Tag Archives: NOAA

Markey: Aid for fishermen only the beginning – Fishermen Getting Hammered By Restaurant Shutdowns

Sen. Edward Markey warned members of the fishing community Saturday that the country was just at the beginning of the coronavirus health crisis. “These numbers are mounting, the number of cases, and it could go on potentially for a sustained period of time,” Markey said to dozens of fishing industry leaders, state legislators and mayors on a weekend conference call. “Three hundred million is a great start, but it’s hard to imagine it will go very far,” said Jeffrey Reichle, president of Lund’s Fisheries of Cape May, New Jersey,,, >click to read< 07:27

Fishermen Getting Hammered By Restaurant Shutdowns – They are also looking for relief from government rules. >click to read< 07:30

Federal study surveys spawning Atlantic Cod – Research area sits in waters zoned for offshore wind projects.

NOAA, the state Division of Marine Fisheries, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth School of Marine Science and Technology are all participating in the study, which is funded by the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. The research is focused on what may be one of the last remaining major seasonal spawning gatherings in the Northwest Atlantic, according to the state Division of Marine Fisheries. “It’s certainly been a persistent spawning aggregation and there are not many in New England,” said fisheries scientist Steve Cadrin, principal investigator on the project for the School of Marine Science and Technology. Atlantic cod populations are at historic lows, hammered by chronic overfishing and climate change. >click to read< 07:06

Coronavirus: NOAA Fisheries is temporarily waiving requirement for vessels to carry a fishery observer or at-sea monitor.

As part of our response to the COVID-19 pandemic, NOAA Fisheries is temporarily waiving the requirement for vessels with Northeast fishing permits to carry a fishery observer or at-sea monitor. The waiver will be in effect through April 4, and future extensions of this waiver will be evaluated weekly.
For details, please read the letter from the Regional Administrator Dear Partners and Stakeholders: As part of our response to the COVID-19 pandemic, NOAA Fisheries is temporarily waiving the requirement for vessels with Northeast fishing permits to carry a fishery observer or at-sea monitor. The waiver will be in effect through April 4, and future extensions of this waiver will be evaluated weekly. >click to read the rest< 15:56

Coronavirus: Fishermen cite at-sea monitors as potential virus source

Groundfishermen and sector managers are growing increasingly frustrated at NOAA Fisheries over what they perceive as the lack of clarity on at-sea monitoring requirements in the midst of the novel coronavirus outbreak. Dave Leveille, manager for Northeast Fishing Sectors II and VI, said Thursday that he has fielded numerous queries from fishermen asking why they still are being forced to accept assigned at-sea observers on their boats while health experts and the federal government are encouraging measures to reduce human contact to try to halt the spread of the dangerous virus. >click to read< 11:19

Coronavirus: NOAA closes Gloucester office to public, takes meetings to web

NOAA Fisheries is restricting access to its Gloucester office and the New England Fishery Management Council is converting many of its meetings to webinars as precautions against further spread of the novel coronavirus. NOAA Fisheries said its Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office in the Blackburn Industrial Park continues to operate, but it is limiting access to the building to employees, as well as to visitors and deliveries deemed essential to its mission. “This measure is taken out of an abundance of caution and our commitment to protecting the health and safety of our employees and constituents during the COVID-19 virus pandemic,” NOAA Fisheries said in a statement. Suspend the observer program, right now!  >click to read< 07:01

Some of the many reasons why federal marine sanctuary management is a bad idea

The claim: A sanctuary will enhance our economy. The fact: Not true.,, The claim: Sanctuaries have never harmed commercial or recreational fishermen.
The fact: Monterey sanctuary leadership led the effort in California’s marine protected area process to close many of the best fishing areas. This occurred despite early promises made by NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association) and elected leaders that the sanctuary would not create fishing regulations nor take actions that would threaten fishermen’s livelihoods. Mr. Christie refers people to sanctuary leadership’s testimony before the Morro Bay City Council in 2016. People who heard this testimony and who know of the sanctuary’s role in creating no-fishing zones found this testimony to be disingenuous, if not dishonest. The claim: Sanctuaries offer protection for endangered species,,, >click to read< 18:05

“Looking Back”: The Keep Fishermen Fishing Rally

Measured by any meaningful criteria the Keep Fishermen Fishing rally held on the steps of the Capitol on March 21 was a stunning success. It was attended by thousands of fishermen from as far away as Alaska, twenty one Senators and Members of the House of Representatives, and at least a half a dozen other VIPs made room in their busy schedules to come out and address the people who attended. From the most conservative of the conservatives to the most liberal of the liberals, these politically divergent speakers had one message; fix the Magnuson Act and bring back the balance between conservation and harvest. For the second time at the national level recreational and commercial fishermen – no matter what fisheries they participated in, no matter what their disagreements on allocation or lesser issues were, and no matter where they were from – were standing together and demanding a return to the original intent of the Magnuson Act;,,, >click to read< 08:09

Maine lobstermen tell federal regulators: We’re not killing the whales

The Maine Lobstering Union accuses the agency of caving to environmental organizations when it should be defending the industry. Kristan Porter, a Cutler lobsterman who heads up the Maine Lobstermen’s Association, said the modeling tool the agency had come up with to determine risk had been sharply criticized by a team of independent scientists during a peer review conducted late last year. Stonington lobsterman Julie Eaton urged regulators to stop playing dangerous games with fishermen’s lives and livelihoods. We don’t want to see any animal go extinct, but blaming us for the right whale’s decline is like blaming Mexico for the plight of the polar bear, she said.  >click to read< 09:47

NCLA Sues Commerce, NOAA, NMFS over Its Unlawful New at-Sea Monitor Mandate

The New Civil Liberties Alliance today filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of Rhode Island,,, The suit challenges the agencies’ unconstitutional and statutorily unauthorized effort to force fishing companies to pay for a new agency enforcement program. NCLA represents Relentless Inc., Huntress Inc., and their related company, Seafreeze Fleet LLC,,,  The at-sea monitor mandate for the nation’s Atlantic herring fleet violates the U.S. Constitution’s Article I, and the agencies have exceeded the bounds of their statutory authority because Congress never allowed these agencies to create or to require the industry to finance at-sea monitors or an at-sea monitoring program in the Atlantic herring fishery. more >click to read< 15:07

Federal fishries disaster funds granted To NC Fishing Industry

North Carolina will receive $7.7 million in federal fisheries disaster assistance to help the State’s fishing industry recover from Hurricane Florence. An assessment from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration estimated that the September 2018 storm caused $38 million in damages to vessels and businesses and nearly $57 million in lost revenues. >click to read< 19:33

Are they overpopulated, and should they be managed? Study Documents Growing Population of Gray Seals

Gray seal pupping season comes to an end off the coast of Massachusetts and Maine, as a group of federal, state and local scientists are finishing a study on the health of the animals. One of the research teams did its work on Muskeget island, a 240-acre spit of sand west of Nantucket that hosts the largest gray seal pupping colony in the U.S. Referred to by some as the diesel engine of the booming seal population in the region, which in the 1970s faced near extinction (BS), Muskeget has become dominated by breeding seals during pupping season.,, Ms. Murray said a 2016 study found 27,000 seals in Cape and Islands waters,, >click to read< 09:36

U.S. Commerce allocates $35M for P-cod, Chignik fisheries disaster relief

Fishermen affected by the 2018 Pacific cod and Chignik sockeye disasters will soon have access to about $35 million in relief funding. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross allocated about $65 million to fisheries disaster relief, about $35 million of which is for Alaska,, about $24.4 million will go to the Pacific cod fishery disaster and about $10.3 million to the Chignik sockeye fishery. The funding was appropriated when Congress passed the 2019 Consolidated and Supplemental Appropriations Act. >click to read< 15:02

Graves requests $100M in fisheries disaster assistance to La. after record-setting opening of Bonnet Carre Spillway

Congressman Garret Graves has written a letter to the National Oceanic an Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) asking them to allocated the remaining $100 million in fisheries disaster assistance to Louisiana to go towards mitigating the impacts of the recent openings of the Bonnet Carre Spillway.,, “To rub even more salt in the wound, our fishing industry has been taking it on the chin for years, punished by previous, man-made disadvantages, including falsely labeled crawfish from overseas and imported shrimp taking precedent in the market over our domestic and sustainable seafood products,” said Graves. >click to read< 12:50

NOAA grants Alaskan Fisheries $24.4 million in disaster relief funding. When, though?!

Thursday the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), approved a $24.4 million dollar disaster relief package to help restore the loss of fisheries impacted by the 2018 pacific cod fishery disaster and sockeye salmon failure in Chignik. The money will be administered by the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission who will distribute the relief payments to fishermen and their deckhands, processors, and fishery research in the affected regions. >click to read< 10:26

Scientists weigh in on whale risk tool!

The word is out, almost, on what a panel of independent scientists thinks about the controversial “decision support tool” used by NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service last spring when it drafted proposed rules aimed at protecting endangered North Atlantic right whales and other large marine mammals from entanglement with fishing gear. When the fisheries service made its decision last spring on how best to reduce the risk to whales, it relied on a “decision support tool” based on a poll of Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Team (TRT) members, rather than extensive data collected over the years, as to where the whales are found and how much interaction there has been between them and Maine lobster gear. >click to read< 11:31

Decision Support Tool Helpful to Those Finding Ways to Reduce Whale Entanglement in Fishing Gear – From NOAA! >click to read<

‘Ship Strikes’ Killing Whales! A voluntary slow-down program for passing ships is frequently ignored

According to NOAA, these “ship strikes” are blamed for at least 88 whale deaths in California. Since 2006, 239 whales were killed in all U.S. waters over the same time period. Of those whales killed, nearly one in three was a member of an endangered species. Scientists, however, believe the true number of deaths is far higher than the official counts. “The majority of reported ship strikes probably represents a tenth or less of the true number occurring,” said Calambokidis. “The majority of whales that die, in fact, sink and disappear and are never documented.” Check the chart that says how many estimated by NOAA! >click to read< 14:16

New Bedford Remains Top Money Port in the United States

Scallops continue to be king in the Port of New Bedford. The U.S. Commerce Department on Friday released its 2018 report on commercial fishing. For the 19th consecutive year, the Port of New Bedford was the most lucrative port in the nation, with its total catch of seafood valued at $431 million. Dutch Harbor, Alaska landed the most fish for the 22nd consecutive year, more than 763 million pounds. >click to read< 10:10

Fisheries of the U.S. Report for 2018 Shows Strong Year for Fishermen – According to the Fisheries of the United States report, which is compiled by NOAA using data and analysis not immediately available at the same end of a fishing year, U.S. highest value species groups in 2018 included lobster ($684 million), crabs ($645 million), salmon ($598 million), scallops ($541 million), and shrimp ($496 million). >click to read<

Family Fishermen Challenge Illegal, Industry-Killing At-Sea Monitoring Rule from Department of Commerce

Cause of Action Institute (“CoA Institute”) today filed a lawsuit on behalf of a group of New Jersey family fishermen to block a new regulation that would force them to pay for third-party “at-sea monitors.” The industry-killing rule—which was designed by the New England Fishery Management Council and promulgated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and U.S. Department of Commerce—will require certain boats in the Atlantic herring fishery to carry “at-sea monitors” and at their own cost. >click to read< 14:40

Scoping Hearing on Lobster/Gear Right Whale Entanglements

On Tuesday night there will be a scoping meeting from 6-8 PM at Mass Maritime Academy to receive public input on ways to alter the American lobster fishery regulations to reduce mortality of North Atlantic right whales by 60%. This is a followup to the August 21, 2019 NOAA Fisheries GARFO (Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office) public meeting in Bourne that sought input on the recommendations from the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Team,, >click to read< 20:29

The Conservation Law Foundation petition’s NOAA to prohibit Atlantic cod fishing

The petition, filed with NOAA regional offices in Gloucester and with U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross in Washington, invokes the first article of the Magnuson Stevens Act, the law governing federal fisheries, which stipulates that overfishing must end immediately and that the fish stock be rebuilt as quickly as possible. (MMPA has wrecked that!) “There’s a fairly damning record of the agency (NOAA Fisheries, also known as the National Marine Fisheries Service) approving (New England Fishery Management) Council plans it should have known were not likely to end overfishing, and were not likely to put cod stocks on any rebuilding timeline,” said Peter Shelley, (who supports him) senior counsel for the foundation.  >click to read< The image is cod, destroyed and wasted by seals, 08:35

The Risk of Ship Strikes: Maine Congressional Delegation Ask Feds To Shift Focus Of Right Whale Protections

In a letter to top officials at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) this week, the delegation calls on the agency to provide more information about reducing the risk of ship strikes off the United States and Canada – strikes that they say are as much a threat to the whales’ survival as entanglement with lobster fishing gear. >click to read< 10:13

  Most likely Carnival Cruise Lines is responsible for 18+ Right Whale deaths in the past 3 year, at which rate they would soon be extinct>click to read<

NOAA calls for monitors on all groundfish trips, calls for Public Comments on proposal

The draft amendment to set at-sea monitoring coverages aboard all Northeast groundfish vessels has led an adventurous existence in the three years the New England Fishery Management Council has dedicated to developing the contentious measure. There was last year’s partial shutdown of the federal government that delayed the rule-setting process. The council, in March 2018, also chose to tap the brakes on the development of the measure known as Amendment 23, >click to read< 20:28

A message from NOAA’s Chris Oliver on conservation and management efforts for North Atlantic right whales

United States and Canada Must Sustain Additional Efforts to Reduce North Atlantic Right Whale Mortalities, Serious Injuries – Last Friday, we met once again with Canadian officials to continue our bilateral focus on the conservation and protection of North Atlantic right whales. The United States and Canada have a shared interest in recovering right whales, and it is critical for both countries to take and sustain additional efforts to reduce right whale mortalities and serious injuries. >click to read< 12:27

Federal regulations to protect right whales are delayed until at least this summer

Officials at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which is responsible for protecting the critically endangered species, had planned to issue the regulations last year. But they were delayed after months of criticism from the region’s powerful lobster industry, which is worried that new requirements could be harsh and expensive. >click to read< 18:03

NASA, NOAA’s Latest Climate Scare Based On Intentionally Flawed Data

Because science is the pursuit of knowledge, and political actions almost necessarily restrict personal freedom, science, laws, and regulations should use the best available data. Using bad data undermines both the pursuit of truth and the legitimate justification of laws and regulations. Everyone, from the far left to the far right on the political spectrum, should be able to agree about this.  >click to read< 12:11

From July 30, 2019, ‘Hidden’ NOAA temperature data reveals 6 of the last 9 months were below normal in the USA, and NOAA can’t even get June right –  >click to read<

Florida Man Sentenced for Killing Endangered Sawfish

Chad Ponce, a 38-year old commercial fisherman, is facing 2 years probation, 80 hours of community service and a $2,000 fine for killing an endangered smalltooth sawfish. A judge determined this sentence on December 19, 2019, after a joint investigation by NOAA Fisheries and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) confirmed Ponce used a power saw to cut the rostrum (saw or bill) off of the live fish before discarding its body back into the ocean. >click to read< 08:35

NOAA Satellites Helped Save Record 421 Lives in 2019: Registered Emergency Beacons Proven to Save Lives

Of the 421 U.S. rescues last year, 306 were water rescues, 38 were from aviation incidents and 77 were from events on land, where PLBs were used. Florida had the most SARSAT rescues with more than 100, followed by Alaska with more than 50. The previous rescue record of 353 (total) was set in 2007. When a NOAA satellite pinpoints the location of a distress signal in the U.S., the information is relayed to the SARSAT Mission Control Center at NOAA’s Satellite Operations Facility in Suitland, Maryland. From there,,, >click to read< 14:21

Letter: Shaheen stands by fishermen

Commercial fisherman up and down the coast are fortune to have Jeanne Shaheen on our side. When you take into consideration that her home port is New Hampshire, a small fishing state, you ask why does she come out fighting. I tell you why she cares — after a fisherman from her state took the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to court and lost regarding paying for monitoring, she came out swinging to help him and others. >click to read< 09:09

New Hampshire: Lobstermen lament coming whale entanglement regulations

Seacoast lobstermen weighed in on the proposal at a meeting Thursday night in Portsmouth with the state Department of Fish and Game. They’re still skeptical that their fishery poses enough of a threat to the whales to merit new regulations. And they want more details and input on the new, more easily breakable lines or gear they’ll have to use to keep whales from being entangled. >click to read< 07:10

Carlos “Codfather” Rafael settlement rankles local fishermen

By the start of the new fishing year on May 1, Carlos Rafael, once owner of one of the largest fishing fleets in the country and known as the “Codfather” will officially be little more than a memory on the New Bedford waterfront. According to his attorney John Markey, Rafael will have sold off all of his fishing empire as part of a settlement agreement with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and will be out of the fishing industry forever. >click to read< 20:32