NMFS + NOAA
The following is excerpted from an email statement we received on October 1st from the NOAA West Coast Groundfish team:
Today NOAA Fisheries Northwest and Southwest regions are formally merged into a single region: the West Coast Region. The integrated region has a new configuration. New Protected Resources and Sustainable Fisheries Divisions will focus on coast-wide program responsibilities, including all of the agency’s authorities under the Magnuson-Stevens Act, Endangered Species Act, and Marine Mammal Protection Act. In addition, four area offices will focus on protecting and recovering salmon and steelhead and their habitats, as well as other NOAA trust resources, in specific geographic areas.
Will Stelle is the new West Coast Regional Administrator and Barry Thom is the Deputy Regional Administrator. The new region will have a distributed leadership structure with the members of the senior leadership team located across the region. All office locations will remain open in Washington, Idaho, Oregon, and California, and all of the regional employees are continuing to work from their current locations.
The scope of NOAA Fisheries’ work on the West Coast is not changing with this new structure, but the divisional and branch structures are changing to reflect the consolidation. The integration will open the opportunity to pursue closer program coordination across the west coast amongst our important program areas, promoting appropriate levels of programmatic consistency, efficiency and the allocation of available resources to the higher priority challenges. The new structure also allows us to work more efficiently with our domestic and international partners as we manage groundfish fisheries, salmon, halibut, whiting, highly migratory species, such as tunas and sharks, and coastal pelagic species, such as sardines. And our collaboration with the Northwest and Southwest Science Centers will continue to ensure science-based decision making.
We encourage you to check out our new website at www.westcoast.fisheries.noaa.gov, to like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/NOAAFisheriesWestCoast and to follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/NOAAFish_WCRO. You will need to update any webpage bookmarks that go to our old Northwest or Southwest websites.
We are committed to collaborating with all of our partners to improve conservation of our resources and their habitats. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.
October 15, 2013 to October 16, 2013
The Pacific Fishery Management Council (Pacific Council) will hold a work session for the Groundfish Electronic Monitoring Policy Advisory Committee and Groundfish Electronic Monitoring Technical Advisory Committee (GEM Committees), which is open to the public. The primary purpose of the meeting is to discuss and develop potential alternatives for electronic monitoring (EM) for vessels participating in the West Coast groundfish trawl rationalization program for consideration by the Pacific Council and to develop other recommendations as needed to further the Pacific Council process for considering EM. The meeting will include review of current and developing EM programs for other fisheries, and EM reports to guide discussions and the development of alternatives. A meeting report, including the potential alternatives, will be prepared by Pacific Council staff for consideration by the Pacific Council at its November 2013 meeting in Costa Mesa, California.
The meeting will be held October 15, 2013, from 9 a.m. until the earlier of 5 p.m. or when business for that day has been completed, and on October 16, from 8 a.m. until the earlier of 5 p.m. or when business for that day has been completed.
The meeting will be held at the following location:
Watertown Hotel Seattle
Wallingford and Fremont Rooms
4342 Roosevelt Way NE
Weattle, WA 98105
The meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Mr. Kris Kleinschmidt at 503-820-2280, at least five days prior to the meeting date.
Earlier this week, NOAA released a report, titled 'Results from 2012 - The Second Year of Catch Shares.' The four-page report describes a fishery that is seeing a substantial reduction of bycatch; a rebuilding of several overfished species; and steady activity in quota transfers among members of the fleet.
The report also notes the significant amount of work being done among government and industry groups on electronic monitoring initiatives "to achieve the most cost-effective and sustainable approach...."
Download the full report below.
NMFS announces the availability of a proposed rule for public review and comment. NMFS is proposing changes to the Pacific coast groundfish trawl RCA boundaries off Washington, Oregon and Northern California. NMFS also is putting forward alternative RCA boundaries that open less area than the area opened by the proposed RCA boundaries. NMFS is seeking public comment on both sets of RCA boundaries. The trawl RCA is a large-scale closed area that is closed to groundfish fishing by vessels using groundfish bottom trawl gear in the IFQ fishery.
Below is the proposed rule. If you have problems opening, saving or viewing this PDF, please call (206) 526-6140.
NOAA news release, July 7th
Consider your smartphone, tablet, or computer for a moment. More than just the way to do business around the office, these emerging technologies are fast becoming the latest tools we use to gather fisheries data in the field.
Advancements in electronic technologies bring with them the promise of better data, better decision-making, and better fishing. NOAA Fisheries is constantly striving to keep our science on the cutting edge. That is why we've recently launched an initiative to evaluate emerging technologies for use in fishery-dependent data collections with the goal of providing timely, accurate, and cost-effective information.
Back in April, NOAA Fisheries issued an Electronic Technology Policy Directive, supported by a series of white papers, to evaluate and encourage the use of the latest monitoring and reporting technologies.
Today, our Office of Policy released a discussion draft of advice and best practices guidance to map out some of the issues and challenges associated with the adoption of such new technologies. This guidance will stimulate conversations taking place among our Regional Offices, Science Centers, Fishery Management Councils, Interstate Fishery Commissions and fishing communities to identify, evaluate, and implement electronic reporting and monitoring technology in their regional fisheries.
Successful integration of new data collection technologies requires collaboration among scientists, managers, and the fishing community. We've brought on board George Lapointe to guide this process. Some of you are familiar with George from his superior leadership as Commissioner of the Maine Department of Marine Resources, member of the New England Fishery Management Council, member of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC), or as the Director of ASMFC's Interstate Fisheries Management Program.
Over the coming weeks and months, George will be traveling the country to hear from a variety of voices. Innovative ideas from the community are already contributing to the discussion. We hope you will lend your valuable experience to this effort. Our regional offices, science centers, and Atlantic highly migratory species division will work through the Fishery Management Councils, Advisory Panel, and Interstate Commissions to engage the fishing community in a conversation about regional issues, needs, and potential solutions.
You can begin the discussion right now by taking a moment to share with us your input on the draft discussion guidance document at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our goal is to collaboratively develop final content that reflects the knowledge and experiences of the Councils and Regions. Responses will be accepted through September and included in a revised guidance document we expect to be released later this fall.
We look forward to working with you on this latest effort to ensure quality data. Stay tuned for more updates on the initiative.
In the meantime, you can contact George directly at George@georgelapointeconsulting.com with questions, thoughts or ideas.
Laurel BryantChief, External Affairs
NOAA Fisheries Communications Laurel.Bryant@noaa.govwww.nmfs.noaa.gov
The National Marine Fisheries Service announces the publication of a proposed rule, the Program Improvement and Enhancement Rule (PIE 2), in the Federal Register that proposes revisions to the Pacific coast groundfish trawl rationalization program, a catch share program, and includes clarifications of regulations that affect the limited entry trawl and limited entry fixed gear sectors managed under the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan.
Please see PDFs below.
NMFS announces allocations of Pacific whiting, adjustments to QS accounts, adjustments to vessel accounts, and changes to the online IFQ system.
Here is a PDF with the details.