FishNews April 2, 2012

WEEK'S HIGHLIGHTS

International NOAA Seeks Information on IUU Fishing, Bycatch and Shark Fisheries; Responses Needed by April 30
National New NOAA-Supported West Coast Studies to Look at Models for Sustaining America's Fishing Industry
National NOAA Selects 2012 Teacher at Sea Class
National Fishermen's Wives Share Life Stories
National NOAA Initiates 5-Year Review of North Atlantic and North Pacific Right Whales; Seeks Information through April 20
Northeast NOAA Announces New Management Measures for Gulf of Maine Cod for 2012
Northeast Catch Limits and Other Measures Proposed for Groundfish Stocks for 2012; Comments due April 11
Northeast/Southeast NOAA Announces Public Hearings for the Proposed 2012 Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Quota Specifications; Comments due April 16
Southeast NOAA Requests Public Comments on Proposed Regulations for South Atlantic Black Sea Bass; Comments due April 23
Southeast NOAA Request Public Comments on South Atlantic Snapper-Grouper Amendment 24; Comments due April 30
Southeast Study Shows Some Gulf Dolphins Severely Ill
Caribbean NOAA Announces Public Hearings for U.S. Caribbean Highly Migratory Species Management Measures; Comments due June 14
Alaska Voting Period for Fishing Capacity Reduction Program for the Southeast Alaska Purse Seine Salmon Fishery

EVENTS & ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

NOAA Restoration Center and the Nature Conservancy Requesting Proposals for Community-Based Restoration Matching Grants Program; Due April 13

 

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

 

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

 

Fishing for Energy Fund Request for Proposals; Pre-proposals Due May 1

 

NOAA Fisheries and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Seek Proposals for Habitat Protection Projects; Pre-proposals Due May 1

 

May 1-2: U.S. Advisory Committee to the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) Holds Annual Spring Meeting in Silver Spring, MD


In Today's Issue

WEEK'S HIGHLIGHTS

International NOAA Seeks Information on IUU Fishing, Bycatch and Shark Fisheries; Responses Needed by April 30

NOAA Fisheries is seeking information regarding nations whose vessels are engaged in illegal, unreported, or unregulated (IUU) fishing, bycatch of protected marine species, and/or fishing activities that target or incidentally catch sharks in waters beyond any national jurisdiction. We will review this information and may use it to identify nations in accordance with the Moratorium Protection and Shark Conservation Acts in the January 2013 Report to Congress. Information should be received on or before April 30, 2012. Click here for more detail on the types of information we seek and where to submit it.

 

National - New NOAA-Supported West Coast Studies to Look at Models for Sustaining America's Fishing Industry

The "locavore" movement helps America's farmers. Could it also help our fishing industry? Two new NOAA Sea Grant studies will look at how new business models, based on the success of community supported agriculture, could benefit fishing communities in Washington, Oregon, and California.
      Barbara Walker, Ph.D., a cultural geographer at the University of California, Santa Barbara, will lead a study of community-supported fisheries and other direct-marketing programs in Washington, as well as North Carolina and South Carolina. The emphasis will be on helping fishermen learn about direct marketing and identify approaches that might be appropriate for the local fisheries and consumer base.
      The second Sea Grant-funded project looks at developing higher-value product lines, for example, by delivering fish live, or by smoking, freezing, or otherwise processing product. Ana Pitchon, Ph.D., an assistant professor of anthropology at California State University, Dominguez Hills in Los Angeles County, and James Hilger, a fisheries resource economist at NOAA's Southwest Fisheries Science Center in San Diego, will explore what can be done to add value to fish and shellfish landed locally, using four fisheries Pacific sardine, Dungeness crab, near-shore live finfish, and spot prawn as case studies.

The four West Coast Sea Grant programs selected these two projects, totaling $500,000, through an independent peer-review process. NOAA provided funding through its National Sea Grant College Program. Read more

 

National NOAA Selects 2012 Teacher at Sea Class

This spring, 25 teachers from across the country will set out to sea to work and live alongside NOAA scientists through the NOAA Teacher At Sea programa program that bridges science with education. In its 22nd year, the Teacher at Sea program has provided more than 600 teachers hands-on marine research experiences varying from fish surveys in Alaska to tidal research in the Indian Ocean. Upon return, the teachers bring their greater understanding and excitement back to the classroom, giving their students a glimpse into a scientific world that is otherwise inaccessible. To meet and follow all the 25 teachers that were selected for the 2012 season along on their adventure and learn more about the research cruises that they participate in, follow their blogs at the Teacher at Sea website. Read more

 

National - Fishermen's Wives Share Life Stories

This month, as we celebrate National Women's History Month, we invite you to take a moment and listen as Fishermen's Wives share their stories. For as long as men have gone to sea, their wives have played an integral role in their families and communities. These women have served as industry advocates; they have fished alongside their husbands; they have owned shore side businesses; and they have raised families. Their contributions have helped shape their communities, their families, and the commercial fishing industry. This multimedia exhibit was created by NOAA Fisheries from oral histories donated by the Working Waterfront Festival Community Documentation Project to Voices from the Fisheries. Read more

 

National NOAA Initiates 5-Year Review of North Atlantic and North Pacific Right Whales; Seeks Information through April 20

NOAA Fisheries announces a 5-year review of North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis) and North Pacific right whale (Eubalaena japonica) under the Endangered Species Act. A 5-year review is based on the best scientific and commercial data available at the time of the review; therefore, NOAA Fisheries is requesting submission of any such information on these whales that has become available since the last status review in 2006. To allow adequate time to conduct this review, information must be received no later than April 20, 2012. However, NOAA Fisheries will continue to accept new information about any listed species at any time. Read more or submit information.

 

Northeast - NOAA Announces New Management Measures for Gulf of Maine Cod for 2012

NOAA has announced that fishermen will be allowed to catch up to 6,700 metric tons of Gulf of Maine cod in 2012. This is the end result of collaborative work with the fishing industry to find a solution that prevented a much larger cut to the allowable catch for the 2012 fishing year.

In late 2011, a new stock assessment for Gulf of Maine cod found the stock declined unexpectedly, making major reductions in catch limits necessary for the 2012 fishing year, as required under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. NOAA and the New England Fishery Management Council, which includes state officials and fishermen, worked with the fishing industry to identify flexibility within federal fisheries law that could both protect cod and provide sustained fishing opportunities. As a result, the quota for 2012 will be set at 6,700 metric tons, which is within the range recommended by the New England Fishery Management Council. Without this collaborative approach, the catch limit for this fishing year would have been set below 1,500 metric tons. Read more

 

Northeast - Catch Limits and Other Measures Proposed for Groundfish Stocks for 2012; Comments due April 11

NOAA Fisheries proposes to approve Framework Adjustment 47 to the Northeast Multispecies Fishery Management Plan and to implement its measures through the proposed regulations. Framework 47 was developed and adopted by the New England Fishery Management Council based on the biennial review process to develop annual catch limits (ACLs) and revise management measures necessary to rebuild overfished groundfish stocks and achieve the goals and objectives of the fishery management plan.

NOAA Fisheries also proposes management measures and revisions to existing regulations that are not included in Framework 47, including common pool management measures for fishing year 2012, modification of the Ruhle trawl definition, modification of the method used to estimate fillets or parts of fish landed for at-home consumption, and clarification of the regulations for charter/party and recreational groundfish vessels fishing in groundfish closed areas. Comments on the proposed measures must be received by April 11, 2012. Read more or submit a comment.

 

Northeast/Southeast NOAA Announces Public Hearings for the Proposed 2012 Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Quota Specifications; Comments due April 16

On March 16, 2012, NOAA Fisheries proposed 2012 quota specifications for the Atlantic bluefin tuna fishery. NOAA Fisheries is announces two public hearings for the proposed 2012 bluefin tuna quota specifications. The dates and locations of the public hearings are as follows:

      April 4, 2012, 2 to 4 p.m. NMFS, 55 Great Republic Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930
      April 10, 2012, 2:30 to 4 p.m. NMFS Science Center, 1301 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910

Comments are due April 16, 2012. Read more

 

Southeast - NOAA Requests Public Comments on Proposed Regulations for South Atlantic Black Sea Bass; Comments due April 23

NOAA Fisheries requests public comments on proposed regulations for Amendment 18A to the Fishery Management Plan for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region. The primary purpose of Amendment 18A is to implement management measures that would optimize fishing opportunities for black sea bass, and improve data reporting in the for-hire sector of the snapper-grouper fishery. Comments on the proposed rule for Amendment 18A must be received no later than April 23, 2012. Read more or submit a comment.

 

Southeast NOAA Request Public Comments on South Atlantic Snapper-Grouper Amendment 24; Comments due April 30

NOAA Fisheries proposes to implement Amendment 24 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region, as prepared by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council. If implemented, this rule would establish red grouper commercial and recreational sector annual catch limits (ACLs); establish red grouper sector accountability measures (AMs); and remove the combined gag, black grouper, and red grouper commercial quota, and commercial and recreational sector ACLs and AMs. The intent of this rule is to specify ACLs and AMs for red grouper while maintaining catch levels consistent with achieving optimum yield for the red grouper resource. Additionally, Amendment 24 would implement a rebuilding plan for red grouper in the South Atlantic. Comments on the proposed amendment are due April 30, 2012. Read more or submit a comment.

 

Southeast - Study Shows Some Gulf Dolphins Severely Ill

Bottlenose dolphins in Barataria Bay, Louisiana, are showing signs of severe ill health, according to NOAA marine mammal biologists and their local, state, federal and other research partners. Barataria Bay, located in the northern Gulf of Mexico, received heavy and prolonged exposure to oil during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Based on comprehensive physicals of 32 live dolphins from Barataria Bay in the summer of 2011, preliminary results show that many of the dolphins in the study are underweight, anemic, have low blood sugar and/or some symptoms of liver and lung disease. Nearly half also have abnormally low levels of the hormones that help with stress response, metabolism and immune function. Researchers fear that some of the study dolphins are in such poor health that they will not survive.

NOAA and its local, state and federal partners started the Barataria Bay dolphin study in 2011 as part of the Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA), the process for studying the effects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. NOAA is sharing the preliminary results from the study so that stranding responders and veterinarians can better care for live stranded dolphins and look for similar health conditions. Read more

 

Caribbean NOAA Announces Public Hearings for U.S. Caribbean Highly Migratory Species Management Measures; Comments due June 14

On March 16, 2012, NOAA Fisheries proposed an amendment to modify regulations governing the federal small-scale highly migratory species (HMS) fisheries in the U.S. Caribbean. This amendment would enact HMS management measures that better correspond with the traditional operation of the small-scale HMS fishing fleet in the U.S. Caribbean Region and to provide NOAA Fisheries with an improved capability to monitor and sustainably manage those fisheries. The comment period for this proposed rule is open until June 14, 2012. Public hearings will be held at the following times, dates, and locations:

      April 10, 2012, 6:00-9:00 pm Buccaneer Hotel, 5007 Estate Shoys Christiansted, VI 00820
      April 11, 2012, 8:00 am Buccaneer Hotel, 5007, Estate Shoys Christiansted, VI 00820
      April 12, 2012, 6:00-9:00 pm Frenchman's Reef Marriott, 5 Estate Bakkeroe, St. Thomas, USVI 00801
      May 8, 2012, 3:00-5:00 pm Ateneo Puertorriqueno, Biblioteca del Ateneo Puertorriqueno, Avenida Constitucion, Parada 2, Viejo San Juan, San Juan PR 00901
      May 9, 2012, 2:00-5:00 pm Servicio de Extension Agricola, 2440 Avenida Las Americas, Ste. 208, Centro Gubernamental, Ponce, PR, 00717-2111
      May 10, 2012, 6:00-9:00 pm Universidad de Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus, Physics Building, Room 310, Mayaguez, PR, 00680

Read more

 

Alaska Voting Period for Fishing Capacity Reduction Program for the Southeast Alaska Purse Seine Salmon Fishery

NOAA Fisheries has issued a notice to inform interested persons of the voting period for the fishing capacity reduction program referendum for the Southeast Alaska Purse Seine Salmon Fishery. The referendum voting period started March 30, 2012 and will end on April 30, 2012. Any votes not received by NOAA Fisheries by 5 p.m. on April 30, 2012, will not be counted. Read more

 

 


EVENTS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS

NOAA Restoration Center and the Nature Conservancy Requesting Proposals for Community-Based Restoration Matching Grants Program; Due April 13

NOAA and the Nature Conservancy are requesting proposals for their restoration matching grants program. This program is part of a national cooperative agreement between the Nature Conservancy's Global Marine Team and the Community-based Restoration Program of the NOAA Restoration Center. This partnership provides seed money to individual projects that leverage funds and other contributions from the public and private sector to implement locally important habitat restoration that benefits living coastal and marine resources.

NOAA and the Nature Conservancy are looking to support community-based restoration of a diversity of habitat types and no habitats are excluded. They will consider any innovative restoration project nationwide that supports NOAA trust resources (coastal and marine species and their habitats), and particularly those projects that have a multi-species benefit or emphasize Ecosystem-Based Management. A focal area of particular interest, though not exclusive or limiting, is native shellfish (bivalve) restoration projects. Projects throughout all USA states and territories are eligible to compete for these grants. Proposals are due by April 13, 2012. Read more

 

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

 

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.

 

Fishing for Energy Fund Request for Proposals; Pre-proposals Due May 1

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, in partnership with Covanta Energy Corporation and the NOAA Marine Debris Program, announces the availability of grant funding to provide capacity and incentives to address old, abandoned or derelict fishing gear. The Fishing for Energy Small Grants Fund will entertain a wide variety of proposal topics for the prevention and removal of unwanted derelict fishing gear from the marine environment. Priorities for funding for the 2012 call include:
      At sea derelict fishing gear removal;
      Gear density assessment; and/or,
      Economic and resource impact assessment.

The Fishing for Energy partners have roughly $500,000 in funds available for projects in 2012 and anticipate awarding approximately five projects. Proposals requesting less than $10,000 or over $250,000 will not be considered. Most awarded projects will complete activities within 1-2 years. Projects submitted for funding must directly engage the fishing community in project activities. Priority will be given to: projects that work directly through an existing Fishing for Energy location. Interested applicants should submit a pre-proposal using National Fish and Wildlife Foundation's online Easygrants system. Pre-proposals must be submitted and received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on May 1, 2012. Read more

 

NOAA Fisheries and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Seek Proposals for Habitat Protection Projects; Pre-proposals Due May 1

NOAA Fisheries and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation request proposals for projects that support the protection of coastal and marine fish habitats through the National Fish Habitat Partnership (NFHP). Protection under NFHP consists of voluntary and non-regulatory actions to maintain or prevent the decline of aquatic habitat and the aquatic resources that depend on those habitats. The deadline for pre-proposals is May 1, 2012. Click here for more information or to apply.

 

May 1-2: U.S. Advisory Committee to the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) Holds Annual Spring Meeting in Silver Spring, MD

The Advisory Committee to the U.S. Section to the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) announces its annual spring meeting on May 1-2, 2012. The Committee will meet with its Technical Advisors to discuss matters relating to ICCAT, including the 2011 Commission meeting results; research and management activities; global and domestic initiatives related to ICCAT; the Atlantic Tunas Convention Act-required report on any identification of countries that are diminishing the effectiveness of ICCAT; the results of meetings of the Committee's Species Working Groups; and other matters relating to the international management of ICCAT species. The open sessions of the Committee meeting will be held on May 1, 2012, 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., and May 2, 2012, 9 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. Closed sessions will be held on May 1, 2012, 3:15 p.m. to 6 p.m., and on May 2, 2012, 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. The meeting will be held at the Hilton Hotel, 8727 Colesville Rd., Silver Spring, MD 20910. Read more

 

 


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