Proposed Habitat Restoration in Wisconsin – Public Comment due January 18 In December, the U.S. Department of Justice announced settlements with three separate companies for natural resource damages at the Sheboygan River and Harbor Superfund site in Wisconsin. The public is encouraged to comment on the consent decrees, as well the Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment and proposed restoration projects, by January 18.
Rising Temps Turning More Sea Turtles Female The sex of sea turtle eggs is determined by the temperature of their environment, and the hotter temperatures result in more females. Scientists have used a new research approach to show that warming temperatures on islands in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef have increased so much that almost no eggs are producing male sea turtles.Such a skewed sex ratio threatens the population’s long-term viability.
New Report on Deep-Sea Coral Ecosystems NOAA’s new report, State of Deep-Sea Coral and Sponge Ecosystems in the United States, reviews advances in deep-sea coral research over the past decade and explains how this new information is shaping deep-sea conservation. Discoveries since the release of the first report in 2007 (State of Deep Coral Ecosystems) have led to the description of 62 new species of corals in the U.S. waters.
Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Report Available The 2017 Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Stock Assessment and Fishery Evaluation Report reviews the status of highly migratory Atlantic tunas, swordfish, billfishes, and sharks. The SAFE report also updates constituents on the latest developments in management of these species.
NOAA Promotes Community-Based Conservation at ‘Bering Sea Days’ For the tenth year, the Aleut Community of St. Paul Island’s Tribal Government hosted Bering Sea Days, an weeklong education program for PreK-12 students on St. Paul Island. Scientists and educators from various agencies, institutions, and organizations travel to St. Paul to introduce the students to novel learning experiences and career options. This year, NOAA and partners focused on battling invasive marine species.
Flood Barrier Designed with Fish-Friendly Features When local leaders in Pacific, Washington, sought ways to reduce frequent flooding of neighborhoods and businesses, NOAA and partners provided expertise on habitat restoration and supplied a portion of the funding. The result? A redesigned levee that improved resilience to flood events while restoring much-needed salmon habitat.
Western Pacific—Snapshot on Recreational and Non-Commercial Fisheries Check out our new information factsheet highlighting the opportunities, cultural significance, and economic impacts of non-commercial fisheries in the Western Pacific region. Learn more about recreational and subsistence fishing in Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands.
December’s Monk Seal of the Month A little late, but the Monk Seal of the Month for December is RK30, a female monk seal on Kauai known to be at least 18 years old. An extreme survivor, RK30 has many noticeable scars from past injuries, including a former entanglement around her neck and encounters with what appear to be boat propellers and a shark. She has given birth to at least nine pups.
NOAA and Partners Help Restore Gulf Fishes The Oceanic Fish Restoration Project, supported in part by NOAA Fisheries, aims to restore fish populations harmed by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Ten fishing vessel owners from Florida to Louisiana will take a break from using pelagic longline fishing gear for the next 6 months. They can continue to harvest highly migratory species during this “repose” using alternative fishing gear.
Trustees Release Manual for Monitoring and Adaptive Management The Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Damage Assessment Trustees have released the first version of the Monitoring and Adaptive Management Manual, a set of guidelines for implementing and evaluating restoration projects conducted to restore the Gulf of Mexico.
NOAA Certifies Louisiana Creel Survey Design NOAA Fisheries announced the certification of the Louisiana Recreational Creel survey design. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries uses LA Creel as an alternative general survey to estimate recreational fishing catch and number of trips by state drainage basin, a method not currently feasible under NOAA’s Marine Recreational Information Program. MRIP provided technical support for the design.
Final Dam Removal Underway on Mill River A series of dams on Massachusetts’ Mill River, a tributary of the Taunton River, cut off migratory fish access to prime spawning habitat for nearly 200 years. NOAA Fisheries and many partners worked to remove two dams in 2012 and 2013 and rebuild a third with a fish ladder. Now, removal of the final dam—West Britannia—is underway.
Recreational Black Sea Bass Fishing – Open for Public Comment By January 23, please submit your comments on a proposed recreational February 2018 black sea bass fishery. A recent stock assessment estimated black sea bass to be well above its biomass target. The proposed one-month winter recreational season would create additional fishing opportunities at a time when fewer recreational species are available.
Atlantic Chub Mackerel – Request for Proposals The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council seeks a contractor to conduct a study assessing the importance of Atlantic chub mackerel to the diets of recreationally important highly migratory species in the mid-Atlantic. Proposals are due February 16.
January 11 Webinar on Post-Hurricane Irma Rapid Reef Assessmentin South Florida and the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.
January 11Free Atlantic Shark Identification workshop in Kenner, Louisiana.
January 12 Informational webinar on the 2018 Chesapeake Bay-Watershed Education and Training (B-WET) federal funding opportunity.
January 12 and 24Free Protected Species Safe Handling, Identification, and Release workshops in Florida and New Hampshire.
January 17-18 Atlantic Salmon Ecosystems Forum, co-sponsored by NOAA Fisheries, in Orono, Maine.
January 16 - February 28Public meetings on the Draft Proposed Program for the National Offshore Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program, held in cities around the nation.
January 22–24 Three public hearings via webinar on Coastal Migratory Pelagics Amendment 31 (Atlantic cobia.)