveys in estuaries and nearshore waters to study known and suspected shark nursery habitat. The work is part of the Cooperative Atlantic States Shark Pupping and Nursery (COASTSPAN) program, an ongoing effort to understand which species live in these locations and why.




October 5
Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council meeting in Biloxi, Mississippi.

October 5–10
North Pacific Fishery Management Council meeting in Anchorage, Alaska.

October 10–12
Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council meeting in Riverhead, New York.

October 11
Atlantic Sturgeon Critical Habitat webinar.

October 12 and 25
Two free Protected Species Safe Handling, Identification, and Release workshops in Florida and New Jersey.

October 17–19
Western Pacific Fishery Management Council meeting in American Samoa.

October 25
Free Atlantic Shark Identification workshop in Somerville, Massachusetts.



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.

November 6
Proposals due for 2018/2019 Atlantic Sea Scallop Research Set-Aside Funding.

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.