Thursday, February 13, 2020

NOAA Fisheries FishNews February 13, 2020

Whale Week, Gray Seals, and More

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Fish News - NOAA Fisheries
FEBRUARY 13, 2020

NOAA Celebrates Whale Week 2020

whale week
Welcome to Whale Week 2020, when we feature our staff and partners dedicated to finding new ways to conserve, protect, and recover whales. We are highlighting our efforts to recover three critically endangered species that are part of our Species in the Spotlight campaign.

A Message from Donna Wieting, Director of the NOAA Fisheries Office of Protected Resources

whale week message
Whales have great environmental, scientific, cultural, and economic value. In fact, whale watching generates more than $2 billion a year worldwide. Join us as we celebrate all species of cetaceans—whales, dolphins, and porpoises—and particularly learn what we are doing to protect our most endangered whale species.

NOAA Saves Whales with Science

Join us for a celebration of all cetacean species and learn how our scientists and managers work to conserve and protect whales, dolphins, and porpoises. We work to ensure the conservation of all cetaceans, which are protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

Searching for Type D: A New Species of Killer Whale?

whale week 2
In January 2019, an experienced group of killer whale biologists launched an expedition from the southern tip of Chile into some of the roughest waters in the world, searching for what could be a new species of killer whale.


Exploring Women’s Roles in 30 Years of Alaska Fisheries

alaska women
Women play an integral, multifaceted, and until now largely invisible role in Alaska fisheries. The first comprehensive study of women’s participation, incorporating gender into 30 years of existing data, shows women participate in Alaska fisheries differently than men.

Studying Endangered Cook Inlet Beluga Whales in Alaska

Cook Inlet beluga whales are one of five beluga population stocks found in U.S. waters and the only beluga population listed under the Endangered Species Act. Cook Inlet beluga whales live in one of Alaska’s most active shipping channels. Historically, the population was reduced due to hunting, but although hunting ceased in 2005, they have failed to recover.


Dolphins Stabbed and Shot in Florida, NOAA Enforcement Seeks Tips

hurt dolphin
NOAA’s Office of Law Enforcement is offering a reward of up to $20,000 for information that leads to a civil penalty or criminal conviction of the person or persons responsible for the recent deaths of two dolphins in Florida.

New North Atlantic Right Whale Calves Born off Florida and Georgia

north atlantic right whale
New North Atlantic right whale calves were spotted off the coasts of Florida and Georgia. As of February 11, ten new calves have been sighted this season.

Greater Atlantic

Researchers Return to Study Gray Seal Pups in New England

seal pup
NOAA Fisheries scientists and colleagues are conducting health assessments and tagging to gather data on gray seal pups on Muskeget and Monomoy islands off the southeastern Massachusetts coast.

Celebrate Whale Week with Wallpapers for Your Digital Devices

whale week posters
Make a splash during Whale Week with these computer, smartphone, and Facebook wallpapers.

How Our Shark Finning Ban Helps Us Sustainably Manage Shark Fisheries

black tip shark
Shark finning is often pointed to as a leading cause of decline in global shark populations, even though the practice has been illegal in U.S. waters for decades. Guy DuBeck, a highly migratory species fisheries management specialist, breaks down how the federal ban on shark finning works and the role it plays in protecting shark populations.  

Final Rule for the New England Council’s Industry-Funded Monitoring Omnibus Amendment

atlantic herring
The final rule implementing the Industry-Funded Monitoring Omnibus Amendment recommended by the New England Fishery Management Council published today. This amendment allows industry-funded monitoring in any fishery managed by the Council to better assess catch and reduce uncertainty around catch estimates.

Upcoming Deadlines

February 12 Comments due on Framework Adjustment 6 to the Atlantic Herring Fishery Management Plan.
February 21 Nominations due for Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee’ss Recreational Electronic Reporting Task Force.
February 28 Comments due on measures of interest to some Atlantic Highly Migratory Species constituents.
February 29 Extension: Voluntary vessel speed restrictions south of Nantucket to protect right whales.

Upcoming Events

February 11-12  Workshop: Education for Community Resilience in Avondale, Pennsylvania.
February 12–13 West Coast National Electronic Monitoring Workshop in Renton, Washington.
March 21 NOAA Fisheries Pascagoula Mississippi Laboratories Offers Open House.

Federal Register Actions

Visit NOAA Fisheries' Rules & Regulations web page to learn more about recently proposed and finalized regulations in your region. 
Corrections or technical questions should be sent to the FishNews Editor at

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