National Fisherman


President Barack Obama has approved the promotion of Shepard Smith, from captain to rear admiral (lower half), a prerequisite for Smith to become director of NOAA's Office of Coast Survey, after his selection by Department of Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker.

Smith's appointment to director will be effective on August 26, 2016. 

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Bristol Seafood, a leading seafood processor and distributor in Portland, Maine, announced that its partners made a $10,000 gift to the Center for Excellence in the Marine Sciences at the University of New England.

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NOAA recently announced that it is recommending more than $11 million in funding for 50 projects across the nation.

Of the 50 projects selected nationally, 22 projects in the Greater Atlantic Region are requesting over $4.6 million in federal support.

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Ray Hilborn, a University of Washington professor of aquatic and fishery sciences, recently received the 2016 International Fisheries Science Prize at the World Fisheries Congress in Busan, South Korea.

The award was given to Hilborn by the World Council of Fisheries Societies’ International Fisheries Science Prize Committee in recognition of his 40-year career of “highly diversified research and publication in support of global fisheries science and conservation.”

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Legislators from Connecticut and Massachusetts complained about the current “out-of-date allocation formula” in black sea bass, summer flounder and scup fisheries in a letter to the U.S. Department of Commerce earlier this week.

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The Southeast Alaska Fishermen’s Alliance recently announced that the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation has awarded the organization a Hollings Grant to reduce whale entanglements in Alaska salmon fisheries by increasing the use of acoustic whale pingers to minimize entanglements in fishing gear.

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Last week, Alaska senators Lisa Murkowski (R), Dan Sullivan (R) and Rep. Don Young (R) asked Secretary of State John Kerry to negotiate with Canadian leaders to make sure appropriate environmental safeguards are in place for mine development in Southeast Alaska.

The congressional delegation explained the importance of this issue to Alaskans and the need for assurances that the water quality in transboundary waters between Alaska and Canada will be maintained.

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Researchers at William & Mary's Virginia Institute of Marine Science have earned nearly $6 million in set-aside funding to advance the understanding and management of sea scallops off the U.S. East Coast.

Announced by NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center and the New England Fishery Management Council, the awards to VIMS account for six of the 15 research projects funded. 

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Last week, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission took a formal position on the possibility of a presidential proclamation of an Atlantic marine monument.

According to Saving Seafood, ASMFC’s Interstate Fisheries Management Program policy board unanimously (with three abstentions) approved a resolution drawing a line in the ocean, in close proximity to the Atlantic canyons and seamounts off of Georges Banks, and urging that the creation of a monument only take place in a region seaward of that line.

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(Bloomberg) — After fighting for more than two years to avoid paying almost $1 billion in oil spill damages to Gulf Coast shrimpers, oystermen and seafood processors it claimed didn’t exist, BP Plc has thrown in the towel.

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Inside the Industry

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation announced last week the sixth round of grant awards from its Fisheries Innovation Fund, a program launched in 2010 to foster innovations that support sustainable fisheries in the United States. 

The goal of the Fisheries Innovation Fund is to sustain fishermen and fishing communities while simultaneously rebuilding fish stocks.

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Alaskan Leader Fisheries will give Inmarsat’s new high-speed broadband maritime communications service, Fleet Xpress, a try on the 150-foot longline cod catcher/processor Alaskan Leader.

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