FishNews – June 6, 2018

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NOAA Fish News

June 6, 2018



National Fishing and Boating Week

Celebrating National Fishing and Boating Week
This week is National Fishing and Boating Week. In a new message, Chris Oliver, head of NOAA Fisheries, reflects on where our nation stands today with saltwater recreational fishing and the efforts our agency makes to support this popular national pastime.

Stock Assessment Plan

NOAA Releases New Stock Assessment Improvement Plan
NOAA Fisheries released a new Stock Assessment Improvement Plan to provide strategic guidance for the population assessments we conduct for fish stocks under the Magnuson-Stevens Act. The plan complements other strategic efforts to accomplish our mission of sustainable fisheries through science-based resource conservation and management.


Fishing Effort Survey

New Recreational Fishing Effort Survey
NOAA Fisheries’ Marine Recreational Information Program recently completed a 3-year transition from the Coastal Household Telephone Survey to the mail-based Fishing Effort Survey. Learn more about the new survey and how we are calibrating recreational catch estimates.

National Ocean Month

It’s Also National Ocean Month!
NOAA’s National Ocean Service is celebrating our ocean throughout the month of June. Join them on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to learn more about our one, global ocean through their #30daysofocean campaign.



Machine Vision

Technological Advances in Electronic Monitoring
NOAA scientists, academic researchers, and fishermen are working together to develop innovative monitoring tools that could revolutionize the way fisheries data are collected. As cameras collect video of commercial catches, new “machine vision” technology automates image analysis at sea, eliminating manual data processing steps and providing quicker access to data that inform management decisions.

Summer AK surveys

Summer Surveys to Monitor Alaska Ecosystems
NOAA Fisheries’ survey season off the coast of Alaska is underway. These surveys collect data critical to sustainable management of Alaska’s fisheries and to long-term monitoring of marine ecosystems. Read an overview of 12 research surveys planned for this summer.


Bering Sea Temperature Survey

Survey to Explore Ocean Temperatures in 2018
Researchers are curious to see whether they will encounter a “cold pool”—a large mass of frigid water—during this year’s Southeastern Bering Sea Shelf Bottom Trawl Survey, given the unusually warm winter and the limited sea ice coverage in 2017–2018. The annual survey, now in its 37th year, collects biological information on commercially important fish and crab species.


humpback necropsy

Humpback Necropsy Results Indicate Trauma
Preliminary results from the necropsy of a male humpback on Admiralty Island in southeast Alaska showed signs of hemorrhage, bruising, and a fractured skull—indications of trauma, likely caused by a vessel strike.


Pacific Islands


Big-eye tuna trends

Trends in 20 Years of Hawaii’s Big-Eye Tuna Fishery
In the mid-1990s, nearly all of the bigeye tuna fleet operated in the area south of Hawaii. Now, as fishing effort has increased greatly, more than 40 percent of the fishery’s operations are northeast of Hawaii. Researchers found that fishing expanded into areas where the fishing gear better overlaps with the tuna’s preferred temperatures.


Coral bleaching research

Research Expedition to Assess Coral Bleaching
Last week, researchers aboard NOAA Ship Hi’ialakai set sail to assess the health of coral reefs in the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument. The expedition will assess the conditions of reefs impacted by mass coral bleaching events in recent years.

Pacific MRIP Implementation

Pacific Islands Recreational Fishing Data Implementation Plan Now Available
The Marine Recreational Information Program steering committee and its advisors have completed an MRIP regional implementation plan for the Pacific Islands. This plan identifies and prioritizes needs and actions for understanding and managing the non-commercial fishery in state/territorial and federal waters in the Western Pacific.




Sawfish survey

NOAA in the Field: Searching for Sawfish
NOAA Fisheries scientists are conducting monthly field expeditions to survey endangered smalltooth sawfish in Florida’s Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge and Everglades National Park. Last month, the team safely captured, measured, and released 12 sawfish.


Dredge Murden

NOAA in the Field: Observing Dredge Operations
Staff from NOAA Fisheries’ Southeast Region joined the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers aboard Shallow Draft Dredge Murden to observe their operations maintaining the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway near Clearwater, Florida. The opportunity will inform NOAA Fisheries’ consultations with the USACE, required under the Magnuson-Stevens Act.

Gulf Council logo

Reminder: Gulf Council Seeks New Deputy Director
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council is seeking applicants for the position of deputy director. The deputy director serves as a member of the Council’s leadership team and assists the executive director in the operation of the Council office. Applications are due June 15.

Greater Atlantic


Scallop map

Interactive Map for 2018 Scallop Regulations
NOAA Fisheries’ Greater Atlantic Region updated the Atlantic Sea Scallop story map on their website to reflect management measures from Framework 29. The map includes new access areas that opened to scallop fishing through the Omnibus Habitat Amendment.


Woods Hole to Host Juneteenth Celebration, Present Diversity Award
The 2018 Woods Hole Juneteenth celebration, hosted by the Woods Hole Black History Month Committee and the Woods Hole Diversity Initiative, will feature a presentation by Richard L. Taylor on the African American community on Martha’s Vineyard. The Diversity Initiative will also present the John K. Bullard Diversity award to two recipients.



June 7
Last day of Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council meeting in Philadelphia.

June 7
Free Atlantic Shark Identification workshop in Manahawkin, New Jersey.

June 7–11
North Pacific Fishery Management Council meeting in Kodiak, Alaska.

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 and 14
Informational webinars 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 18–27
Four public webinars about the U.S. Seafood Import Monitoring Program, including reporting and recordkeeping requirements and software testing updates.

June 19
Woods Hole Juneteenth Celebration in Woods Hole, Massachusetts.

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

July 3 and 23
Two free Protected Species Safe Handling, Identification, and Release workshops in Florida and Maryland.

July 15
Free Atlantic Shark Identification workshop in Wilmington, North Carolina.



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

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