FishNews March 5, 2012

WEEK'S HIGHLIGHTS

National Commerce Appoints Seven New Members to NOAA's Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee
National NOAA Releases the 2012 Deep Sea Coral Research and Technology Program Biennial Report to Congress
National NOAA Opens Recruitment for Director of the Office of Habitat Conservation; Announcement Closes on March 26
National Aquatic Invasive Species Impact Our Coasts
National National Ocean Council Extends Public Comment Period on Draft National Ocean Policy Implementation Plan; Comments Now Due March 28
Northeast NOAA Proposes 20122013 Catch Limits and Associated Measures for the Northeast Skate Fishery; Comments Due March 23
Mid-Atlantic NOAA Announces Appointment to Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council
Southeast NOAA Seeks Comments on a Rebuilding Plan for Red Grouper; Comments Due April 27
Alaska NOAA Announces Eligibility to Vote in the Fishing Capacity Reduction Program Referendum for the Southeast Alaska Purse Seine Salmon Fishery; Will Hold Public Meetings March 5-7; Comments Due March 16
Northwest/Southwest Good News for West Coast Groundfish Catch Shares
Pacific Islands NOAA Announces Availability of Permits for the American Samoa Pelagic Longline Fishery; Applications Due June 22

EVENTS & ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

NOAA Fisheries Announces Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Advisory Panel Meeting March 13-15

 

Northwest Fisheries Science Center Hosts Science Symposium on March 14-15

 

Woods Hole Science Aquarium Announces 2012 Summer Programs for High School Students; Applications due March 15

 

NOAA Seeks Nominations for U.S. Commissioners to the International Pacific Halibut Commission; Nominations due March 19

 

Northeast Fisheries Science Center Announces 2012 Bradford E. Brown Summer Internship Program for Undergraduate Students; Applications due April 15

 

Alaska Fisheries Science Center Announces 2012 Summer Internship Program; Applications Due March 30

 

NOAA Fisheries Announces Workshops on Atlantic Shark Identification and Protected Species Release, Disentanglement, and Identification in April, May, and June of 2012


In Today's Issue

WEEK'S HIGHLIGHTS

National - Commerce Appoints Seven New Members to NOAA's Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee

Secretary of Commerce John Bryson has announced the appointment of seven new advisors to NOAA's Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee (MAFAC), bringing the group's membership to the full complement of 21. MAFAC advises the Secretary of Commerce on all living marine resource matters that are the responsibility of the Department of Commerce. MAFAC members draw on their expertise to evaluate and recommend priorities and needed changes in national programs and policies, including the periodic reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, Endangered Species Act and Marine Mammal Protection Act. The members represent a wide spectrum of fishing, environmental, academic, state, tribal, consumer, and other related national interests, and ensure the nation's living marine resource policies and programs meet the needs of these stakeholders.

The new members are:
      Julie Bonney, Kodiak, Alaska
      Richen (Dick) M. Brame, Wilmington, North Carolina
      Michele Longo Eder, Newport, Oregon
      Elizabeth (Liz) Hamilton, Oregon City, Oregon
      Micah McCarty, Neah Bay, Washington
      Robert Rheault, Wakefield, Rhode Island
      Pamela Yochem, San Diego, California
Read more

 

National - NOAA Releases the 2012 Deep Sea Coral Research and Technology Program Biennial Report to Congress

This report highlights the Deep Sea Coral Research and Technology Program's exciting discovery of deep-sea coral habitats, which revealed new and currently unprotected deep-sea coral communities off the eastern and southern coasts of Florida. These fragile habitats are home to a wide variety of species, including commercially important ones. The research, developed in consultation with the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, was made possible through collaboration with academic partners, non-governmental organizations, and other federal agencies.

In addition to the discoveries off the southeastern U.S., scientists are exploring deep-sea coral and sponge habitats off the West Coast, documenting their importance for fish, and providing key information to fishery and National Marine Sanctuary managers. Accompanying the details of the fieldwork are stunning photos of this unique marine life in all regions of the United States and the progress made in our nationwide research over the past two years.

The Deep Sea Coral Research and Technology Program provides scientific information needed to conserve and manage deep-sea coral ecosystems. NOAA is committed to increasing the scientific understanding of these rich and valuable ecosystems and making it available to ocean resource managers to inform conservation actions. Read more

 

National - NOAA Opens Recruitment for Director of the Office of Habitat Conservation; Announcement Closes on March 26

NOAA Fisheries is actively recruiting for the Office of Habitat Conservation Director in Silver Spring, MD. The Office of Habitat Conservation actively promotes, influences, and enhances Federal actions related to conserving, protecting, managing, enhancing, restoring, and mitigating damage to NOAA trust resources, including species and their habitats. The Director serves as the leader for NOAA's National Habitat Program and is the primary source of advice and counsel for the Assistant Administrator for Fisheries on all matters dealing with living marine habitat resources under the stewardship responsibilities of the Secretary of Commerce.

The announcement just posted on USAJobs; the direct link is http://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/310403600. The job announcement closes on March 26, 2012.

 

National Aquatic Invasive Species Impact Our Coasts

During the week of February 27-March 3, NOAA participated in National Invasive Species Awareness Week. The week included five days of activities, briefings, workshops and events focused on finding solutions to prevent, detect, monitor, and control invaders. Many state, local, national and international partners attended the event.

Aquatic invasive species are marine or freshwater organisms that have found their way to habitats where they are not native, and negatively affect ecosystems. They have a significant effect on our coastlines, and many people are dedicated to finding new ways of preventing and controlling these invasions in our waters. In a recent interview, Peg Brady, Strategic Planning Lead & Liaison to the National Invasive Species Council & Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force explains more about these species and why we need to be aware of them. Read more

 

National National Ocean Council Extends Public Comment Period on Draft National Ocean Policy Implementation Plan; Comments Now Due March 28

The National Ocean Council is extending the public comment period on the draft National Ocean Policy Implementation Plan through March 28, 2012. This extension will provide stakeholders, users, and the public additional time to review the draft Implementation Plan and provide their input to inform development of the final Implementation Plan.

As part of President Obama's National Policy for the Stewardship of the Ocean, Our Coasts, and the Great Lakes, the National Ocean Council has released this draft Implementation Plan to address some of the most pressing challenges facing the ocean, our coasts, and the Great Lakes. It describes more than 50 actions the Federal Government will take to improve the health of the ocean, coasts, and Great Lakes, which support tens of millions of jobs, contribute trillions of dollars a year to the national economy, and are essential to public health and national security. Read more or submit a comment.

 

Northeast NOAA Proposes 20122013 Catch Limits and Associated Measures for the Northeast Skate Fishery; Comments Due March 23

NOAA Fisheries has announced proposed catch limits and associated measures for the Northeast Skate Complex Fishery for the 20122013 fishing years. The proposed catch limits are supported by the best available scientific information and reflect recent increases in skate biomass. The public is invited to provide comments on these proposed measures. Comments are due no later than 5 p.m., EST, on March 23, 2012. Read more or submit a comment.

 

Mid-Atlantic - NOAA Announces Appointment to Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council

The Commerce Department recently announced the appointment of Francis D. "Dewey" Hemilright Jr. of North Carolina to the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council. Hemilright is a commercial fisherman with more than 24 years of experience. He has served on the Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Advisory Panel and the Dolphin-Wahoo Advisory Panel. Under this appointment, Hemilright will serve on the Council until August 10, 2014.

The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council is one of eight regional councils established by the Magnuson-Stevens Act that prepare fishery management plans for marine fish stocks in their respective geographical areas of responsibility. NOAA Fisheries works closely with the councils during plan development and reviews, approves and implements the management plans developed by the councils. Read more

 

Southeast - NOAA Seeks Comments on a Rebuilding Plan for Red Grouper; Comments Due April 27

NOAA Fisheries is seeking public comment on Amendment 24 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region. Amendment 24 would establish a rebuilding plan for red grouper in the South Atlantic. The 2008 assessment of South Atlantic red grouper determined the stock to be overfished (population too low) and undergoing overfishing (rate of fish removal too high). The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council and NOAA Fisheries are required by the Magnuson-Stevens Act to implement a rebuilding plan within two years after an overfished stock is identified. NOAA Fisheries notified the Council of the stock status on June 9, 2010. Amendment 24 would implement a plan that would have an 81 percent probability of stock recovery in 10 years. Read more or submit a comment.

 

Alaska NOAA Announces Eligibility to Vote in the Fishing Capacity Reduction Program Referendum for the Southeast Alaska Purse Seine Salmon Fishery; Will Hold Public Meetings March 5-7; Comments Due March 16

NOAA Fisheries has issued a notice to inform persons of their eligibility to vote in the fishing capacity reduction program referendum for the Southeast Alaska Purse Seine Salmon Fishery. NOAA Fisheries will hold a series of public meetings with Southeast Alaska purse seine salmon permit holders and interested individuals. The meetings will be held between March 5 and March 7, 2012 in Seattle, WA, Petersburg, AK, Ketchikan, AK, and Sitka, AK. Comments must be submitted on or before 5 p.m. EST March 16, 2012. Read more for the full schedule of meetings or to submit a comment.

 

Northwest/Southwest - Good News for West Coast Groundfish Catch Shares

West Coast commercial fishermen who trawl for whiting and other valuable groundfish saw their revenues and efficiency increase substantially over the last year under a new fishery management system known as catch shares, according to preliminary data from NOAA Fisheries.

Gross revenues increased in 2011 compared to the five-year average for the West Coast groundfish fleet, which targets either whiting or other groundfish. In the non-whiting fleet, revenue per vessel was up 34 percent, from an average of $216,000 over the previous five years to slightly more than $289,000 in 2011. October and December were particularly good months for the non-whiting fleet, with revenues about double the five-year average. The whiting fleet saw revenues climb even more, from about $273,000 on average over the last few years to $775,000 in 2011. Read more

 

Pacific Islands NOAA Announces Availability of Permits for the American Samoa Pelagic Longline Fishery; Applications Due June 22

NOAA Fisheries announces the availability of at least six permits for the American Samoa pelagic longline fishery. NOAA Fisheries must receive completed permit applications by June 22, 2012. Read more

 

 


EVENTS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS

NOAA Fisheries Announces Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Advisory Panel Meeting March 13-15

NOAA Fisheries will hold a 3-day Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Advisory Panel meeting March 13 through March 15, 2012. The intent of the meeting is to consider options for the conservation and management of Atlantic highly migratory species. The meeting is open to the public. The meeting will be held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, 8777 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, MD 20910. Read more

 

Northwest Fisheries Science Center Hosts Science Symposium on March 14-15

NOAA's Northwest Fisheries Science Center is hosting its 3rd Science Symposium on March 14-15, 2012 at NOAA's Sand Point facility, Building 9 Auditorium in Seattle, WA. The goals of this event are to foster communication and collaboration among our scientists as well as to showcase new and exciting areas of our fisheries science in the Pacific Northwest and beyond. The 2-day symposium will consist of oral presentations and posters contributed by Northwest Fisheries Science Center scientists. Presentations will highlight research areas related to the four key themes that encompass our research:
     1. Ecosystem management for the California Current
     2. Habitats to support sustainable fisheries and recovered populations
     3. Recovery, rebuilding, and sustainability of marine and anadromous species
     4. Sustaining marine ecosystem and human health
Read more

 

Woods Hole Science Aquarium Announces 2012 Summer Programs for High School Students; Applications due March 15

The Woods Hole Science Aquarium is offering two summer programs for high school students in 2012, a five-week internship and a two-week seminar devoted to careers in marine science. Both programs are designed for students who are interested in marine science and marine animals, aquarium operations, and marine education and conservation. To participate in either the internship or the seminar, students must have finished 10th, 11th or 12th grade and must be at least 16 years old by July 2. Applicants must have U.S. citizenship. Application forms are available in the aquarium and online. Applicants must also provide a transcript and two references. E-mail applications are welcome. All application materials must be postmarked by March 15. The 2012 interns and seminar participants will be announced by March 30. Read more

 

NOAA Seeks Nominations for U.S. Commissioners to the International Pacific Halibut Commission; Nominations due March 19

NOAA is soliciting nominations for two individuals to serve as United States Commissioners to the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC). The IPHC is a bilateral regional fishery management organization established between Canada and the United States for the preservation of the halibut fishery of the North Pacific Ocean and Bering Sea. The IPHC recommends fishery conservation and management measures for approval by the two member countries.

Three U.S. commissioners, one of which is a NOAA official, represent the United States on the IPHC. The U.S. Department of Commerce is currently accepting nominations for the two U.S. Commissioners for the IPHC who are not NOAA officials. Commissioners will represent the interests of the United States and all of its stakeholders in the Pacific halibut fishery. These duties require a modest amount of travel (typically two or three trips per year lasting less than a week), and travel expenses are paid by the U.S. Department of State. Commissioners receive no compensation for their services. Nominations must be received by March 19, 2012. Read more or submit a nomination.

 

Northeast Fisheries Science Center Announces 2012 Bradford E. Brown Summer Internship Program for Undergraduate Students; Applications due April 15

The Northeast Fisheries Science Center is offering summer employment /internship positions in 2012 through its Bradford E. Brown Student Internship Program. Named for a retired NOAA Fisheries scientist who was a leader in introducing young people to fisheries science, the program offers a limited number of paid summer positions during May to September distributed across Center programs and laboratories. Research topics include population biology and dynamics, resource assessment and environmental surveys, taxonomy, physical and biological oceanography, social sciences, data management, larval fish/plankton ecology, large marine ecosystems, aquaculture, biotechnology, remote sensing, protected species and apex predators. To participate in the internship program, applicants must be an active full-time student or half-time undergraduate/graduate student at a college or university for the upcoming 2012 school year at the time of application, or be accepted as a full-time or half-time student in an academic program for the 2012 school year by the time the summer position begins. Applicants must be a U.S. citizen. All completed application materials must be postmarked by April 15, 2012. Read more

 

Alaska Fisheries Science Center Announces 2012 Summer Internship Program; Applications Due March 30

Every summer the Alaska Fisheries Science Center provides exciting internship opportunities for undergraduates. The goal of the internship program is to provide students the opportunity to gain practical skills in the marine sciences by working with Center staff. Check out the Center's 2012 Projects. Applications are due March 30; selected applicants will be notified starting April 17. Read more or submit an application.

 

NOAA Fisheries Announces Workshops on Atlantic Shark Identification and Protected Species Release, Disentanglement, and Identification in April, May, and June of 2012

Free Atlantic Shark Identification Workshops and Protected Species Safe Handling, Release, and Identification Workshops will be held in April, May, and June of 2012. Certain fishermen and shark dealers are required to attend a workshop to meet regulatory requirements and maintain valid permits. Specifically, the Atlantic Shark Identification Workshop is mandatory for all federally permitted Atlantic shark dealers. The Protected Species Safe Handling, Release, and Identification Workshop is mandatory for vessel owners and operators who use bottom longline, pelagic longline, or gillnet gear, and who have also been issued shark or swordfish limited access permits. Additional free workshops will be conducted during 2012 and will be announced in a future notice. Click here for dates, times, and locations.

 

 


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