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FishNews – June 22, 2016 – Gulf Sea Turtle Recovery, Coastal Ecosystem Resiliency Grants, Proposal to Rebuild Pacific Bluefin Tuna, and More


June 23 

Last day of New England Fishery Management Council meeting in Portland, Maine.

June 23-28

Pacific Fishery Management Council meeting in Tacoma, Washington.

June 28-30

Caribbean Fishery Management Council meeting in St. Croix, 

U.S. Virgin Islands.

June 29

Wrap-up of the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council’s June meeting, conducted via webinar.

July 8 and 13

Two free Protected Species Safe Handling, Release, and Identification Workshop in Texas and New York.

July 12-21

Two public meetings in Texas and three in Louisiana regarding the proposed expansion of Flower Garden Banks National Marine


July 28

Free Atlantic Shark Identification Workshop in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.



July 15

Deadline for abstracts and early registration for the 

6th International Billfish Symposium.

August 16

Proposals due for 2016 Coastal Ecosystem Resiliency grants



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.


The Road to Restoration for Sea Turtles

The 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico took a serious toll on the five species of sea turtle found there, and NOAA Fisheries researchers have worked to estimate the scope of the harm. Learn more about early restoration projects undertaken to help sea turtles and our longer-term plans to recover their populations.


NOAA Seeks Proposals for Coastal Resiliency Projects

NOAA announced the availability of up to $8.5 million in funding for coastal and marine habitat restoration in 2016. Through the Coastal Ecosystem Resiliency grant program, NOAA seeks proposals for habitat restoration projects that will reduce the risks to coastal communities from extreme weather events, changing environmental conditions, or the effects of climate change. Proposals are due August 16.


CHOW 2016: Panels Dove Deep Into Fisheries

This year’s Capitol Hill Ocean Week discussions were heavy on fisheries and technology. From global tracking and enforcement technologies, to electronic monitoring, to technological advances in marine aquaculture, the speakers were compelling and the discussions informative. Find them archived on


Chinook Bycatch Amendment – Open for Comment

By July 18, please submit your comments on proposed regulations implementing Amendment 103 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska. If approved, the amendment would allow NOAA Fisheries to reapportion unused Chinook salmon prohibited species catch among specific trawl sectors in the Central and Western Gulf of Alaska.


U.S. Proposes Framework to Rebuild Pacific Bluefin

At the upcoming Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission meeting, the United States will propose to continue catch limits on Pacific bluefin tuna in the eastern Pacific for another 2 years, in line with scientists’ recommendations. The United States also plans to propose a long-term framework for rebuilding the overfished stock.

Juvenile Rockfish and Ecosystem Survey Begins 

Researchers from the Northwest Fisheries Science Center embarked this month on the annual Juvenile Rockfish and California Current ecosystem survey. The measurements taken will contribute to a 20-year time series. Read the latest news from the survey on the NWFSC’s blog.


Scientists Measure Algal Toxins in Washington State

NOAA Fisheries scientists and other NOAA and Washington State partners launched a 4-month effort to monitor shellfish and water quality weekly at six locations around Puget Sound and on the Pacific coast. The team plans to measure concentrations of marine algae and associated toxins, which can accumulate in shellfish and cause human illness.

Pacific Islands

Respect Our Sea Turtles – It’s Nesting Season in Hawaii

Summer is sea turtle nesting season on Hawaii beaches. NOAA Fisheries, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Hawaii Department of Land and Water Resources ask both locals and visitors to respect sea turtles. Keep a safe distance, use wildlife-friendly lighting in coastal areas, don’t drive on the beach, and report any sightings of turtles in distress.


NOAA Ship Hi’ialakai Returns from Successful Mission

During their 27-day mission in April and May, scientists on board NOAA Ship Hi’ialakai successfully met multiple mission goals. The ship delivered field teams from the Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Program and Marine Turtle Research Program to their 4.5-month deployments on remote islands. Researchers released seven rehabilitated Hawaiian monk seals back into the wild in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.


By August 1, please submit your comments on a draft environmental impact statement for Amendment 37 to the South Atlantic Snapper-Grouper Fishery Management Plan. NOAA Fisheries proposes managing hogfish in the South Atlantic as two populations. The southern population would require a rebuilding plan, and the status of the northern population is unknown.South Atlantic Hogfish – Open Public for Comment


South Atlantic Council Addresses Red Snapper

During the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council’s June meeting in Cocoa Beach, Florida, members considered management options for red snapper. They also scheduled public hearings in August to collect feedback on proposed Atlantic cobia and mutton snapper management actions.

Greater Atlantic

This is the time of year when leatherback, loggerhead, green, and Kemp’s ridley sea turtles return to northern waters. If you see a sea turtle beached or otherwise in distress, please report it to our hotline. Read more about our Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Stranding and Disentanglement Program and how to respond to protected species in distress.See a Tangled Turtle? Call Our Hotline


Spiny Dogfish Measures – Open for Public Comment

By July 7, please submit your comments on proposed catch limits, commercial quotas, and possession limits for the spiny dogfish fishery for the 2016-2018 fishing years.


Atlantic Herring Measures – Open for Public Comment

By July 21, please submit your comments on proposed management measures for the Atlantic herring fishery for the 2016-2018 fishing years. Based on the results of the most recent stock assessment, the proposed catch limits are slightly lower than current levels. Also proposed are increased catch cap limits for river herring and American shad.

FishNews – May 18, 2016 – Important Milestone in Combatting IUU Fishing, World Fish Migration Day, Climate and Technology, Exploring Our Wetlands, and More


May 19

Last day of the peer review of NOAA Fisheries’ stock assessment of Bering Sea walleye pollock in Seattle, open to the public.

May 19

Last day of the National Essential Fish Habitat Summit Public Meeting in Annapolis, Maryland.

May 19

Thorny Skate Extinction Risk Workshop in Gloucester, Massachusetts, open to the public.

May 20

Tour of new fishways along Saugatucket River in Wakefield, Rhode Island.

May 20-23

World Fish Migration Day events in Maine, Massachusetts, and New Jersey.

May 22

Open House at the James J. Howard Marine Sciences Laboratory in Sandy Hook, New Jersey.

May 23-31

Seven public hearings and one webinar on Reef Fish Amendment 45, hosted by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council.

May 25

QUEST Webinar on the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council’s Efforts to Develop a Citizen Science Program.

May 25 and 27

Two free Protected Species Safe Handling, Release, and Identification workshops in North Carolina and Florida.

May 26-27

Public meetings of the General Advisory Committee to the U.S. Section to the IATTC and its Scientific Advisory Subcommittee in La Jolla, California.

May 31

Public meeting of the Pinniped-Fishery Interaction Task Force via web conference.

June 6

Public webinar to collect input on the development of a Commerce Trusted Trader Program.

June 6-7

Western Pacific Fishery Management Council meeting in Garapan, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

June 6-14

North Pacific Fishery Management Council meeting in Kodiak, Alaska.

June 9

Free Atlantic Shark Identification Workshop in Manahawkin, New Jersey.

June 10 and 15

Two free Protected Species Safe Handling, Release, and Identification Workshops in New Jersey and Maryland.

June 13-17

South Atlantic Fishery Management Council meeting in Cocoa Beach, Florida.

June 14-16

Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council meeting in Newark, Delaware.

June 16

Public meeting of the Permanent Advisory Committee to advise the U.S. Commissioners to the Commission for the Conservation and Management of Highly Migratory Fish Stocks in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean.


May 31

Application deadline for six alternate seats on the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council.

June 3

Comments due on draft National Bycatch Reduction Strategy.

July 15

Deadline for abstracts and early registration for the 6th International Billfish Symposium.


Visit for a list of only those actions open for public comment. Scroll search for National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.


Combating IUU Fishing Reaches Important Milestone

Yesterday, Secretary Kerry reported 29 countries and the European Union have become party to the 2009 Agreement on Port State Measures to Prevent, Deter, and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing. With 30 parties now on board, the agreement will officially enter into force on June 5, 2016. Ratification and international implementation of PSMA was the first of fifteen recommendations developed by the Presidential Task Force to combat IUU fishing and seafood fraud. Countries that have joined the agreement will have the necessary tools to prevent the offloading and sale of IUU fishing products.

Making Way for Fish Migration

Saturday, May 21, is World Fish Migration Day, a worldwide initiative to call attention to salmon, river herring, sturgeon, and other fish that migrate between saltwater and freshwater. To celebrate, we’re highlighting work we’ve done to open fish passageways, find technical solutions, and restore access to habitat. Read stories about migratory fish species, meet

the experts, and find information on regional events.

Q&A With Our Chief Scientist on Climate and Technology Trends in Marine Science

In this interview, NOAA Fisheries Chief Science Advisor

Dr. Richard Merrick discusses two major trends in fisheries science and how these trends intersect. Climate change is one of the most pressing issues facing fisheries science today, as changing ocean conditions are affecting fish habitat, distribution, and health. Meanwhile, advances in technology allow us to improve our observations and understanding of marine species and their environment.

Interactive Map: Exploring What’s Wild in Our Wetlands

Celebrate American Wetlands Month by learning what’s wild in our wetlands. This interactive map allows you to explore the fish species found in different wetland habitats in each coastal state.

Taiwanese Humpback Dolphin Warrants Status Review

NOAA Fisheries found that a petition to list the Taiwanese humpback dolphin as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act presents sufficient evidence to warrant a status review. Please submit scientific and commercial information related to this species by July 11.


Preliminary Results from the Ice Seal Ecology Survey

During April, scientists from the Alaska Fisheries Science Center deployed 24 satellite tags on ice-associated seals (ribbon, spotted, bearded, and ringed seals). For the short time they remain attached, the tags provide information on animal location and behavior. Learn about some preliminary findings in the survey team’s final dispatch.

Field Dispatch – Snow and Tanner Crab Growth Study

In early April, scientists from the Alaska Fisheries Science Center and the Bering Sea Fisheries Research Foundation collected Tanner and snow crabs in the eastern Bering Sea, and they have been holding them in tanks (and crab condos) in Dutch Harbor to observe their growth rates. See new photos of pre- and post-molt crabs.


Red Snapper Management Alternatives – Open for Public Comment

By July 16, please submit your comments on the scope of issues to be analyzed in a draft environmental impact statement for Amendment 41 to the Gulf of Mexico Reef Fish Resources Fishery Management Plan. The amendment will consider a range of management approaches for the harvest of red snapper by vessels with a Gulf Charter Vessel/Headboat Permit that do not participate in the Southeast Regional Headboat Survey.

Saving Money and Marsh along Galveston Bay

The restoration of Pierce Marsh in West Galveston Bay, Texas, is a success story of cooperation between federal agencies, state agencies, and nonprofit organizations. Sharing financial and technical resources, the partners found a way to use sediment usually viewed as waste material to restore vital coastal habitat for migratory birds and juvenile fishes.

NOAA Collaborator Wins Major Wetlands Award

Roberto Viqueira, a community leader in Puerto Rico who works closely with NOAA, was awarded a prestigious National Wetlands Award by the Environmental Law Institute. The founder of nonprofit Protectores de Cuencas (Wetland Protectors), Viqueira led efforts to reduce pollution and promote sustainable agriculture in eight watersheds across the island.

Assistant Administrator for Fisheries Eileen Sobeck presented the award to Viqueira on May 11 in Washington, DC.

Revised Language for Caribbean Management Plans

The final rule for the Comprehensive Amendment to the U.S. Caribbean Fishery Management Plans: Application of Accountability Measures goes into effect June 10. The rule revises each of the fishery management plans to make the language describing the application of accountability measures consistent. This change only revises text in the respective fishery management plans and does not change the regulations.

Violence Against Dolphins in Northern Gulf Continues

NOAA’s Office of Law Enforcement in Niceville, Florida, seeks tips after a dolphin was found dead off of Okaloosa Island with a bullet lodged in its shoulder. Violent incidents toward dolphins in the Northern Gulf appear to be increasing. NOAA reminds the public not to feed dolphins, which can lead them to approach people and boats.

Greater Atlantic

Draft Northeast Climate Science Action Plan – Open for Public Comment

By July 29,please submit your comments on NOAA Fisheries’ new draft Northeast Climate Science Regional Action Plan. The plan focuses on climate variability and change in the Northeast large marine ecosystem, which includes waters from the Gulf of Maine to Cape Hatteras. It outlines a strategy for understanding and responding to the effects of climate change on the region’s marine resources and the people who depend on them.

Meet Our New Aquaculture Coordinator

The Greater Atlantic Region has a small but vibrant commercial marine aquaculture industry. To encourage its continued development, we brought on board a new Aquaculture Coordinator. Meet Kevin Madley, our new contact for all things aquaculture in our Greater Atlantic Region.

Celebrate Endangered Species Day

This Friday, May 20, is Endangered Species Day, an annual recognition of the species in our region that are listed as either endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act. We are hosting various programs and activities throughout the region to increase knowledge of protected marine species from Maine to Virginia.


2015, IPNLF, Annual Report

We are pleased to share with you IPNLF’s latest Annual Report, summarizing their international work over the last twelve months.

The past year IPNLF has seen notable increase in the executive team capacity, and the membership network now stands at 35.
This growth is reflected in our in-country fisheries development projects, with emerging work in new geographies such as Eastern Africa, and deepened engagement in Maldives and Indonesia – whose one-by-one FIP is noted as having ‘exceptional progress’…..

View PDF (

IPNLF Newsletter: Fishing focus: Indian Ocean

Welcome to the latest edition of the International Pole & Line Foundation’s (IPNLF) newsletter! Learn about important policy action and an upcoming event with implications for Indian Ocean tuna.
Momentum building for IOTC action
Next week, representatives from 32 member countries will gather in La Réunion for the 20th session of the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) meetings. In the run up to this pivotal event IPNLF have increased momentum to ensure that important management measures are adopted by the Commission to secure a sustainable future for tuna fisheries in the Indian Ocean. We are keen to see the IOTC adopt important management measures ( including strict Harvest Control Rules (HCRs) for skipjack, as well as a push to take immediate action to rebuild the yellowfin tuna stocks (see our Position Statement ( for full details).

IPNLF’s campaign began in early 2016 with a co-supported workshop for Indian Ocean Coastal States (IOCS) focussing on Harvest Control Rules ( ; at this workshop IOCS representatives worked together towards the draft of a joint proposal on a harvest strategy for skipjack tuna, which outlines how managers will respond should the stock fall below desired levels. A full report from the workshop is now available on our website. (

We have further amplified our call for IOTC action via our supply chain Member network, and by reaching out to delegations to build support for critical management improvements at the upcoming meeting. Learn more about the upcoming meeting on our website ( and in the latest news update from Adam Baske ( (IPNLF Director, Policy & Outreach).
Team-IPNLF will be at the meeting in La Réunion; keep up with the IOTC action through Twitter ( and Facebook ( .
All eyes turn to Indonesia ahead of important tuna conference
The Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries of the Republic of Indonesia in collaboration with International Pole & Line Foundation will host the 2nd Bali Tuna Conference ( back-to-back with the 5th International Coastal Tuna Business Forum ( (19-20 May). The two-day event will bring industry, government, scientists and NGOs even closer together to ensure the environmentally, socially and economically sustainable development of tuna fisheries.

Speaking ahead of her address at the event, Indonesian Minister for Marine Affairs and Fisheries, Susi Pudjiastuti, emphasized the government’s steadfast commitment to ending illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing ( in Indonesian waters and beyond.

Minister Susi Pudjiastuti will join a range of influential speakers to spark debate and conversation surrounding principle tuna issues, and facilitate essential networking for stakeholders to drive forward sustainable development. We look forward to seeing many of you in Bali!

You can still REGISTER for the event here ( .
International Pole & Line Foundation

FishNews – April 20, 2016 – Status of Stocks 2015, Law Enforcement Officer Looks Back on MSA, Increasing Diversity in Marine Science, and More

U.S. Status of Stocks 2015 – Annual Report to Congress

April 20, 2016
Status of Stocks 2015: U.S. Fisheries Continue to Rebuild

NOAA Fisheries is pleased to announce the release of the 2015 Status of U.S. Fisheries report to Congress. This annual report identifies stocks on the overfishing and overfished lists. In 2015, these lists remained near all-time lows and stocks continued to rebuild.

Underscoring the strength of the U.S. science-based management framework to monitor and respond to changes in status, in 2015, eight stocks came off the overfishing list while ten others were added. Two stocks are no longer listed as overfished, while a stock with a previously unknown status was added. And recent assessments show two stocks have rebuilt, bringing the national total of rebuilt stocks to 39 since 2000.

In this 40th anniversary year of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, we want to recognize that the dynamic, science-based management process is proving to be successful at ending chronic overfishing, rebuilding our fisheries and helping realize significant benefits to the U.S. economy.

As we move forward toward the next 40 years, we will continue to adapt our science and management process to reflect changing ocean conditions and the role of complex ecosystems and climate impacts on U.S. fisheries.

We look forward to working with you to further these efforts and identify opportunities to strengthen the long-term biological and economic sustainability of our nation’s fisheries.