FishNews - November 1, 2017

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

NOAA Fish News

Insert Date Here

boats in port



Fisheries of the United States infographic

NOAA Fisheries Releases Fisheries of the United States 2016

The Fisheries of the United States, 2016 report is now available.  A yearbook of fisheries statistics for the nation, the report continues to underscore the sustainability and economic strength of our nation’s fisheries and ports and the integral role they play in the vibrancy and resiliency of our coastal communities.  The report also underscores the opportunities for the U.S. to expand domestic seafood production through environmentally responsible aquaculture.  


Atlantic Highly Migratory SpeciesProposed Rules

NOAA Fisheries Announces a Proposed Rule for an Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Charter/Headboat Permit Commercial Sales Provision

NOAA Fisheries is considering creating a separate provision for the commercial sale of Atlantic highly migratory species by HMS Charter/Headboat permit holders. The proposed rule would create a “commercial sale” endorsement for the HMS Charter/Headboat permit, meaning those vessels would be prohibited from selling any catch of HMS unless they obtain a “commercial sale” endorsement as part of the permit. Submit comments by November 13, 2017.

NOAA Fisheries Announces a Proposed Rule to Modify Individual Bluefin Tuna Quota (IBQ) Program Regulations for Accounting for Bluefin Tuna

NOAA Fisheries proposes to modify the Atlantic highly migratory species (HMS) regulations to require vessels in the pelagic longline fishery to account for bycatch of bluefin tuna using Individual Bluefin Quota (IBQ) on a quarterly basis instead of before commencing any fishing trip with less than the minimum required IBQ balance or with quota debt. This proposed regulatory change would maintain vessel accountability for bluefin tuna catch while providing some additional flexibility in vessel operations.  Submit comments by November 24, 2017.

NOAA Fisheries Requests Comments on the Issuance of Exempted Fishing Permits and Related Permits for Atlantic Highly Migratory Species During 2018

NOAA Fisheries intends to issue exempted fishing permits, scientific research permits, display permits, letters of acknowledgement, and shark research fishery permits for the research and collection of Atlantic highly migratory species in 2018.  In general, these permits would authorize collection of a limited number of tunas, swordfish, billfishes, and sharks from federal waters in the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, and Gulf of Mexico for the purposes of scientific data collection, bycatch research, and to evaluate the efficacy of environmental clean-up efforts. Submit comments by November 27, 2017.


Cleaning and bagging oysters raised in Maine's Damariscotta River.

NOAA Awards $9.3 Million to Support Aquaculture Research 

NOAA has announced 32 research grants totaling $9.3 million for projects around the country to further develop the nation’s marine and coastal aquaculture industry. The grants were awarded through two competitions to help spur the development and growth of shellfish, finfish, and seaweed aquaculture businesses. The projects include basic and applied research to improve efficient production of seafood, permitting of new businesses, management of environmental health issues, and economic success of aquaculture businesses.


Join NOAA and Chris Oliver at the Pacific Marine Expo, November 16-18Booth #715

Each year, NOAA Fisheries (Alaska and West Coast Coast regions and science centers), Weather, Charting, and Enforcement, join together at the Pacific Marine Expo to engage with our stakeholders and update them on the science and services they depend on. This year's Expo features NOAA Fisheries Administrator Chris Oliver, as the keynote speaker. There will also be a panel called "Fisheries Get Ready for a Close Up," discussing major technology advancements in stock assessments in the North Pacific. Please come by the booth and visit Chris on the afternoon of Thursday, November 16.    

West Coast



Proposed Rule for a Federal Limited Entry Permit  California/Oregon Large-Mesh Drift Gillnet Fishery

NOAA Fisheries is considering a proposed rule to create a federal limited entry permit for the California/Oregon large-mesh drift gillnet fishery that will streamline the current process. Transitioning from a state permit to a federal permit will streamline service and fishery compliance among fishery participants. It also means that participants will no longer need to research both state and federal regulations when reviewing applicable management measures. This action is not expected to lead to an increase in, or a restriction of, fishing effort or capacity. Submit comments by December 15, 2017. 



golden tilefish

NOAA Fisheries Proposes Temporary Rule for Golden Tilefish Interim Measures in the South Atlantic Region

The results of the 2016 scientific population assessment update revealed that the golden tilefish population in the South Atlantic is undergoing overfishing (rate of removal is too high) but is not overfished (population abundance is too low). On October 27, NOAA Fisheries proposed interim measures to temporarily reduce the golden tilefish annual catch limits (total, commercial, and recreational) in 2018. The total ACL of 558,036 pounds gutted weight will be reduced to 323,000 pounds gutted weight.  Submit comments by November 14, 2017. 


red snapper

NOAA Fisheries Announcing the Limited Harvest of South Atlantic Red Snapper in 2017

The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council has requested that the Secretary of Commerce allow limited harvest of South Atlantic red snapper in 2017. Recent data support that limited harvest in 2017 will not cause overfishing or prevent continued rebuilding of the stock. During the limited 2017 season, there will be no established minimum size limit for either the commercial or the recreational sector; the commercial trip limit will be 75 pounds gutted weight, and the recreational bag limit will be one fish per person per day. The Council also established annual catch limits for red snapper. 

Greater Atlantic


shortnose sturgeon

First Shortnose Sturgeon Documented Above Dam in Connecticut River

This August, an angler casting on the Connecticut River had quite a surprise when he reeled in not a walleye or bass, but instead a relic from the age of dinosaurs: an adult-sized shortnose sturgeon! This is the first documented report of a shortnose sturgeon in the Connecticut River upstream of the Turners Falls Dam in Turners Falls, Massachusetts. Sturgeon have been listed as endangered since 1967. 


Great Lakes

Restoring Great Lakes Habitat Benefits People and Fish

A new storymap from NOAA Habitat Conservation tells the story of NOAA’s involvement with the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, showcasing two of the more than 200 NOAA efforts in the region. The initiative identifies key priorities including cleanup of toxic sites, reducing causes of harmful algal blooms, and controlling and preventing invasive species. To date 225 GLRI-funded NOAA projects have addressed these priorities around the region, successfully restoring habitat for native species and improving water quality. 


November 6: Special South Atlantic Fishery Management Council meeting via webinar on possible revisions to the Council's Acceptable Biological Catch Control Rule.

November 8 and 14: Two free Protected Species Safe Handling, Identification, and Release workshops in Port St. Lucie, Florida, and Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.

November 13: Workshop to Improve New England Recreational Fishery Management in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

November 16: Free Atlantic Shark Identification workshop in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina.

November 28: (Rescheduled from September) Free Protected Species Safe Handling, Identification, and Release workshops in Panama City, Florida.

November 30: (Rescheduled from September) Free Atlantic Shark Identification workshop in Panama City, Florida.


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 3: Proposals due for FY 2018 Gulf of Mexico Oyster Aquaculture Small Grants.

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

November 27: Nominations due for Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee.

December 22: Nominations due for 2018 National Wetlands Awards.

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.

Corrections or technical questions should be sent to the FishNews Editor at