Tag: NOAAFisheries

New ‘Status of Stocks’ Report Shows 90-Plus Percent Not Subject to Overfishing
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New ‘Status of Stocks’ Report Shows 90-Plus Percent Not Subject to Overfishing

A newly released 2021 “Status of Stocks” report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration concludes that more than 90% of stocks in the U.S. are not subject to overfishing, which means when the annual rate of catch is too high. The report, which was released in mid-May, shows the number of stocks on the overfished list holding steady at 26 (out of a total of 296) and the number of overfished stocks, where the population size is too small, increasing slightly to 51, up from 49. The report also states that in 2020, seafood landings in the U.S. were down 10% -- likely due to the impact of the COVD-19 pandemic – and that overall annual seafood consumption fell slightly from the previous year to 19 pounds per individual. For the first time, Fisheries of the United St...
NOAA Fisheries’ Global Forecasts Predict Probability of Marine Heatwaves 
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NOAA Fisheries’ Global Forecasts Predict Probability of Marine Heatwaves 

Researchers at NOAA Fisheries say they’ve developed global forecasts that can provide up to a year’s advance notice of marine heatwaves, the sudden and pronounced rises in ocean temperatures that can dramatically impact ocean ecosystems.  These forecasts, as described in an article in the journal Nature could help seafood harvesters, fishery managers and coastal communities anticipate the effects of these heatwaves. The infamous 2013 heatwaves in the northeast Pacific Ocean, known as “the Blob,” resulted in shifting fish stocks, harmful algal blooms, entanglements of endangered humpback whales and thousands of starving sea lion pups washing up on beaches.  “We have seen marine heatwaves cause sudden and pronounced changes in ocean ecosystems around the world, and forecasts can he...
New Mapping and Analysis Portal Helping NOAA Track Marine Species 
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New Mapping and Analysis Portal Helping NOAA Track Marine Species 

A new Distribution Mapping and Analysis Portal (aka DisMAP) is giving NOAA Fisheries a clearer picture of the way many marine species are shifting expanding and contracting in response to changing ocean currents.  NOAA officials announced the new tool in mid-April, saying the website would improve data sharing and collaboration facilitate decision-making about fishery management and science and boost overall knowledge of species distribution for stock assessments.  The portal displays data from NOAA Fisheries bottom trawl surveys for five regions, including the Northeast, Southeast, Gulf of Mexico, West Coast and Alaska. It includes a map viewer and graphing capabilities for over 800 marine fish and invertebrate species caught during the surveys.  Understanding how species are...
NOAA Fisheries Designates Critical Habitat For Ringed and Bearded Seals
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NOAA Fisheries Designates Critical Habitat For Ringed and Bearded Seals

NOAA Fisheries has designated critical habitat in U.S. waters off Alaska’s coastline for Arctic ringed seals and the Beringia distinct population segment of bearded seals, both of which are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. The Act requires that NOAA Fisheries designate critical habitat for listed species in areas within the jurisdiction of the United States. Critical habitat identifies geographic areas that contain features essential to conservation of such listed species. For these species critical habitat includes marine waters of the Northern Bering, Chukchi and Beaufort seas. Critical habitat boundaries differ between the two species, reflecting differences in where the essential habitat features for each species are found. The final rule to designate critical...