National Fisherman

(Reuters) - Alaska's humpback whales swam a little closer on Wednesday to losing their status as an endangered species after being federally protected for more than 40 years, a U.S. agency said.
Alaska in a Feb. 26 petition asked federal fisheries managers to scrap the "endangered" classification of the central north Pacific population of humpbacks under the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA), citing population growth and existing regulations it says protect the migratory mammals.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on Wednesday said in a statement it found "substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that the petitioned action may be warranted."
The so-called "positive ruling" comes after the agency's similar response in August to a petition by the Hawaii Fishermen's Alliance for Conservation and Tradition, which sought to delist all north Pacific whales.
Read the full story at Reuters U.S. News>>

Inside the Industry

NMFS recently released a draft action plan for fish discard and release mortality science, creating a list of actions that they hope can better inform fisheries.

We know that fishermen have to deal with bycatch by discarding or releasing unwanted catch overboard, but there is a data gap regarding how those fish survive.


A new study has identified a set of features common to all ocean ecosystems that provide a visual diagnosis of the health of the underwater environment coastal communities rely on.

Together, the features detail cumulative effects of threats -- such as overfishing, pollution, and invasive species,  allowing responders to act faster to increase ocean resiliency and sustainability.

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