FishNews – May 30, 2018

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NOAA Fish News

May 30, 2018



EcoCast Map v2

New Tool Helps Fishermen Avoid Protected Species in Real Time
New computer-generated forecast maps may help West Coast fishermen locate the most productive fishing spots in near real-time, while warning them where they face the greatest risk of entangling sea turtles, marine mammals, and other protected species. Scientists from NOAA Fisheries and several universities produced the maps with a system called EcoCast, designed to help reduce accidental catches of protected species in fishing nets.

Saltonstall-Kennedy Grants

2019 Saltonstall-Kennedy Grants Competition
NOAA released the FY 2019 Saltonstall-Kennedy Grants Program federal funding opportunity. This year, the long-standing program is adding an emphasis on funding science initiatives that track closely with industry priorities. Pre-proposals are a required first step and are due July 23.

Sea Turtle on Beach

Sea Turtles Return Home
NOAA Galveston’s Sea Turtle Hospital marked World Turtle Day by releasing 32 rehabilitated green, loggerhead, and Kemp’s ridley sea turtles into the Gulf of Mexico. The turtles had come to the Sea Turtle Hospital with injuries including boat strikes, entanglements, and cold stun.

Seal Pup

Share the Shore with Seals
It’s harbor seal pupping season off the coasts of Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts. During pupping season, it is common to see a seal pup resting on the beach alone while its mother is out feeding at sea. As tempting as it may be to take a selfie with an adorable baby seal, please do the right thing and keep your distance—at least 150 feet.


West Coast


Disentanglement Team

Response Team Removes Line from Gray Whale
Response teams from NOAA Fisheries’ Large Whale Entanglement Response Network attempted to free a juvenile gray whale entangled in fishing gear about 20 miles off Washington’s Olympic Peninsula on May 9. Due to its injuries, the long-term prognosis for the whale is poor, but the team’s action provided as much help as possible.


whale watching guidelines

New Boating Safeguards for Killer Whales
The Pacific Whale Watch Association, a regional organization of commercial whale watching vessels, issued new guidelines in an attempt to further reduce disturbance to whales from boat and vessel traffic. Endangered Southern Resident killer whales, which live around Washington’s San Juan Islands, are one of NOAA’s eight Species in the Spotlight.

CA Sea Grant Octopus

Outsmarting Octopus to Bring Back Abalone
NOAA Fisheries’ first-ever test to restock abalone off the coast of Los Angeles in 2016 ended when the abalone were promptly gobbled up by octopuses. Now research supported by California Sea Grant is analyzing octopus populations and predatory behavior to help NOAA Fisheries and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife develop a more effective protocol for stocking abalone.

Pacific Islands


Bigeye Tuna on ice

Science Blog: Managing Bigeye Tuna Is Not Easy
Managing bigeye tuna fishing in the Pacific Ocean is complex, for reasons both scientific and organizational. Bigeye tuna management requires cooperation internationally (among member nations of international fishing commissions) and domestically (between fishermen in Hawaii and U.S. territories), and within a diverse fishing fleet.


Greater Atlantic


Tim Cole

Faces of North Atlantic Right Whale Conservation
This past year has been devastating for critically endangered North Atlantic right whales. Learn how NOAA and our partners use aerial surveys to locate, count, and photograph groups of whales in this Q&A with aerial survey researcher Tim Cole.


Summer Flounder illustration

Recreational Rules for Summer Flounder, Black Sea Bass, Scup
NOAA Fisheries announces management measures for the 2018 summer flounder, black sea bass, and scup recreational fisheries. We are continuing “conservation equivalency” for the summer flounder fishery; implementing new measures for black sea bass; and keep scup measures the same as in 2017.



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
Informational webinar on federal for-hire permit holders, hosted by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council.

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.



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.

July 23
Pre-proposals due for FY 2019 Saltonstall-Kennedy Grants.

Federal Register Actions

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

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