FishNews – July 11, 2018

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NOAA Fish News

July 11, 2018



Habitat Month part2Habitat Month Banner Shortened

NOAA Fisheries Celebrates Habitat Month
This July, dig into Habitat Month and learn how healthy habitat depends on the power of partnerships.

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The Power of Partnerships
Our habitat conservation efforts are collaborative and use sound science in support of sustaining fisheries and recovering protected species.

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Coastal Restoration Summit NOAA is teaming up with Restore America’s Estuaries and the Coastal States Organization to co-host the National Summit on Coastal and Estuarine Restoration and Management in December.

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GulfCorps Completes First Year of Conservation Work
NOAA and partners have completed a successful first year of GulfCorps, the first-ever region-wide youth conservation corps program across the Gulf Coast.

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Revitalizing the Detroit River’s Ecosystem NOAA’s Great Lakes partnership with the Friends of the Detroit River is helping the area become an international icon of hope for habitat.

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Historical Maps Accurately Identify Fish Habitat
Researchers compared modern and historical depth data in the Eastern and Central Gulf of Alaska nearshore areas that are potentially important fish habitat.


MRIP Revised Estimates story

NOAA Fisheries Releases Revised MRIP Recreational Catch and Effort Estimates
NOAA Fisheries released revised Marine Recreational Information Program catch estimates (1981-2017) as part of our recent transition from the old household telephone survey to the new, mail-based Fishing Effort Survey. We will host two public webinars to provide an overview and answer questions on July 13 and 18.

SK Grants 2018 edit

$9 Million for 2018 Saltonstall-Kennedy Grants
NOAA Fisheries announced recommendations to fund 38 projects at almost $9 million under the 2018 Saltonstall-Kennedy Competitive Grants Program. For more than 40 years, NOAA has awarded grants through this program to projects around the country aimed at supporting resilient and sustainable fisheries.


Shellfish aquaculture

New Report on Shellfish Aquaculture Permitting
NOAA Fisheries has a long history of supporting shellfish aquaculture development. A new report reviews 22 federal, state, and local shellfish aquaculture permitting systems and makes recommendations to improve permitting efficiencies.


Oceans Symposium

Symposium Recap: Climate Change and Oceans
In a recent leadership message, NOAA’s Chief Science Advisor Dr. Cisco Werner discusses NOAA Fisheries’ efforts to help businesses, communities, and nations sustain fish stocks and other marine resources in a changing world. In June, NOAA hosted scientists from 51 nations for the 4th International Symposium on the Effects of Climate Change on the World’s Oceans.

NOAA Ship Ronald Brown

U.S.-India Summit on Harmful Algal Blooms
During World Oceans Month in June 2018, scientists from the United States and India met in Goa, India, to address the issues facing our changing ocean ecosystems and share responses. Jointly operated ocean observing systems have allowed for global advances in understanding phenomena such as harmful algal blooms.


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Atlantic Bluefin and Albacore Regulations –
Open for Public Comment

By August 6, please submit your comments on modifications to the baseline quotas and subquotas for U.S. bluefin tuna and U.S. northern albacore. The action would also modify the Atlantic tuna size limit regulations for tunas damaged by shark bites. A public hearing will be held via webinar on July 17.

Final Rule to Revise Atlantic Shark Closures
NOAA Fisheries announced a final rule to revise the regulations related to closures of the Atlantic commercial shark fisheries.



Cod Study

Science Blog: Young Cod Provide Clues about Future Populations
This summer, researchers from the Alaska Fisheries Science Center will conduct a series of studies to learn more about Pacific cod born in the Gulf of Alaska in 2018. Studying the survival and behavior of these juvenile fish throughout the year will give us clues to the health of future Pacific cod populations.

Saildrone update

Science Blog: Saildrones Head to the Arctic
At the end of June, four Saildrones left Dutch Harbor, Alaska, and headed north, embarking on a 700-nautical-mile trip to the Bering Strait, Chuckchi and Beaufort Seas, and Arctic Ocean. Researchers from the Alaska Fisheries Science Center are using two of these ocean-going robots to measure the abundance of Arctic cod in Alaska.


West Coast


White abalone

Why You Should Care about White Abalone
Learn more about white abalone, one of NOAA Fisheries’ eight Species in the Spotlight. At first glance, white abalone may just look like a colorful rock. In fact, it’s an endangered marine snail with a rich history.


Whale informational sign

Organizations Rally for Orca Awareness Month
The governors of Oregon and Washington declared June to be Orca Awareness Month. Although the whales are identified with Puget Sound and the Salish Sea, recent research has revealed that orcas spend their winters as far south as the San Francisco Bay Area.

Pacific Islands


NOAA Ship Oscar Elton Sette

NOAA Tracks Cetaceans in the Mariana Archipelago
This month, NOAA scientists will depart Guam on board NOAA Ship Oscar Elton Sette to conduct the Mariana Archipelago Cetacean Survey. Researchers will use acoustic recorders to track whales and dolphins in the offshore areas and compare their populations to recent nearshore counts.


Honu Count

NOAA Invites Citizen Scientists to Honu Count 2018
NOAA invites citizen scientists of Hawaii to help us count returning green sea turtles by reporting all encounters with turtles with numbers written on their shells. During last year’s “Honu Count” (“honu” is Hawaiian for sea turtle), volunteers provided 70 reports.



DWH Outreach workshop

Attend a Community Outreach Workshop on Restoration Planning
The Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Damage Assessment Trustees will host a two-part education and outreach workshop on July 18. The Trustees, which include NOAA, encourage community members and organizations familiar with Gulf restoration, as well as those who want to learn more or get involved, to attend.


Gulf of Mexico coral reef

Gulf of Mexico Coral Habitat Protections – Extended Comment Deadline
By July 20 (formerly July 5), please submit your comments on a draft environmental impact statement for Amendment 9 to the Gulf of Mexico Coral and Coral Reef Resources fishery management plan. The proposed action would establish 22 new habitat areas of particular concern in the Gulf of Mexico—15 with fishing regulations and seven without.

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Lionfish Exempted Permit – Open for  Comment
By August 1, please submit your comments on an application for an exempted fishing permit from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The applicant proposes to test various modifications of wire spiny lobster traps in their effectiveness at capturing invasive lionfish.


Louisiana draft restoration plan

Notice of Intent to Draft Louisiana Restoration Plan
The Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group for the Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Damage Assessment has begun drafting the second-phase plan for six previously identified restoration projects. The public will have the opportunity to comment on proposed plans before the Trustees release any final restoration plan.


Greater Atlantic


Two Right Whales

Watch Out for Whales South of Nantucket
NOAA Fisheries established a voluntary vessel speed restriction zone to protect a group of four right whales sighted two nautical miles south of Nantucket, Massachusetts. This zone is in effect through July 15. Mandatory speed restrictions are also in effect in the Great South Channel through July 31.


NJ Special Mgmt Zones

Management at New Jersey Artificial Reef Sites
NOAA Fisheries announced a file rule to designate 13 New Jersey artificial reef sites as special management zones. The action will allow only handline, rod and reel, or spear fishing in these areas year-round. These changes are designed to minimize gear conflicts at the reef sites.


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Northeast Skate Complex – Open for Comment
By August 6, please submit your comments on proposed modifications to the Northeast Skate Complex fishery management plan. NOAA Fisheries proposes catch and landing limits for the 2018-2019 fishing season, as well as Skate Framework 5, which includes measures to provide additional flexibility to fishermen.


Offshore wind

Councils Launch Northeast Offshore Wind Page
The New England and Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Councils have jointly launched a new webpage to serve as a one-stop-shot for information about offshore wind development activities in the Northeast Region. The Councils worked closely with NOAA Fisheries to create a resource for fishermen interested in better understanding the impacts of offshore wind development on commercial and recreational fisheries.


July 10-16
Four public scoping hearings in three Atlantic coastal states and via webinar on the bluefish allocation amendment.

July 12
Webinar on how to apply for 2019 Saltonstall-Kennedy Grants.

July 13 and 18
Two public webinars on MRIP revised recreational catch estimates.

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

July 17
Public hearing via webinar on the proposed rule for Atlantic bluefin tuna and northern albacore quotas and regulations.

July 18
Gulf of Mexico Restoration Planning Community Outreach Workshop in Gulfport, Mississippi.

July 19
Annual public meeting of the Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Damage Assessment Trustee Council in Long Beach, Mississippi.

July 23
Informational webinar on federal for-hire permit holders, hosted by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council.

July 23
Free Protected Species Safe Handling, Identification, and Release workshops in Ocean City, Maryland.

July 25
Public information session on the U.N. Intergovernmental Conference on marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction.
Those interested in attending should contact



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

July 23
Submissions due for 2018 NOAA Habitat Photo Contest.

July 27
(Extended Deadline) 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