Tag: fisheries

NOAA Hosts First Responder Training on Responding to Entangled Whales
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NOAA Hosts First Responder Training on Responding to Entangled Whales

NOAA Fisheries, which leads the Alaska Large Whale Entanglement Response Program, held workshops in four Alaska communities this fall on how to best respond to entangled whales. The training sessions in Metlakatla, Auke Bay and Gustavus in Southeast Alaska, and Cordova, on Prince William Sound, taught safety skills needed to approach whales in distress, especially entangled whales. Participating NOAA employees and partner agencies included a team of advanced, authorized responders and trainers who use specialized equipment to safely and legally respond to entangled whales. The program emphasized the importance of assessment and documentation from a safe, legal distance from the on-water communities. The response program includes a team of advanced, authorized responders and tr...
Comment Period Open for Items on NPFMC’s October Agenda
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Comment Period Open for Items on NPFMC’s October Agenda

Comment is being accepted in advance of the Oct. 6-11 meeting of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council in Anchorage on agenda topics ranging from integration of electronic monitoring on Pollock catcher vessels to a proposal for expanded Pacific cod catches in federal waters. Final decisions on both matters are expected at the meeting. Development of the trawl electronic monitoring program evolved as part of a cooperative research plan developed by the Trawl Electronic Monitoring Committee through pilot projects in 2018 and 2019, and under an exempted fishing permit, which has expanded participation since 2020. The proposed amendment to redefine the current federal Bering Sea/Aleutian Island Pacific cod jig sector to include jig catcher vessels and catcher processors, as...
Mature Snow Crab Struggling in Eastern Bering Sea, But Immature Numbers Rising
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Mature Snow Crab Struggling in Eastern Bering Sea, But Immature Numbers Rising

A NOAA Fisheries analysis of the summer survey of Bering Sea crab stocks has concluded that in the wake of consecutive years of record warm temperatures numbers of mature male and female snow crab are still down, but there’s a significant increase in immature snow crab abundance, NOAA revealed Sept. 2. “Depending on how many of these young crabs actually survive to adulthood, this could be one bright spot for the fishing industry in a few years,” said Mike Litzow, survey lead and director of the Alaska Fisheries Science Center’s Kodiak Laboratory. “We are providing these early results to stock assessment scientists and resource managers to inform science and management discussions that will occur over the next few months to identify fishery management measures for the 2023 fishin...
Salmon, Steelhead Still Face Threats in Interior Columbia Basin
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Salmon, Steelhead Still Face Threats in Interior Columbia Basin

NOAA Fisheries researchers have determined that salmon and steelhead species in the Interior Columbia Basin protected under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) still need such protection, due to the impact of climate change and the need for further recovery actions. The five-year review, released in mid-August, focuses on species in the Snake River and upper and middle Columbia River systems. It recommends further improving the passage of these fish through hydropower dams, restoring tributary and estuary habitat, controlling predators and modifying hatchery practices to improve the resilience of these species. The review of Snake River spring/summer-run Chinook salmon noted an increased level of concern for the species, based on declining population trend and the impacts of climate...
NOAA Seeks Applicants for American Fisheries Advisory Committee
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NOAA Seeks Applicants for American Fisheries Advisory Committee

NOAA Fisheries is seeking applications through Sept. 24 for the new American Fisheries Advisory Committee, which will make recommendations for Saltonstall-Kennedy priorities and grand award funding. The committee, with three representatives from each of six regions, was established in May by the American Fisheries Advisory Committee Act. The trio is to include one seafood harvester or processor, a recreational or commercial fisherman or seafood farmer, and one representative of the fisheries science community or a relevant regional fishery management council. There will also be four at-large members, with experience in food distribution, recreational fishing and commercial fishing, plus a NOAA Fisheries employee with expertise in fisheries research Members will represent seafood ...
Round 2 CARES Act Fisheries Relief Applications Due By Oct. 31
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Round 2 CARES Act Fisheries Relief Applications Due By Oct. 31

Applications for Round 2 CARES Act for Alaska fishery participants are available now on the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission website. They must be filled out and postmarked by Oct. 31 to be eligible for relief funds. The announcement from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game refers to aid being made available to fishermen financially impacted by the global COVID-19 pandemic, which is ongoing more than two years after it began. The relief funds are from the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security Act, also known as the CARES Act, which was signed into law on March 27, 2020 in response to the economic fallout of the pandemic. ADF&G officials noted that applicants need to carefully review Alaska’s spend plan, https://relief.psmfc.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/A...
UW Study Supports ‘Safety in Numbers’ Hypothesis for Pacific Salmon
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UW Study Supports ‘Safety in Numbers’ Hypothesis for Pacific Salmon

A University of Washington study published in late June found that Pacific salmon in large groups face a lower risk of being consumed by predators, although for some salmon species that tradeoff means more competition for food. While most people think of salmon spawning in freshwater streams, they also spend a huge amount of time in the ocean feeding and growing, said Anne Polyakov, lead author of the study, which was published in the journal Science Advances. “One of the reasons why this study is so unique is that we essentially can’t observe these fish at all in their natural ocean environment, and yet we’re able to pull out these really strong results on how grouping affects predation risk and foraging success for individual fish using this incredibly valuable dataset,” said P...
BOEM Invites Public Comment on Draft Fisheries Mitigation Strategy
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BOEM Invites Public Comment on Draft Fisheries Mitigation Strategy

The federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management on June 23 issued draft guidance on mitigating potential impacts of offshore wind development on commercial and recreational fishing and is inviting public review and comment. The draft mitigation document is the next step in development of guidance for offshore wind companies that began in 2021 via a request for information from the fishing industry, government agencies, non-government organizations and the public, in consultation with the National Marine Fisheries Service. BOEM director Amanda Lefton said the agency is seeking open and honest conversations focused on finding solutions to potential challenges, with a goal of providing clean, safe domestic energy, plus good jobs, and building a U.S. supply chain to support this effort...
NOAA Report Shows Huge PSC of Chum Salmon By Pollock Fleet
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NOAA Report Shows Huge PSC of Chum Salmon By Pollock Fleet

New federal and state reports show that while salmon runs in Alaska have in some cases reached a crisis point, that trawlers are catching and discarding more Chinook and chum salmon from the Yukon and Kuskokwim river systems than subsistence and direct fishers are allowed to harvest. The issue of declining salmon stocks remains a complex, multi-faceted one, involving much discussion on topics ranging from trawl bycatch to climate change to the impact of juvenile hatchery fish produced in Alaska, Washington state, Japan, Russia and South Korea. NOAA Fisheries’ genetic studies of trawl salmon bycatch in 2020 and 2021 released at the end of May determined that 52% of the Chinook bycatch from the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Pollock trawl fishery in 2020 included an estimated 16,7...
NOAA Fisheries Speaks at UN On Ecosystem Approaches to Fisheries Management
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NOAA Fisheries Speaks at UN On Ecosystem Approaches to Fisheries Management

NOAA Fisheries is taking a lead on the global stage in sharing its ecosystem approaches to fisheries management with interested nations, including opportunities at a recent United Nations conference. “For the United Nations to prioritize discussing ecosystem approaches to fisheries management is not trivial,” NOAA Fisheries Senior Scientist for Ecosystems Jason Link said. “It is indicative of how important the topic has become around the world.” The UN holds theme-based consultations annually as an international forum for member countries to advance fisheries issues. The focus May’s meeting was to explore how well countries are implementing ecosystem approaches to fisheries management. This approach is codified as part of International Law and Ecosystem-based Fisheries Managem...