Tag: NOAAFisheries

EM Program Regulations to be Implemented for Groundfish Trawl Catch Share Program
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EM Program Regulations to be Implemented for Groundfish Trawl Catch Share Program

NOAA Fisheries has announced that effective Nov. 2, a new rule will implement electronic monitoring (EM) program regulations for vessels using groundfish bottom trawl and non-whiting midwater trawl gear in the Pacific Coast Groundfish Trawl Catch Share Program. This move is expected to allow vessels using bottom trawl and non-whiting midwater trawl gear to use EM in place of human observers to meet their requirements for 100% at-sea catch monitoring. The final rule is intended to boost operational flexibility and reduce monitoring costs for vessels in this groundfish trawl fishery. It also revises some language in existing regulations for EM vessels and EM service providers to clarify and streamline EM program requirements. The Pacific Coast Groundfish Management Plan (FMP) sp...
Deadline Extended for Habitat Restoration, Resilience Grants
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Deadline Extended for Habitat Restoration, Resilience Grants

NOAA Fisheries has extended the deadline for underserved communities in fiscal year 2022 to apply for $10 million in funds for habitat restoration and resilience awards made available under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The deadline for proposals is now Oct. 14. The deadline was extended on Monday, Oct. 3 to accommodate challenges being faced by potential applicants severely impacted by recent typhoons and hurricanes. The funds are intended to provide capacity for these communities to participate more fully in developing future transformational habitat projects. NOAA officials said such engagement the goal is to ensure that communities are integral in the visioning and decision-making for coastal habitat restoration projects affecting their communities, and that benefits ...
NOAA Hosts First Responder Training on Entangled Whale Response
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NOAA Hosts First Responder Training on Entangled Whale Response

NOAA Fisheries, the leader in the Alaska Large Whale Entanglement Response Program, recently held workshops in four Alaska communities 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 emphasizes the importance of assessment and documentation from a safe, legal distance from the on-water communities. NOAA Fisheries leads the Alaska Large Whale Entanglement Response Program. It ...
Roadway Runoff Lethal to Coho, Chinook Salmon, Steelhead: Report
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Roadway Runoff Lethal to Coho, Chinook Salmon, Steelhead: Report

Researchers with NOAA Fisheries have released a report showing that stormwater runoff containing a toxic compound from automobile tires washed into streams is lethal to protected coho salmon, Pacific steelhead and Chinook salmon, while sockeyes appear to be largely unaffected. The report, which was released Aug. 24, could help inform mitigation efforts for construction and overhaul of highways on the West Coast, to protect salmon and steelhead in the future, researchers said. Steelhead are rainbow trout that migrate to the ocean like salmon. Some Western states are already designing highways with inexpensive filtration measures proven to protect salmon. According to Barbara French, a research scientist at NOAA Fisheries’ Northwest Fisheries Science Center in Seattle, biofil...
AFSC Speeds Up Data Collection To Tackle Bycatch Issues
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AFSC Speeds Up Data Collection To Tackle Bycatch Issues

Researchers with the Alaska Fisheries Science Center (AFSC) say they’re speeding up the process of gathering data to share with the fisheries managers and others on the decline of Chinook and chum salmon runs, particularly in western Alaska. The AFSC, which is collaborating with state and federal researchers, as well as those at the university level, reported in late August that the center has developed models to better understand and help resource managers address bycatch impacts. “These models, after accounting for natural mortality, produce estimates of the number of adult fish that would be expected to return to their natal rivers to spawn if they hadn’t been taken as bycatch in the Eastern Bering Sea Pollock fisheries,” their report states. Salmon bycatch levels vary year...
AFSC Research Plan Focuses on Shellfish, Seaweed Aquaculture Development
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AFSC Research Plan Focuses on Shellfish, Seaweed Aquaculture Development

A strategic research plan released by the Alaska Fisheries Science Center (AFSC) will be used to help the NOAA Fisheries agency guide research to expand shellfish and seaweed production over the next five years, in hopes of expanding the state’s blue economy. The goal is to provide information for state and federal regulatory agencies and coastal communities in Alaska to ensure a sustainable seafood supply and economic opportunities for Americans. This research will provide an important foundation for sustainable development, AFSC Director Bob Foy said. “Marine aquaculture contributes to restoration efforts in Alaska and is increasing economic opportunities for coastal communities through the farming of shellfish and seaweed,” Foy explained. The research plan notes that the...
NOAA Fisheries Initiative Would Improve Seafood Sector Working Conditions
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NOAA Fisheries Initiative Would Improve Seafood Sector Working Conditions

A new public-private initiative from NOAA Fisheries aims to promote legal and safe working conditions in order to end forced labor in the commercial fishing and seafood industry. The Collaborative Accelerator for Lawful Maritime Conditions in Seafood, aka CALM-CS, aims to put a halt to illegal and inhumane working conditions, such as forced labor. NOAA Fisheries officials said these conditions contribute to destabilization of maritime security and supply chains, and the degradation of fisheries and broader marine ecosystems, and also undermine U.S. economic competitiveness, national security and fishery sustainability. Senior officials from the Departments of Commerce, State and Labor, the U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S Agency for International Development recently met with represe...
New Halibut Catch Sharing Plan Proposed for IPHC Area 2A
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New Halibut Catch Sharing Plan Proposed for IPHC Area 2A

NOAA Fisheries has published a proposed rule in the Federal Register to create a permitting system for the Pacific halibut commercial and recreational charter halibut fisheries in International Pacific Halibut Commission Regulatory Area 2A offshore of Washington Oregon and California. The action would also establish a regulatory framework for the Area 2A Pacific halibut directed commercial fishery that allows the National Marine Fisheries Service to determine each year dates and times the fishery is open and set harvest limits for those periods of time. The IPHC currently handles permitting and management activities for area 2A. Under the proposed action, NMFS would assume responsibility for issuing vessels permits to fish for Pacific halibut in commercial and recreational charte...
NOAA Boosts July Chinook Salmon Quota from Humbug Mountain to California Border
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NOAA Boosts July Chinook Salmon Quota from Humbug Mountain to California Border

NOAA Fisheries has boosted the allowable catch for July for the commercial troll Chinook salmon season from Humbug Mountain to the Oregon/California border, which opened on July 1, from 400 to 687 fish. The decision was made in early July in consultation with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC), the Salmon Technical Team of the PFMC, and fishery representatives. NOAA officials said the quota was increased by 287 kings on an impact neutral basis after rolling the 410 Chinooks remaining from the June quota of 800 Chinook to July. No other changes to the season structure were announced, allowing the fishery to continue with a landing week ...
NOAA Seeks Nominations for Regional Fisheries Management Organizations
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NOAA Seeks Nominations for Regional Fisheries Management Organizations

NOAA Fisheries is seeking nominations by July 8 for non-government U.S. commissioners for eight regional fisheries management organizations, including the International Pacific Halibut Commission and North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission. Both are treaty-based entities that play a critical role in the global system of fisheries governance. The commissioners participate in meetings and delegations to help develop and support the United States’ positions on conservation and management of shared living marine resources. NOAA officials have said they’re committed to increasing the diversity of stakeholder voices that represent the U.S. in its international fisheries engagements and promoting representation of underserved communities with a pool of potential candidates. Up to two i...