Note the July 10th Deadline
Evaluation of Existing Coast Guard Regulations: Executive Order 13771, dated January 30, 2017, ordered that for every one new regulation issued, at least two prior regulations must be identified for elimination. With Executive Order 13777, dated February 24, 2017, the President ordered enforcement of this regulatory reform agenda and directed all agencies to take specific steps to identify and alleviate unnecessary regulatory burdens on the American people.
To this end, the U.S. Coast Guard is seeking comments from the public on any USCG regulations, guidance documents, interpretive documents and collection of information Americans believe should be repealed, replaced or modified.
USCG regulations fall within three general categories in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR's): Navigation, Navigable Waters, Shipping, and Transportation. The three corresponding CFR titles are: 33 CFR Chapter 1 (Parts 1-199); 46 CFR Chapters I (Parts 1-199) and III (Parts 400-499); and 49 CFR Chapter IV (Parts 400-499).
Comments can be made anonymously, and all comments received will be posted without change on the docket. The best way to comment is through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. Please reference docket number USCG-2017-0480 in your comment as well as the specific regulation, guidance document, interpretive document or collection of information you are commenting on. Please provide any specific details and supporting data you may have.
All comments and related materials must be received on or before July 10, 2017.
Marine Resource Education Program West (MREP West) is a workshop series designed by and for fishermen and others in the industry to build their understanding of, and involvement in, fisheries science and management. There is no cost to participate, and room, board, and mileage costs are provided. Participation is limited, so be sure and apply ASAP at: http://gmri.org/fisheries-convening/mrep-west/apply
Starting late March- early April 2017, researchers, managers, and animal response networks working in Southern California coastal communities noted an increase in wildlife impacts consistent with the onset of a harmful algal bloom (HAB). They observed a large die-off of seabirds in Santa Barbara, Ventura, and Los Angeles Counties and an influx of sea lions exhibiting symptoms of domoic acid (DA) poisoning at several regional marine mammal rescue centers. The California Department of Public Health recently initiated and expanded shellfish advisories to Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties, as results demonstrated toxin in shellfish over the regulatory limit considered safe for human consumption.
With funding from the NCCOS HAB Event Response Program, a team of researchers at the Southern California Coastal Water Research Project, University of Southern California, University of San Diego, and University of California Santa Cruz will document the Southern California bloom event, investigate seabird mortalities, and monitor DA levels in the marine environment. Specific tasks include analyzing DA in marine bird samples to determine lethal levels of exposure, evaluating long-term impacts on crab toxicity through analysis of DA in sediment and benthic organisms, and expanding DA analysis of offshore, subsurface regions not routinely monitored to assess the validity of predictive models.
These efforts will address concerns about the effect this bloom may have on the California crab industry, which faced significant HAB-related losses during the past two seasons. Data will also assist state and federal managers striving to mitigate HAB impacts on marine wildlife, protect public health, and maintain public confidence in California seafood.
For more information go to NOAA's site at: https://coastalscience.noaa.gov/news/habs/nccos-responds-southern-california-harmful-algal-bloom-event/
or contact Marc.Suddleson@noaa.gov
NOAA’s Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary is seeking to fill six primary and five alternate seats on its advisory council. The council ensures public participation in sanctuary matters and provides advice to sanctuary management.
“The diversity of members on our advisory council contribute extremely important perspectives from our community,” said Chris Mobley, sanctuary superintendent. “Council member involvement and advice is critical to the successful management of the marine sanctuary.”
The sanctuary is accepting applications for the following seats: business (primary and alternate); commercial fishing (primary and alternate); conservation (alternate); non-consumptive recreation (primary and alternate); public-at-large (two primary); and research (primary and alternate).
Candidates are selected based upon their expertise and experience in relation to the seat for which they are applying, community and professional affiliations, and views regarding the protection and management of marine resources. Applicants who are chosen as members or alternates should expect to serve a voluntary, two-year term.
The advisory council consists of 21 primary and alternate members representing a variety of public interests. It also includes 20 governmental primary and alternate members representing federal, state and county agencies.
Applications are due by Wednesday, May 31. Application kits can be downloaded from the sanctuary’s website at http://channelislands.noaa.gov/sac/council_news.html. For further information, please contact Aubrie Fowler, advisory council coordinator, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org; by phone at 805-893-6425; or by mail at NOAA Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, Ocean Science Education Building 514, MC 6155, University of California Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA, 93106.
Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary was designated in 1980 to protect marine resources surrounding San Miguel, Santa Rosa, Santa Cruz, Anacapa and Santa Barbara islands. The sanctuary spans approximately 1,470 square miles, extending from island shorelines to six miles offshore, and encompasses a rich diversity of marine life, habitats, and historical and cultural resources.
NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. Join us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and our other social media channels.
On the Web:
Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary: http://channelislands.noaa.gov
NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries: http://sanctuaries.noaa.gov
# # #
Thanks to a major team effort lead by Rob Ross and Jonathan Gonzalez, legislators in Sacramento are going to be faced with answering to a letter opposition signed by nearly 50 major fisheries organizations, seafood suppliers and restaurant associations, cities and counties, chambers of commerce and others in maritime industry in California. CFSB and the Santa Barbara Chamber of Commerce both signed on early and helped work to get more signatories.
A pdf of the letter is here. The main text is below.
OPPOSE THE 1,300% COMMERCIAL FISHING LANDING TAX INCREASE.
Dear Legislative Leaders:
We are writing to express our opposition to the Budget Change Proposal (BCP) of the Department of Fish and Wildlife that would increase commercial fishing landing taxes on average 13-fold (1,300%), and for many fisheries would exceed that amount (see attached).
The BCP was drafted without input from the seafood industry; they were not consulted before the DFW submitted the tax increase to the Governor. The seafood industry heard about the tax hike when the Governor submitted his budget to the legislature on January 10. Since that time we have learned about the tremendous increases in expenditures by the department that, over the past 5 years, has charged the commercial seafood industry for cost overruns by the department without notifying anyone in the commercial fishing industry. Now they are playing catch up, charging the commercial fishing side of their ledger for costs they cannot explain after taking monies from other programs without revealing any of this to anyone. This is simply wrong.
Since 1992 when landing taxes were last raised, the federal Government has taken over the management and costs associated with management of a majority of the commercial fisheries in California. These are tasks for which the state no longer has primary management responsibility and their costs to industry should be less, not more.
The Dungeness crab season in 2015-16 was declared a disaster by Governor Brown last year due to oceanic conditions. Sea urchin is experiencing harvest losses exceeding 80% of normal due to ocean and environmental conditions. Following poor landings of salmon in 2015 and 2016 due to the effects of drought, we learned recently that a severely restricted salmon season is slated for 2017. The same is true for the sardine fishery, no season in 2015, 2016, and now 2017. The Governor will be asked to declare both fisheries a disaster as well.
The tax increases will not only destroy the economic margins of the fishermen and processors but also have a profound effect on local coastal economies. That is widely recognized by those of us that have signed onto this letter. There are many entities involved in the seafood industry, beyond the fisherman and the processor. The economic driver that is the seafood industry, from Pacific-to-plate, takes more than most people realize.
Fishermen pay for slips in harbors, pay crew, buy fuel, bait, insurance, gear, and ice. They pay for safety gear and health care for captain and crew. They pay mechanics and boat yards. Processors pay the fishermen for their catch, pay their workers to fillet fish, and pay rent on property leased by the port districts. They provide health care for their workers, pay for insurance, compliance with food safety programs, they buy ice machines, cleaning equipment, forklifts, boxes, trucks to deliver fish to restaurants and grocery stores, ship products overseas. Without fish and shellfish, there is no seafood. Without the fishing industry, many ports and harbors and local coastal economies will suffer gravely.
Please oppose the DFW BCP and support America’s first industry and coastal economies that together bring you and all consumers the wide variety of nutritious local fish and shellfish harvested off our coast.
From: Noah Oppenheimer, Executive Director, Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Associations
Subject: Outreach to Congress on crab disaster bill/appropriations
Here is a list of Senators and Members of Congress who need to hear from fishermen, processors, and business owners about fishery disaster assistance. Please share far and wide.
Read more about the status of the Disaster assistance here
I have included names, DC office addresses, relevant staffer emails, and DC office phone numbers. There are two groups: 1) Reps/Senators who are involved in the appropriations process directly, for whom the ask is to support fishery disaster appropriations for the west coast; 2) California members of Congress who represent fishermen or who might want to demonstrate support for working families, for whom the ask is to cosponsor the Speier/Huffman crab disaster assistance bill.
Santa Barbara specific info-
Ask to the Senators: "Support fishery disaster appropriations in the Fiscal Year 2018 budget"
Feinstein’s Staffer: email@example.com, 202-224-3841, Building: 331 Hart SOB
Harris’s Staffer: firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-224-3553, Building: 112 Hart SOB
Ask to Carbajal: "Cosponsor the Speier/Huffman crab disaster bill and support fishery disaster appropriations in the Fiscal Year 2018 budget"
Carbajal’s: email@example.com, 202-225-3601, Building: 212 Cannon HOB
Here is my advice for ways to most effectively communicate with these offices:
- For letters: write directly to the Senator/Representative, make it personal, make it 2 pages max, and be specific about what your ask is early in the letter and then repeated again at the end. Address format should look like this (see the spreadsheet for specific addresses):
XXXX [Building name] House/Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20515(House)/20510(Senate)
- For phone calls: you will reach an intern who knows nothing. They will log your call and file it into their system. Tell them who you are, why you're calling, what you want the Senator/Representative to do, and answer any questions they have about where you're from (zip code, etc).
-For emails: write a message to the relevant staffer and either explain to them what you want the Senator/Representative to do or write to the staffer and attach a letter written to the Senator/Representative asking them to help. The email can be short, should be polite but firm, and can be personal, emphasizing economic impacts.
Let me know if you have any questions. Thanks for your time on this... every little bit counts. If we don't show up, we get nothing.
Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Associations
Institute for Fisheries Resources
Cell: 207-233-0400 | Office: 415-561-5080 | Fax: 415-561-5464
May 8, 2017
Live Shellfish to China Updates -
Industry Conference Call 5/10
Steven Wilson, Deputy Director of International Affairs and Seafood Inspection for NOAA Fisheries, has a number of important updates about exporting live shellfish (including crab and all bivalves) to China. We've scheduled two conference calls, one for industry and one for co-managers (tribes and state agencies), to keep you up to date.
Industry Call Information
Wednesday, May 10, 1:00-2:00 pm (Pacific Time)
Pass Code: 4247213
Chief, External Affairs
NOAA Fisheries Communications
NOAA - Fisheries Service, 1315 East West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910
DRAFT FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, April 27, 2017
Jennifer Gilden, Communications Officer, 503-820-2418 (Jennifer.Gilden@noaa.gov)
Brett Wiedoff, Staff Officer, 503-820-2424 (Brett.L.Wiedoff@noaa.gov)
Pacific Fishery Management Council Recommends Electronic Monitoring Program for Some West Coast Groundfish Fisheries
The Pacific Fishery Management Council has recommended regulations governing the use of electronic equipment to monitor at-sea discards of target, non-target and prohibited fish for certain West Coast groundfish fisheries. If approved by National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), this will mark the culmination of a four-year process to develop and implement regulations for electronic monitoring system use in West Coast groundfish fisheries.
Council Member Dorothy Lowman said, “For many fishing operations, electronic monitoring will provide a more cost-effective way to meet 100% monitoring requirements. This will allow fishermen the flexibility to choose the monitoring method that makes the most sense for them while maintaining full accountability.”
Under the Council’s catch share program, every vessel must carry a human observer to help monitor catch that is allocated to each vessel owner, including discards that happen at sea. Each owner has a share of the total catch allocation and the program requires that each vessel have “quota pounds” to cover its catch of nearly all groundfish species. The catch share program relies on at-sea monitoring to ensure that discards are accurately identified with an estimated weight so that vessel quotas are properly tracked. However, fishermen must pay as much as $500 per day for an observer, and must schedule deployment of an observer when a vessel is ready to fish. The electronic monitoring program is expected to increase flexibility while reducing operating costs for fishermen.
An electronic monitoring system collects video images of fishing activity with cameras, uses gear sensors to trigger recording and monitor use, and includes a Global Positioning System to collect location data. It then stores this information on a computer hard drive for review at a later date at a mainland facility, where a person reviews the video to monitor the fishing activity. Under the West Coast electronic monitoring program, the video images will be used to verify the species and amount of discarded fish that is recorded in a fisherman’s logbook. Observers may still be deployed on vessels to collect scientific data such as fish length measurements, interactions with protected species (marine mammals and seabirds), and other data to support fisheries management.
The use of electronic monitoring systems would be voluntary, and could apply to the midwater trawl fishery for whiting (sometimes called hake), the midwater trawl fishery for rockfish, the bottom trawl fishery, and the fixed gear fishery (which uses longlines with hooks and lines or pots).
The Council’s decisions were informed by several years of collaborative work with the fishing industry, managers, and others to test electronic monitoring systems using “exempted fishing permits.” An exempted fishing permit allows exemptions from some regulations in order to study the effectiveness, bycatch rate, or other aspects of experimental fishing methods.
“I want to thank the industry and other stakeholders, NMFS West Coast Region, Northwest Fisheries Science Center, and Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission for their help in developing and testing this program, and especially NMFS headquarters for their policy and financial support for establishing the first large scale electronic monitoring regulatory program for U.S. fisheries,” said Council Executive Director Chuck Tracy.
The Council recommends management measures to NMFS for fisheries off the coasts of California, Oregon, and Washington. It is one of eight regional fishery management councils managing fisheries in US. Federal waters (3-200 miles offshore).