FishNews September 26, 2011

WEEK'S HIGHLIGHTS

International Agencies partner to help save endangered Kemp's ridley sea turtles
International NOAA-trained Liberian fishery observer helps Liberia apprehend alleged illegal fishing vessel
International Agencies directed to take actions to encourage Iceland to change whaling policy
National NOAA releases first national bycatch report
National NOAA, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service revise loggerhead sea turtle listing
National Deep-sea coral exploration takes NOAA researchers to new depths
Northeast NOAA's Northeast Fisheries Science Center reports on performance of northeast groundfish fishery under new management
Northeast NOAA Fisheries requests public comments on implementing annual catch limits and accountability measures in the small-mesh multispecies fishery; holding public hearings Oct. 3,4,11, and 12; comments due Oct. 19
Northeast New measures adopted to provide fishing opportunity to herring industry and maintain steady supply of herring bait for lobster fishery
Northeast NOAA Fisheries releases fact sheet on commonly asked questions about 2011 scallop regulations
Northeast NOAA helps New York respond to Long Island South Shore toxic algal bloom
Northeast/Southeast NOAA Fisheries requests comments on ideas for an Atlantic Shark Fisheries Catch Share Program; comments due March 1
Southeast NOAA Fisheries seeks public comment on proposed management measures for red grouper in the Gulf of Mexico through Oct. 6
Southeast NOAA Fisheries seeks public comment on management alternatives for Amendment 11 to Fishery Management Plan for the Spiny Lobster in Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic; comments due Oct. 19
Southeast NOAA Fisheries seeks public comment on Amendment 10 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Spiny Lobster Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic; comments due Oct. 24
Alaska NOAA seeks input on study to determine annual bowhead whale subsistence quotas; scoping period ends Oct. 31
Northwest/Southwest Pacific Fishery Management Council seeks public comment on Amendment 16 to the Pacific Coast Salmon Fishery Management Plan through Nov. 18
Southwest NOAA Fisheries scientists work to bring back a historic salmon run in Southern California
Pacific Islands Expert panel reviews NOAA Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center's sea turtle research and monitoring

EVENTS & ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

Woods Hole Science Aquarium Opens Two New Exhibits

 

Due Sept. 30: Proposals for Species Recovery Grants to Tribes Program

 

Oct. 1: New Ray Troll Exhibit Opens at Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History; Features 40+ Images Drawn for Pacific Grove's NOAA building

 

Due Oct. 7: Funding Opportunities for 2012 Monkfish and Scallop Research Set Aside Programs

 

Oct. 13: ICCAT Advisory Committee Meeting in Silver Spring, MD

 

Oct. 25-27: NOAA Fisheries Announces Meeting of the Permanent Advisory Committee to Advise the U.S. Commissioners to the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission

 

Due Oct. 31: Marine Protected Areas (MPA) Center Seeks Nominations for National System of MPAs

 

Due Nov. 1: Proposals for 2012 NOAA Community-based Marine Debris Removal Grant; Funding up to $2 million

Calendar


In Today's Issue

WEEK'S HIGHLIGHTS

International - Agencies partner to help save endangered Kemp's ridley sea turtles

On September 22, 2011, NOAA Fisheries, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Mexican environmental officials released an updated plan to guide and strengthen the conservation and recovery of the endangered Kemp's ridley sea turtle. The Bi-National Recovery Plan revises the current recovery plan issued in 1992.

The recovery plan updates the conservation efforts that have proved successful for the Kemp's ridley and guides the implementation of research programs that improve understanding of how human activities and natural processes affect the species. The plan also provides criteria for delisting the species. If population growth and recruitment maintain their current rates of increase, scientists estimate Kemp's ridleys may attain an important delisting criterion of 40,000 nesting females per season over a 6-year period by 2024. Read more

 

International - NOAA-trained Liberian fishery observer helps Liberia apprehend alleged illegal fishing vessel

Fresh from a training program for Liberian fishery observers run by NOAA and its West African partners, a graduate of the program found himself working aboard a trawler that he believed was breaking Liberia's laws by fishing in near shore waters reserved for local fishermen. The observer alerted his Liberian government supervisor by cell phone, and the Liberian Coast Guard apprehended the vessel, the Seta 70, owned by a Korean multinational company with offices in Spain's Canary Islands. The vessel has been impounded in Monrovia, Liberia, where the investigation is continuing.

The Liberian Bureau of National Fisheries and the World Bank's West African Regional Fisheries program (WARFP) collaborated with NOAA on the recent observer training. U.S. co-sponsorship of the training programs is part of the strong commitment made by Congress in the reauthorized Magnuson-Stevens Act to increase international cooperation to improve fishery management of highly migratory species and combat illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing. Read more

 

International - Agencies directed to take actions to encourage Iceland to change whaling policy

On September 15, 2011, in a report to Congress, the President concurred with the Secretary of Commerce's recommendations and directed federal agencies to take actions to encourage Iceland to change its whaling policy. In July, then-Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke issued a certification stating that Iceland's policy of permitting its nationals to engage in commercial whaling and export of endangered fin whale meat is diminishing the effectiveness of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) conservation program, which adopted a commercial whaling moratorium in 1982. The United States continues to support the moratorium on commercial whaling and believes that the IWC should address conservation issues as a priority, as the threat to whales has increased since the commission was first established in 1946. The Department of Commerce will immediately begin to implement the President's directives and continue to examine other options for responding to Iceland's whaling practices. A detailed list of the actions directed by President Obama can be found here. Read more

 

National NOAA releases first national bycatch report

A new NOAA report will help the agency's scientists monitor progress in reducing bycatch the non-target fish, marine mammals, sea turtles, and seabirds caught incidentally in fishing. The National Bycatch Report is an unprecedented, nationwide look at our efforts to monitor and estimate bycatch in federal commercial fisheries. This report:
      Establishes a baseline of data and methods for evaluating improvements to NOAA Fisheries bycatch assessment and mitigation;
      Provides estimates of bycatch at the fishery and species level;
      Identifies actions to enhance existing bycatch data collection and estimation; and
      Recommends actions to develop bycatch estimates for more of the nation's fisheries.
Read more

 

National - NOAA, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service revise loggerhead sea turtle listing

On September 16, 2011, NOAA Fisheries and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) issued a final rule changing the listing of loggerhead sea turtles under the Endangered Species Act from a single threatened species to nine distinct population segments listed as either threatened or endangered. Scientists believe this will help focus their sea turtle conservation efforts to the specific needs of the distinct populations. NOAA Fisheries and FWS share jurisdiction for loggerhead sea turtles listed under the Endangered Species Act. Read more

 

National Deep-sea coral exploration takes NOAA researchers to new depths

NOAA scientists have just wrapped up an expedition to a previously unexplored West Coast deep-sea canyon, on the hunt for deep-sea corals and other marine life. The expedition toured Bodega Canyon, north of Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary off the Sonoma, California coast. Bodega Canyon is 6,000 feet deep at the edge of the continental shelf.

Using an unmanned, underwater vehicle, researchers photographed the canyon's deep-sea corals, sponges, and invertebrates that live on the bedrock and boulders. The expedition, part of a three-year field research effort, will enable NOAA to gain a better understanding of the biology and ecology of deep-sea corals that grow on the seafloor some 600 to 2,500 feet below the water surface and support diverse marine communities. Read more

 

Northeast NOAA's Northeast Fisheries Science Center reports on performance of northeast groundfish fishery under new management

NOAA's Northeast Fisheries Science Center has released a report on the performance of the northeast groundfish fishery during the first full fishing year under new management measures. This report provides an evaluation of the economic and social performance of active limited access Northeast groundfish vessels for the 2010 fishing year (May 2010 through April 2011) and updates a similar report issued in May that examined the first nine months of the 2010 fishing year in comparison to that period in prior years. An annual report on the fishery to be issued this fall will contain more analysis of costs, profits, employment, consolidation and revenue distribution in the fishery than is included in this report. Read more

 

Northeast NOAA Fisheries requests public comments on implementing annual catch limits and accountability measures in the small-mesh multispecies fishery; holding public hearings Oct. 3,4,11, and 12; comments due Oct. 19

NOAA Fisheries is requesting public comments on its initiation of a Secretarial Amendment to implement annual catch limits and measures to ensure accountability in the small-mesh multispecies fishery, also known as the whiting fishery. NOAA Fisheries is asking for public input on the issues to be addressed in this amendment and the potential management measures for the fishery. NOAA Fisheries will hold four public meetings to allow interested parties the opportunity to provide input on the action. Meetings will be held:
      Monday, October 3, 2011, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., at the New York Department of Environmental Conservation Marine Resources Headquarters, 205 Belle Mead Road, Suite 1, East Setauket, NY.
      Tuesday, October 4, 2011, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., at the Ocean County Administration Building, Room 119, 101 Hooper Avenue, Toms River, NJ.
      Tuesday, October 11, 2011, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., at the Northeast Regional Office, 55 Great Republic Drive, Gloucester, MA.
      Wednesday, October 12, 2011, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., at Narragansett Town Hall, 25 Fifth Avenue, Narragansett, RI.
Comments may be provided orally during the hearings, electronically or in writing. Comments must be received by 5 p.m. local time, on October 19, 2011. Read more or submit a comment.

 

Northeast - New measures adopted to provide fishing opportunity to herring industry and maintain steady supply of herring bait for lobster fishery

NOAA announced approval of revisions to the Northeast Multispecies Fishery Management Plan (Framework 46) which increases the haddock incidental catch cap for the herring fishery, revises accountability measures to protect haddock once that cap is obtained and revises reporting requirements for herring fishing vessels. All measures are effective on September 14, 2011, except for the requirement for limited access herring vessels to report all species kept by haddock stock area via their vessel monitoring system catch reports, which will be effective September 28, 2011. Read more

 

Northeast NOAA Fisheries releases fact sheet on commonly asked questions about 2011 scallop regulations

NOAA Fisheries Northeast Region has prepared a fact sheet to provide an overview of the Atlantic sea scallop management measures for Fishing Year (FY) 2011 that are currently in place (including changes based on recently implemented Amendment 15 and Framework 22 to the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery Management Plan). For a more detailed explanation of existing scallop fishery regulations please visit their website.

 

Northeast - NOAA helps New York respond to Long Island South Shore toxic algal bloom

NOAA has awarded $18,700 to State University of New York scientists to document the first known incidence of a bloom of harmful algae off Long Island's south shore, study its effects on the area's shellfish, and test a method that could control it. The algae, Cochlodinium polykrikiodes, has been linked to the mass deaths of wild and farmed fish worldwide, with catastrophic effects on aquaculture and local economies. Experience with this type of algae elsewhere suggests that, once established, blooms are likely to re-occur. This bloom, in the south shore's Great South Bay, threatens a multi-million dollar shellfish restoration effort led by The Nature Conservancy since 2004.

The response, funded by NOAA's National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science's Harmful Algal Bloom Event Response Program, supports weekly research cruises to document the bloom's size, extent, and toxicity. Additional studies will test the bloom effects on hard clams and benthic populations, and explore the feasibility of using clay to control future blooms. Data from the NOAA-funded response will benefit The Nature Conservancy, county, state, and federal agencies, who all manage the Great South Bay shellfish restoration effort. Research will be carried out at the State University of New York's Stony Brook campus in Long Island, with research partners at the Nature Conservancy in Long Island. Read more

 

Northeast/Southeast NOAA Fisheries requests comments on ideas for an Atlantic Shark Fisheries Catch Share Program; comments due March 1

NOAA Fisheries intends to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement and Fishery Management Plan Amendment that would consider catch shares for the Atlantic shark fisheries. NOAA Fisheries previously provided background information and requested public comment on potential adjustments to the regulations governing the U.S. Atlantic shark fisheries to address several specific issues currently affecting management of the shark fisheries and to identify specific goals for management of the fisheries in the future. NOAA Fisheries received comments on a variety of modifications to the existing management structure for the Atlantic shark fisheries, including programs such as catch shares, limited access privilege programs, individual fishing quotas, and/or sectors. The purpose of this Notice of Intent is to:
      Establish September 16, 2011 as the control date for eligibility to participate in an Atlantic shark catch share program.
      Announce the availability of a white paper describing design elements of catch share programs in general and issues specific to the Atlantic shark fisheries,
      Announce a catch share workshop at the upcoming Highly Migratory Species Advisory Panel meeting on September 22, 2011 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, 8777 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, MD 20910. (Additional workshops will be announced in a subsequent notice in the Federal Register.), and
      Request public comment on the implementation of catch shares in the Atlantic shark fisheries. Written comments regarding the issues in this notice must be received no later than 5 p.m. on March 1, 2012.
Read more or submit a comment.

 

Southeast NOAA Fisheries seeks public comment on proposed management measures for red grouper in the Gulf of Mexico through Oct. 6

NOAA Fisheries is seeking public comment on a proposed rule that would increase the commercial quota of red grouper. Because red grouper is a part of the shallow-water grouper complex, this would also require an increase in the shallow-water grouper quota. The rule would also increase the red grouper bag limit from two to four fish in the four-fish grouper aggregate bag limit. This would allow the recreational sector the opportunity to harvest its allocation which was increased from 1.36 million pounds to 1.65 million pounds for 2011. Comments must be received by October 6, 2011. Read more or submit a comment.

 

Southeast NOAA Fisheries seeks public comment on management alternatives for Amendment 11 to Fishery Management Plan for the Spiny Lobster in Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic; comments due Oct. 19

NOAA Fisheries, Southeast Region, in collaboration with the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic Fishery Management Councils intends to prepare a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) to describe and analyze a range of alternatives for management actions to be included in Amendment 11 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Spiny Lobster Resources of the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic. These actions will consider closed areas for lobster fishing to protect Acropora corals and lobster trap line-marking requirements. The purpose of this notice is to solicit public comments on the scope of issues to be addressed in the SEIS. Written comments on must be received by October 19, 2011. Read more or submit a comment.

 

Southeast NOAA Fisheries seeks public comment on Amendment 10 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Spiny Lobster Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic; comments due Oct. 24

NOAA Fisheries proposes to implement Amendment 10 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Spiny Lobster Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic. If implemented, this rule would:
      revise the lobster species contained within the fishery management unit,
      establish an annual catch limit (ACL) for spiny lobster,
      revise the Federal spiny lobster tail-separation permitting requirements,
      revise the regulations specifying the condition of spiny lobster landed during a fishing trip,
      modify the undersized attractant regulations,
      modify the framework procedures, and incorporate the state of Florida's derelict trap removal program into the Federal regulations that apply to the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) off Florida.
The intent of this proposed rule is to specify ACLs for spiny lobster while maintaining catch levels consistent with achieving optimum yield for the resource. Comments are due October 24. Read more or submit a comment.

 

Alaska - NOAA seeks input on study to determine annual bowhead whale subsistence quotas; scoping period ends Oct. 31

NOAA Fisheries is announcing its intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement to support the setting of annual quotas for bowhead whale subsistence harvest by Alaska Natives for 2013-2017. NOAA's goal is to accommodate federal trust responsibilities by recognizing cultural and subsistence needs of Alaska Natives to the fullest extent possible, while ensuring that any subsistence hunt of whales does not adversely affect the conservation of the whale stock. Alaska Natives have hunted bowhead whales as they migrate along the coastline of Alaska in the spring and fall for over 2,000 years. Native subsistence hunters from 11 northern Alaskan communities take less than one-percent of the stock of bowhead whales per year. Under the authority of the International Whaling Commission, NOAA Fisheries grants a quota of bowhead whale for subsistence hunts to the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission, based on analysis in the Environmental Impact Statement. The Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission then directly manages the subsistence hunts.

NOAA is now seeking information from Federal, state, and local agencies, Alaska Natives, and other interested persons that will help identify issues and alternatives to be considered in the Environmental Impact Statement. All comments must be submitted by close of business on October 31, 2011. NOAA Fisheries estimates the draft Environmental Impact Statement will be available in April 2012. Read more or submit a comment.

 

Northwest/Southwest - Pacific Fishery Management Council seeks public comment on Amendment 16 to the Pacific Coast Salmon Fishery Management Plan through Nov. 18

The Pacific Fishery Management Council has submitted Amendment 16 to the Pacific Coast Salmon Fishery Management Plan for Secretarial review. Amendment 16 would modify the management plan to implement National Standard 1 Guidelines adopted by NOAA Fisheries under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Reauthorization Act. These guidelines are intended to prevent and end overfishing and rebuild fisheries through implementation of status determination criteria, overfishing limits, annual catch limits, and accountability measures. Amendment 16 would also set new conservation objectives and de minimis fishing rate provisions. Comments on Amendment 16 must be received on or before November 18, 2011. Read more or submit a comment.

 

Southwest - NOAA Fisheries scientists work to bring back a historic salmon run in Southern California

Scientists from the NOAA Fisheries Southwest Region have years of experience working to prevent the extinction of endangered and threatened species. Now they are teaming up with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), the California Department of Fish and Game, and other organizations to do something they've never done before: bring back a salmon run that has been gone for more than 60 years. The spring run of Chinook salmon on the San Joaquin River once numbered over 300,000 fish, but after the construction of the Friant Dam in the 1940s, that number dropped to zero. The San Joaquin went dry in several locations and the salmon run was wiped out.

USFWS proposes to establish a population of 500 breeding adult spring-run Chinook salmon. With the assistance of NOAA Fisheries and other agencies, USFWS eventually wants to restore the population to 30,000. While the main focus is on reintroducing the spring run, USFWS also hopes to eventually restore a fall run of Chinook salmon to a population of 10,000. Read more

 

Pacific Islands Expert panel reviews NOAA Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center's sea turtle research and monitoring

The Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center (PIFSC) invited a panel of independent experts, external to the Center, to review and evaluate the Center's approaches to research on sea turtle population modeling, population monitoring and by-catch mitigation. The panelists were asked to advise Center leadership on ways PIFSC could improve their work in this important area of conservation and management science. The panel's report is available online.

The external review is helping the Center focus sharply on the key issues facing its sea turtle programs, which is particularly timely in the current fiscal environment. The review has also increased Center-wide communication about sea turtle research and energized PIFSC staff toward finding and implementing solutions to enhance our work. Read more

 

 


EVENTS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS

Woods Hole Science Aquarium Opens Two New Exhibits

Two new exhibits, "Sounds of the Sea" and "Albatross: A Legacy of Research" are now open at the Woods Hole Science Aquarium, operated by NOAA's Northeast Fisheries Science Center. "Sounds of the Sea" features whales and other marine animal sounds in an interactive display. "Albatross: A Legacy of Research" features the 46-year career of the 187-foot research vessel Albatross IV, which sailed from Woods Hole from 1963 until its retirement and decommissioning in 2008. The exhibit highlights the seafarers the people who sailed in many capacities aboard the vessel through the years, the ship itself, and the science it accomplished. The Woods Hole Science Aquarium, the country's oldest marine aquarium, is open Tuesday through Saturday 11 am to 4 p.m. (closed federal holidays). Admission is free, but donations are accepted. Read more

 

Due Sept. 30: Proposals for Species Recovery Grants to Tribes Program

NOAA Fisheries is now accepting proposals for the 2012 Species Recovery Grants to Tribes Program. This program supports tribally led recovery efforts that directly benefit the following eligible species under NOAA Fisheries or joint NOAA Fisheries-U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service jurisdiction:
      species listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), excluding Pacific salmonids (proposals focusing on listed Pacific salmon or steelhead will not be considered for funding under this grant program; such projects may be supported through Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund)
      recently de-listed species
      candidate species
      species proposed for listing under the ESA

Recovery efforts supported by the program may involve management, research, outreach activities, and any combination thereof. Eligible applicants are federally recognized tribes. Proposals should be submitted through Grants.gov. For applicants without internet access, hard copies may be submitted (by postal mail or commercial delivery) to:

NMFS Office of Protected Resources
Attn: Sean Ledwin
1315 East-West Highway, SSMC3
Silver Spring, MD 20910

The deadline for the 2012 application is September 30, 2011. Read more

 

Oct. 1: New Ray Troll Exhibit Opens at Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History; Features 40+ Images Drawn for Pacific Grove's NOAA building

The public Fin Art of Ray Troll, a 2011 Guggenheim Fellow, opens October 1 with over 40 original images drawn for the vibrant mural at Pacific Grove's NOAA building. Colorful, quirky, and scientifically accurate pictures convey the 100-year legacy of the Monterey Bay sardine fishery; and illustrate how fish, marine mammals, sea turtles, and other marine fauna respond to changes in climate and ocean conditions. The artist will be present to discuss the public art commissions he has been involved in over the course of his fish-filled career, including his work done for the mural at the NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center in Pacific Grove. He will also discuss the various steps involved in creating collaborative public works that reflect cutting edge science. Read more

 

Due Oct. 7: Funding Opportunities for 2012 Monkfish and Scallop Research Set Aside Programs

NOAA Fisheries, in coordination with the New England and Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Councils, is soliciting monkfish research proposals to utilize 500 Monkfish Days-at-Sea (DAS) that have been set-aside by the Councils to fund monkfish research endeavors through the 2012 Monkfish Research Set-Aside Program. No Federal funds are provided for research under this notification. Rather, proceeds generated from the sale of monkfish harvested during a set-aside DAS will be used to fund research activities and compensate vessels that participate in research activities and/or harvest set-aside quota. Projects funded under this program must enhance the knowledge of the monkfish fishery resource or contribute to the body of information on which monkfish management decisions are made. Priority will be given to monkfish research proposals that investigate research priorities identified by the Councils and detailed under the Program Priorities section of this announcement. Full proposals must be received and validated by Grants.gov on or before 5 p.m. EST on Friday October 7, 2011. Read more

NOAA Fisheries, in coordination with the New England Fishery Management Council, is also soliciting Atlantic Sea Scallop research proposals to utilize scallop Total Allowable Catch (TAC) that has been set-aside by the Council to fund scallop research endeavors through the 2012 Atlantic Sea Scallop Research Set-Aside Program (March 1, 2012-February 28, 2013). No Federal funds are provided for research under this notification. Rather, proceeds generated from the sale of research set aside quota will be used to fund research activities and compensate vessels that participate in research activities and/or harvest set-aside quota. Projects funded under the Scallop Research Set Aside Program must enhance the knowledge of the scallop fishery resource or contribute to the body of information on which scallop management decisions are made. Priority will be given to scallop research proposals that investigate research priorities identified by the Council, which are detailed under the Program Priorities section of this announcement. Full proposals must be received and validated by Grants.gov on or before 5 p.m. EST on Friday, October 7, 2011. Read more

 

Oct. 13: ICCAT Advisory Committee Meeting in Silver Spring, MD

The Advisory Committee to the U.S. Section of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) will meet in open session on Thursday, October 13. Interested members of the public are invited to attend. The meeting will take place at the Hilton Hotel, 8727 Colesville Rd, Silver Spring, MD, from 9am to 1:30pm. Public comments for consideration by the Committee may be sent to Rachel.O'Malley@noaa.gov until October 7, 2011. There will also be a public comment session at 1pm on October 13. For more information, contact Rachel O'Malley at (301) 427-8373.

 

Oct. 25-27: NOAA Fisheries Announces Meeting of the Permanent Advisory Committee to Advise the U.S. Commissioners to the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission

NOAA Fisheries announces a meeting of the Permanent Advisory Committee to advise the U.S. Commissioners to the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission. The meeting will be held on October 25, 2011 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. H.S.T. (or until business is concluded), October 26, 2011 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. H.S.T. (or until business is concluded), and October 27, 2011 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. H.S.T. The meeting will be held in the Diamond Head Meeting Room at the Outrigger Reef on the Beach Hotel, 2169 Kalia Road, Honolulu, HI 96815-1989. For more information, please contact Oriana Villar, NMFS Pacific Islands Regional Office; telephone: 808-944-2256; fax: 808-973-2941; e-mail: Oriana.Villar@noaa.gov. The meeting location is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Oriana Villar at (808) 944-2256 by October 15, 2011. Read more

 

Due Oct. 31: Marine Protected Areas (MPA) Center Seeks Nominations for National System of MPAs

The MPA Center has announced that the nomination process for existing sites to nominate themselves for inclusion in the national system of MPAs is now open. Eligible federal, state, territorial, and tribal MPA programs are invited to nominate some or all of their sites by October 31, 2011. Currently, 297 federal, state and territorial sites are members of the national system, which provides coordination, technical assistance, training and grants to existing MPAs to enhance collaborative stewardship of marine resources. The national system does not impose any new restrictions on access or use within existing MPAs. All nominated sites will be announced in the Federal Register and available for public comment on www.mpa.gov. After final review by the managing agency and the MPA Center, mutually agreed upon MPAs will be accepted into the national system. To see sites eligible for the national system, click here. For more information on the National System of Marine Protected Areas and the nomination process, including a nomination package, visit www.mpa.gov.

 

Due Nov. 1: Proposals for 2012 NOAA Community-based Marine Debris Removal Grant; Funding up to $2 million

Projects awarded through this grant competition have strong on-the-ground habitat components involving the removal of marine debris and derelict fishing gear, as well as activities that provide social benefits for people and their communities in addition to long-term ecological habitat improvements for NOAA trust resources. Through this solicitation NOAA identifies marine debris removal projects, strengthens the development and implementation of habitat restoration through community-based marine debris removal, and fosters awareness of the effects of marine debris to further the conservation of living marine resource habitats. Successful proposals through this solicitation will be funded through a cooperative agreement. Funding of up to $2,000,000 is expected to be available for Community-based Marine Debris Removal Project Grants in FY2012. Typical awards will range from $15,000 to $150,000. The closing date for applications is November 01, 2011. For more information on this grant visit the NOAA Restoration Center's Marine Debris web page or Grants.gov (FFO# NOAA-NMFS-HCPO-2012-2003095).

 

 


FEDERAL REGISTER ACTIONS


For a list of only those actions open for public comment, go to http://www.regulations.gov and scroll search for National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

For a list of all daily actions, check the Federal register online