Thursday, July 26, 2018

NOAA Fisheries FishNews – July 25, 2018

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NOAA Fish News
July 25, 2018


Shark Week main
NOAA Celebrates Shark Week 2018
Sharks play an important role in the food web and help ensure balance in ocean ecosystems. NOAA Fisheries works with the regional fishery management councils to conserve and sustainably manage shark populations. Join us for Shark Week 2018 as we celebrate these top ocean predators.
Blue Shark square
12 Shark Facts That May Surprise You Celebrate Shark Week by learning something new about sharks! Did you know scientists think sharks first appeared in the ocean around 455 million years ago?
Gulf Shark Survey square
Fishing for Sharks in the Gulf of Mexico Get a behind-the-scenes look at how scientists monitor inter-annual variability of shark populations along the Atlantic Coast and in the Gulf of Mexico.
Lisa Natanson square
Meet Shark Researcher Lisa Natanson Fisheries biologist Lisa Natanson works for the Northeast Fisheries Science Center’s Apex Predators Program, with a focus on shark ageing and reproduction.
Shortfin Mako
Proposed Shortfin Mako Rule – Open for Comment
By October 1, please submit your comments on a proposed rule and Draft Amendment 11 to the 2006 Consolidated Highly Migratory Species Fishery Management Plan. The proposed amendment aims to end overfishing of shortfin mako sharks and to rebuild their populations.


Cod fieldwork
Science Blog: Young Cod Population Study
Researchers just got back from Kodiak, Alaska after a successful week of surveying for young-of-the-year Pacific cod.  In this ongoing blog, representatives from the University of Alaska Fairbanks and Oregon State University along with NOAA Fisheries scientists will follow young Pacific cod to determine when, where, and how they do in their first year of life.

West Coast

Orca and chinook
Prioritizing Salmon to Support Orca Recovery
NOAA Fisheries and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife developed a prioritized list of West Coast Chinook salmon stocks that are important to the recovery of endangered Southern Resident killer whales. One of NOAA Fisheries’ eight Species in the Spotlight, the endangered Southern Residents prefer to eat Chinook salmon but have had trouble finding food as salmon numbers have diminished.

Engineering for Seabirds
Engineering Safer Boats for Seabirds
At a 2-day workshop last fall, scientists and industry representatives met to design potential solutions to the problem of seabirds striking net cables on catcher–processor vessels in fisheries along the U.S. West Coast and Alaska. Workshop participants proposed five cost-effective measures, which vessels in the fleet are now voluntarily testing.

Pacific Islands

TNC Hawaii
Partnering with The Nature Conservancy in Hawaii
In celebration of NOAA’s Habitat Month, read an interview with Kim Hum from The Nature Conservancy in Hawaii. The Nature Conservancy is one of NOAA Fisheries Office of Habitat Conservation’s closest partners, working with us on dozens of community-based restoration projects around the country.

False Killer Whale illustration
Critical Habitat for False Killer Whale Population
NOAA Fisheries has designated critical habitat for the Main Hawaiian Islands Insular False Killer Whale Distinct Population Segment under the Endangered Species Act in waters surrounding the main Hawaiian Islands. Critical habitat protections apply only to activities that are funded, authorized, or carried out by a federal agency.


Dolphin case
Reward for Information in Pregnant Dolphin Case
NOAA’s Office of Law Enforcement is investigating a case involving a pregnant bottlenose dolphin found dead on the beach in Waveland, Mississippi. A necropsy revealed the dolphin died of a gunshot wound. Several nonprofits are offering a combined reward of $11,500 for information leading to successful identification of the person responsible.

Red Snapper illustration
Final Rule for South Atlantic Red Snapper
NOAA Fisheries issued a final rule to specify annual catch limits and allow limited commercial and recreational harvest of South Atlantic red snapper beginning in 2018. Limited harvest beginning this year is not expected to result in overfishing, or to prevent continued rebuilding of the population.

Louisiana restoration plans
Louisiana Trustees Release Two Restoration Plans
The Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group for the Deepwater Horizon Natural Resources Damage Assessment released two final restorations plans last week. Final Restoration Plan #2 will restore lost recreational opportunities, while Final Restoration Plan #4will improve recreation while reducing nutrient runoff.

Greater Atlantic

Monkfish mouth
NOAA Announces Monkfish Research Awards
NOAA Fisheries and the New England and Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Councils announced the 2018-2019 Monkfish Research Set-Aside Program grant recipients. These three new, 2-year cooperative research projects will improve understanding of monkfish biology and how to reduce the catch of skates in monkfish gillnet gear.

Northeast fishing vessel
NOAA Approves Sector Operations Plans
NOAA Fisheries is approving Northeast Fishery Sector 9’s operations plan to allow it to operate as a lease-only sector. We are also allocating 2018 quotas to Sectors 7 and 9 based on catch limits recommended by the New England Fishery Management Council. In addition, we are approving an amendment to Sector 7’s operations plan. Please submit your comments on this interim final rule by August 20.

Chesapeake Bay oyster
NOAA and the Chesapeake Bay Program
The Chesapeake Bay, a vast and complex ecosystem that supports important fisheries, faces many challenges. To identify and implement solutions, NOAA and dozens of partners formed the Chesapeake Bay Program in 1983. In 2014, program partners signed the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement, which outlines 10 goals to support restoration and protection of the bay.

Great Lakes habitat restoration
2018 Great Lakes Habitat Restoration Awards
NOAA Fisheries is working with the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative to invest in habitat restoration projects in the Great Lakes region. This week, NOAA recommended $4.78 million in funding for eight projects to restore habitats for Great Lakes species by opening rivers to fish passage, reconnecting rivers to floodplains, restoring riparian areas and coastal wetlands, and enhancing instream habitat.


July 27 and 31Scientists to share results of an ongoing oral history project about Alaska Native women in Bristol Bay fisheries in Naknek and Dillingham, Alaska.
August 2
Public hearing via webinar on modifications to spiny lobster gear requirements, hosted by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council.
August 6–14
Three public scoping webinars on snapper-grouper for-hire permit modifications, hosted by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council.
August 7–8
Two public scoping webinars on snapper-grouper best fishing practices, hosted by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council.
August 13-16
Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council meeting in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
August 15–16
Two public scoping webinars on yellowtail snapper accountability measures, hosted by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council.
August 20–23
Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council meeting in Corpus Christi, Texas.


July 27
(Extended Deadline) Nominations due for the 2018 Dr. Nancy Foster Habitat Conservation Award.
August 7
Proposals due for 2018 National Coastal Resilience Fund.
August 15
Application deadline for membership on the three regional Marine Mammal Scientific Review Groups.

Federal Register Actions

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.

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