Tag Archives: NOAA

Maine congressional delegation wants more info before whale rules released

The four members of Maine’s delegation said Wednesday they want information from NOAA about how new findings will be incorporated into the draft rules. NOAA completed a peer review process of the data tool it’s using to create the regulations, and the delegation wants to know what impact that will have on the rules, the members said. >click to read<  14:03

Coast Guard Report: Catch misreported on 350 fishing trips by Northeast multispecies groundfishery vessels

In its 21-page report, the Coast Guard said the analysis by its Boston-based First District enforcement staff identified more than 350 vessel trips during the period of 2011 to 2015 in the Northeast multispecies groundfishery “where there appears to be evidence of misreporting.” The analysis placed a particular focus on potential misreporting by vessels fishing in seasonal fisheries or fishing the same stock in more than one stock area. The goal of the misreporting, according to the report, is to keep fishing without exceeding catch limits and annual catch entitlements. >click to read< 07:10

Opposite forecasts for SE pinks, Bristol Bay reds; Cook Inlet busts

Biologists are forecasting another weak pink salmon year for Southeast and another strong sockeye salmon run for Bristol Bay coming in the 2020 season. The forecasts for Southeast Alaska and for Bristol Bay, released in late November, continue the trends of the past few years in both areas. In Southeast, biologists are forecasting about 12 million fish to be harvested, with a range of 7 million to 19 million fish. >click to read< 11:51

Scientists review divisive whale risk reduction model

A panel of scientists gathered in Woods Hole, Mass., last week to evaluate a controversial “decision support tool” used by NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service to design proposed rules aimed at protecting endangered North Atlantic right whales and other large marine mammals from entanglement with fishing gear. Last spring, the NOAA Fisheries Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Team (TRT) recommended that the fisheries service adopt new rules that would, among other requirements, force Maine lobstermen to remove from the water 50 percent of the vertical lines used to connect traps on the bottom to marker buoys on the surface. >click to read< 11:07

Fishermen Desperate for Hurricane Irma Disaster Relief

U.S. Virgin Islands fishermen aired their grievances at a public meeting held by the St. Thomas/St. John Fisherman’s Association on Monday, where they were told the $10.7 million received from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to rebuild the territory’s fishing industry is still not ready to be disbursed to individual fishermen. Fisherman’s Association Chairman Julian Magras said promises made to the association have not been followed through. “To say that we have a concrete update on where the money is, we do not,”  >click to read< 10:00

Fishermen’s Alliance: Long-Waged Battle for Herring Won

The formal announcement from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reflected what much of the Cape wanted, a 12-nautical mile territorial sea boundary from the Canadian border to Connecticut and a 20-mile buffer off the peninsula’s backshore as well as catch limits based on the needs of the ecosystem. Supporters believe the buffer that keeps industrial-sized midwater trawl vessels from taking enormous amounts of herring out of local waters will go a long way towards rebuilding the entire inshore ecosystem and therefore boost the maritime economy. >click to read< 10:10

Turtlegate: Net Escape Doors Versus the Doors of Government

This week, a 50 pound Loggerhead was rescued on Cape Cod.,, Kemp’s Ridley turtles are endangered and although it cannot be confirmed if there is a direct connection between these cold-stunning incidents and interaction with fishing boats, trawler net entanglement remains the number one culprit for sea turtle trauma and mortality. huh! Let’s turn our attention to this critical man-made danger that affects all ocean mammals and sea life in general,,, we see where this is going, >click to read< 09:33

Battered by a marine heatwave, Kodiak’s cod fishermen may not be fishing in the Gulf for much longer

From the last peak in 2014, the level of mature, spawning cod crashed by more than half in the Gulf, according to stock assessment data — 113,830 metric tons in 2014 to 46,080 metric tons in 2017. They’re now below the federal threshold that protects cod as a food source for endangered Stellar sea lions. As soon as the population dips below that line, the fishery closes. The whole federal cod fishery in the Gulf will most likely be shut down for the season in January. >click to read<  10:36

Senator Warren wants proof Canada is doing as much as the U.S. to protect right whales

Canada is defending measures it has taken to protect critically endangered North Atlantic right whales, as political pressure and blame mounts from the United States in the wake of a rash of whale deaths in Canadian waters in 2019. “We’re very confident that our measures are world-class in nature and stand up extremely well to those in the United States,” said Adam Burns, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ director of resource management. Burns was responding to the latest salvo from Massachusetts senators Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey, who are threatening a ban of some Atlantic Canadian seafood products. >click to read< 19:08

Lobster boat crew accused of catching 116 undersized lobsters

The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management said the crew of a commercial fishing boat is facing federal charges for an illegal lobster catch. DEM said environmental police officers responded last week to Point Judith, where they helped NOAA officials inspect the catch of lobster boat that was fishing in federal waters.,,, DEM did not name the fishing boat or the people facing charges. >click to read< 10:13

Illegal foreign fishing draws congressional eye

Nathan Rickard, representing local shrimpers through the Southern Shrimp Alliance, was one of the people invited to speak on a panel to the subcommittee. He said federal anti-dumping laws helped provide stability to an industry that received a massive hit from imported shrimp beginning in the late ‘90s. “Although the industry permanently had lost many shrimping families, and has struggled to maintain its foothold in some coastal communities, the threat that the industry would entirely disappear has abated,” Rickard said. “The U.S. shrimp industry currently produced about one out of every eight pounds of shrimp that are consumed in our country. >click to read< 10:10

NOAA Wants More Cameras On Fishing Vessels And Fewer Biologists

John Hankins owns the boat “Courageous,” which he sails out of Warrenton on the northern Oregon coast. He had a smile after returning from 25 days fishing for albacore. “I’m full,” he said. “Both tanks!” The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration didn’t assign a fisheries observer to his boat this trip. But he said, it happens fairly regularly. “They’re usually not a problem for us,,, >click to read< 09:20

Plan would protect 21 coral hot spots in Gulf of Mexico

The plan would create 21 protected areas off the coasts of Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and Florida. Thirteen of the areas would carry new commercial fishing restrictions, and that has attracted the attention of fishing groups, who want the government to take a cautious approach. Pew Charitable Trusts has characterized the plan as a way to protect nearly 500 square miles of slow-growing coral “hot spots,” and is championing the protection plan as a way to spare vulnerable corals from fishing gear. >click to read<  10:30

NOAA Argues to Allow Makah Tribe to Hunt Gray Whales off Washington Again

More than two decades ago, Makah tribal members killed a 30-foot gray whale in the waters off the Olympic Peninsula amid bitter protests from animal-welfare activists. The tribal hunt in May 1999 touched off a protracted legal battle that on Thursday took center stage inside a Seattle federal building. The proceedings over the tribe’s treaty right to hunt gray whales are expected to last more than a week in the courtroom-like setting. >click to read< 23:12

LDWF estimate: Louisiana fishing industry sustained $258M in losses during historic flooding

The Louisiana fishing industry suffered an estimated $258 million in losses due to the historic 2019 flooding event, according to a fisheries disaster economic impact analysis conducted by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Governor John Bel Edwards announced today (11/15). The analysis was submitted to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for helping the state qualify for its portion of the $165 million in fisheries disaster assistance currently available on the federal level. >click to read<  14:06

Regulators Take Action to Stem Striped Bass Decline

Responding to the precipitous drop in the Atlantic striped bass population, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) has mandated an 18 per cent cut in commercial and recreational harvest quotas for 2020.,,, The new addendum limits recreational fishermen to one striped bass per day,,, Mr. McKiernan said he doesn’t believe that pressure from commercial fishermen, who are limited to 15 fish per day, a 34-inch minimum and two fishing days a week, plays a major role in the plummeting population. >click to read<  18:52

Scientists breathe easier as west coast ocean heat wave weakens

Nate Mantua of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said the “good news” is that the area of exceptionally warm water is substantially smaller now than it was earlier this year. And while the area about 1,500 kilometres offshore between Hawaii and Alaska is still seeing high temperatures by historical standards, it is “simply not nearly as large as it was and it is no longer strong in areas near the west coast,” he said. Scientists have been watching a marine heat wave that developed around June this year,,, >click to read< 15:01

Lobstermen Question State Whale Plan at Waldoboro Meeting

Lobstermen expressed a mix of frustration and acceptance upon hearing the state’s new plan to protect North American right whales during a meeting in Waldoboro on Tuesday, Nov. 5. Maine Department of Marine Resources Commissioner Patrick Keliher presented the state’s proposed gear rules and fielded questions in the Medomak Middle School gymnasium. Photo’s >click to read< 09:55

Uncle Sam wants you to eat more shark

Late last month, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) sent out a newsletter,, “While overfishing has greatly depleted some shark populations overseas, U.S. shark fisheries are some of the most sustainable in the world,” it read. I did a double take, racking my memory for the last time I saw shark as an option at the grocery store or on a restaurant menu.,,  So why is NMFS encouraging eaters to eat more shark? Pointing to its strict fishing quotas, the agency suggests that eaters buying American-caught shark can now do so without guilt. >click to read<  07:19

Dungeness commercial crab season likely to be delayed over risks to whales

California’s state fish and wildlife chief is poised to delay this fall’s commercial Dungeness crab season for eight days under a legal settlement,,,  Bodega Bay fisherman Dick Ogg said he appreciated the unenviable spot Bonham is in and the pressure he is under to avoid taking chances with an endangered species while positioned directly in the lens of a microscope. “You know, he tried to make the best possible decision he could make and still give the fishermen the opportunity to take advantage of the Thanksgiving market,” Ogg said. “It was tough.” >click to read<  14:50

Letter: Time to change bycatch policy

This letter concerns Oct. 12 article about fishing bycatch (”Fishing rules don’t match industry realities”). Thank God for state Sen. Bruce Tarr’s comments that fishermen shouldn’t be dumping cod overboard to die in order for them to get to the fish they can keep. “The rules don’t reflect the practical reality of the groundfishing,” Tarr said.,,, I thought that Edward Barrett of the Massachusetts Fishermen’s Partnership had two good points in the Oct. 12 article. by Sue Waller, >click to read< 07:29

Bruce Tarr: Ground Fishing rules don’t match industry realities>click to read<

Commercial and conservationist interests competing fiercely for space on increasingly crowded seas

A conference Tuesday at New Jersey’s Monmouth University brought together industry and environmental groups, who agreed that communication and coordination are essential to sharing the ocean. “Ocean activity is on the rise, and it’s exponential,” said Timothy Gallaudet, deputy administration of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and a retired rear admiral with the Navy. “There has been 400 percent growth in ocean activity over the last 25 years.”  >click to read< This is my footnote. If you are in the fishing industry, you are being marginalized, sold out. You better figure out who’s on your side, fast, or simply be eliminated.  09:13

Sides battle over Monterey Bay’s anchovy population

A fishing industry group says it has new findings supporting its contention that there is a healthy population of anchovies, which is counter to a nonprofit’s lawsuit challenging how the number of anchovies are determined. Meanwhile, Monterey fishermen say there are tons of the little guys in the local fishery. Gino Pennisi and Neil Guglielmo have been fishing out of Monterey for years, in Guglielmo’s case, since 1956. Both say anchovies are plentiful. But the nonprofit group Oceana,,, >click to read< 13:07

Why aren’t they there? Cod still overfished, feds say

The federal government last week released data showing that cod stocks in the area remain overfished. “Overfishing is occurring”, says NOAA, “Abundance is very low, says Mass DMF Director David Pierce, “It just doesn’t make sense right now that the cod hasn’t rebuilt,” Fisherman Ed Barrett added. Angela Sanfilippo, president of the Gloucester Fishermen’s Wives Association, called cod a “bycatch,” citing an abundance of haddock over the past 18 months, and said fishing fleets operate under strict regulation.  >click to read<

Feds Tap 300,000 Square Miles of Pacific for Humpback Whales

The proposed rule is the result of a settlement with the National Marine Fisheries Service, who were sued last year for not following through on a 2016 plan to designate two groups of Pacific Ocean humpback whales as endangered and a third group as threatened. The Center for Biological Diversity, joined by Turtle Island Restoration Network and the Wishtoyo Foundation, filed a federal lawsuit in the Northern District of California claiming the lack of action by the Trump administration violated the Endangered Species Act. >click to read<  16:25

NOAA answers lobstermen’s critique of whale rules science

NOAA Fisheries released a more detailed response Wednesday to criticisms of the science it used to develop new protections for North Atlantic right whales,,, The response was attached to a letter from NOAA assistant administrator Chris Oliver to Patrice McCarron, executive director of the Maine Lobstermen’s Association. (The letter is attached at the article) >click to read< 14:50

Fisheries disaster declared in multiple fisheries, multiple states

Wednesday,, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced his determination that commercial fishery failures occurred for multiple fisheries between 2017 and 2019 in Alaska, California, Georgia, and South Carolina, while further finding that a catastrophic regional fishery disaster occurred for Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama due to extreme flooding events in the Gulf of Mexico. >click to read< 17:41

Senator Collins proposes changes to Federal reforms to support Maine lobster industry, protect whales

“Over the last several months, we have had a number of conversations with lobstermen, the scientific community, environmentalists, and state regulators,” Sen. Collins and the members wrote in their letter. “The message has been undeniably clear: these whales require increased protections in order to ensure the viability of the species — and that focusing all of our risk reduction efforts on Maine’s lobster fishery will not get us there.” >click to read<11:44

Oregon researchers investigate latest marine heatwave that could hurt Pacific ecosystems

Earlier this month, the feds announced there was trouble brewing in the Pacific: a mass of warm water was building off the west coast, reminiscent of another event nicknamed “The Blob,” which caused havoc for wildlife and fishermen just a few years ago. Experts caution that the current marine heatwave is still in its infancy and could dissipate today, tomorrow or next week.,,, “This marine heatwave took shape in June, persisted, and has grown in size,” said Chris Harvey, a research biologist at the Northwest Fishery Science Center, >click to read< 17:54

Feds seek expanded habitat protection as salmon, orcas battle climate change, habitat degradation

Advocates for the designation say it provides another layer of review and more legal protection for the whales. “We are thrilled,” said Steve Jones, spokesman for the Center for Biological Diversity,,, However, Lynne Barre, head of killer-whale protection for NOAA, said she did not anticipate big changes if the designation is approved after a public comment period, because activities such as dam operations and fishing already are subject to review by the agency for their effect on endangered species. >click to read<  13:32