Petition To List Five Species of Sturgeon as Threatened or Endangered

90-Day Finding on a Petition To List Five Species of Sturgeon as Threatened or Endangered We, NMFS, announce a 90-day finding on a petition to list five species of sturgeon (Acipenser sturio, A. naccarii, A. mikadoi, A. sinensis, and Huso dauricus), or any distinct population segments of these species that the Secretary of Commerce determines may exist, as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). We find that the petition and information in our files present substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that these petitioned actions may be warranted. We will conduct a status review of these species to determine if the petitioned actions are warranted. To ensure that the status review is comprehensive, we are soliciting scientific and commercial information regarding these species (see below).

Information and comments on the subject action must be received by October 26, 2012.

National Maritime Security Advisory Committee Meeting

The National Maritime Security Advisory Committee (NMSAC) will meet on September 11-12, 2012 in the Washington, DC metropolitan area to discuss various issues relating to national maritime security. This meeting will be open to the public.

Merchant Mariner Medical Advisory Committee September Meeting

The Merchant Mariner Medical Advisory Committee (MMMAC) will meet on September 25-26, 2012 to discuss matters relating to medical certification determinations for issuance of merchant mariner credentials, medical standards and guidelines for physical qualifications of operators of commercial vessels, medical examiner education, and medical research. The meeting will be open to the public.

MMMAC will meet on Tuesday, September 25, and Wednesday, September 26, 2012 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Please note that the meeting may close early if the committee has completed its business.

Buck Sutter Named New Director for NOAA Fisheries Office of Habitat Conservation

Statement from Sam Rauch

I am very pleased to announce that Frederick “Buck” Sutter has been named the new Director for the Office of Habitat Conservation at NOAA Fisheries. He will begin this new assignment on August 26, 2012.

Shrimp Boat Death Reviewed by OSHA

As we all know, one accident can affect the whole industry

Coast Guard officials said the U.S Department of Labor's Alabama office and The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have been called in to help the Coast Guard review the death of a 15-year-old shrimp boat worker. Officials said the Department of Labor is investigating to see if any state laws were violated concerning the victim’s age.  Authorities said OSHA is in the process of reviewing the case information.

Trio of Factors Drive Marine Fisheries Production in Northern Hemisphere Ecosystems

Comparative analyses of 13 ecosystems provides insight, potential management tools

The story below was written by Shelley Dawicki, (Research Communications with the Northeast Fisheries Science Center in Woods Hole, MA).  I was very interested in finding out the actual results of these studies so I contacted Shelley and she was kind enough to send me all 10 papers and recommended that I read one particular paper "What drives marine fisheries production?" Since I had served 9 years on the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council, I was familiar with ecosystem management and the desire to move away from single species and into this more holistic approach. Congress has mentioned it on several occasions and most of the regional councils have discussed and/or started work on ecosystem management. 

NOAA, Industry Working Together to Promote Smart Fishing

This summer NOAA Fisheries joined the sportfishing industry in Orlando, Florida, at the industry's largest trade show, to acknowledge FishSmart, a new NOAA-funded, angler-led program to improve the survival of angler-caught and released fish. Thanks to start-up funding from NOAA Fisheries, some of the brightest minds from industry, government, and academia are taking stock of the current state of scientific knowledge and developing practical solutions for anglers that produce real conservation gains.

Rule to Modify Angler Registry Rule

Based on its experience with administering the National Saltwater Angler Registry and State Exemption Program (NSAR) and input from states and the National Saltwater Angler Registry Team, NMFS has made minor revisions to the NSAR regulations.

These revisions are needed to clarify and update certain provisions as follows:

Marine Recreational Information Program

The Marine Recreational Information Program, or MRIP, is the new way NOAA Fisheries is collecting, analyzing and reporting recreational fishing information. A new searchable database of all MRIP-funded pilot projects has gone online.

A Revolutionary New Marine Habitat Classification System

NOAA announced a new standard language for characterizing habitats that has the potential to revolutionize how scientists study and manage our coasts, oceans, and Great Lakes.  NOAA teamed with federal and non-federal partners to develop the Coastal and Marine Ecological Classification Standard, a type of dictionary of marine habitat terminology, for use in planning, monitoring, and managing our natural resources.