FishNews – February 28, 2018

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NOAA Fish News

February 28, 2018



Seafood on Ice

Visit NOAA at the Seafood Expo North America
NOAA Fisheries has a full agenda of open meetings and conference sessions planned for the Seafood Expo North America, which will take place in Boston, March 11–13. If you are in the area and can attend a session, be sure to drop by Booth #181.


Aquaculture Collage 2

Story Map: Farming in Water
Aquaculture is a steadily growing American industry, and NOAA is on the front lines. NOAA’s pioneering science, techniques, and technologies are putting more U.S. seafood on our nation’s tables, stimulating economic growth, and expanding the frontiers of American ingenuity.  Working with partners, NOAA’s Aquaculture Program helps to pass our nation’s seafaring heritage on to new generations that farm in water.


Marine Finfish Aquaculture

Reminder: Sea Grant Aquaculture Initiative
Applications for NOAA National Sea Grant College Program's 2018 National Aquaculture Initiative funding are due to state programs this Friday, March 2.


Sanctuaries Story Map

Story Map: African American History Month in National Marine Sanctuaries
The African American maritime tradition is an important part of our nation's history. A new story map remembers and honors the African American men and women who faced the horrors of slavery and generations of systemic racism to help build our sanctuary communities and our maritime nation.

Shark Closure

Proposed Rule to Revise Shark Closure – Open for Public Comment
By March 26, please submit your comments on a proposed rule that would revise the regulations related to closures of the Atlantic commercial shark fisheries. The proposed revisions address requests received in earlier public comments. NOAA Fisheries will hold a public hearing on these changes on March 2.

Whale Disentanglement GARFO

Project to Improve Mammal Stranding Response
Marine mammal scientists from NOAA Fisheries and partner organizations are working to develop a model for establishing marine mammal stranding networks. The first phase of this program, the Global Marine Animal Stranding Training Toolkit, aims to provide widespread access to best practices and protocols for investigating and rescuing of stranded marine mammals.

2017 Report to Congress on Management Councils
NOAA Fisheries is required to submit an annual report to Congress regarding membership representation on the regional fishery management councils as well as financial disclosure recusal requirements under the Magnuson-Stevens Act. The 2017 report is now available.




Prince William Sound

Decades after Exxon Valdez, Special Journal Issue Compiles a Wealth of Science Information
What does the Prince William Sound ecosystem look like more than two decades after the Exxon Valdez oil spill? A recent special-issue journal, including work by several NOAA Fisheries scientists, explores the status of the ecosystem as well as the long-term effects of the spill on marine life.Two studies are highlighted below:

Lingering Oil

Lingering Oil from Exxon Valdez
A long-term study of lingering oil from Exxon Valdez spill offers new insights for resource managers.

Dall's Porpoise

Dall’s Porpoise Expands Territory
Dall’s porpoises may be moving into new waters in response to the decline of the local pod of killer whales (their predators) since the Exxon Valdez oil spill.


West Coast


Southern Resident Killer Whales

Saving the Southern Residents
Southern Resident killer whales are among the most at-risk marine mammals in the world. Noise and crowding by boat traffic, chemical contaminants, and a scarcity of their preferred food—Chinook salmon—pose serious threats to this endangered population. Check out this new story map to learn more. 


Chinook salmon proposed listing

Petition Prompts Review of Chinook Populations
Over the next year, NOAA Fisheries will weigh whether Chinook salmon in the Upper Klamath and Trinity Rivers in Northern California need protection under the Endangered Species Act, as sought by a petition from the Karuk Tribe and Salmon River Restoration Council.


Oroville Spillway

Story Map: Restoring the Feather River Watershed after Dam Emergency
In 2017, record rains and snowmelt damaged the Oroville Dam Spillways. After public safety was ensured, NOAA Fisheries and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife worked to address the ecological impacts on the Feather River and its threatened fish populations.


Yellowtail from Japan

Japanese Fish Hitch a Ride Across the Pacific
Four years after a devastating earthquake and tsunami struck Japan, a derelict Japanese vessel washed up on the Oregon coast with some surprising cargo: 21 yellowtail jack, found swimming in the hold.  Genetic tests by researchers at the Southwest Fisheries Science Center confirmed that the fish were native to Japan.

Pacific Islands


Deep 7 Bottomfish

Latest Hawaii Deep 7 Bottomfish Stock Assessment
Seven popular species of bottomfish remain abundant in Hawaii waters and can continue to be sustainably harvested, according to a new stock assessment from the Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center.


West Hawaii coral reef

A Big Picture for the Big Island
The ocean off the west coast of Hawai‘i Island is home to vibrant coral reefs and marine life. But the West Hawaii ecosystem is also particularly vulnerable to the pressures of an increasing human population, coastal development, fishing, pollution, and climate change. A recent study provides a range of options to protect and restore this valuable marine ecosystem.


George and Sea Turtle

A Career Dedicated to Hawaii Sea Turtles
After 48 years studying green sea turtles in Hawaii, George Balazs, a senior scientist at the Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center, recently retired from NOAA service—but not from sea turtle research. Learn more about his work and how life in the Hawaiian Islands has changed for green turtles since the late 1960s.




Golden Tilefish illustration border

Gulf IFQ Programs – Open for Public Comment
By April 23, please submit your comments on a proposed action designed to improve compliance and flexibility in the Gulf of Mexico Individual Fishing Quota Programs. Among other adjustments, the action will require advance notice prior to landing commercially caught, federally managed reef fish.


Florida Trustees plan

Florida Trustees Release Next Phase of Restoration Plan
The Florida Trustee Implementation Group approved the final plan for their latest phase of restoration efforts following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.  Consistent with the Trustees’ Programmatic Restoration Plan, this phase will fund projects to compensate for a portion of lost recreational use in Florida.


Greater Atlantic


Maine Fishermen Forum

NOAA Fisheries at Maine Fishermen’s Forum
The annual Maine Fishermen’s Forum opens tomorrow, March 1, and NOAA Fisheries will be there. Join Fisheries leaders for an open forum, attend one of many science presentations, and visit the booth at the Trade Fair. The forum brings together a variety of people interested in healthy, sustainable fisheries, seafood businesses, and coastal communities.


Scup illustration

Proposed Scup Measures – Open for Comment
By March 13, please submit your comments on a proposal to adjust the dates of the current Summer and Winter II Scup Commercial Quota Periods. The action is intended to increase landings without changing the current possession limits or amount of quota allocated to each period.


Workshop EBFM

Workshop Tackles Ecosystem-Based Management
For more than a decade, the Marine Resource Education Program has hosted workshops designed to help bridge the gap between science and industry in New England. This year, scientists from the Northeast Fisheries Science Center will lead workshop participants in exploring an ecosystem framework for fishery management.

Mariner Ad

Mariners Are Needed to Work on NOAA Ships
NOAA ships provide a wide range of mission support for the agency, from collecting weather data to charting the ocean floor to monitoring fishery stocks, corals, and marine mammals. Civilians fill many important roles on NOAA vessels. NOAA currently has job openings for qualified wage mariners to serve as able-bodied seamen, fishermen, and general vessel assistants.


March 5–8
Public meetings on the Draft Proposed Program for the National Offshore Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program, held in cities around the nation.

March 5–9
South Atlantic Fishery Management Council meeting in Jekyll Island, Georgia.

March 7–9
Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Advisory Panel meeting
in Silver Spring, Maryland.

March 7 and 13
Two free Protected Species Safe Handling, Identification, and Release workshops in Florida and Texas.

March 8–14
Pacific Fishery Management Council meeting in Rohnert Park, California.

March 11–13
Seafood Expo North America in Boston.

March 14–16
Western Pacific Fishery Management Council meeting in Honolulu.

March 15
Free Atlantic Shark Identification Workshop in Fort Pierce, Florida.



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

March 7
Pre-proposals due for 2018 Coastal Resilience Grants funding.

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

March 12
Applications due for 2018 Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funding.

March 16
Applications due for open seats on the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council’s Reef Fish and Shrimp Advisory Panels.

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

April 26
Applications due for 2018 Chesapeake Bay Office Fisheries Science grants.

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