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.

Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee Meeting

The Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee (MAFAC) will meet to discuss and provide advice on issues outlined in the agenda below.

The meeting is scheduled for August 20, 2012, 3-5 p.m., Eastern Daylight Time.

Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force Strategic Plan 2013-2017

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announces the availability of the Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force Strategic Plan 2013--2017 (Plan), approved by the Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force (ANSTF). The Plan is available for public review and comment.

Comments must be received within 45 days after September 20, 2012.

White House Asks Businesses to Identify Burdensome Regulations

On July 18, 2012, The White House opened up its regulatory reform effort to the public, launching a website for tips on how the government can streamline or eliminate regulations. In 2011 the President directed all executive agencies to undertake a government-wide review of regulations on the books, in order to figure out what is working and what is not. This will help streamline or eliminate ineffective, overly burdensome and outdated rules. Over two dozen agencies responded with regulatory reform plans, listing more than 800 initiatives. The Administration is now asking for businesses to send them comments identifying burdensome regulations. It is important that small businesses participate in this effort to point out regulations that are problematic and hinder important growth. Please submit comments to the White House click here  http://www.whitehouse.gov/advise

EPA Approves Last Step to Allow E15

Contrary to numerous studies that have shown ethanol to be hazardous to marine engines, the Environmental Protection Agency recently approved a plan submitted by the ethanol industry that effectively completes the last step in the regulatory process and allows E15 to enter the marketplace. There are serious and well-documented human safety, environmental, and technological concerns associated with ethanol blends over 10 percent in recreational boat fuel tanks and engines. That means that anything above E10 can pose serious problems, including performance issues like stalling, corrosion leading to oil or fuel leaks, increased emissions and damaged valves, rubber fuel lines and gaskets.

NACO, NMMA, the oil industry, food groups and other stakeholders have continued to oppose the introduction of E15.