Seafood Month: Spotlight on FishWatch.gov This month, we invite you to explore FishWatch.gov, the nation’s database on sustainable seafood. FishWatch has information on the status of more than 100 of the most of valuable marine fish and shellfish harvested or farmed in the United States. It includes information about stock assessments, economic impacts, and partnerships with commercial and recreational fishermen to reduce bycatch and protect habitat. You can even find tasty recipes for some of your favorite seafood species.
Video: The Coral Reef Economy Coral reefs contribute more than $3.4 billion to the U.S. economy annually. A new animated video from NOAA’s Coral Reef Conservation Program explains how healthy coral reef ecosystems do everything from supporting millions of jobs to protecting lives and coastal infrastructure. However, despite all they do for us, coral reef ecosystems are threatened.
National Wetlands Awards – Call for Nominations Sponsored by NOAA Fisheries and other federal agencies, the National Wetlands Awards Program celebrates individuals who have demonstrated extraordinary dedication, innovation, or excellence in wetland conservation. Please submit nominations for the 2018 National Wetlands Awards by December 22.
Monitoring Whale Health with Hexacopters A scientist from the Southwest Fisheries Science Center, working alongside university and nonprofit partners, used a small, unmanned hexacopter to collect exhaled breath condensate (blow) from two populations of humpback whales. The researchers analyzed the blow samples to characterize their respiratory microbial communities and gain insight into population health.
Atmospheric Rivers and the Russian River A new story map from NOAA’s Climate Program Office explains “atmospheric rivers”—narrow bands of moisture moving through the atmosphere—and their impacts on rainfall and water supply in the western United States. It includes a case study on NOAA’s Russian River Habitat Focus Area and the partnerships that have grown out of learning to predict and adjust to atmospheric river events.
1,000th Sea Turtle Released On September 22, the Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center released the 1,000th sea turtle rescued and rehabilitated in the Hawaiian Islands. For more than 30 years, NOAA Fisheries’ stranding program in Hawaii has responded to dead or injured sea turtles, collecting important information about population threats and impacts.
October’s Monk Seal of the Month The Monk Seal of the Month for October is R1KU (or “Runku”), first seen on Niihau in 2014. One of her eyes was damaged, so NOAA and partners brought her in for an examination and determined that the eye needed removal. Veterinarians performed a successful surgery and made sure she could still catch and eat live prey before releasing her back to the wild.
How NOAA Responds to Hurricane Debris Marine debris is often an unfortunate and unavoidable side effect of severe coastal weather. The past couple months have been particularly difficult for the Gulf of Mexico, Southeast, and Caribbean regions. Learn how NOAA’s Marine Debris Program works to respond to hurricane-caused debris.
September 2017 South Atlantic Council Update The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council met in Charleston, South Carolina, last month to continue to address snapper-grouper management issues. Read a summary of the Council’s actions.
October 2017 Gulf Council Update The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council met in Biloxi, Mississippi, this month to welcome new and returning members and to discuss a number of fishery issues. Read a summary of the Council’s actions.
Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Awards At their September meeting, the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council presented the annual Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Award to Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission Lieutenant Bryan Lee. The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council presented their 2016 Law Enforcement Office of the Year Award to Mississippi Marine Patrol Officer Roy Lipscomb at their October meeting.
You Spot An Entangled Whale … Now What? If you’re out on the ocean and spot a large whale entangled in rope, your first step should be to call NOAA’s Atlantic Large Whale Disentanglement Network, which operates a 24/7 hotline. Learn more about the response efforts and meet GARFO’s Disentanglement Coordinator, David Morin.
Restoring Oyster Reefs in Virginia’s Lafayette River Virginia’s Lafayette River in the Chesapeake Bay watershed is rebounding from historic water quality problems. NOAA has been a key partner in supporting oyster restoration efforts, including reef construction, river mapping, and restoration coordination. Now, funding from the National Fish and Wildlife Federation will help the tributary reach goals for oyster restoration.
Copepods: Cows of the Sea Zooplankton are tiny aquatic animals that drift with the ocean currents. Copepods, a group of tiny crustacean zooplankton, graze on phytoplankton—playing a similar food web role as cows grazing on grass. These copepods—some of the most abundant animals on the planet—also serve as a primary food source for North Atlantic right whales.
Safety a Priority for New Observer Program Lead Meet Ken Keene, the new Mid-Atlantic Area Fisheries Observer Program lead. Keene will be based at the Northeast Fisheries Science Center’s Howard Laboratory in his native New Jersey. He will be working with the fishing industry in ports from New Jersey to North Carolina as the point of contact for the observer program.
Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission News The August/September 2017 issue of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s newsletter, Fisheries Focus, is now available online. Read about recent and proposed management actions, upcoming meetings, stock assessment updates, and more.
October 12 Last day of the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council meeting in Riverhead, New York.
October 12 and 25 Two free Protected Species Safe Handling, Identification, and Release workshops in Florida and New Jersey.
October 14 California Leatherback Celebration Day at Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Exploration Center in Santa Cruz, California.
October 17–19Western Pacific Fishery Management Council meeting in American Samoa.
October 19 Free public tours of NOAA Research Vessel Gloria Michelle at New Bedford Harbor in Massachusetts.
October 24 Quantitative Ecology and Socioeconomics Training (QUEST) webinar on the California Collaborative Research Fisheries Program.
October 25 Free Atlantic Shark Identification workshop in Somerville, Massachusetts.
October 17 Applications due for FY 2018 John H. Prescott Marine Mammal Rescue Assistance Grants.
November 1 Applications due for FY 2018 Species Recovery Grants to States.
November 1 Applications due for FY 2018 Species Recovery Grants to Tribes.
November 6 Proposals due for 2018/2019 Atlantic Sea Scallop Research Set-Aside Funding.
December 22Nominations due for 2018 National Wetlands Awards.
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.