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.


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