FishNews – May 23, 2018

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NOAA Fish News

May 23, 2018



Status of Stocks 2017

Status of Stocks 2017: Number of Overfished Stocks at All-Time Low
In a new leadership message, Chris Oliver, head of NOAA Fisheries, announces the release of the Status of U.S. Fisheries report for 2017. The report shows the number of stocks on the overfished list just reached a new all-time low. Under the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the United States has become an international leader in fisheries management.

Climate Species Shift

Study: Climate Change to Shift Many Species North
A NOAA Fisheries–funded study published this week presents the first major projections of where U.S. fish species populations may shift under future climate scenarios. The research was led by James Morley and Malin Pinsky of Rutgers University–New Brunswick.


Restoration Partnership

NOAA Announces Habitat Restoration Partnership
NOAA’s Damage Assessment, Remediation and Restoration Program (DARRP) helps to restore natural resources after disasters like oil spills or releases of hazardous waste. NOAA will enter a new 5-year partnership with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to implement DARRP restoration grants, starting with $1.5 million toward restoration in California.

Boating safety stock photo

Easy Ways to Boat Safely, for You and for Wildlife
Whether you are boating, fishing, or on a sightseeing cruise, NOAA and our partners share these tips to help you safely enjoy time on the water and keep the marine environment healthy and protected.

IUU Fishing

NOAA Seeks Information on IUU Fishing, Bycatch, and Shark Catch
In preparation for the next Biennial Report to Congress and the updated MMPA List of Foreign Fisheries, NOAA Fisheries issued a notice to collect information on foreign vessels engaged in illegal, unreported, or unregulated fishing or fishing that results in bycatch or catching sharks. NOAA will host a webinar on this information collection on June 26. Submissions are due via email by December 31, 2018.


Saildrones Voyage into Remote Waters
Through a public-private partnership between NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory and Saildrone, Inc., saildrones—autonomous, solar- and wind-powered sailing vessels—are providing a cost-effective way to enhance NOAA’s ocean-monitoring fleet.

West Coast


Whale Entanglement Report

2017 West Coast Whale Entanglement Report
NOAA Fisheries’ 2017 West Coast Whale Entanglement Report is now available online. Large whale entanglements along the West Coast were down in 2017 from historic highs, but are still higher than average. Check out our Frequently Asked Questions to learn how NOAA’s efforts, and those of our partners, are helping recover and sustain whale populations.


White abalone

Studying White Abalone’s Cousin Helps Researchers Gain Insight
Researchers are hoping to reintroduce endangered white abalone into their native California waters in the next few years, and they want to give the lab-grown shellfish the best odds of survival. So a team of scientists is tracking the movements of a related and more abundant species, pinto abalone, to learn how abalone disperse in the wild.



NOAA to Manage FADs in Eastern Pacific
NOAA Fisheries is implementing new management measures for fish aggregating devices—floating and drifting structures used by fishing vessels to attract fish (such as skipjack and bigeye tuna). The measures reflect international standards developed through years of negotiations.

sperm whale

Study: Ice Age Sperm Whale Population Bottleneck
Researchers found evidence that an ice age that ended just over 100,000 years ago confined the world’s sperm whales to a single population in the Pacific Ocean, creating a genetic “bottleneck” that explains the low genetic diversity of today’s worldwide sperm whale populations.


Antarctic cameras

Remote Cameras Track Antarctic Species Cheaply
An international research team has developed a simple method for using a network of autonomous time-lapse cameras to track the breeding and population dynamics of Antarctic penguins. The network of 51 cameras, positioned across the Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands, provides a new, low-cost window into the health and productivity of the Antarctic ecosystem.


Pacific Islands


Now-deceased monk seal :(

Three Monk Seals Found Dead on Oahu
NOAA Fisheries staff are sad to announce that three monk seal deaths were reported on Oahu in the past week: two adult females and one premature pup. Preliminary post-mortem exams did not find signs of trauma, and researchers are working to determine the final causes of death. NOAA reminds the public to please report all monk seal sightings.




Louisiana barrier island

Building Coastal Resiliency with Natural Infrastructure in Louisiana
Hundreds of thousands of acres of coastal wetlands in Louisiana have been washed away by natural and man-made disasters. To build up the state’s coastal defenses, NOAA and partners have built or enhanced almost 3,000 acres of barrier islands and marsh.


Red Snapper illustration

Limited Opening of South Atlantic Red Snapper – Open for Public Comment
By June 18, please submit your comments on a proposed rule for Amendment 43 to the South Atlantic Snapper-Grouper Fishery Management Plan. The proposed measures would open recreational and commercial red snapper seasons for limited harvest beginning in 2018.


Gulf of Mexico coral reef

Gulf of Mexico Habitat Areas of Particular Concern – Open for Public Comment
By July 5, please submit your comments on a draft environmental impact statement for Amendment 9 to the Fishery Management Plan for Gulf of Mexico Coral and Coral Reef Resources. The statement evaluates a proposal to establish new habitat areas of particular concern (HAPCs) and prohibit dredge fishing in all HAPCs with fishing regulations.


South Atlantic Update

South Atlantic Update Spring 2018 Available
The latest issue of the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council newsletter, South Atlantic Update, is now available. Read about the Council’s latest actions, collecting recreational data, possible red snapper seasons, electronic monitoring, and more.

Greater Atlantic


Lobster with shell disease

Science Blog: Lobster Shell Disease
Researchers at sea right now on NOAA Ship Henry B. Bigelow are busy catching lobsters at the southern edge of the Northeast Channel. Joining NOAA scientists is a researcher from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, who is investigating lobster shell disease and ways to avoid it in the lobster fishery.



May 29 and June 12
Two informational webinars on federal for-hire permit holders, hosted by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council.

May 31
Public webinar to collect comments on Reef Fish Amendment 49 (Sea Turtle Release Gear), hosted by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council.

June 4
Fishing Families in Alaska Fisheries Workshop, hosted by the Alaska Fisheries Science Center, in Kodiak.

June 4–6
Four public hearings and one webinar on draft Coral Amendment 9, hosted by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council.

June 4–11
North Pacific Fishery Management Council meeting in Kodiak, Alaska.

June 5–7
Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council meeting in Philadelphia.

June 7–13
Pacific Fishery Management Council meeting in Spokane, Washington.

June 11
Fishers Forum sponsored by the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council in Kahului, Maui.

June 11–13
Western Pacific Fishery Management Council meeting
in Wailea, Maui.

June 11–15
South Atlantic Fishery Management Council meeting in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

June 12–14
New England Fishery Management Council meeting in Portland, Maine.

June 18–21
Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council meeting in Key West, Florida.

June 26
Webinar on NOAA Fisheries’ notice to collect information on IUU fishing, bycatch, and shark catch by foreign vessels.


May 25
Applications due for seats on the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council’s Scientific and Statistical Committees.

June 15
Applications due for position of Deputy Director of the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council.

June 22
Nominations due for the 2018 Dr. Nancy Foster Habitat Conservation Award.

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