Tag Archives: NOAA

Groundfish quota changes up for debate

The proposed rule, called Framework 58, calls for increasing the commercial quota for Georges Bank cod by 15 percent, Georges Bank haddock by 19 percent and Georges Bank winter flounder by 6 percent for the new fishing season that is set to begin Wednesday. It also includes a 1 percent increase for witch flounder. That’s the good news. The bad news is that the proposed rule, published in the Federal Register, calls for a whopping 50 percent cut to the annual catch limit for Georges Bank yellowtail flounder, a 1 percent reduction in the quota Gulf of Maine winter flounder and a 3 percent cut to the catch limit for Atlantic halibut. >click to read<22:43

This summer crisis could take the steam

This year federal authorities are imposing a steep reduction, and a few regions of the East Coast are restricted to fishing, months prior to the lobster season gets rolling. East Coast herring fishermen brought over 200 million pounds of these fish to docks lately as 2014, but the catch of this year will be limited to less than a fifth of that total. The cut scrambling for fresh lure sources, is leaving with herring for generations in Maine lobstermen, who have baited traps and concerned about their capacity to find lobster. >click to read< 12:40

NOAA says a group of whales in the Gulf of Mexico are endangered

Federal scientists say a tiny group of Bryde’s whales in the Gulf of Mexico is endangered, facing threats including oil and gas exploration and development. “They’re the only year-round baleen whales that make their home in Gulf of Mexico, and (they) have a unique and very important role in the ecosystem,” said Laura Engleby, a marine mammal biologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration fisheries’ service.,,,Engleby said, “We don’t really know much about this species.”>click to read<15:31

Pawning off one farmer as representing all is a cheap trick in the dam-removal campaign

Advocates for tearing down the Snake River dams made a scheming move last week in Olympia, but they didn’t fool Eastern Washington lawmakers. If anything, their failed strategy strengthened the resolve of many of our region’s legislators, who were frustrated by the misrepresentation. Here is the story: A Seattle-based marketing firm sent out news releases this month saying that an “unlikely alliance” of fisherman, farmers and small business owners was gathering April 10 at the state capitol to support creating a forum focused on the dams. >click to read<13:07

UNACCEPTABLE – Strict right whale protection goal raises concerns among lobstermen

Patrick Keliher, head of the Maine Department of Marine Resources, announced the proposed target at a conference of U.S. and Canadian lobstermen in Portland Friday while defending a decision to cancel three meetings with Maine fishermen to talk about looming right whale protections.,,, The National Marine Fisheries Service estimates that fishing rope entanglement kills or seriously injures five to nine right whales a year,… A few minutes later, Keliher got an email from the fisheries service that spelled out its risk reduction target. Frustrated, he stood up and delivered apparent bad news – he told an already exasperated audience that the service now wanted a 60 percent to 80 percent reduction in the size of the lobster fishery. The room erupted with anger. >click to read<22:49

406 Day: National Campaign for Awareness of EPIRB, Emergency Locator Beacon Importance

Editor’s Note: Coast Guard members in your area may be available to discuss 406 Day and the importance of EPIRBs and PLBs.,,,Saturday, April 6, is 406 Day, a national campaign run by NOAA to spread awareness of the importance of emergency position indicating radio beacons, or EPIRBS, and personal locator beacons, or PLBs, in boating safety. In 2018, the Eighth Coast Guard District responded to over 200 distress signals from EPIRBS aboard aircraft and boats. An EPIRB works by transmitting a signal that is picked up by a satellite and then relayed to a rescue coordination center. >click to read<13:41

NOAA, BOEM, Fishing Industry Sign New Memorandum of Understanding

NOAA Fisheries, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), and the Responsible Offshore Development Alliance (RODA) signed a 10-year Memorandum of Understanding that brings local and regional fishing interests together with federal regulators to collaborate on the science and process of offshore wind energy development on the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf. >click to read<12:52

Southeast pink salmon forecast cause for concern

As the days grow longer and summer plans start to materialize, 18 million is a number on the mind of many across Southeast Alaska, especially those in numerous industries that rely on salmon fishing. Eighteen million is the number of pink salmon the Southeast forecast shows could be harvested in the 2019 commercial fishing season.,, “Salmon is the biggest portion of my income for sure,” said Stan Savland, commercial fisherman out of Hoonah and 20-year seiner. “The forecast is very alarming. I’m worried about this season because our recent odd year cycles are really what’s been carrying the seine fleet to make it.” >click to read<13:00

NOAA questions BOEM’s Vineyard Wind environmental impact study

Michael Pentony, the head of NOAA’s Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office, warned in a March 15 letter that the report on Vineyard Wind completed by the U.S Bureau of Ocean Energy Management in December included conclusions that were not well supported by data and needed additional analysis of several key angles of impact. “We determined that many of the conclusory statements relating to the scale of impacts for biological and socioeconomic resources are not well supported in the document,” Pentony wrote in his letter to the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. “Specifically, impacts categorized as major appear under-inclusive, while impacts designated as moderate seem overly inclusive.” >click to read<18:36

Vineyard Wind impact on fish under scrutiny – NOAA Fisheries criticises several aspects of BOEM’s draft environmental impact statement of 800MW project >click to read<

NOAA/NMFS Seeks Comments on Proposed Measures for the Jonah Crab Fishery

NOAA Fisheries seeks comments on proposed measures for the Jonah crab fishery that complement the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Jonah Crab.,,, Proposed measures include limiting Jonah crab harvest to those who already have a limited-access American lobster permit, a minimum size, protection for egg-bearing females, and incidental catch limits.These proposed regulations do not expand trap fishing effort. They propose to regulate the catch of Jonah crabs that is already occurring in the American lobster fishery. >click to read<13:20

NOAA requests partnership with Pacific Fishery Management Council

Citing a declining Southern resident orca population, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is requesting collaboration with the Pacific Fishery Management Council, the governing body that creates fishing season regulations from California to Washington. “We are taking many actions to conserve and recover Southern resident killer whales and particularly to address the three main threats, … prey limitation; vessel traffic and noise; and chemical contaminants. Chinook salmon, the whales’ primary prey, are important to SRKW survival and recovery,” NOAA regional director Barry Thom wrote in a letter dated March 6, addressed to Phil Anderson, chair of the council. >click to read<11:17

West Coast Waters Grow More Productive with Shift Toward Cooler Conditions

The ocean off the West Coast is shifting from several years of unusually warm conditions marked by the marine heat wave known as the “warm blob,” toward a cooler and more productive regime that may boost salmon returns and populations of other ocean predators, though it is too early to say for certain, a new NOAA Fisheries report says. >click to read<09:55

Whales are facing a deadly threat along West Coast: container ships

One day last May, a container ship entered the San Francisco Bay with extra cargo. A 45-foot-long dead female fin whale was draped across the ship’s bow. The impact with the ship had broken her back, ruptured her organs and caused severe internal bleeding. Ten whale deaths were attributed to ship strikes in 2018 – the highest number on record in California since NOAA Fisheries began tracking in 1982. The mortality rate represents an enormous increase from the average 3.4 ship strike victims recorded annually in the five previous years. Five of the 10 whales that died with boat collision injuries in 2018 were endangered or threatened fin, blue and humpback whales. >click to read<15:29

TYPE D – Mysterious killer whales seen off the coast of Chile could be a new species

Deep beneath some of the world’s roughest seas live a mysterious species of killer whales that look very different from other orcas. For the first time after it was spotted off the coast of Chile, the killer whale, which could potentially be a new species altogether, is to be studied by an international team of scientists.,,, Bob Pitman, a marine ecologist who was part of the team that spotted the whales, said that Type D killer whales could be the largest undescribed animal left on the planet,,,, >click to read<14:21

New experiment raises possibility of fresh N.C. soft-shell crabs year-round

An experiment to farm soft-shell crabs in North Carolina ponds could augment declining wild stocks and lead to having plenty of the delicacy fresh almost year round. Scientists from North Carolina and Mississippi will work together in a three-year venture to raise blue crabs and harvest them for the lucrative soft-shell market. Fresh soft crabs flood the market typically in May and June, at the height of molting season. A $339,239 grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will fund the project, managed by Sea Grant programs in both states. >click to read<20:24

Feds could restrict Pacific Ocean fishing over endangered orcas, NOAA letter says

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is taking a fresh look at whether new fishing restrictions are needed to help prevent the extinction of endangered southern resident killer whales that frequent Puget Sound. New evidence of the fish the whales depend on and the risk posed to orcas by depleted prey has caused the agency to write a letter of guidance to the Pacific Fishery Management Council, indicating the agency is examining whether new restrictions are needed—particularly on fisheries in the lower Columbia and Sacramento rivers and on fall-run chinook salmon in the Klamath River. >click to read<17:02

A Trump official said seismic air gun tests don’t hurt whales. So a congressman blasted him with an air horn.

A hearing on the threat seismic testing poses to North Atlantic right whales was plodding along Thursday when, seemingly out of nowhere, Rep. Joe Cunningham (D-S.C.) pulled out an air horn and politely asked if he could blast it. Before that moment at a Natural Resources subcommittee hearing, Cunningham had listened to a Trump administration official testify, over and over, that firing commercial air guns under water every 10 seconds in search of oil and gas deposits over a period of months would have next to no effect on the endangered animals, which use echolocation to communicate, feed, mate and keep track of their babies. It’s why the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration gave five companies permission to conduct tests that could harm the whales last year, said the official, Chris Oliver, an assistant administrator for fisheries. >click to read<11:29

Impending whale protections worry fishermen

With the majority of American lobsters caught in Maine, the state’s lobster fishermen could bear the brunt of changes in federal fishery regulations to save the endangered right whale. At the March 1 Fisherman’s Forum update on the threat of extinction for the North Atlantic right whale, it became clear regulators believe changes to fishing gear will be announced sometime this year. Right whale presentation – National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration official Mike Asaro explained that most of the remaining 450 North Atlantic right whales are male, with a population of about 100 females,,,. >click to read<16:17

Coast Guard, NOAA terminate voyage for illegal fishing in Tortugas Ecological Reserve

The Coast Guard and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration terminated the voyage of the 83-foot commercial fishing vessel, Lady Kristie, with three people aboard Thursday after discovering multiple violations near Tortugas Ecological Reserve. Fishing in an ecological reserve violates NOAA regulations. At approximately 12:30 a.m. the Coast Guard Cutter Isaac Mayo (WPC-1112) crew detected the Lady Kristie within a protected area. >click to read<17:08

CoA Institute Sends Letter to Secretary Ross Requesting Public Confirmation of Controversial Fishery Regulation

The importance of an open and transparent government is rooted in the federal government’s ability to choose winners and losers, create barriers to economic freedom, and limit personal liberties. Family-owned fishing firms in New England recently had their economic freedom put at-risk when it was revealed that the government had secretly approved a proposal to impose new, and statutorily unauthorized, costs on their fishing operations. That’s why Cause of Action Institute (CoA Institute) sent a letter to U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross yesterday, criticizing his office’s lack of transparency and inadequate analysis surrounding the controversial fishery management regulations. >click to read< 10:46

Cut in herring quota bodes ill for lobster

Imagine running a trucking business and having your supply of diesel fuel cut by70 percent. For all practical purposes, that’s what happened to the Maine lobster industry last week. On Thursday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s fisheries arm announced that it was cutting the 2019 herring quota by about 70 percent. That’s bad news for lobstermen. While diesel oil is the fuel that powers most lobster boats, herring is the fuel that powers the Maine lobster industry. Herring is the most popular bait used in the Maine lobster fishery and with the cut in the herring quota from about 110 million pounds last year to about 33 million pounds this year, bait is going to be scarce, and expensive. >click to read<22:16

Atlantic Lobster Board Moves Toward Reducing Rope In Effort To Save Right Whales

A consortium of Atlantic states fisheries managers is calling for broad changes to the gear lobstermen use, in an effort to reduce risks posed to the endangered North Atlantic right whale and to ward off potential federal action that could be even more challenging for the industry. At a meeting of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Council in Virginia, its lobster board voted unanimously to set in motion the process that could lead to major changes in the East Coast’s lobster industry. >click to read<12:43

Georgia: Shrimping season closes after record year

The end of the year also means the end of the current Georgia shrimping season, which is legally required to shut down at 6 p.m. Monday — that covers the traditional three miles from shore covered by state regulations. According to the state Department of Natural Resources’ Coastal Resources Division, activity has to cease on trawling, cast-netting and seining, and other food-shrimp harvesting efforts. However, “anglers and commercial bait-shrimp dealers may continue to harvest shrimp to use as bait.” >click to read<13:58

Corporate interests endanger independent fishermen

To the editor: The recent purchase of fishing rights in Maine by New York-based equity firm Bregal Partners is a troubling development for fishing communities throughout New England. For years, fishermen have warned that catch share policies would strip access from independent fishermen and hand it over to outside investors, bringing great social, economic and environmental consequences. This recent acquisition is evidence that the warnings need to be heeded. By Jennifer Obadia >click to read<13:16

NOAA Calls for Protection of Female North Atlantic Right Whales

NOAA Fisheries researchers and colleagues are taking a closer look as to why the endangered western North Atlantic right whale population is growing at far more slower rate than that of southern right whales, a sister species also recovering from near extinction by commercial whaling. Researchers and colleagues looked at the question and have concluded that preserving the lives of adult females in the population is the most effective way to promote population growth and recovery. Most of these deaths are attributed to entanglement in fishing gear and collisions with ships. The findings are reported in Royal Society Open Science. >click to read<17:37

This fish is delicious and sustainable, but nobody’s buying

If someone mentions butterfish you may smack your lips, absolutely want to avoid it, or just scratch your head.,,, The confusion is relevant because the real butterfish could appear at a restaurant near you. In 2017 the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration found that Atlantic butterfish “are not overfished and not subject to overfishing.” They’re tasty too. “I love them, they’re absolutely delicious,” said Gregory DiDomenico, executive director of the Garden State Seafood Association. Commercial fishermen have taken note. DiDomenico told NOAA that “people are very much looking forward to getting into this fishery. That means jobs on the boat, jobs at the plant, and fishermen buying more gear.” >click to read<10:33

On and Off Meeting at NOAA office last week

I received an email from the NOAA office last week concerning SKG money that is in their hands to decide on those who applied for the ten million dollars they grant to others each year. So I called fisherman, The Fishermens Wife’s and others in the fishing industry, even a couple of Senators about the meeting. I was told by NOAA you did not have to register, and anyone could speak.
The next email I got was the meeting was cancelled do to the lack of those that were going to attend the meeting. At about the same time of year, about two years ago, I had said the grant money is not going to our fisherman, and said the paper work was over forty pages to be submitted to NOAA. The average fisherman does finds it hard to fill it out. Sam Parisi>click to read<19:55

NOAA Fisheries release two reports showing the number of landings and value of for U.S. fisheries

NOAA Fisheries has released Fisheries of the United States, 2017 >click to read< and Fisheries Economics of the United States, 2016 >click to read>. Fisheries of the United States provides data on commercial landings and value and recreational catch. It also includes data on the fish processing industry, aquaculture production, imports and exports, and per capita seafood consumption. Our Fisheries Economics of the United States reports analyzes the economic impact of fisheries and related sectors, including employment, sales, and value-added impacts to the broader economy. >click to read<16:08

Proposed Cut for Herring Harvest Could Affect Lobster Catch

Fishermen who seek one of the most important bait fish on the East Coast are likely to see a dramatic reduction next year in the amount they are allowed to harvest, and the change could have major implications for lobster consumers. The commercial fishery for herring is a major industry in the Atlantic states, where the little fish is important as lobster bait and is also eaten by people. The fish has been under the microscope of regulators and conservation groups recently after a scientific assessment said earlier this year that the fish’s population has fallen in the past five years. NOAA wants to cut the annual catch limit from nearly 110 million pounds (50 million kilograms) this year to less than half that in 2019. The agency said in a statement that the deep cut is needed to “prevent overfishing.” >click to read<23:16:

Rockfish make a remarkable recovery off California coast, prompting federal officials to raise catch limits

Locally caught red snapper was once a staple on Southern California menus and a vital part of the state’s fishing industry. But overfishing took its toll, resulting in federal restrictions nearly two decades ago to prevent their extinction. But with stocks rebuilding faster than anticipated, federal officials on Tuesday boosted catch limits by more than 100% for some species of rockfish in a move they said would help revive West Coast bottom trawlers and sportfishing fleets. >click to read<13:15