FishNews – March 7, 2018

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NOAA Fish News

March 7, 2018



Aquaculture Oysters

U.S. Seafood Can Help Solve One of the World’s Greatest Challenges
Michael Rubino, Director of NOAA’s Office of Aquaculture, underscores the role of well-managed fisheries and responsible farm-raised seafood in the United States and the importance of expanding domestic aquaculture production to create jobs and secure a safe, sustainable seafood supply now and into the future. 

Seafood on Ice

Heading to Seafood Expo North America—Final Call
Just a final heads up that NOAA Fisheries’ Assistant Administrator, Chris Oliver, and key members of his leadership have a full agenda of open meetings and conference sessions planned for the Expo, March 11–13. If you are in the area and can attend a session, be sure to drop by Booth #181 where we have a one-stop-shop of expertise from NOAA Fisheries, the FDA, USDA and Customs.

NOAA at Fishing Shows

Meet NOAA Fisheries at Upcoming Fishing Shows
Members of the Marine Recreational Information Program (MRIP) team will join port agents from NOAA Fisheries’ Greater Atlantic Region at the New England Saltwater Fishing Show on March 911 (Booth #0206) and the Saltwater Fishing Expo on March 1618
(Booth # 138). Please stop by our booths to ask questions and say hello.

OLE Priorities Document crop

NOAA Office of Law Enforcement Priorities
Effective marine resource management depends on effective enforcement, and NOAA’s Office of Law Enforcement is dedicated to protecting marine wildlife and habitat by promoting compliance with domestic laws and international treaty obligations. This week, OLE released its 5-year priorities document. Developed through an extensive stakeholder engagement process, these priorities will help OLE focus efforts where they are most needed.


Bluefin tuna narrow

Western Bluefin Tuna Bycatch Measures – Open for Public Comment
NOAA Fisheries announces steps to consider options for managing bycatch of and interactions with western Atlantic bluefin tuna in the pelagic longline fishery. A scoping document, schedule for public scoping meetings, a request for comments, and an intent to prepare a draft environmental impact analysis for these managing options are now available. Comments are due May 1.

Shortfin Mako Shark

Shortfin Mako Overfishing – Open for Comment
A recent stock assessment of North Atlantic shortfin mako shark found that the stock was overfished and overfishing is occurring. The International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) requires new interim management measures until a rebuilding plan is established in 2019. NOAA Fisheries will host a series of public scoping meetings, and requests comments on options for rulemaking by May 7.

Climate Adaptation

2018 Climate Adaptation Leadership Award –
Call for Nominations

Nominations are open for the 2018 Climate Adaptation Leadership Award for Natural Resources. NOAA is a co-sponsor of this award, which recognizes exemplary leadership by individuals, agencies, businesses, and other organizations to reduce impacts and advance adaptation of the nation’s vital natural resources in a changing world. Nominations are due April 13.



AK Salmon Habitat

Volcanoes and Eelgrass Transform Salmon Habitat
Nearshore habitat for young salmon and other wildlife is slowly disappearing in Chignik, Alaska. A new NOAA Fisheries study is the first to quantify shallowing of the seafloor in the area and to identify its likely cause. Scientists found that volcanic eruptions deposit ash into the bays, and then eelgrass beds expand into and anchor the deposits.

Northern Fur Seal fieldwork

Field Dispatch: Northern Fur Seals and Their Prey
Last summer, researchers from the Alaska Fisheries Science Center tagged female northern fur seals to learn more about their foraging behavior and their relationship with their prey. This month, researchers are out recapturing the seals and retrieving the electronic tagging instruments.

Pacific Islands


Pacific Islands Region harbor

Electronic Monitoring in the Pacific Islands
Last year, the Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center teamed up with the Joint Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research, an electronic monitoring systems provider, and the local longline fishing industry to implement electronic monitoring in the Pacific Islands region. This strong government–industry collaboration resulted in electronic monitoring systems recording 116 trips in 2017, representing 7.5 percent of annual trips in the fishery.


Pacific Paradise wreck

The Saga of Pacific Paradise
Last October, fishing vessel Pacific Paradise ran aground off Waikiki. The U.S. Coast Guard, NOAA Fisheries, and other partners worked diligently for weeks to successfully free the vessel from the reef and sink it in deeper waters, with minimal damage to natural resources.




Force Blue

Force Blue Fights for Coral
Force Blue—a partnership between NOAA, FEMA, nonprofits, and a local enterprise—is one of many programs engaging military veterans in restoring important ecosystems. This week, six Force Blue divers joined our partners to conduct coral reef damage assessment, emergency restoration, and long-term recovery planning in reefs damaged by hurricanes Irma and Maria.


Greater Atlantic


Free App Available for Electronic Reporting
The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council established new electronic vessel trip reporting requirements for certain charter/party permit holders in the Greater Atlantic Region. Download NOAA Fisheries’ new NOAA Fish Online App (iOS) to submit your electronic Vessel Trip Reports using your iPhone or iPad.


Butterfish illustration

NOAA Announces 2018 Squid, Butterfish Quotas
NOAA Fisheries announces squid and butterfish quotas for the 2018 fishing year and projected squid and butterfish quotas for the 2019 and 2020 fishing years. Based on the status of these stocks, we plan to reduce the commercial butter quota while increasing the longfin squid quota. Illex squid annual quotas remain unchanged since 2012.


Women’s History Month Interview Series
March is Women’s History Month, and the Northeast Fisheries Science Center has asked five scientists to share their science journey and advice for the next generation of women in science. This week, meet Elizabeth Marchetti, a field scientist at the Narragansett Laboratory in Rhode Island. Elizabeth collects fisheries data aboard commercial fishing vessels and assists fishermen with electronic reporting.


March 8
Public meeting on the Draft Proposed Program for the National Offshore Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program in Montgomery, Alabama.

March 8–9
South Atlantic Fishery Management Council meeting in Jekyll Island, Georgia.

March 8–9
Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Advisory Panel meeting
in Silver Spring, Maryland.

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

March 8–April 18
Seven public scoping meetings on bluefin tuna bycatch management measures, to be held in six states and online.

March 9–11
NOAA Fisheries at New England Saltwater Fishing Show.

March 11–13
NOAA Fisheries at Seafood Expo North America in Boston.

March 13
Free Protected Species Safe Handling, Identification, and Release workshop in Houston.

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

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

March 15–April 19
Five public scoping meetings on North Atlantic shortfin mako shark measures, to be held in Florida, North Carolina, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and online.

March 16–18
NOAA Fisheries at Saltwater Fishing Expo.

April 2–10
North Pacific Fishery Management Council meeting in Anchorage.

April 4–23
Three free Protected Species Safe Handling, Identification, and Release workshops in New Jersey, North Carolina, and Massachusetts.

April 5
Free Atlantic Shark Identification Workshop in Norfolk, Virginia.

April 10–12
Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council meeting in Montauk, New York.

April 15–16
Caribbean Fishery Management Council meeting in Puerto Rico.

April 16–20
Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council meeting in Gulfport, Mississippi.

April 17–19
New England Fishery Management Council meeting in Mystic, Connecticut.


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 13
Nominations due for 2018 Climate Adaptation Leadership Award for Natural Resources.

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

Federal Register Actions

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For a list of all daily actions, check the Federal Register online.

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