FishNews – January 24, 2018

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NOAA Fish News

January 24, 2018



Red Snapper illustration

State Management of Gulf of Mexico Red Snapper – Open for Public Comment
By February 16, please submit your comments on NOAA Fisheries’ intent to prepare a Draft Environmental Impact Statement for an amendment considering a state management program for recreational red snapper in the Gulf of Mexico. The amendment proposes management alternatives for individual Gulf states.


Coastal Resilience Grants

2018 Coastal Resilience Grants Funding Available
Today, NOAA announced the availability of up to $15 million to support coastal resilience grants that benefit coastal ecosystems and communities. Since 1980, the United States has sustained more than 200 weather and climate disasters with damages of at least $1 billion. Improving coastal resiliency helps make our communities and our economy more secure. Pre-proposals are due March 7.


Natural Infrastructure

Natural Infrastructure Improves Coastal Resilience
NOAA and partners have published a new report presenting case studies of natural infrastructure shoreline projects in coastal California. In addition to helping restore habitat, these shoreline projects protect coastal communities from flooding and erosion. Managers are already applying lessons learned from these examples to new areas.


Steller Sea Lions

Stellar Progress on Steller Watch
Last year, NOAA Fisheries launched Steller Watch, a crowdsourcing site that invites members of the public to help scientists with Steller sea lion photo identification research. To date, 8,000 volunteers from 70 countries have reviewed more than 340,000 images, making a valuable contribution to the ongoing study.

CITES Header Images

Species for CITES Candidates – Open for Comment
By March 26, please submit information and recommendations on animal and plant species for consideration as candidates for U.S. proposals to amend Appendices I and II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).




Beluga calf

Rescued Beluga Calf Cannot be Released
NOAA Fisheries determined that a male Cook Inlet beluga whale calf found stranded last September is not capable of surviving on his own, and cannot be released back into the wild. The decision comes after 3 months of round-the-clock care at the Alaska SeaLife Center. NOAA will place the calf in permanent care at a U.S. facility.

Pacific Islands


Hawaiian Monk Seal Calendar 2

Printable 2018 Hawaiian Monk Seal Calendar
The Pacific Islands Regional Office’s 2018 Hawaiian Monk Seal Calendar is available for download in a tabloid (11” x 17”) format pdf. The calendar features winning photos from the 2017 Hawaiian Monk Seal Photo Contest, and it includes monk seal facts and natural history.




Gulf Council logo

Gulf Council Seeks Executive Director
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council is accepting applications for the position of Executive Director. The position is chiefly responsible for conducting the business of the Council and implementing its policies, actions, fishery management activities, and decisions. Applications are due February 2.


SAFMC Logo v2

South Atlantic Council Seeks Advisory Panel and Workgroup Members
The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council is soliciting applicants for open advisory panel seats as well as positions on a newly formed workgroup to address the future needs of managed areas in the federal waters of the South Atlantic. There are 17 open seats in five advisory panels, and 15 positions in the new workgroup. Applications are due February 9.


Osprey Nesting Platform

Osprey Nesting Platforms Installed in Alabama
The Alabama Coastal Foundation installed five new nesting platforms in Mobile and Baldwin counties to help mitigate the injuries the osprey population suffered from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Funding for the platforms comes through an Early Restoration Project approved by the Natural Resource Damage Assessment Trustees.


Greater Atlantic


Right Whale VMA

Watch Out for Whales South of Nantucket
NOAA Fisheries established a voluntary vessel speed restriction zone 30 miles south of Nantucket to protect an aggregation of 22 right whales sighted in the area on January 23. This zone is in effect through February 5.


Right Whales from Above

Canada Announces New Protections for Whales
Canada's Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard announced new fishery management measures designed to protect critically endangered North Atlantic right whales. The measures relate to gear configuration for the snow crab fishery in the Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence, aiming to reduce whale entanglements and better track lost gear. Vessel collisions and fishing gear entanglements are the leading known causes of North Atlantic right whale deaths in the United States and Canada.


Chesapeake Buoy

Icy Waters and Chesapeake Bay Critters
Record cold weather in early January led to significant icing in large areas of the Chesapeake Bay. Icebreaking ships worked to keep shipping lanes free, and NOAA technicians responded to protect the Chesapeake Bay Interpretive Buoy System buoys and sensors from ice. But the effects of this icing on the bay’s crabs, oysters, and finfish may take longer to play out.



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 5–28
Public meetings on the Draft Proposed Program for the National Offshore Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program, held in cities around the nation.

February 6 and 22
Free Protected Species Safe Handling, Identification, and Release workshops in North Carolina and Mississippi.

February 10 and 24
Two training workshops on electronic reporting requirements, hosted by the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, in Massachusetts and New Jersey.

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

February 15
Free Atlantic Shark Identification workshop in Corpus Christi, Texas.


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 2
Applications due for the position of Executive Director of the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council.

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 7
Pre-proposals dues for 2018 Coastal Resilience Grants funding.

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

March 30
Applications due for summer 2018 student summer programs at Woods Hole Science Aquarium.

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