Wednesday, July 5, 2017

FishNews - July 5th, 2017

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NOAA Fish News
July 5, 2017

HIGHLIGHTS

Habitat Month kelp forest border
Habitat infographic base border2
Celebrating Habitat Month at NOAA Fisheries
We’re celebrating Habitat Month at NOAA Fisheries during July. Join us all month as we celebrate the benefits of habitat conservation to fish and wildlife, communities, and the economy. Office Director Pat Montanio shares her thoughts via a new Leadership Message. Other featured content this week includes Habitat Conservation Basics. Finally, check out our habitat conservation photo contest (entries due July 17).

Law Enforcement Priorities Document – Open for Public Comment
By July 28, please submit your comments on the NOAA Office of Law Enforcement’s draft Priorities Document for FY 2018–2022. OLE sets priorities on a 5-year timeline to guide strategic planning and focus enforcement assets where they are most needed.

Seafood Import Monitoring Program Roundtables
NOAA Fisheries will be hosting a series of roundtables around the nation July 13–25 to discuss the U.S. Seafood Import Monitoring Program’s traceability data reporting and record-keeping requirements before they become mandatory in 2018. The roundtables will be held in Long Beach, Seattle, Newark, and Miami, and they will address topics relevant to foreign exporters and U.S. domestic importers of seafood species covered by the program.

Endangered Species Recovery Guidelines – Extended Comment Period
By August 28 (formerly June 30), please submit your comments on proposed revisions to the Recovery Plan Preparation and Implementation Priorities and Recovery Plans contained in the 1990 Endangered Species Listing and Recovery Priority Guidelines. The proposed revisions are aimed at better prioritizing limited agency resources for species recovery.


Alaska

Pollock age-0 illustration
Pollock Fare Better than Expected in Warm Water
The 2014–2016 warm spell in the Bering Sea brought concerns that pollock populations would plummet, as happened during the last warm spell (2001–2005.) A new study suggests that juvenile pollock used alternative resources during this recent warm spell that helped buffer the ill effects of the warming.

Traditional Fishing Practices in Alaska
Fishing is an integral part of life for Alaska Native women in Bristol Bay. NOAA Fisheries scientists visited local communities surrounding Bristol Bay to collect first-hand accounts of the life experiences of these remarkable fishermen as part of a NOAA Preserve America Grant, with additional support from the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission and the Bristol Bay Native Association.


West Coast

North Pacific Right Whale Status Review
NOAA Fisheries initiated a 5-year review of the North Pacific right whale under the Endangered Species Act. We are requesting any scientific and commercial data on this population that have become available since the last status review in 2012. Submissions and comments are due July 31.


Pacific Islands

PIFSC Philippines Peer Exchange
International Partnership for Ecosystem-Based Fisheries Management
Last week, the Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center, Pacific Islands Regional Office, and NOAA’s Office of Law Enforcement welcomed delegates from the Philippines for a “peer exchange” in Honolulu. The exchange focused on sharing fisheries management, science, and enforcement approaches across these two countries.

June’s Monk Seal of the Month
The Monk Seal of the Month for June was R006, also known as Mama Eve. We don’t know her exact age, but we do know Mama Eve has made a significant contribution to the population of monk seals on Kalaupapa Peninsula on Molokai. We can trace 56 seals—including pups, grand-pups, and great-grand-pups—back to her.


Southeast

GulfCorps program
NOAA Announces 2017 GulfCorps Grant Awardee
NOAA is committed to restoring the Gulf of Mexico following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Through the RESTORE Council, NOAA and federal and state partners are working to establish a “GulfCorps” program that will provide the labor for on-the-ground restoration projects through the Gulf states. The Nature Conservancy has been recommended to receive $7 million from RESTORE funding to establish this GulfCorps program.

South Atlantic Spawning Special Management Zones
NOAA Fisheries announced a final rule for Amendment 36 to the South Atlantic Snapper-Grouper Fishery Management Plan. The actions in Amendment 36 and the final rule will implement spawning special management zones to protect reproducing fish and their habitats. The zones will take effect July 31.


Greater Atlantic

Plastic debris Midway
From Beaches to the Bottom of the Sea, Microplastics Are Everywhere
Each year, millions of tons of plastic debris enter the ocean—often in the form of “microplastics,” pieces of plastic less than 5 millimeters in size. Fish, shellfish, and other marine animals ingest the microplastics as they feed. Chemists at the Northeast Fisheries Science Center’s Sandy Hook Lab are working to trace the sources of different microplastics and better understand their impact on the marine environment.

Chesapeake Bay Office Biennial Report to Congress
NOAA’s Chesapeake Bay Office recently sent their Biennial Report to Congress, highlighting work accomplished by the program in fiscal years 2015 and 2016. The report provides an overview of recent efforts toward restoring oysters, advancing fisheries science, supporting environmental education, and more.

Digital Media as a Research Tool
Read about the latest examples of how and why scientists from the Northeast Fisheries Science Center use cameras to answer big research questions. Digital photography and videography are playing new roles in collecting data on plankton, fish eggs, fish behavior, oysters, and surfclams.

State Water Scallop Exemptions – Open for Comment
By July 14, please submit your comments on a proposed rule that would revise the State Waters Exemption Program under the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery Management Plan. The proposed rule would allow vessels holding both a Massachusetts state scallop permit and certain federal scallop permits to continue fishing in state waters once federal limits had been reached.

Proposed Blueline Tilefish Rule – Open for Comment
By July 28, please submit your comments on a proposed rule to add blueline tilefish to the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council’s Golden Tilefish Fishery Management Plan. Since 2011, recreational and commercial blueline tilefish catch has been increasing steadily in the Greater Atlantic Region. The rapid rise in unregulated harvest represented a risk to the long-term sustainability of the stock.

EVENTS

July 10 - 17
Four public scoping hearings on the Surfclam and Ocean Quahog Excessive Shares Amendment, hosted by the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council in three states and via webinar.
July 13–25 Four roundtables on the U.S. Seafood Import Monitoring Program reporting and record-keeping compliance.

FEDERAL REGISTER ACTIONS

Visit regulations.gov 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.


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