Tag: fisheries

CDFW Schedules Risk Assessment Update on Marine Life Entanglement
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CDFW Schedules Risk Assessment Update on Marine Life Entanglement

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) on Monday announced plans for an assessment on or about Friday, Dec. 8 to determine the marine life entanglement risk for the commercial Dungeness crab fishery. In addition, regulations adopted by the California Fish and Game Commission will allow CDFW director Chuck Bonham the authority to apply management actions to the recreational crab fishery to minimize entanglement risk informed by the state’s Risk Assessment and Mitigation Program (RAMP). The California Dungeness Crab Fishing Gear Working Group is to meet Dec. 6 to review available data and CDFW’s preliminary assessment, after which Bonham is to consider all data available to CDFW prior to determining the appropriate management action to minimize entanglement risk. ...
NOAA Fisheries Issues Final Rule Regarding Prohibited Species Catch Limit for Pacific Halibut
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NOAA Fisheries Issues Final Rule Regarding Prohibited Species Catch Limit for Pacific Halibut

NOAA Fisheries has issued a final rule, effective Jan. 1, 2024, regarding regulations governing limits on Pacific halibut prohibited species catch. The action implementing Amendment 123 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BSAI) Management Area was published in the Federal Register Nov. 24. According to NOAA officials, the final rule is expected to minimize halibut mortality and may result in additional harvest opportunities in the commercial halibut fishery, as well as to the subsistence and recreational fisheries. The final rule amends the regulations governing limits on Pacific halibut prohibited species catch (PSC) to link the halibut PSC limit for the Amendment 80 commercial groundfish trawl fleet in the BSAI groundfish fisheri...
NOAA Fisheries Seeks Further Review Re: Expanding Seafood Import Monitoring Program
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NOAA Fisheries Seeks Further Review Re: Expanding Seafood Import Monitoring Program

NOAA Fisheries has withdrawn a proposed rule to expand the Seafood Import Monitoring Program (SIMP), saying that instead, the agency will review the program to explore ways to enhance and strengthen its overall impact and effectiveness. The decision to withdraw the proposed rule stems from extensive feedback received during the public comment period, said Alexa Cole, director of NOAA Fisheries’ Office of International Affairs, Trade and Commerce, who announced the withdrawal on Nov. 14. “While we do not have a set timeline, NOAA Fisheries will prioritize this important work and aim to complete this review and implement any needed changes as soon as possible,” NOAA Fisheries spokesperson Lauren Gaches said. Meanwhile, SIMP continues operating in its current form, with the list ...
NOAA Report on Killer Whale Bycatch Prompts Call for Immediate Action
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NOAA Report on Killer Whale Bycatch Prompts Call for Immediate Action

U.S. Rep. Mary Peltola, D-Alaska, is calling on NOAA Fisheries to end the status quo on action to prevent killer whales from being caught up in groundfish trawl gear in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands. On Oct. 26, Peltola released a statement saying she has asked NOAA Fisheries to release conclusions of an analysis of the 10 killer whales caught in trawl nets this year. Peltola urged NOAA to consider increased whale-gear interactions in any National Standard revisions particularly learned whale behavior related to bycatch discards. Killer whales are protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act, which requires vessel owners and operators to report to NOAA Fisheries all incidental mortalities and injuries of marine mammals that occur during commercial fishing and survey ope...
Commerce Dept. Approves Oregon Fishery Disaster Declaration
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Commerce Dept. Approves Oregon Fishery Disaster Declaration

Federal authorities have approved a fishery disaster for the years 2018, 2019 and 2020 at Oregon Chinook salmon ocean commercial fisheries, a decision that makes fishermen eligible to apply for disaster assistance from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Oregon’s congressional delegation, also including five members of the U.S. House of Representatives, announced the determination on Friday, Oct. 13, saying the aid would help the state’s coastal economies recover from years of drought, changing ocean conditions, and critical habitat loss that have harmed salmon populations in the Pacific Northwest. The delegation said that the U.S. Department of Commerce has fishery disaster assistance funding available and would soon determine the allocation. “Oregon’s fishin...
Bristol Bay Red King Crab Fishery Scheduled to Open Oct. 15
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Bristol Bay Red King Crab Fishery Scheduled to Open Oct. 15

Alaska’s Bristol Bay red king crab fishery is set to open at noon on Oct. 15 after being closed for two years due to stocks not meeting minimal levels for fishing. The set quota is 2.15 million pounds, just slightly lower than the 2020 opener of 2.6 million pounds. The announcement from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) was cheered by long time drabber captains like Glenn Casto of the f/v Pinnacle, who called it a start in the right direction that would help pay bills and help out crew. Veteran crab captains Oystein Lone, and Gabriel Prout also praised the decision to let them fish. “It’s a needed lifeline for us to keep our businesses afloat,” said Lone, captain and owner of the f/v Confidence and f/v Pacific Mariner. “The impacts the fleet and the stock cont...
NOAA Fisheries: Revision of Endangered North Pacific Right Whale Critical Habitat Warranted
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NOAA Fisheries: Revision of Endangered North Pacific Right Whale Critical Habitat Warranted

NOAA Fisheries has announced its decision to revise endangered North Pacific right whale habitat. The agency noted that there are only an estimated 30 eastern North Pacific right whales remaining. Critical habitat for North Pacific right whales was designated in 2008 and consists of two areas: one in the Southeast Bering Sea, the other in the Gulf of Alaska off the coast of Kodiak Island. The areas are about 35,460 square miles and 1,175 square miles, respectively. NOAA officials said their decision is in response to a petition received March 10, 2022 from the Center for Biological Diversity and Save the North Pacific Right Whale. The petition asked that NOAA revise the critical habitat designation for the species to connect the two existing critical habitat areas. Doing so wo...
Analysis for Minimizing Chum Bycatch to Begin in Bering Sea Pollock Fishery
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Analysis for Minimizing Chum Bycatch to Begin in Bering Sea Pollock Fishery

Federal fisheries managers have approved analyzing changes to chum salmon bycatch management measures to minimize bycatch of western Alaska chum salmon bycatch to the extent practicable in the Bering Sea pollock fishery, while achieving optimum yield in Bering Sea groundfish fisheries. A statement issued Monday, Oct. 9 by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (NPFMC) in Anchorage cited standards 9 (the Bering Sea pollock fishery) and 1 (the Bering Sea groundfish fisheries) of the Magnuson Stevens Act National Standards. The council is focused on bycatch of western Alaska origin chum salmon. The decline of the chum returning to spawn in the Yukon and Kuskokwim rivers in recent years has had a negative impact on this source of subsistence food for residents of villages along...
NOAA Fisheries Offering $2.3M for Bycatch Reduction Projects
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NOAA Fisheries Offering $2.3M for Bycatch Reduction Projects

NOAA Fisheries on Sept. 28 announced funding totaling about $2.3 million is available for collaborative bycatch reduction projects. NOAA has invited non-federal researchers who are working on development of improved fishing practices and innovative gear technologies that reduce bycatch to apply. The stated goal is to find proactive, meaningful and equitable community engagement in the identification, design and/or implementation of proposed projects. The agency is encouraging applicants to include and demonstrate principles of diversity, equity, including and accessibility. Funding is expected to be issue in 2024. Bycatch is defined by NOAA as catch fishermen don’t want, cannot sell or aren’t allowed to keep. The concern is that bycatch of fish, marine mammals or turtles can h...
NOAA Fisheries Releases Aquaculture Accomplishments Report
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NOAA Fisheries Releases Aquaculture Accomplishments Report

NOAA Fisheries has released its Alaska 2023 Aquaculture Accomplishments Report, highlighting 14 projects that supported the Alaska aquaculture priorities of managing sustainably and efficiently, leading science for sustainability and educating and exchange of information. For 2023, NOAA’s Alaska Aquaculture Program prioritized 10 of 17 total national objectives listed in the 2023-2028 Aquaculture Strategic Plan. One highlight of the year is a project underway at the Alaska Fisheries Science Center’s (AFSC) Kodiak Lab, a collaboration with local kelp farmers to investigate how farmed seaweed compares to natural seaweed beds as a habitat for local marine animal species. Fishery ecologist Alix Laferriere is using video surveys, Standard Monitoring United for the Recruitment of Fi...