FishNews – August 1, 2018

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NOAA Fish News

August 1, 2018



Habitat Month Banner Shortened

Wrapping Up Habitat Month at NOAA Fisheries
July was Habitat Month at NOAA Fisheries, and even though today is the first day of August, we didn't want you to miss these great Habitat Feature Stories.


Habitat Focus Area funding v2

$1.2 Million for Habitat Focus Area Projects
NOAA recommends $1.2 million in FY 2018 funding to partners working in our Habitat Focus Areas, which are targeted places where we collaborate with communities on strategic habitat restoration for lasting improvements. The funding would support seven existing multi-year projects in Habitat Focus Areas across the nation.


Fish Habitat Partnership

The National Fish Habitat Partnership at 10 Years
The National Fish Habitat Partnership is a science-based, state-led initiative to protect, restore, and maintain America’s aquatic ecosystems. The national partnership unites a network of diverse partners with a wide array of expertise to protect, restore, and enhance the nation’s fish and aquatic communities. Learn more about their first 10 years of success.

Photo Contest Winners

2018 Habitat Month Photo Contest Winners
NOAA and partners are working to conserve habitat for sustainable fisheries, protected species, and resilient coastal ecosystems and communities. To help celebrate that work during NOAA’s Habitat Month, we invited NOAA staff and the public to submit photos that captured these habitats. Check out the 2018 winning photographs.

Veterans Corps

Explore NOAA’s Veteran and Conservation Corps
Veteran and Corps programs are enhancing workforce development and opportunities for higher education in the natural resources field, while restoring coastal habitat to support healthy fisheries, fishing communities, and NOAA trust resources.



Kachemak Bay

Video: Restoring Kachemak Bay Ecosystem
Alaska’s Kachemak Bay Habitat Focus Area supports important recreational, subsistence, and commercial fishing. The region has experienced significant declines in shrimp and crab populations that have not recovered despite fishery closures. NOAA is working with many partners to study the bay ecosystem, monitor invasive species, and develop risk assessment tools.

Otolith new tech

Innovative Technology for Fish Age Data Collection
NOAA Fisheries scientists are evaluating the use of machine-based technology in determining fish age from otoliths. Initial results using Bering Sea walleye pollock otoliths suggest the technology could greatly increase the speed and cost-effectiveness of determining fish ages, which would more efficiently generate critical data for stock assessments.


North Pacific Council Seeks Analyst/Economist
The North Pacific Fishery Management Council seeks a Fishery Analyst/Fishery Economist to work in the identification and analysis of economic, social, and environmental issues pertaining to fisheries management off Alaska. Applications are due August 24.




Red Grouper illustration

South Atlantic Red Grouper Final Rule
NOAA Fisheries announced a final rule for red grouper in the South Atlantic. This rule will reduce annual catch limits for South Atlantic red grouper in response to the latest population assessment, which found that the stock is overfished and undergoing overfishing.


Coral Restoration Foundation

Partnering on Coral Reef Restoration
As part of our Habitat Month focus on partnerships, we interviewed Jessica Levy from the Coral Restoration Foundation, an organization that partners with NOAA to rehabilitate and restore coral reef habitat in the Florida Keys.



International Mangrove Conservation Day
Most commercially and recreationally important fish species in south Florida and the U.S. Caribbean spend some part of their life cycles near mangroves. In honor of International Mangrove Conservation Day (last Thursday, July 26), we highlight the ecology and ecosystem services of these special habitats.


Habitat Focus Area funding

Designating Habitat Areas of Particular Concern
The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act defines Essential Fish Habitat as the waters and substrate necessary for fish to spawn, breed, feed, and grow to maturity. A subset of Essential Fish Habitat are Habitat Areas of Particular Concern, which cover locations or habitats that are particularly rare, important, or stressed. Learn more about the process for identifying and designating these special areas.

Trustees Outreach

Trustees’ Outreach Materials Now Available
Outreach materials from the July 18 and 19 Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Trustees’ public events are now available online. The events were held to educate and update the public on restoration activities in the Gulf of Mexico.

Greater Atlantic


Atlantic Herring FAO

2019–2021 Herring Research – Call for Proposals
NOAA Fisheries announced a call for proposals for Atlantic herring research support under a program unique to Northeast fishery management—the Research Set-Aside Program.  Projects selected through the competition are awarded fishing quota rather than dollars, and they use the proceeds from catching or selling their quota to fund their research. Proposals are due September 20.

Horseshoe Crab

Horseshoe Crabs, an Important Resource
Horseshoe crabs (which are more closely related to scorpions than to crabs) are an important food source for shorebirds. Humans use the animals as bait in the eel and conch fisheries and their blood for pharmaceutical testing. To ensure that horseshoe crab populations remain healthy, their harvest is carefully managed.


Shark Ageing

New Insight Revises Shark Ageing Techniques
For decades, researchers have counted growth band pairs in shark vertebrae—thought to be similar to tree rings—to estimate the ages of sharks. However, recent research demonstrates that the band pairs are more closely linked to growth than to time, indicating that previous methods underestimated the ages of older sharks.


Sea scallops on table

More Options for Selecting Scallop Vessel Observer Providers
Atlantic sea scallop vessels that qualify for the industry-funded sea scallop observer program will soon have a fourth provider option to consider. This month, MRAG Americas, Inc., will have certified observers available for hire. NOAA Fisheries is working to improve observer availability during peak fishing periods.


August 2
Public hearing via webinar on modifications to spiny lobster gear requirements, hosted by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council.

August 6–14
Three public scoping webinars on snapper-grouper for-hire permit modifications, hosted by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council.

August 7–8
Two public scoping webinars on snapper-grouper best fishing practices, hosted by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council.

August 13–16
Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council meeting in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

August 14 and 21
Two free Protected Species Safe Handling, Identification, and Release workshops in New York and Texas.

August 15–16
Two public scoping webinars on yellowtail snapper accountability measures, hosted by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council.

August 20–23
Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council meeting in Corpus Christi, Texas.

August 23
Free Atlantic Shark Identification workshop in Ronkonkoma, New York.

September 10–12
NOAA’s General Modeling Meeting and Fair in College Park, Maryland.



August 7
Proposals due for 2018 National Coastal Resilience Fund.

August 15
Applications due for membership on the three regional Marine Mammal Scientific Review Groups.

August 24
Applications due for a Fishery Analyst/Economist position with the North Pacific Fishery Management Council.

September 20
Proposals due for the 2019–2021 Atlantic Herring Research Set-Aside Program.

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