Tag: NOAA

NOAA Releases Five-Year Strategy for Combating IUU Fishing
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NOAA Releases Five-Year Strategy for Combating IUU Fishing

Federal fisheries officials and their partners have released their National Five-Year Strategy for Combating Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing, a global problem impacting ocean ecosystems, the economy and food security.  The strategy, announced in mid-October, details U.S. priorities and plans for the next five years to promote maritime security worldwide. The strategy includes a U.S. Interagency Working Group on IUU Fishing, composed of 21 member agencies building an expanding toolbox for partners to combat IUU fishing. Over the next five years, the working group plans to engage with five priority flag states and administrations: Ecuador, Panama, Senegal, Taiwan and Vietnam, focusing on helping them in their ongoing efforts to combat IUU fishing and related threats. ...
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...
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...
NOAA Study Recommends Steps to Support Young Fishermen
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NOAA Study Recommends Steps to Support Young Fishermen

New research compiled by NOAA Fisheries supports equipping beginning fishermen facing start-up challenges with tools that have been successful in helping young farmers. The study, led by Marysia Szymkowiak at the Alaska Fisheries Science Center, notes the similarities between the two professions, both of which ensure food security, provide jobs and support the well-being of rural communities. “The parallels are really stark,” said Szymkowiak. “Given that, we can really learn a lot from how these issues are being addressed in farming.” For both new fishermen and farmers there are formidable challenges to entry and success, as they are highly risky businesses, subject to weather, variable harvests, uncertain markets, climate change and high start-up costs, plus constantly evolvi...
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 ...
NOAA, Partners Working on Recovery of Oregon Coast Coho Salmon
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NOAA, Partners Working on Recovery of Oregon Coast Coho Salmon

Federal fisheries officials, working with collaborators in the private-public Oregon Coast Coho Partnership, are expressing optimism on restoring healthy coho salmon runs to the Oregon coast through science driven restoration and sound watershed management. This includes efforts to uphold Native American tribal fishing rights. Coho salmon populations on the Oregon coast, as well as the coast of Northern California, are currently listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, because there isn’t enough high-quality habitat available for vulnerable juvenile cohos to rear in. The cohos weigh an average of eight pounds and two feet in length. More than 30 habitat restoration projects have been funded and are underway through the partnership, which is collaborating with com...
NOAA Extends Comment Period on Draft Climate Science Action Plans
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NOAA Extends Comment Period on Draft Climate Science Action Plans

Federal fisheries officials have extended to Friday, July 29, the deadline for comments on the proposed NOAA Climate Science Regional Action Plans to make fisheries and protected resources more resilient to climate change. Copies of the draft regional action plans are available for the Western Region, including California, the Beaufort and Chukchi seas, Eastern Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska. The initial Western Regional Action Plan, released in 2016, focused on implementing NOAA Fisheries’ Climate Science Strategy (NCSS) in the California Current Large Marine Ecosystem over three to five years. The current draft builds on previous efforts and describes proposed actions in 2022-2024 to provide decision makers with information to prepare for and respond to changing conditions in th...
NOAA Promoting New Steps to Combat IUU Fishing
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NOAA Promoting New Steps to Combat IUU Fishing

NOAA is proposing new measures to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing activities and forced labor in the seafood supply chain. The proposed changes are part of a rulemaking process that will include a public comment period after these proposed changes are published in the Federal Register. NOAA’s proposal broadens the scope of activities that can be considered under the High Seas Driftnet Fishing Moratorium Protection Act when identifying nations for IUU fishing, including pervasive and persistent fishing activities in waters under the jurisdiction of a nation, without authorization or in violation of that nation’s laws. In addition, fishing activities in waters beyond any national jurisdiction that involve the use of forced labor may be considered by NOAA...
Marine Economy Pours Billions Into America’s GDP, Reports Show
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Marine Economy Pours Billions Into America’s GDP, Reports Show

Economic reports compiled by two Commerce Department agencies confirm that America’s marine economy continues to pour billions of dollars into the nation’s gross domestic product, albeit tempered by a general economic decline during the first year of the global coronavirus pandemic. Results of the annual Marine Economy Satellite Account released in June by NOAA and the Bureau of Economic Analysis show that amounted to some $361 billion in 2020, the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. That total represents a 5.8% or $23 billion reduction in real terms, adjusted for inflation, from 2019, outpacing the general economic decline of 3.4%. The data, report and other materials are available at https://coast.noaa.gov/digitalcoast/data/marine-economy.html and on the BEA Marine Economy web...