Sunday, July 16, 2017

Don Young taking a lead on the Re-Authorization of the MSA:

Subcommittee Review on the Performance of the Magnuson-Stevens Act:
On Wednesday, July 19, 2017 at 10:00 AM (AK), 2:00 PM (Eastern) the Subcommittee on Water, Power and Oceans will hold an oversight hearing titled “Exploring the Successes and Challenges of the Magnuson-Stevens Act (MSA).

WHEN: Wednesday, July 19 @ 10:00 AM (AK), 2:00 PM (Eastern)

WHERE: 1324 Longworth House Office Building or live streamed here.


As Chairman Emeritus of the House Natural Resources Committee and an original author of the 1976 MSA, Congressman Young has been selected to lead MSA reauthorization efforts in the U.S. House. Young is the sponsor of H.R. 200, the Strengthening Fishing Communities and Increasing Flexibility in Fisheries Management Act, which provides a number of modest but necessary updates to our nation’s fisheries management policies.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

NOAA opens public comment period on Sec. 4(b) in Executive Order 13795 focused on Natl. Marine Sanctuaries and Marine Natl. Monuments

National News:

NOAA is soliciting comment on National Marine Sanctuaries and Marine National Monuments designated or expanded since April 28, 2007, during a 30-day public comment period, which opened on Monday, June 26, 2017.  NOAA is seeking comments to assist the Secretary of Commerce in his review under Section 4(b) of the Presidential Executive Order (EO) 13795 "Implementing an America-First Offshore Energy Strategy" signed April 28, 2017. There are a total of six National Marine Sanctuaries and five Marine National Monuments under review (please see the table below).

​NOAA is asking for comments on the criteria outlined in Section 4(b)(i) of Executive Order 13795:

  1. An analysis of the acreage affected and an analysis of the budgetary impacts of the costs of managing each National Marine Sanctuary or Marine National Monument designation or expansion;
  2. An analysis of the adequacy of any required Federal, State and tribal consultations conducted before the designations or expansions; and
  3. The opportunity costs associated with potential energy and mineral exploration and production from the Outer Continental Shelf, in addition to any impacts on production in the adjacent region.
You may submit comments identified by docket ID NOAA-NOS-2017-0066 by one of the following methods:
  • Electronic submissions: Beginning Monday, June 26, the option to submit all electronic public comments via the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov enter NOAA-NOS-2017-0066 in the "Search" box, click the "Comment Now!" icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments.
  • Mail: EO 13795 Review, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Silver Spring Metro Campus Building 4 (SSMC4), Eleventh Floor, 1305 East West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910.

​Thank you for your interest in the Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary. For more information, please visit the websites below or contact Willilam Douros 
(William.Douros@noaa.gov831-647-1920).
    
    National Marine Sanctuaries and Marine National Monuments Under Review Pursuant to EO 13795, Sec. 4(b)
Name
Location
Action
Date
Size in Acres
Federal Register Citation
Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary …………..
California

Expansion

May 24, 2007
9,600
72 FR 29,208 (May 24, 2007)
Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary ………………....
California
Expansion
March 12, 2015
484,480
80 FR 13,078 (March 12, 2015)
Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary ……….…..
California
Expansion
March 12, 2015
1,288,320
80 FR 13,078 (March 12, 2015)
Marianas Trench Marine National Monument ………......
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands/Pacific Ocean
Designation
January 6, 2009
60,938,240


74 FR 1,557 (January 12, 2009)
Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary ………………..…
California
Expansion
November 20, 2008
496,000
73 FR 70,488 (November 20, 2008)
National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa …………..
American Samoa
Expansion
July 26, 2012
8,691,840
77 FR 43,942 (July 26, 2012)
Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument ……………..…..
Atlantic Ocean
Designation
September 15, 2016
3,114,320
81 FR 65,161 (September 21, 2016)
Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument ……..….
Pacific Ocean
Designation; Expansion
January 6, 2009; September 25, 2014
55,608,320
74 FR 1,565 (January 12, 2009); 79 FR 58,645 (September 29, 2014)
PapahānaumokuākeaMarine National Monument …………
Hawaii
Expansion
August 26, 2016
283,379,840
81 FR 60,227 (August 31, 2016)
Rose Atoll Marine National Monument………………....
American Samoa
Designation
January 6, 2009
8,608,640
74 FR 1,577 (January 12, 2009)
Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary  …. ………………..
Michigan
Expansion
September 5, 2014
2,465,280
79 FR 52,960 (September 5, 2014)














































  1 All of Rose Atoll Marine National Monument is contained within National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa.



-- 

Maria Brown
Superintendent

Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary
991 Marine Drive
San Francisco, CA 94129
(415) 530-5355

www.farallones.noaa.gov

...and share your favorite sanctuary experiences with #ILoveMySanctuary
http://www.facebook.com/NOAAOfficeofNationalMarineSanctuaries  http://twitter.com/sanctuaries  http://www.youtube.com/user/sanctuaries  http://www.flickr.com/photos/onms/  http://feeds.feedburner.com/NoaaNationalMarineSanctuaryNews  http://pinterest.com/nmsanctuaries/national-marine-sanctuaries/  http://instagram.com/noaasanctuaries
Protecting an ocean wilderness beyond the Golden Gate 

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Alaska halibut charters are targeting multiple species. Here’s why.

"Economic and regulatory factors have over the years forced some Alaska halibut charter fishermen and women to adapt, moving to new waters for their harvests, a new University of Alaska Fairbanks study has found.

"Researchers at UAF say the study is an important starting point to understanding the impact of such movement on fish stocks and the environment.

“When fishermen shift to a new area that has the potential to affect new species, it’s kind of like that footprint of fishing is expanding or contracting, and that’s going to affect the ecosystem more broadly,” said Anne Beaudreau, a professor of fisheries at UAF and one of the researchers on the study."

Read the full article in the Alaska Daily News.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Armed Forces Combat Fishing Tournament


Craig Medred has a nice write up of the annual event where generous Seward charter captains take enlisted service personnel stationed in Alaska out for some halibut fishing.

"With the tournament now the largest military appreciation fishing event in the country, more than a few businesses throughout the broader Prince William Sound area have been joining in, and there is goodly bit of financial support from the state’s largest city.

"An April auction in Anchorage raised almost $50,000 for the event.

"The money helps fund free and low-cost programs the Armed Services YMCA of Alaska provides military personnel. Not many of those programs can top a free-of-charge chance to go chase the biggest of big Alaska fish in an event where everyone goes home a winner."

Steve Wackowski appointed Senior Advisor for Alaska Affairs at the Dept. of Interior

"WASHINGTON — Steve Wackowski, who led Sen. Lisa Murkowski's 2016 campaign for re-election, will serve as a senior adviser for Alaska affairs for the Department of Interior, Secretary Ryan Zinke announced Tuesday.

Wackowski will work for the Interior Department from Anchorage, which marks a shift from the previous administration, when former Alaska adviser Kim Steven Elton worked from Washington, D.C.

Zinke made the announcement as he continued a trip around the state that began over the weekend.

Wackowski previously worked on Murkowski's 2010 campaign; he was Sen. Ted Stevens' last press secretary, and also worked on the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee before moving back to Alaska.

Wackowski graduated from Bartlett High School in Anchorage, and worked for his family's halibut and salmon sport-fishing business in Ninilchik, according to the Interior Department. He attended Saint Mary's College in California, and currently serves as a major in the Air Force Reserve."

Full article at the Alaska Daily News.









Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Meet Our Board Members

The Alaska Charter Association benefits from a solid board of directors, who over the years have volunteered countless hours to ensure the future of our fisheries and the health of the charter industry. Representing ports across Alaska, and a wide array of business models including six-pack charters to full-service lodges, these volunteers each bring a unique perspective to the board of directors. We introduce you to the current board in recognition of their service because you might want to thank them for their work by becoming a member of the Alaska Charter Association.

A lot of us gripe and moan about the rules and regulations but we know the only way to improve things is to get involved. Not everyone can commit the time necessary to attend the regulatory meetings but everyone can tip the scales and improve our odds by supporting the people who do act on our behalf. Joining the Alaska Charter Association is the first step because if you read this far, you have an interest in the outcome, just like the owners of hundreds of Alaskan charter vessels, and thousands of recreational anglers who support them. We've asked the Board of Directors to talk about why they are involved. Have a look, and thank them all for their work.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Chris Oliver increasingly likely to get NMFS top job



John Sackton, Seafood.com News

"Chris Oliver, the executive director of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (NPFMC), appears to have the inside track to become the Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, the head of the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS).

Oliver has had widespread support from a range of seafood industry groups around the country, based on his long history as a successful leader of the NPFMC.

The latest talk within the industry is that Oliver is indeed the pick that the Commerce Department has submitted to the White House. The recommendation still has to get White House approval, and also a congressional approval of the nomination is needed...."


https://www.undercurrentnews.com/2017/05/10/chris-oliver-increasingly-likely-to-get-nmfs-top-job/

Friday, April 28, 2017

Knowing Fish: Documenting long-term changes in Alaskan halibut fisheries from fishermen’s local knowledge




Please join UAF researchers for a presentation and discussion about changes in local halibut fisheries. We will be hosting two outreach events this May in Homer and Sitka. Details are below and flyers attached—please spread the word. We thank you for your continued support!



Knowing Fish: Documenting long-term changes in Alaskan halibut fisheries from fishermen’s local knowledge

UAF researchers interviewed Alaskan fishers to understand how fishing for halibut and other species has changed over the past few decades. The research team will present results from Sitka and Homer that highlight the effects of halibut regulations on people’s fishing practices, opportunities, and perceptions of resource health. The presentation will also feature a short film that the team created about the value of fishermen’s local knowledge. The presentation will be followed by Q&A and discussion with the audience.



Wednesday, May 17, 2017 • 7:00 p.m.

Islands and Ocean Visitor Center Auditorium

95 Sterling Hwy • Homer, AK 99603



Monday, May 22, 2017 • 7:30 p.m.

University of Alaska Southeast • Room 229

1332 Seward Ave • Sitka, AK 99835



Presenters:

Anne Beaudreau, Assistant Professor, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Juneau Fisheries Center

Maggie Chan, Ph.D. Student, UAF Fisheries

Elizabeth Figus, Ph.D. Student, UAF Fisheries (Sitka event only)



For more information about the events, contact Anne Beaudreau at abeaudreau@alaska.edu, 907‐796‐5454



*******************************

Anne Beaudreau

Assistant Professor

University of Alaska Fairbanks

School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences

Monday, April 24, 2017

Public Meeting to Review Recreational Halibut Fishing Regulations: in Homer, Wednesday April 26th @6pm

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game Division of Sport Fish, Alaska State Troopers, and US Coast Guard will be hosting a public meeting for sport anglers and charter operators April 26, 2017 from 6 to 8pm at the Alaska Islands and Ocean Visitor Center in Homer. The purpose of the meeting is to review sport fishing regulatory changes stemming from recent Board of Fisheries meetings, address questions regarding saltwater charter logbooks, and to review vessel and boating safety tips.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

U.S. Reps. Graves, Green, Webster, Wittman Champion Federal Saltwater Fisheries Reform


Washington, D.C. - April 6, 2017 - The recreational fishing and boating community praised the introduction of a bill that addresses critical challenges facing saltwater recreational fishing at the federal level. Led by Congressmen Garret Graves (R-La.), Gene Green (D-Texas), Daniel Webster (R-Fla.) and Rob Wittman (R-Va.), the "Modernizing Recreational Fisheries Management Act of 2017" (Modern Fish Act) would improve public access to America's federal waters, promote conservation of our natural marine resources and spur economic growth.

"On behalf of America's 11 million saltwater anglers, we thank Congressmen Graves, Green, Webster and Wittman for championing this legislation to modernize federal recreational fishing management," said Jeff Angers, president of the Center for Sportfishing Policy. "For decades, the recreational fishing community has been subjected to antiquated federal policies not designed to manage recreational fishing. The time is now to update these policies so families can fully enjoy our nation's remarkable marine resources and continue a proud American tradition on the water."

The Modern Fish Act addresses many of the recreational fishing community's priorities including allowing alternative management for recreational fishing, reexamining fisheries allocations, smartly rebuilding fishery stocks, establishing exemptions where annual catch limits don't fit and improving recreational data collection. The bill aims to benefit fishing access and conservation by incorporating modern management approaches, science and technology to guide decision-making.
"We applaud the introduction of the Modern Fish Act in the House and the efforts of Rep. Graves and his colleagues to modernize the federal regulations governing access to the public's natural resources by boaters and anglers," said National Marine Manufacturers Association President Thom Dammrich. "We appreciate the Congressmen's support for better management of our recreational fisheries that will bring federal management into the 21st century."

"Getting more Americans outdoors and enjoying our wonderful natural treasures, including in saltwater spaces, requires updating and modernizing federal management approaches," said Mike Nussman, president of the American Sportfishing Association. "The Modern Fish Act addresses the core issues within federal saltwater fisheries management that are limiting the public's ability to enjoy saltwater recreational fishing, and will help maximize the economic, social and conservation benefits that recreational fishing provides to the nation."

"This legislation reflects the vision and commitment of the recreational angling community to work with Congress and NOAA to provide quality angling opportunities for all stakeholders," said Patrick Murray, president of Coastal Conservation Association. "We commend Congressmen Graves, Green, Webster and Wittman for providing a pathway to better management of America's marine fisheries in the future."

"For decades in federal fisheries management, recreational fishing was always an afterthought," explained Jim Donofrio executive director of the Recreational Fishing Alliance. "The Modernizing Recreational Fisheries Management Act introduced by Congressman Graves and his colleagues finally addresses the specific needs of the recreational fishing community; stands to bring parity to fisheries management and will get anglers back on the water."

The coalition of groups supporting the Modern Fish Act includes American Sportfishing Association, Center for Sportfishing Policy, Coastal Conservation Association, Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation, Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, International Game Fish Association, National Marine Manufacturers Association, Recreational Fishing Alliance, The Billfish Foundationand Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership.

Fishing-industry groups blast WA Gov. Inslee over his picks for North Council



"Gov. Jay Inslee’s handling of nominations for a federal fishery-council seat has come under attack from the leaders of major North Pacific fishing-industry groups, which have taken the unusual step of sending a complaint letter to the U.S. Secretary of Commerce.

Industry officials criticize Inslee for bucking the list of three nominees provided by the state Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) for a seat on the North Pacific Fishery Management Council. Instead, the governor made some of his own picks in what they say was a flawed process that denied most of the industry meaningful input. ... read more...


Wednesday, April 5, 2017

MRIP Releases Five-Year Strategic Plan; Seeks Public Comment

Today, MRIP released its draft five-year Strategic Plan and is requesting input on the Plan from our partners and stakeholders. Developed by a Working Group with broad federal and regional representation, the Plan lays out a clear, well-defined strategy for continuing to improve our survey methods while providing a sound basis for implementing new and expanded surveys through a system of regional partnerships.

The Plan emphasizes enhancing collaboration with partners, meeting customer needs, ensuring sound science and quality products, and improving communications with partners and stakeholders. It identifies specific strategies, tactics, outcomes, metrics, and timelines for achieving these goals. The document also articulates MRIP's mission, vision, and values, and provides a detailed history and major milestones of the Program.

We are seeking public feedback as part of MRIP's ongoing commitment to improving our surveys through collaboration among federal, regional, and state agencies, and the saltwater recreational fishing community. Incorporating comments from scientists, managers, fishermen, and others is a critical step in ensuring that the Strategic Plan guides MRIP in a direction that will ensure the sustainability of recreational fishing today, and for generations to come.

We welcome all input, and are particularly interested in whether the goals, strategies, and tactics we've outlined are likely to meet partner and stakeholder needs, as well as achieve the mission and vision stated in the Plan.

The document and details on providing feedback can be found on the homepage of the MRIP website, countmyfish.noaa.gov. Comments are due by June 30, 2017.


Ask MRIP

Do you have questions about MRIP or our surveys? Ask us and we'll answer your question in an upcoming newsletter. If you've got a question about MRIP that you'd like answered, please e-mail Dave Bard at david.bard@noaa.gov.

To learn more about improvements MRIP is making, visit our website at countmyfish.noaa.gov.




Wednesday, March 15, 2017

AK Guided Halibut Regulations Approved for 2017:

NMFS Adopts New Charter Halibut Regulations for 2017

On March 3, the new 2017 regulations for the halibut fishery became effective. These regulations include a few changes from 2016 affecting the charter halibut sector.  

Unguided halibut sport fishers in Alaska will continue to observe a daily bag limit of 2 fish any size per person per day. 

A quick-reference summary of the regulations for charter halibut anglers is available on the NMFS website (link). Summaries are also being sent by U.S. mail to all charter halibut permit holders.

New regulations for 2017 are as follows: 

In Area 2C (Southeast Alaska):
Reverse slot limit: Retained halibut must be less than or equal to 44 inches or greater than or equal to 80 inches in length. This reverse slot limit allows anglers to keep halibut less than approximately 30 pounds and greater than 208 pounds, after the head and guts have been removed. The lower size limit of the reverse slot limit was increased by one inch from 2016 regulations.
In Area 3A (Southcentral Alaska):
Tuesday closure: Charter vessel anglers may not catch and retain halibut (except GAF) on three Tuesdays in 2017: July 18, July 25, and August 1. These Tuesday closures are new for 2017 and are in addition to the Wednesday closure for the entire season.

The complete International Pacific Halibut Commission Annual Management Measures as published in the Federal Register are also available on the NMFS website (link).
The sport fishing regulations for Alaska are in Sections 25 and 28.

For more information about sport halibut regulations, visit NOAA Fisheries' Alaska Regional Sportfishing website. 

Questions or comments? Contact Julie Scheurer, Regional Recreational Fisheries Coordinator, at 907-586-7111 or julie.scheurer@noaa.gov.



Monday, February 27, 2017

Win an Fishing Trip of a Lifetime in Alaska

ACA Board member Theresa Weiser has launched a raffle for several fishing/lodging packages at her family's lodge in Sitka, AK - Wild Strawberry Lodge DBA Alaska Premier Charters, Inc.

Proceeds benefit the Alaska Charter Association. Only 500 tickets and 4 big prizes to win!

Drawing will be March 10th, 2017. You do not need to be present to win. Here's the info:



Thursday, February 23, 2017

Charter Halibut Committee Seeks More Representation

The North Pacific Fishery Management Council is seeking nominations for seats to be filled on the Charter Halibut Committee to include a 3A representative from a community that is not on the road system, and a 2C representative from one of the smaller communities to complement representation from Juneau and Sitka. Nominations are open until March 31. Representatives will be named at the April Council meeting. Please send a letter of interest to steve.maclean@noaa.gov.


Please forward this announcement to anyone you think may be interested in serving on the Charter Halibut Committee.



-Steve A. MacLean

Protected Species Coordinator / Fishery Analyst

North Pacific Fishery Management Council

907-271-2809

Lunchtime Talk: A Framework for Valuing Commercial and Recreational Fisheries

Economic study shows 10X more economic value for fish landed in recreational fishery

[Streamed live on Feb 8, 2017]

Gordon Gislason, a fisheries economist from Vancouver, British Columbia, talks about a framework he has developed for analyzing and comparing the economic value of the two kinds of fisheries. As a case study, he estimated the commercial and recreational values of Chinook salmon in Pacific Canada.

Commercial and recreational fisheries are very different: the commercial fishery is a resource extraction, processing, and retailing industry; the recreational fishery is a form of outdoor recreation, influenced not only by the availability of fish but by the environmental setting and other factors aside from fish. How can we make a fair comparison of their economic value?




Sunday, February 12, 2017

Bevan Series on MSA at University of Washington


On April 24-25, 2014, the University of Washington School of Aquatic & Fishery Sciences and School of Marine & Environmental Affairs co-hosted a symposium on the re-authorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Act as part of the Bevan Lecture Series on Sustainable Fisheries. 
Video recorded and produced by UWTV.

Sam Rauch discusses Magnuson Stevans in 2014
This is the fourth speaker, Sam Rauch, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, NOAA Fisheries. His talk is titled, "U.S. Fisheries Management Today"


Rep. “Doc” Hastings, WA (R), Chairman of the House Committee on Natural Resources
This is the keynote address by Rep. Doc Hastings, US House of Representatives, WA (R), Chairman, Committee on Natural Resources. NOTE: Doc Hastings retired from Congress in 2015, but his statement remains the clearest explanation of the problems with Magnuson-Stevens that fishermen across the country have, and the changes that need to be made in the next revision of the MSA.



Don McIsaac & Chris Oliver
This is the first presentation of session 3, the West Coast Implementation Experience, chaired by Merrick Burden. The talk is presented by Don McIsaac, Executive Director, Pacific Fishery Management Council, and Chris Oliver, Executive Director, North Pacific Fishery Management Council. Their talk is titled, "Regional Council Perspectives: Current Implementation Challenges and Recommendations for Change."



Congressional Staff MSA Discussion
This is the Congressional staff members panel discussion. Panel members include: Jean Flemma, Senior Policy Advisor, Democratic Staff, Committee on Natural Resources; Bob King, Legislative Assistant, Office of U.S. Senator Mark Begich (AK); Nicole Teutschel, Legislative Assistant, Office of U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (WA); Dave Whaley, Professional Staff Member, Committee on Natural Resources. Moderated by John Henderschedt.