Tag: NOAA

NOAA Fisheries Requests $1.1B Budget for 2025
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NOAA Fisheries Requests $1.1B Budget for 2025

NOAA Fisheries is seeking $1.1 billion to cover operations, research and facilities in 2025, down slightly from the $1.3 billion allocated to the agency by Congress for fiscal 2023, and roughly equal to the fiscal 2024 funds that Congress agreed to earlier in March. One of those budget priorities, the online publication SeafoodSource notes, is funding for Mitchell Act hatcheries in the Columbia River Basin, to help restore fish to that water body and protect biodiversity from offshore wind. The budget request notes that the additional funds are “part of the (Biden) administration’s commitment to prioritize the restoration of healthy and abundant wild salmon, steelhead, and other native fish populations to the Columbia River Basin, and honor the United States’ obligations to triba...
Marine Debris Foundation Establishing Headquarters in Juneau
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Marine Debris Foundation Establishing Headquarters in Juneau

The Marine Debris Foundation (MDF), established by Congress as a public-private partnership with NOAA’s Marine Debris Program, will have its headquarters in Juneau, Alaska on the campus of the University of Alaska College and Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, it was announced Feb. 21. The foundation, based alongside the fisheries college and the University of Alaska Southeast, has enormous potential, said Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, who made the announcement in his annual address to the Alaska Legislature. “NOAA's program is our nation's sole government agency exclusively focused on the complex issue of marine debris,” the foundation’s executive director, Susan R. Sherman, said. “Government agencies typically enter into public-private partnerships like this one to expand the scop...
NOAA Fisheries Slates Virtual Listening Sessions on Aquaculture
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NOAA Fisheries Slates Virtual Listening Sessions on Aquaculture

NOAA Fisheries has announced virtual listing sessions for the West Coast and Alaska in March to help the agency plan better for the future of its aquaculture program and the potential impact of constraints on achieving its aquaculture goals. The West Coast virtual session is to be held from 10 a.m. to noon Pacific Standard Time on March 1 and the Alaska session from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Alaska standard time. The link to register for the West Coast session is http://tinyurl.com/2c569p3c. For the Alaska virtual session, visit http://tinyurl.com/5b9hswns. A date for the Pacific Islands virtual session is still to be determined, according to NOAA Fisheries.
SPRFMO Adopts New Monitoring Standards
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SPRFMO Adopts New Monitoring Standards

Members of the New Zealand-based South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organisation (SPRFMO), while meeting in Manta, Ecuador from Jan. 29-Feb. 2, adopted U.S. proposals to boost observer coverage and combat labor abuse in South Pacific fisheries. NOAA Fisheries said that the U.S. delegation, including members of the State Department, offered proposals to continue strengthening management and monitoring of the squid fishery in the South Pacific. According to NOAA Fisheries, the fishery has been the focus of claims of rampant illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing in recent years. U.S. efforts led to adoption of a comprehensive high seas boarding and inspection program last year, a program that has increased opportunities for monitoring the fleet. NOAA Fisherie...
Ocean Indicators for Pacific Ocean Salmon Unsettled for 2024
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Ocean Indicators for Pacific Ocean Salmon Unsettled for 2024

Biologists with NOAA’s Northwest Fisheries Science Center say ocean indicators off the central Oregon coast are decidedly mixed for the coming year, as El Nino develops at the equator, with positive and negative indicators in local waters for emerging salmon. Ocean indicators for juvenile salmon survival that were posted online in early January reflect a rapidly changing ocean that’s tough to predict, they said. As of Jan. 11, researchers said the overall message was that the system is unsettled, so at that point all they could do was watch and wait. The team from the research station regularly monitors ocean conditions along the Newport Hydrographic Line, one of the best records of ocean chance on the West Coast. Scientists have surveyed the line twice monthly, weather permit...
NOAA: Warming Waters May Affect Algae Blooms, Food Web
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NOAA: Warming Waters May Affect Algae Blooms, Food Web

New research by NOAA Fisheries suggests that the warming of Bering Sea shelf is affecting the timing of algae blooms and the food web dependent upon them. This is particularly true of the unprecedented and widespread warming in during 2018-2019, according to the study, which was released Dec. 22. “This study fills gaps by including data from the recent warming period 2018–2019 and more spatial information on how blooms vary across the region,” Jens Nielsen, a biological oceanographer with NOAA’s Ecosystems and Fisheries-Oceanography Coordinated Investigations Program, said. “Our work lays the foundation for learning more about the link between phytoplankton bloom types and how that influences zooplankton that are food for commercially important fish and benthic crabs,” Nielsen...
NOAA Fisheries Introduces New Communications Tool
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NOAA Fisheries Introduces New Communications Tool

NOAA Fisheries on Dec. 26 announced that it has introduced a new communications tool called the Ecosystem and Socioeconomic Profile (ESP), in order to move toward the application of ecosystem-based fisheries management. The tool’s purpose is to facilitate integration of ecosystem and socioeconomic information into fisheries management decisions by distilling information from a variety of sources into a succinct, focused report to help resource managers in decision-making. The ESP was first conceived in 2014, building on NOAA Fisheries’ history of identifying ecosystem and socioeconomic pressures since the 1990s. “The ESP gives managers a streamlined version of what affects each fish stock,” said Alaska Fisheries Science Center biologist Kalei Shotwell, who initiated developmen...
NOAA Study Focuses on Marine Heatwave Impacts on Chum Salmon
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NOAA Study Focuses on Marine Heatwave Impacts on Chum Salmon

Federal fisheries scientists who have been studying Western Alaska chum salmon for nearly two decades say recent marine heatwaves in the eastern Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska may have had a critical role in the survival of juvenile chum salmon. The study, published Nov. 30 by NOAA Fisheries, states that researchers also suspect the marine heatwaves subsequently impacted adult chum salmon returning to western Alaska rivers. The study was led by Ed Farley, a program manager with the Alaska Fisheries Science Center and co-author Kathrine Howard, a statewide fishery scientist with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. “Recent declines in chum salmon and subsequent closures of commercial and subsistence fisheries in western Alaska, coinciding with years of record warm water tempe...
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 ...