Tag Archives: NOAA/NMFS

NOAA/NMFS Proposes Squid and Butterfish Quotas for the 2019 Fishing Year

Based on updated information, we are proposing an 8-percent increase in the 2019 commercial Illex squid quota. The previously approved 2019 annual quotas for longfin squid and butterfish would be maintained and would not be changed by this action. The increased 2019 Illex quota is based on an evaluation that similar historic catch has not harmed the stock. As new information becomes available, we may revise the proposed quotas for future fishing years. >click to read<11:19

MAINE DMR schedules whale updates, community meetings

Maine’s $485-million lobster industry is facing serious restrictions on the way it operates as a consequence of efforts to protect endangered right whales from extinction. In April, DMR will hold a series of community meetings to talk with lobster industry members about upcoming actions by the NOAA Fisheries Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Team and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission dealing with protection issues. Meetings are scheduled for >click to read<14:28

NOAA Fisheries Approves Changes to Longfin Squid Permits and Possession Limits

NOAA Fisheries has approved Amendment 20 to the Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish Fishery Management Plan. The measures become effective on March 1, 2019. Specifically, the final rule:
Separates the current longfin/butterfish moratorium permit to create a new butterfish moratorium permit and a separate longfin squid moratorium permit;  Creates a “Tier 1” longfin squid moratorium permit for vessels that landed at least 10,000 lb of longfin squid in any year from 1997-2013; Creates a “Tier 2” longfin squid moratorium permit with a 5,000 lb possession limit fo,,, New longfin squid and butterfish permits will become effective on March 1, 2019 and will be issued by the Regional Administrator as follows:>click to read<13:36

NOAA Fisheries Seeks Comments on Future Reporting Requirements for the American Lobster Fishery

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission recently approved Addendum XXVI to Amendment 3 of the Interstate Fisheries Management Plan for American Lobster to improve the scope and type of data collected in the lobster fishery in order to improve stock assessments, assess potential impacts of wind farms, and better assess interactions with marine mammals. The addendum includes recommendations to: Require all federal lobster permit holders to report on catches for each fishing trip. Have NOAA Fisheries collect data on where, when, and how long fishermen are fishing. Expand NOAA Fisheries’ offshore biological sampling program. >click to read<17:07

NOAA/NMFS seeks input on proposed sea lion removal at Willamette Falls

NOAA Fisheries is seeking public input on an application from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) to remove, by lethal means if necessary, California sea lions preying on endangered and threatened salmon and steelhead at Willamette Falls on the Willamette River near Oregon City. The approach would be similar to the ongoing removal of sea lions preying on vulnerable populations of protected fish at Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River.  Under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), each application NOAA Fisheries receives for removing problematic sea lions must undergo independent consideration. info, click here to read the story 08:36

Trawl Surveys, what are they good for? – Nils E. Stolpe/FishNet USA

(Note that I am only addressing the NOAA/NMFS reliance on bottom trawl survey data in finfish stock assessments. I am not questioning the value of the wealth of biological and physical data that this long – running series of surveys generate.) From the article: According to NOAA/NMFS these surveys have provided and continue to provide “the primary scientific data” for fisheries assessments from North Carolina to Maine (fisheries assessments are the periodic – generally held every 3 to 5 years – scientific/bureaucratic exercises. In NOAA’s words “NOAA Fisheries’ scientific stock assessments are critical to modern fisheries management. Using data gathered from commercial and recreational fishermen and our own on-the-water scientific observations, a stock assessment describes the past and current status of a fish population or stock, answers questions about the size of the stock, and makes predictions about how a fishery will respond to current and future management measures.”) click here to read the article 12:35

NOAA/NMFS Declines to List Thorny Skate as Threatened or Endangered

In response to a petition from Defenders of Wildlife and Animal Welfare Institute to list thorny skate (Amblyraja radiata) under the Endangered Species Act, we have now determined that listing is not warranted at this time. The May 2015 petition requested that we list a “Northwest Atlantic Distinct Population Segment” or a “United States Distinct Population Segment” of thorny skate as threatened or endangered. Thorny skate are at low abundance in U.S. waters compared to historical levels, primarily due to overfishing. However, declines have been halted throughout most of the species’ full range, and the species remains abundant throughout the North Atlantic, with hundreds of millions of individuals in the Northwest Atlantic alone. Read the rest here 12:21

NOAA/NMFS Considers Moving Trawl Surveys to Fishing Vessels

no bigelowNOAA Fisheries is initiating a planning process to support its intention to transition part or all of the Northeast Fisheries Science Center’s spring and fall bottom trawl surveys from the NOAA Ship Henry B. Bigelow to fishing industry vessels provided that survey data collection quality and time series integrity can be maintained. “The bottom trawl survey is perhaps the most valuable ecological data set that we maintain at the Center,” said Bill Karp, the center’s director. “Those data are critical for many of the fishery stock assessments in the region and are mined by a wide variety of researchers for other purposes. By sharing the responsibility for gathering these data with the fishing industry, I think there will also come greater shared confidence in the results obtained using them.” Read the rest here 17:12

Catch Shares – Proven to be A Bad Idea

CSF board member Dick GrachekThe following is an opinion piece written by CSF board member Dick Grachek some time ago but time has not altered his view: The problem with catch shares is not in their “design”.  The problem with catch shares is in their existence. Except for a few “winners” perhaps, it’s a problem for all concerned that this flawed and destructive privatization scheme was even considered, no less established as a management approach. Catch Shares have done nothing to help the fish. Catch Shares have done nothing to help the fishermen and the fishing communities. Catch Shares have done nothing to help the fish consuming public. Catch shares were not put to the referendum vote as statutorily mandated by the MSA. Catch Share Sectors were not “voluntarily” joined by the majority of the fishermen—the common pool was not a viable “option”.  Read the rest here 15:21

Groundswell – New England Fisherman Steve Welch takes on Catch Shares, Council & Government Regulation

Commercial fisherman, Steve Welch of Plymouth, Mass. speaks against essential fish habitat proposals, and strongly opposes  mentality of regional fish council that is ruining our industry. Groundswell notes that such anti-Catch Share feelings are common among many in Alaska,,, We need to bottle Steve Welch’s boldness and right feelings and get far more fishermen to go to council meetings and tell them and the Secretary of Commerce that enough is enough.  It is time to end the hubris of RFMCs and their political appointees. Listen, and read the rest at groundswellalaska.com 14:36

NOAA/NMFS: Closed Areas off southern New England to re-open for groundfish​ing for remainder of fishing year 2013

nmfs_logoAs part of its efforts to mitigate some of the challenges facing New England groundfishermen this season, today, NOAA Fisheries announced that some areas that have been closed to fishing since 1994 will re-open. Two sections on the eastern and western side of the Nantucket Lightship Closed Area will open through April 30, 2014, the end of the current fishing year.  Click here to read the NOAA Fisheries Bulletin.  12:54

Suppose there was an important fishery that was the basis of a large part of the coastal economy as well as the cultural cement that held coastal communities together. – Towards rationalit​y in fisheries management​

NetLogoBackground500Adding their interpretation to this, the people at NOAA/NMFS, with the enthusiastic support of the various and sundry anti-fishing activists who pull way too many of the strings in Washington, have added as an administrative guideline that “the most important limitation on the specification of OY (optimum yield) is that the choice of OY and the conservation and  management measures proposed to achieve it must  prevent overfishing.” More here

North Pacific Fishery Management Council, NOAA/NMFS push controversial halibut catch sharing plan – public comments extended

A revised version of the controversial halibut catch sharing plan is once again back up for federal review.  “The fact that the CSP offers to rent back the fish that will have been stolen from the guided  recreational angler strikes me as somewhat hypocritical,” Murphy said. [email protected]

IRS will pay employees $70 million in bonuses – I wonder if NOAA/NMFS is still forking bonuses from the AFF?

Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa says his office has  learned that the IRS is executing an agreement with the employees’ union on Wednesday to pay the bonuses. [email protected]

Our View: Commerce Department’s release of report would help heal relationship with fishermen SouthCoastToday

Enforcement changes were implemented after Inspector General Todd Zinser’s report on whether different regions were being punished differently under NOAA, and on whether administration of the Asset Forfeiture Fund was appropriate, but the pace of the agency’s attempt to make good on inappropriate enforcement is holding back greater progress. http://www.southcoasttoday.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20121207/OPINION/212070308/-1/NEWS01