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Welcome to NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries Service). NOAA Fisheries Service is dedicated to the stewardship of living marine resources through science-based conservation and management, and the promotion of healthy ecosystems.

As a steward, NOAA Fisheries Service conserves, protects, and manages living marine resources in a way that ensures their continuation as functioning components of marine ecosystems, affords economic opportunities, and enhances the quality of life for the American public.

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From the Assistant Administrator

I am pleased to announce that our marine fish stocks are showing marked improvement in 2007.
The good news is published in this year’s NOAA Fisheries Service annual report to Congress on the status of U.S. fish stocks. >> read more

An electronic version of the 2007 NOAA Fisheries Service Business Report is now available. >> read more

Outreach Plan for NOAA Fisheries Service


NOAA Files Final Environmental Impact Statement on Ship Strike Reduction Measures
NOAA Fisheries Service is seeking comment on the final environmental impact statement (EIS) for the Ship Strike Reduction Rule. The EIS is one of the final steps in the process to implement a final rule. The ship strike reduction rule aims to reduce the number of endangered North Atlantic right whales injured or killed by collisions with large ships. The final EIS contains six alternatives, including NOAA’s preferred alternative that would require a vessel speed restriction of 10 knots or less in designated areas along the U.S. East Coast. >> read more   >> info on ship strike reduction
NOAA Fisheries Service Protects Bering Sea Habitat
NOAA Fisheries Service has prohibited the use of bottom trawl gear in 130,000 square nautical miles of the Bering Sea, an area where the gear has not been used previously, to protect the sea bottom habitat. The rule, recommended by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council, protects large areas of sea bottom for the future, with minimal effect on today's fisheries. >> read more

Dutch Harbor-Unalaska, Alaska, and New Bedford, Mass. Remain Top Fishing Ports Commercial fishermen unloaded 777.2 million pounds of fish, primarily Alaskan pollock, at the port of Dutch Harbor-Unalaska, Alaska, making it the country’s top port for landings in 2007. The port of New Bedford, Mass., claimed the top spot for value of landings, primarily due to sea scallops, bringing in $268 million in 2007. The total domestic commercial landings for 2007 were 9.2 billion pounds, valued at $4.1 billion. Dutch Harbor-Unalaska netted the top landings slot for the 19th consecutive year. >> read more

Seafood Consumption Declines Slightly in 2007
The average American ate 16.3 pounds of fish and shellfish in 2007, a one percent decline from the 2006 consumption figures of 16.5 pounds. The annual NOAA Fisheries Service study also showed Americans consumed a total of 4.908 billion pounds of seafood in 2007, slightly less than in 2006. The U.S. continues to be ranked the third largest consumer of fish and shellfish, behind China and Japan. The nation imports about 84 percent of its seafood, a steadily increasing proportion. Imports accounted for only 63 percent of U.S. seafood just a decade ago. >> read more

NOAA Proposes Rule to Require Saltwater Angler Registration
NOAA Fisheries Service is seeking comment on a proposed rule that requires anglers and spearfishers who fish recreationally in federal ocean waters to be registered before fishing in 2009. The proposed rule is part of a larger initiative to improve the quality and accuracy of data on marine recreational fishing and catches. The registry will also help measure the economic benefits of recreational fishing on the national and local economies. >> read more   >> Marine Recreational Information Program

NOAA Outlines Annual Catch Limits to End Overfishing
NOAA Fisheries Service has released a plan to establish annual catch limits designed to help restore federally managed marine fish stocks. Annual catch limits are the amount of each type of fish allowed to be caught in a year and are required by the 2007 amendments to the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. >> read more

FishWatch - U.S. Seafood Facts NOAA Develops Seafood Consumer Guide
Seafood consumers in the United States, increasingly concerned about the sustainability and quality of seafood, can now turn to a NOAA Fisheries Service Web site, FishWatch, for the latest information. This consumer guide provides the best available scientific information on over 60 of the most popular types of seafood. More species will be added to the site in the near future.

WARNING:   Consult IUU Fishing Lists Before Making Commercial Arrangements

Illegal, unreported, or unregulated (IUU) vessel lists have been created by Regional Fishery Management Organizations to combat IUU fishing practices. Certain penalties may apply to vessels included on such lists; therefore, it is advisable to consult these lists before making commercial arrangements with listed vessels. Penalties may include restricted port access or unloading prohibitions. Some lists are intended to include only fishing vessels, some can include transport vessels as well. For more information: >> read more

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FishNews News Briefs

NOAA Fisheries Seeks Comment on EIS for Mackerel, Squid and Butterfish Fisheries

NOAA announces applications for permits regarding Endangered and Threatened Species

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A sampling of shark drawings from readers of Jim Toomey's "Sherman's Lagoon"
syndicated comic strip.
>> read more

WeirdFins is NOAA Fisheries Service’s new educational podcast series. Each weekly two minute episode is guaranteed to make learning about ocean life fun. WeirdFins is for kids 8 to 14, but will interest people of all ages.
>> read more

The U.S. Government's Official Web Portal - The U.S. Goverment's Official Web Portal

Federal Agencies to Propose Expanding Gulf of Maine Atlantic Salmon Population Protected by Endangered Species Listing
NOAA’s Fisheries Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announced a proposal to redefine the endangered Gulf of Maine population of Atlantic salmon to include fish found in other nearby areas. The proposal would expand the endangered designation to consist of Atlantic salmon populations from the Androscoggin River to the Dennys River, including anadromous salmon inhabiting the Kennebec and Penobscot rivers, as well as hatchery fish used in the recovery effort. Currently, such hatchery populations are maintained at Green Lake and Craig Brook national fish hatcheries. >> read more
Scientists Use Naval Exercises to Learn More About How Marine Mammals React to Sonar
NOAA’s Fisheries Service, in partnership with top international scientists and the U.S. Navy, has just completed a pioneering research effort in Hawaii to measure the biology and behavior of some of the most poorly understood whales on Earth. During the study, for the first time, scientists attached listening and movement sensors on marine mammals around realistic military operations.  >> read more

Report: Offshore Aquaculture Would Benefit U.S. Economy
Aquaculture shows significant economic potential and good prospects for success in the United States, according to a new report commissioned by NOAA. The report’s authors call for clear rules to be enacted to guide the development of an offshore aquaculture industry. >> read more

Recreational Catch Down Slightly, Remains Second Highest Catch in Decade
Marine recreational anglers caught more than 468 million fish in 2007, down slightly from last year’s historic high of 475 million fish, but still the second highest recreational catch total in the last ten years. The overall number of fish caught and kept also declined slightly, from 214 million to196 million fish. The 2007 data also demonstrate a widespread turn toward “catch and release” among recreational anglers. While anglers are catching about 27 percent more fish than a decade ago, they are also releasing more fish than they keep. >> read more

*Watch live video of removal of New Hampshire dam*
dam cam - live video of the Merrimack Village Dam removal
For more than 270 years, the Merrimack Village Dam helped power industry in this New Hampshire community. The dam has one last role to play - that of a movie star. Beginning this week, NOAA, in partnership with the Conservation Law Foundation, will capture live on camera the removal of the dam which is no longer in use. The dam's removal will open up 14 miles of habitat in the Souhegan River to river herring, Atlantic salmon, American shad and American eel. .>> read more

NOAA Fisheries Service Issues Biological Opinion to Protect Willamette Basin Salmon and Steelhead
NOAA Fisheries Service has issued guidelines and timetables for the three federal agencies involved in the management of 13 dams in northwestern Oregon’s Willamette River Basin that will allow the dams to be operated and maintained without threatening the continued existence of winter steelhead and Chinook salmon, or harming their critical habitat. >> read more >> Biological opinion

NOAA Training Workshops for Seafood Dealers and Fishermen

Free workshops are planned to assist Atlantic shark dealers with the identification of various shark species. Accurate species identification is important because some regulations vary by species; some stocks are severely overfished, while others are more plentiful. Atlantic shark dealers are required to attend the shark identification workshops in order to maintain valid Federal permits. In addition, special workshops for commercial fishermen who use bottom longline, pelagic longline, or gillnet gear will help them learn new techniques for releasing any protected species (e.g. sea turtles) that are caught accidentally. These "safe handling" workshops are required for fishermen who wish to maintain Federal swordfish and shark fishing permits.
>> read more

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