FishNews – January 10, 2018

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

NOAA Fish News

January 10, 2018



Wisconsin Habitat

Proposed Habitat Restoration in Wisconsin – Public Comment due January 18
In December, the U.S. Department of Justice announced settlements with three separate companies for natural resource damages at the Sheboygan River and Harbor Superfund site in Wisconsin. The public is encouraged to comment on the consent decrees, as well the Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment and proposed restoration projects, by January 18.


Offshore Oil Rig

Proposed National Offshore Oil and Gas Leasing Program – Open for Public Comment
The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has released a Draft Proposed Program for the 2019–2024 National Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program. Comments on the draft are due March 19. BOEM will also host a series of 23 public meetings on the National OCS Program in cities around the nation, January 16 – February 28.

Green Sea Turtles

Rising Temps Turning More Sea Turtles Female
The sex of sea turtle eggs is determined by the temperature of their environment, and the hotter temperatures result in more females. Scientists have used a new research approach to show that warming temperatures on islands in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef have increased so much that almost no eggs are producing male sea turtles.  Such a skewed sex ratio threatens the population’s long-term viability.


Marine Debris

Innovation at Work: The Latest in Marine Debris Removal Projects
Marine debris is a pervasive pollution problem with impacts on navigation, fisheries, and marine ecosystems. Sometimes, debris ends up in places that require innovative thinking to remove. Check out some recent projects, funded by NOAA’s Marine Debris Program, that have implemented innovative removal strategies.

Deep Sea Sponge

New Report on Deep-Sea Coral Ecosystems
NOAA’s new report, State of Deep-Sea Coral and Sponge Ecosystems in the United States, reviews advances in deep-sea coral research over the past decade and explains how this new information is shaping deep-sea conservation. Discoveries since the release of the first report in 2007 (State of Deep Coral Ecosystems) have led to the description of 62 new species of corals in the U.S. waters.


Atlantic HMS SAFE Report

Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Report Available
The 2017 Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Stock Assessment and Fishery Evaluation Report reviews the status of highly migratory Atlantic tunas, swordfish, billfishes, and sharks. The SAFE report also updates constituents on the latest developments in management of these species.




Bering Sea Days

NOAA Promotes Community-Based Conservation at ‘Bering Sea Days’
For the tenth year, the Aleut Community of St. Paul Island’s Tribal Government hosted Bering Sea Days, an weeklong education program for PreK-12 students on
St. Paul Island. Scientists and educators from various agencies, institutions, and organizations travel to St. Paul to introduce the students to novel learning experiences and career options. This year, NOAA and partners focused on battling invasive marine species.

West Coast


Washington Flood Barrier Project

Flood Barrier Designed with Fish-Friendly Features
When local leaders in Pacific, Washington, sought ways to reduce frequent flooding of neighborhoods and businesses, NOAA and partners provided expertise on habitat restoration and supplied a portion of the funding. The result? A redesigned levee that improved resilience to flood events while restoring much-needed salmon habitat.


Pacific Islands


Western Pacific snapshot

Western Pacific—Snapshot on Recreational and Non-Commercial Fisheries
Check out our new information factsheet highlighting the opportunities, cultural significance, and economic impacts of non-commercial fisheries in the Western Pacific region. Learn more about recreational and subsistence fishing in Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands.


December Monk Seal

December’s Monk Seal of the Month
A little late, but the Monk Seal of the Month for December is RK30, a female monk seal on Kauai known to be at least 18 years old. An extreme survivor, RK30 has many noticeable scars from past injuries, including a former entanglement around her neck and encounters with what appear to be boat propellers and a shark. She has given birth to at least nine pups.




Restore Gulf Fish

NOAA and Partners Help Restore Gulf Fishes
The Oceanic Fish Restoration Project, supported in part by NOAA Fisheries, aims to restore fish populations harmed by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Ten fishing vessel owners from Florida to Louisiana will take a break from using pelagic longline fishing gear for the next 6 months. They can continue to harvest highly migratory species during this “repose” using alternative fishing gear.


Trustees Monitoring Manual

Trustees Release Manual for Monitoring and Adaptive Management
The Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Damage Assessment Trustees have released the first version of the Monitoring and Adaptive Management Manual, a set of guidelines for implementing and evaluating restoration projects conducted to restore the Gulf of Mexico.


LA Creel Survey

NOAA Certifies Louisiana Creel Survey Design
NOAA Fisheries announced the certification of the Louisiana Recreational Creel survey design. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries uses LA Creel as an alternative general survey to estimate recreational fishing catch and number of trips by state drainage basin, a method not currently feasible under NOAA’s Marine Recreational Information Program. MRIP provided technical support for the design.


Greater Atlantic


Dam Removal

Final Dam Removal Underway on Mill River
A series of dams on Massachusetts’ Mill River, a tributary of the Taunton River, cut off migratory fish access to prime spawning habitat for nearly 200 years. NOAA Fisheries and many partners worked to remove two dams in 2012 and 2013 and rebuild a third with a fish ladder. Now, removal of the final dam—West Britannia—is underway.


Black Sea Bass illustration

Recreational Black Sea Bass Fishing – Open for Public Comment
By January 23, please submit your comments on a proposed recreational February 2018 black sea bass fishery. A recent stock assessment estimated black sea bass to be well above its biomass target. The proposed one-month winter recreational season would create additional fishing opportunities at a time when fewer recreational species are available.


Chub Mackerel

Atlantic Chub Mackerel – Request for Proposals
The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council seeks a contractor to conduct a study assessing the importance of Atlantic chub mackerel to the diets of recreationally important highly migratory species in the mid-Atlantic. Proposals are due February 16.


January 11
Webinar on Post-Hurricane Irma Rapid Reef Assessment in South Florida and the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.

January 11
Free Atlantic Shark Identification workshop in Kenner, Louisiana.

January 12
Informational webinar on the 2018 Chesapeake Bay-Watershed Education and Training (B-WET) federal funding opportunity.

January 12 and 24
Free Protected Species Safe Handling, Identification, and Release workshops in Florida and New Hampshire.

January 17-18
Atlantic Salmon Ecosystems Forum, co-sponsored by NOAA Fisheries, in Orono, Maine.

January 16 - February 28
Public meetings on the Draft Proposed Program for the National Offshore Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program, held in cities around the nation.

January 22–24
Three public hearings via webinar on Coastal Migratory Pelagics Amendment 31 (Atlantic cobia.)

January 29–February 1
Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council meeting in New Orleans.

January 30–February 1
New England Fishery Management Council meeting in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

February 5–12
North Pacific Fishery Management Council meeting in Seattle.

February 13–15
Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council meeting in Raleigh, North Carolina.



January 12
Abstracts due for the 4th International Symposium on the Effects of Climate Change on the World’s Oceans.

January 15
Responses due to Marine Finfish Aquaculture Workshop Survey.

January 18
Applications due for position of IT Director for NOAA’s Southwest Fisheries Science Center.

January 22
(Extended deadline) Nominations due for 2018 National Wetlands Awards.

January 22
Applications due for position of Director of Science and Research, Alaska Region.

January 22
Applications due for position of Deputy Director of NOAA’s Office of Protected Resources.

January 26
Applications due for the 2018 NOAA Fisheries–Sea Grant Joint Fellowship Program.

January 31
Applications due for two NOAA Undergraduate Scholarship Programs.

February 1
Proposals due for marine aquaculture pilot project funding via the Atlantic, Gulf, and Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commissions.

February 16
Proposals due for contract work assessing the importance of Atlantic chub mackerel to the diets of recreationally important highly migratory species.

February 20
Applications due for summer 2018 student internships at NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office.

March 2
Complete proposals due to state Sea Grant Programs for 2018 National Aquaculture Initiative funding.

March 9
Applications due for 2018 Chesapeake Bay-Watershed Education and Training (B-WET) 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.

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