NMFS Withdraws Proposed Regulation for Determining Fishery Resource Disasters

NMFS withdraws a proposed rule for proposed regulations governing the requests for determinations of fishery resource disasters as a basis for acquiring disaster assistance, which was published on January 15, 2009. Instead of going forward with a final rule directly resulting from the 2009 proposed rule, NMFS issued an internal policy on June 16, 2011.

The proposed rule published on January 15, 2009 (74 FR 2467) is withdrawn as of May 30, 2013.

Comments Sought for Continuation of National Recreational Boating Survey

The U.S. Coast Guard is requesting an extension of its approval to the collection of National Recreational Boating Survey. Before submitting this ICR to OMB, the Coast Guard is inviting comments as described below.

Comments must reach the Coast Guard on or before July 1, 2013.

USCG Inappropriate Navigation Lights Alert

The Coast Guard has recently become aware of the uninspected towing vessel industry using inappropriate navigation lights that fail to meet the criteria for use onboard any vessel; SEACHOICE Products LED Navigation Light, SCP #03201 shown below. Online research shows many outlets for the sale of this product.  It is possible that this product may be in widespread use in the recreational boating industry as well.

U.S. Coast Guard: 2012 Recreation Boating report: drop in fatalities, accidents & injuries

The U.S. Coast Guard released its 2012 Recreational Boating Statistics, revealing that boating fatalities that year totaled 651, the lowest number of boating fatalities on record.

From 2011 to 2012, deaths in boating-related accidents decreased from 758 to 651, a 14.1 percent decrease; injuries decreased from 3,081 to 3,000, a 2.6 percent reduction; and the total reported recreational boating accidents decreased from 4,588 to 4,515, a 1.6 percent decrease.

Chairman Hastings Joins 12 Members in Launching Endangered Species Act Working Group

Chairman Hastings Joins 12 Members in Launching Endangered Species Act Working Group

Group will continue Committee's examination of ESA litigation

On Thursday, Members of the House of Representatives, representing a broad geographic range, announced the creation of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) Working Group.

Managing Our Nations Fisheries 3 Concluded

The Managing Our Nation's Fisheries 3 conference wrapped up with conference participants developing 128 recommendations for improving fishery sustainability. The draft recommendations are posted online in the link below and will be further elaborated in the conference proceedings. Find all recommendations here


The conference was coordinated by the eight Regional Fishery Management Councils and NOAA Fisheries, and was sponsored by both fishing industry and environmental groups.

Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Developing Social Wellbeing Indicators for Marine Management

The Department of Commerce, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

 This request is for a new information collection.

Written comments must be submitted on or before July 8, 2013.

Results from Electronic Logbook Pilot Study Are Now Available

Since its inception, a key priority of MRIP has been to explore new technologies and new methods to gather catch and trip information from the charter for-hire industry. A pilot study was recently completed that tested the feasibility of using electronic logbooks to collect landings and fishing effort data. An MRIP Project Team comprised of partners from Florida, Texas, and the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission, as well as a group of independent experts, worked alongside for-hire captains to design a pilot program to collect catch and effort data in the Florida Panhandle and Corpus Christi, Texas, during 2010 and 2011. The final project report, which provides results and recommendations for future work, is now available online at  www.countmyfish.noaa.gov. 

Key project findings include the following:

Vacancies Announced on Merchant Mariner Medical Advisory Committee

The United States Coast Guard is requesting applications from qualified candidates seeking consideration for appointment as members to the Merchant Mariner Medical Advisory Committee (MEDMAC). MEDMAC provides advice to the United States Coast Guard on matters related to medical certification determinations for issuance of licenses, certificates of registry, and merchant mariners' documents; medical standards and guidelines for the physical qualifications of operators of commercial vessels; medical examiner education; and medical research.

Applicants must send a cover letter describing their interest, reasons for application, and qualifications, and should enclose a complete professional biography or resume to LT Ashley Holm, the Alternate Designated Federal Officer (ADFO). Applications will be accepted from the time the notice is published until May 29, 2013.


Draft NOAA Five Year Research and Development Plan

NOAA's draft Five Year Research and Development Plan is available for public review and comment until June 3, 2013. This plan will guide NOAA's research and development activities over the next five years, from 2013-2017. The Plan provides a common understanding among NOAA's leadership, workforce, partners, constituents, and Congress on how the agency's R&D creates value. This plan will help NOAA and the public monitor and evaluate the agency's progress and learn from its experiences.