Saturday, February 9, 2019

Puget Sound Marine Waters 2017 Report

chinook salmon
Chinook Salmon | credit USFWS
A new report finds that Puget Sound’s unusually warm water temperatures that prevailed throughout the West Coast since 2014 finally returned to normal in 2017. Although water temperatures recovered, life within those waters has not.

In general, biological observations within Puget Sound revealed that the abundance of many marine animals throughout the food web are still lower than usual. In addition, the region experienced both the wettest spring and driest summer ever recorded in 2017.

The Puget Sound Ecosystem Monitoring Program’s Marine Waters Work Group, who authored the report, has been tracking the health of Puget Sound since 2011. This work group includes scientists from federal, tribal, state and local agencies, academia, nonprofits, and private and volunteer groups.

The work group looked at a number of environmental indicators, including plankton, water quality, climate, and marine life that when, considered together, provide both a long-term view and current assessment of the Sound’s health.

The Puget Sound Marine Waters 2017 Report can be accessed at: https://pspwa.box.com/shared/static/xzvxtmxv0lpomphceiotcwmr77ul75q7.pdf

The Northwest Fisheries Science Center (NWFSC) supports the conservation and management of living marine resources and their habitats in the Northeast Pacific Ocean.

source: Northwest Fisheries Science Center

Monday, January 21, 2019

New Canada Marine Refuges (Nunavut - Newfoundland and Labrador)

Newfoundland and Labrador
In January, 2019, The government of Canada announced the establishment of seven new marine refuges off the coasts of Nunavut and Newfoundland and Labrador.

The new marine refuges will contribute an additional 145,598 square km of protected ocean area to Canada’s coasts. This represents an additional 2.53% of protected ocean, bringing Canada’s current total to 7.75%.

New Canadian Marine Refuges:

The Davis Strait marine refuge off the coast of Nunavut will conserve significant concentrations of corals, sea pens, and sponges. It will prohibit all bottom-contact fishing activities (where fishing gears are designed to come into contact with the seafloor).

The Disko Fan marine refuge off the coast of Nunavut will conserve significant concentrations of coral and minimize impacts on food sources in a habitat used by Narwhal during the winter. It will prohibit all bottom-contact fishing activities.

The Hatton Basin marine refuge is located off the coasts of Nunavut and Newfoundland and Labrador. It will conserve significant concentrations of corals and sponges. It will prohibit all bottom-contact fishing activities.

The Hopedale Saddle marine refuge off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador will contribute to long-term conservation of biodiversity by protecting corals and sponges. It will prohibit all bottom-contact fishing activities.

The Hawke Channel marine refuge off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador will conserve seafloor habitat important to Atlantic cod. It will prohibit bottom trawl, gillnet and longline fishing activities.

The Funk Island Deep marine refuge off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador will conserve seafloor habitat important to Atlantic cod. It will prohibit bottom trawl, gillnet and longline fishing activities.

The Northeast Newfoundland Slope (formerly known as Tobin’s Point) marine refuge off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador will contribute to long-term conservation of biodiversity by protecting corals and sponges. It will prohibit all bottom contact fishing activities.

Earlier this year, Canada announced plans to establish a national advisory panel that will provide the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard with advice on minimum standards of protection within future Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in Canada’s waters.

source: Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Related Information

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Canada Commercial Fishing

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Marine, Fisheries, and Science Acronyms

This post lists popular acronyms that are related to oceans, estuaries, marine life, commercial and recreational fisheries, biology, government regulations, and other subjects.

Science - Research

ESA - Endangered Species Act
GMRI - Gulf of Maine Research Institute
MMSN - Marine Mammal Stranding Network
NRDA - Natural Resource Damage Assessment
ONC - Ocean Networks Canada
UME - Unusual Mortality Event

Fishing - Fisheries - Seafood

IFR - integrated fisheries reporting AOTTP - Atlantic Ocean Tropical Tuna Tagging Program
ACCSP - Atlantic Coastal Cooperative Statistics Program
APAIS - Access Point Angler Intercept Survey
AFS - American Fisheries Society
BAYS - Atlantic bigeye, northern albacore, yellowfin, and skipjack tunas
FIS - Fisheries Information System
GLFC - Great Lakes Fishery Commission
HMS - Highly migratory species
IFQ - Individual Fishery Quota
ICCAT - International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas
IATTC - Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission
IPHC - International Pacific Halibut Commission
IUU (fishing) - illegal, unregulated, and unreported
MRIP - Marine Recreational Information Program
NEAFC - North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission
NAFO - Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization
PAFC - North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission
RFMO - Regional Fisheries Management Organisation
SAFIS - Standard Atlantic Fisheries Information System
WCPFC - Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission
WPacFIN - Western Pacific Fisheries Information Network

U.S Regional Fishing Councils

ASMFC - Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission
NEFMC - New England Fisheries Management Council
MAFMC - Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council
SAFMC - South Atlantic Fishery Management Council
CFMC - Caribbean Fishery Management Council
GMFMC - Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council
NPFMC - North Pacific Fishery Management Council
PFMC - Pacific Fishery Management Council
WPFMC - Western Pacific Fishery Management Council

Organizations (other)

AMCC - Alaska Marine Conservation Council
IWC - International Whaling Commission
SWIFT - Sustainable Water Initiative for Tomorrow

Government Agencies

DFO - Department of Fisheries and Oceans (Canada)
BOF -  Board of Fisheries (Alaska USA)
NOAA - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS - National Marine Fisheries Service
NPFMC - North Pacific Fishery Management Council
USCG - United States Coast Guard
USFWS - United States Fish and Wildlife Service

Laws and Regulations

MSA - Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (USA)

Related Information

Commercial Fishing Associations - Organizations (USA)

International Associations - Organizations


Ocean Networks Canada (ONC)

In January, 2019, Canada announced it will provide $12.6 million in funding over four years to Ocean Networks Canada (ONC), a national network of ocean observation systems based at the University of Victoria.

The investment will strengthen high-quality, real-time data on the marine environment to support the work of scientists throughout Canada and around the world, According to Canadian officials.

In particular, this investment will build on ONC’s ocean noise monitoring program and will expand its monitoring of sea surface currents in Pacific waters.
killer whales | photo credit NOAA photo library

The data will augment Canada's efforts to protect the endangered Southern Resident Killer Whale while improving navigation and emergency response.

Southern resident killer whales (SRKW) represent the smallest of four resident communities within the Northeastern portion of North America Pacific Ocean.

In Canada the SRKW are listed as endangered on Species at Risk Act Schedule 1. In the USA, SRKW is the only killer whale population listed under the Endangered Species Act by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS).

A Government of Canada’s $3.5 million contribution from its Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund was highlighted by the official opening of the University of Victoria’s recently opened Ocean-Climate Building.

The new $9.5 million facility also includes investments of $5.15 million from the University of Victoria and $850,000 from the Province of British Columbia.

The nearly 30,000-square-foot building provides an interdisciplinary, collaborative space for the University of Victoria’s ocean, climate change, and data management research programs.

The new facility is occupied by more than 200 researchers, co-op students, scientists, and staff, who will conduct research into the effects of changing oceans and climate.

The Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund provides funding to help modernize facilities at Canadian universities and colleges, as well as improve their energy efficiency and reduce their impact on the environment.

source: Government of Canada

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Deep Sea Coral Report to Congress 2018

In December 2018, NOAA Fisheries released the Deep Sea Coral Research and Technology Program 2018 Report to Congress.

The report highlights the discoveries of never-before-seen deep-sea coral habitats and new species found during the past two years (fiscal years 2016 and 2017).

It also describes research activities funded by the Program to meet NOAA’s mandate to identify, study, and monitor deep-sea coral areas.

Mid Atlantic Coral | photo credit: NOAA

The deep sea is the largest habitat on Earth, and the least well known. Deep-sea coral habitats occur in every U.S. region, providing important ecological and fisheries benefits.

NOAA’s Deep Sea Coral Research and Technology Program was established by the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA §408), to identify, locate, and map deep-sea coral habitat in consultation with U.S. regional fishery management councils.

The MSA requires a biennial report to Congress summarizing the steps taken by NOAA to identify, monitor, and protect deep-sea coral areas, including the Program’s research activities and results.

The Program engages with the nation’s eight regional fishery management councils and collaborates on research with other federal agencies, international partners, and nongovernmental and academic scientists.

The Deep Sea Coral Research and Technology Program collaborates with other NOAA programs and offices, such as National Marine Sanctuaries, Ocean Exploration and Research, Fisheries science centers and regional offices, the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, and the National Centers for Environmental Information.

For more information, visit https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/feature-story/announcing-deep-sea-coral-research-and-technology-program-2018-report-congress.

source: NOAA Fisheries