Tag Archives: NOAA

Real Climate Science from David Legates Seems to Scare the Media. Will it Scare NOAA?

It’s not often that I read a MSM report and think that every single paragraph is full of sh!t. But this NPR story about Heartland friend and esteemed climate scientist David Legates has falsehoods in every single paragraph that doesn’t simply identify him. Well done, NPR — which reached out to Heartland for comment on a Saturday two hours before they published this story “on a tight deadline” for a story they were obviously working on for days. Your tax dollars subsidize this fake news, by the way. Legates has, indeed, been “questioning basic tenets of climate science,” if you substitute the word “science” for “dogma.”,, “He’s not just in left field, he’s not even near the ballpark,” says (lol) Jane Lubchenco, The chances that Jane Lubchenco has read anything David Legates has written or listened to anything he’s said about the climate is zero. If she did, she wouldn’t say anything she said. It’s embarrassing, really. By Jim Lakely >click to read< 10:08

Opposition grows to expanding fin fish farming

The Trump administration and the aquaculture industry said the order, which is being implemented now, represents common sense steps to ease the burden of rules on fish farmers. “They’re trying to somehow connect open-water aquaculture with the need for domestic food. But it just doesn’t make sense,” said Marianne Cufone, executive director of the Recirculating Farms Coalition,,, Some fishing groups have also come out in support of the order. Scot Mackey, director of government affairs for the Garden State Seafood Association, which advocates for fishermen as well as farmers, said the order “will help the industry weather the current crisis and come back stronger.” Neville Crabbe, spokesman for the Atlantic Salmon Federation, a conservation group, said the federal permitting process should be creating land-based aquaculture rather than fish farms in the ocean, let alone offshore. >click to read< 18:13

Opening a can of worms: Offshore fish farming in the Gulf of Mexico: Who benefits?

Velella Epsilon – the first fish farm in federal waters off the contiguous United States – would operate in the Gulf of Mexico, about 40 miles from Florida’s coast. Globe-shaped pens would hold fingerling almaco jack, a member of the amberjack genus, that would grow into 4-pound market fish within a year. The White House appears eager to open federal waters to aquaculture. With Executive Order 13921, President Donald Trump on May 7 ordered NOAA to winnow down regulations for both aquaculture and wild-caught fish.,, Ocean aquaculture is not without its environmental costs, such as escaped fish, parasites, and “fish sewage.” To James Bois, a commercial fisherman based here in Cortez, it’s unclear how a massive fish farm operation off the coast of Cortez will change his life. >click to read< 14:52

Opinion: Been a lot about the Observer Program out there lately. My question is, why are they needed?!!

When our boats come to unload their catch, NOAA people are there to report their landings, and if they caught too much haddock, cod or flounder, or other species that are not allowed, the owner could face a fine. Of course, Electronic monitoring is an alternative to that. This would show what they caught each and every tow, thus not needing an observer that many can’t afford, and second it should be a NOAA financial obligation, not placed on our fishermen. There are so few of them left. There is a lot to think about, but the bottom line is, it should be a financial obligation of the government to harvest the government required data. Thank You, Sam Parisi, Gloucester 19:15

Kodiak Fisherman will Plead Guilty to Federal Charges for Falsifying Fishing Records, a Lacey Act violation

James Aaron Stevens, 46, of Kodiak, will plead guilty to one count of false labeling, a Lacey Act violation, for knowingly submitting false records concerning the locations and regulatory areas where fish were harvested. According to admissions made in connection with the plea, Stevens, the owner and operator of F/V Alaskan Star and F/V Southern Seas out of Kodiak, falsely reported individual fishing quota (IFQ) halibut and IFQ sablefish between 2014 and 2017. Specifically, Stevens knowingly falsified International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) logbooks, Daily Fishing Logbooks, Alaska Department of Fish and Game fish tickets, and landing reports to show that fishing gear had been deployed in areas where the vessels did not fish, and omitted areas in which the fish were actually harvested.  In addition to his falsified logbooks, the investigation further revealed that Stevens maintained the accurate fishing information in a separate, personal log. >click to read< 13:21

Feds select Gulf of Mexico Southern, California as potential zones for fish farming in the EEZ

The gulf joins Southern California in becoming a region for “Aquaculture Opportunity Areas,” the first two in the United States. President Donald Trump issued an executive order earlier this year outlining the concept as a way of boosting the country’s seafood industry and reducing its reliance on imported fish. The selection covers federal waters but does not identify more specific locations. “The creation of Aquaculture Opportunity Areas will foster the U.S. aquaculture industry as a needed complement to our wild capture fisheries,” said Chris Oliver, the assistant administrator for NOAA Fisheries, in a statement.  >click to read< 14:14

Commissioner Fried Welcomes NOAA Announcement – The announcement comes after Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried sent a letter to the U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, asking that the department consider designating waters off Florida’s coast as an Aquaculture Opportunity Area. Echoing Commissioner Fried’s call were U.S. Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott, the National Aquaculture Association, the Florida Aquaculture Ass,,, >click to read<

A Fishery Observer Liability Form Letter to be signed by the observer before the observer accesses the Fishing Vessel

Thanks for your help in fighting the observer redeployment issue. I have just put together a Liability letter that every boat should print out and have onboard and make any observer sign before stepping foot on their vessel. I, _____________,  in my capacity as a fishery observer, fully accept any and all legal consequences if in some way my actions and interactions cause the spread of the to the crew of the vessel in which I am deployed to. >Click to read, copy, reproduce, the letter, and have signed< Since NOAA and the observer companies are refusing to accept liability if any crewmen get sick from an observer, then we must put the onus on the observer himself. Thanks, Jim Lovgren 11:22

Herrera Beutler lauds NOAA decision on sea lion removal

NOAA announced Aug. 14 that a task force had endorsed implementing the Endangered Salmon Predation Prevention Act, legislation signed into law in 2018. The administration stated that the new law amends the Marine Mammal Protection Act, allowing for removal of sea lions in a stretch of the Columbia River and its tributaries intended to cut down on predation of salmon and steelhead. With NOAA’s approval of these permits, wildlife managers can now finally take action and implement the sea lion control measure that tribes, fishermen, scientists, conservationists and local leaders have been calling for to preserve our native fish runs,”  U.S. Rep Herrera Beutler >click to read< 10:46

A Greek tragedy? New England lobsters caught in perfect storm of warming seas and save the whales activism

Climate change, ocean acidification,,, it’s nothing compared to what will become of the industry if the self-coronated “Prince of Whales,” New Hampshire’s Richard “Max” Strahan, has his way. To lobstermen, though, Strahan has proven himself far more than a vaudevillian nuisance. The kicker, says Strahan, who gets more animated as our conversation goes on, is that the whales are pretty much doomed no matter what. In 2017, the North Atlantic right whale population didn’t reproduce at all, usually considered the death knell for an endangered species. In late June, a six-month-old right whale calf was found dead with propeller wounds off the coast of New Jersey. Lobstering had nothing to do with it, but it won’t help the industry’s case. “It’s not really that they’re being caught in fishing gear,” Strahan admits. “It’s the fact that they don’t reproduce anymore. That’s what’s killing them.” >click to read< 08:07

SCRUB OBSERVERS ON FISHING TRIPS!

From all indications, on August 14, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration commercial fishing monitors will be back looking for a journey unless NOAA steps in and waives the requirement for data-collecting observers during the COVID-19 pandemic. The information human observers collect can be temporarily gathered through electronic surveillance, but a momentary waiver has to come directly through your two U.S. Senators and one U.S. Representative in Washington. Let them know as soon as possible because if you don’t email or call them now, don’t think anyone else is going to do this for you. >click to read< 08:11

Baker Polito Administration Announces Coronavirus Disaster Relief Funding for Fishing and Seafood Industries

The Baker-Polito Administration has announced the distribution of $27.8 million in federal disaster relief funding to mitigate the financial impacts to the fishing and seafood industries from the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. The Division of Marine Fisheries worked with fishing industry stakeholders to develop a plan to distribute the federal fisheries assistance, which has now been approved by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. >click to read< 11:12

North Atlantic Right Whale: Maine Certified Sustainable Lobster Association loses MSC certification despite sustainable management of the Maine lobster fishery

The Maine Certified Sustainable Lobster Association (MCSLA) announced today that its Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification will be suspended due to a recent decision in the federal case Center for Biological Diversity v. Ross. The certificate suspension is occurring despite continued sustainable management of the Maine lobster fishery and remains the direct result of NOAA’s 2014 biological opinion on the impact that lobster fishing has on right whales. The MCSLA is anticipating NOAA’s 2020 draft biological opinion, which may be made public as soon as August 2020. Once the 2020 biological opinion is finalized and implemented, the MCSLA will work to quickly regain its MSC certification. >click to read< 11:45

Florida fisheries wait for federal aid as prices take a deep dive – fisheries across the nation have experienced steep sales decline

Federal officials Wednesday defended the delay in releasing $300 million on fisheries assistance funding, including $23.4 million for Florida, saying the pandemic has set them behind in analyzing data to determine how much each fishery is due. Senators on the Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee urged faster action to offset the impacts of COVID-19 on the seafood industry. Committee Chairman Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., noted that fisheries across the nation have experienced up to a 90 percent decline in sales.,, In May, the CARES Act allocated $300 million for fisheries assistance funding. Florida received $23,447,815, according to the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. However, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has not approved the state’s plan. >click to read< 13:03

Coronavirus: COVID-19 and mandated on-board fisheries observers during the pandemic resurgence

The NOAA/NMFS “Navy’s” at-sea surveys in the Northeast region were cancelled at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and will not be resumed for at least the remainder of this year. “Since March, we have been rigorously analyzing various options for conducting cruises this year and are taking a  survey-by-survey, risk-based approach. After much deliberation, we determined that there was no way to move forward with these surveys while effectively minimizing risk and meeting core survey objectives,” according to officials at the Northeast Fisheries Science Center in a statement issued July 10.,,, But mandatory on-board observers pose no COVID 19 threat to commercial captains or crew?,, the mandatory on-board observers are scheduled to be back aboard commercial fishing vessels come August. >click to read< By Nils Stolpe, http://fishnet-usa.com/ 21:08

Fishing industry seeks emergency waiver from federal fishery observer requirement.

West Coast trawlers and fishing industry leaders looking to minimize the risk of exposure to the coronavirus are asking for an emergency waiver from a requirement to carry human observers. The National Marine Fisheries Service provided a two-week waiver from observer coverage in the spring. Chris Oliver, assistant administrator for NOAA Fisheries, clarified in a message posted Thursday that waivers remain available on a vessel-by-vessel basis. According to a spokesman, the federal agency has issued some individual vessel waivers for trips in the past three months — all were for times when observers were not available, not for other reasons, such as a vessel operator’s concerns about the coronavirus. >click to read< 15:54

Fisheries across nation seeking monitor waivers

What began in the fisheries of New England has spread across the country. Fishing stakeholders from as far away as the West Coast and Alaska have joined Northeast commercial fishermen in pressuring NOAA Fisheries to extend — and uniformly apply — waivers from having to carry at-sea monitors and other observers on vessels while the COVID-19 pandemic still rages. The Seafood Harvesters of America, an umbrella organization that represents 18 separate fishing groups from Maine to Alaska, wrote to NOAA Fisheries and Department of Commerce officials this week to advance many of the same safety arguments against reinstating observers aboard commercial fishing vessels in the midst of the pandemic. >click to read< 16:30

NOAA Cancels Three Northeast Research Surveys due to Coronavirus Uncertainties

Due to the uncertainties created by the Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic and the unique challenges those are creating for NOAA Fisheries, we are cancelling three research surveys off the Northeast United States. The cancelled surveys include those for sea scallop, Atlantic surfclam/ocean quahog, and an advanced technology survey investigating the ocean’s mesopelagic layer—the “twilight zone.” These are difficult decisions for the agency as we strive to balance our need to maintain core mission responsibilities with the realities and impacts of the current health crisis. >click to read<  20:42

Northern Right Whales Are on the Brink, and Trump Could Be Their Last Hope

The task of responding will fall to an unlikely champion, President Trump, whose recent appeals for support from Maine lobstermen could clash with the task of saving the right whale. Peter Corkeron, a senior scientist at the New England Aquarium who spent nearly a decade chronicling the gruesome deaths of right whales as the director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association’s research program for large whales, said he feared the listing would have little impact. “Lobstermen certainly recognize the dire circumstance that the right whale species is in right now,” Patrice McCarron, “We’re in this awkward situation where right whales are not doing great, and it’s certainly not the fault of the commercial fisheries.”PEER also filed a complaint last year with the inspector general of the Commerce Department, which oversees NOAA, arguing that federal officials intent on reopening fishing areas have been ignoring their own scientists on climate change as well as other threats to whales. >click to read< 11:37

America Needs To Stop Relying On Countries Like China For Seafood Markets

When Americans visit a supermarket and wander past the meat counter, they see this century’s equivalent of the fishmonger’s stall: the seafood department. Laden over crushed ice in glass cases sits an array of fish products — whole snapper or shrimp, maybe, but almost always pre-sliced filets in a bevy of hues. Oysters and clams complete the display. In the rare cases where stores divulge the provenance of seafood, placards will often list Thailand, China or South American countries. Less frequently, however, will one see U.S-raised or caught seafood in such displays. This is disappointing to the patriot who wishes to ‘buy American.’ >clickto read< 07:00

Re-Deploying Observers and At-Sea Monitors: Northeast Observer Waiver Extended Through July 31, 2020

Although we had announced plans to resume observer deployments on July 1, we recognize the Coronavirus pandemic continues to evolve and as such, has required us to re-evaluate and adapt to changing circumstances.  In response, NOAA Fisheries is extending the waiver granted to vessels with Greater Atlantic Region fishing permits to carry human observers or at-sea monitors through July 31, 2020. This action is authorized by 50 CFR 648.11, which provides the Greater Atlantic Regional Administrator authority to waive observer requirements, and is also consistent with the criteria described in the agency’s emergency rule on observer waivers during the COVID-19 pandemic. >click to read< 16:00

#FishermensLivesMatter: Until this pandemic is over, say no to fishery observers being placed on fishing vessels

On July 1st the Trump Administration’s agency, NOAA will require that fishing vessels resume taking fishery observers on their fishing trips. Due to the Coronavirus pandemic these activities have been suspended for almost three months due to the danger of spreading the deadly disease among the
fishing industry and their families. Fishery observers are required by National Marine Fishery Service regulations to observe commercial fishing operations in almost all of our countries fisheries based on various criteria that include likelihood of interaction with marine mammals or other protected species, amount of bycatch in each fishery, adherence to regulations, and anything else they can justify to support this huge taxpayer money gobbling con game they have created. >click to read< by Jim Lovgren #FishermensLivesMatter 22:27

Officials examining right whale found dead off N.J. – wounds are “consistent with a vessel collision”

The whale’s carcass was spotted floating in the ocean near Monmouth Beach at 12:15 p.m. Friday after first being seen a few miles south in the water off of Long Branch, according to a statement from NOAA.,, was working on a plan to tow it to shore so it could be examined and its cause of death could be determined by a team of investigators.A preliminary examination of the mammal showed several wounds along its head and body that are “consistent with a vessel collision,” however its official cause of death was still unknown, NOAA officials said. >click to read< 08:50

Coronavirus: LI fishermen concerned about restart of onboard monitoring program

Some fishermen in Montauk this week said they plan to refuse to allow the federally mandated observers and monitors to board their boats, given the resurgence of COVID-19 around the country and the uncertainty around potential infection from observers, some of whom are housed in Hampton Bays, once considered a Long Island hot spot for the virus. The federal agency ordering the resumption of monitoring said it has enacted a series of safety protocols to protect fishermen and observers, including requiring that observers quarantine for 14 days before the start of a fishing trip. >click to read< 17:14

Displacement of fishermen? Offshore Wind Could Have Major Adverse Impact on Commercial Fisheries

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s (BOEM) draft supplemental environmental review for Vineyard Wind off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts indicates that offshore wind farms could have a major “adverse” impact on commercial fisheries.,, The study also notes concern that offshore wind turbines and transmission cables could entangle with fishing vessels and gear, and that wind farms could result in the temporary or permanent displacement of fishermen in certain areas.  >click to read< 13:02

N E looks to Europe to assess environmental impacts of offshore energy facilities – “In the next 20 years there will be more than 2,000 wind turbines off the coastline,” “We think there’s lots of potential for environmental benefit of putting offshore aquaculture together with offshore renewable — from an environmental point of view, but also from an economic point of view,” she said. “Sharing space is going to be the only way I think we can move forward in this industry,,, >click to read<

Update on Fishery Observer Program Restart, Which Resumes July 1st

On May 29, NOAA Fisheries announced that on July 1, the waiver of fishery monitoring will expire, and we will begin deploying observers and at-sea monitors on vessels fishing in northeast fisheries. In a letter released today, Northeast Fisheries Science Center Director Jon Hare is providing an update on preparations  for a safe and efficient redeployment. For more details and to download the letter, >click to read< 18:30

Crab Command and Control – California Dungeness Crab Fishing Gear Working Group

“Whales getting entangled in fishing gear is a huge crisis,” says John Mellor, a commercial fisherman and a member of the working group since its inception. “It has to be dealt with, and dealt with in real time.” Once or twice a month during Dungeness crab fishing season, which normally runs from November 15 to July 15, scientists in the working group conduct a series of mini research projects looking at four risk factors for entanglements: how many whales and sea turtles are around, where whales are likely to forage, the number and locations of recorded entanglements, and information about fishermen, including their landing data, license numbers, and the locations of their traps. >cxlick to read< 08:35

Congressmen urge NOAA to extend at-sea monitor waiver for Northeast commercial fishing vessels

In a letter to Neil Jacobs, an acting undersecretary at the Department of Commerce, U.S. Reps. Seth Moulton and Bill Keating said a continuation of the at-sea monitor waiver is “critical to both protect the health and welfare of fishermen who are working to sustain their operations and to maintain our region’s seafood supply during the continued COVID-19 pandemic.” On March 24, NOAA Fisheries implemented the at-sea monitor waiver and took the observers off the boats. It has extended the waiver at least twice. >click to read< 07:44

Judge James Boasberg’s court ruling puts future of Maine lobster industry at risk

United States District Judge James Boasberg’s order found that the National Marine and Fishery Services violated the Endangered Species Act by licensing the lobster fishery. In the second phase of the case, the judge will decide what action is necessary to rectify the situation. The Maine Lobstermen’s Association, an intervenor, and other industry stakeholders around the Gulf of Maine, will submit information for the judge to consider in his ruling.,, Activist Richard Strahan filed a motion in federal court in Bangor to stop fishing in Maine May 15, citing violations of the Endangered Species Act, Maine Public reported. The Maine Department of Marine Resources has no intention of curtailing lobster permits, said spokesperson Jeff Nichols. >click to read< 09:45

Fighting for fishermen on a bi-partisan, bi-coastal basis during Coronavirus crisis – Senator Ed Markey

Restaurants have shuttered and large export markets have been disrupted. Fishermen have lost access to critical points of sale and sources of income. With a decreased demand for fresh seafood, many boats sit idle in port. Meanwhile, boat payments are due and families need to be fed. In the U.S. Senate, I have been fighting on a bipartisan basis alongside Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Alaska senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan to secure dedicated economic assistance for the fishing and seafood industries in COVID-19 economic relief packages. Thankfully, this bi-coastal effort got results. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, enacted into law on March 27, included $300 million in assistance for fishery participants and $9.5 billion for affected agricultural producers. >click to read< 12:22

Judge weighs shutting down Southeast Alaska Chinook fishery

Fishermen in Southeast Alaska could see their season cut short if a federal judge issues an injunction requested by a Washington environmental group to protect the food supply of a subpopulation of orcas. The Wild Fish Conservancy filed a lawsuit against NOAA,,, “We are getting blamed for harvesting their food source, which really isn’t the cause of the problem,” Amy Daughery, executive director of the Alaska Trollers Association said. “The problem as we see it, is the exponential population growth in Seattle, which has lead to a lot of toxicity and pollution and habitat loss in that area. And so these whales are really struggling, this one population. The Northern killer whales that we see off the coast of Southeast Alaska are doing very well. In fact they’ve increased.” >click to read< 10:19