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NOAA Lists 20 Coral Species as Threatened Under the Endangered Species Act

NOAA announced today it will afford Endangered Species Act protections to 20 coral species. All 20 species will be listed as threatened, none as endangered. Fifteen of the newly listed species occur in the Indo-Pacific and five in the more

Caribbean species

Elkhorn coral
Staghorn coral
Star coral
Pillar coral
Rough Cactus coral

NOAA Announces Proposed Rule for Regulating Offshore Marine Aquaculture in the Gulf of Mexico 

NOAA Fisheries announces a proposed rule for regulating offshore marine aquaculture in the Gulf of Mexico. This proposed rule marks the first time a regional fishery management council has approved a comprehensive regulatory program for aquaculture in federal waters. There will be a 60-day public comment period for this more

Also visit our NOAA Fisheries page dedicated to offshore marine aquaculture in the Gulf of Mexico by clicking here

Dolphin Harassment Continues in Florida Panhandle, Tour Boat Operator Fined

On July 8, 2014, an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrative Law Judge upheld a fine issued by NOAA’s Office of General Counsel, Enforcement Section, and assessed a civil penalty of $4,500 on a Panama City business and its boat captain for their role in feeding wild more  

NOAA Releases 185 Florida loggerhead sea turtles into the wild, fishery scientists complete annual turtle excluder device testing

Scientists from NOAA Fisheries and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission release 185 loggerhead sea turtles into the Atlantic Ocean off of Florida's east coast on Tuesday, July 8. Twenty one (21) three year old and (1) 5 year old loggerhead turtles will be released from shore into the Sebastian more

NOAA Predicts below-average season for commercial harvest of brown shrimp in western Gulf of Mexico

The harvest of brown shrimp in the western Gulf of Mexico is expected to be 53.2 million pounds, which is slightly below the historical 52-year average of 56.5 million pounds, according to NOAA’s annual forecast. The prediction covers the period from July 2014 through June 2015 for state and federal waters off Louisiana and federal more

Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for amending the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan

The FEIS for amending the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan is completed and available through June 16. 2014. This document, required under federal law (National Environmental Policy Act), provides an assessment of the environmental impacts associated with anticipated revisions more 

NOAA Fisheries releases a biological opinion on the continued implementation of the sea turtle conservation regulations and continued authorization of federal Southeastern shrimp fisheries 

NOAA Fisheries issues a biological opinion on the continued implementation of the sea turtle conservation regulations under the Endangered Species Act and the continued authorization of federal Southeastern shrimp fisheries under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Management and Conservation more 

NOAA Fisheries to develop national policy on recreational fishing

NOAA Fisheries has announced plans to develop a national recreational fishing policy during its second national Saltwater Recreational Fishing Summit. The policy will broadly guide future actions and better integrate recreational fishing with NOAA Fisheries’ more

Florida and Mississippi fisheries to receive more than $17 million in
fishery disaster relief funds

As part of the Fiscal Year 2014 federal budget, Congress approved $75 million in fishery disaster relief funds. Today, NOAA Fisheries announced Mississippi will receive $10,941,828 and Florida will receive $6,316,533. The allocation comes after the Department of Commerce declared six fishery disasters in 2012 and more

Endangered Right Whale Off Georgia Coast Partially Freed From Fishing Gear 
Multi Agency Response Highlights Need to Prevent Entanglements

A young North Atlantic right whale is swimming easier after wildlife biologists cut away most of the 100-plus yards of heavy fishing rope the animal was dragging. The disentanglement effort, much of which occurred 40 miles off Georgia’s Wolf Island Monday, was relatively quick for the 4-year-old male whale, one of only about 450 remaining North Atlantic right more

Click here to see video, click here to see photos.
(photo courtesy: Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission)


Marine Outreach and Education USVI Style: Don't Stop Talking Fish Initiative 

To address a critical need to capture, document, showcase and celebrate USVI fisheries heritage and culture the Caribbean Fishery Management Council, NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program and Sea Grant Puerto Rico, in collaboration with other local and regional partners of the Marine Outreach and Education USVI Style Initiative: “Don’t Stop Talking Fish” project are in the process of coordinating a fisheries-based cultural event with focus to build awareness and appreciation for fisheries resources, habitat and more

NOAA Responds to Pilot Whales Stranding in Southwest Florida

Twenty-three pilot whales were reported in Naples, Florida (Collier County) around Gordon Pass in Naples Bay. Initially a couple of the whales were reported stranded in shallow water. By the end of the night, all whales made it out of the bay more.

(photo courtesy: Mote Marine)

Pilot Whales Strand in Florida Everglades

Image of washed up Pilot whales On Tuesday, December 3, 2013, the National Park Service found a pod of short-finned pilot whales stranded on the edge of the Florida Everglades National Park and notified NOAA Fisheries, the lead coordinating agency for responding to marine mammal strandings.

Of the 51 whales originally stranded, 11 have died. Read more  (includes press conference audio)

Video from U.S. Coast Guard Cutter SAWFISH


NOAA Fisheries unveils two new smartphone apps to help marine mammals

 NOAA Fisheries is unveiling two new smartphone apps, Dolphin & Whale 911 and See & ID Dolphins & Whales, as a way to assist citizens reporting sick, injured or dead marine mammals and identify and view marine mammals responsibly in the wild.

 The Dolphin & Whale 911 app enables users to report stranded dolphins, whales, and seals in the Southeastern United     States (Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, North Carolina, Texas, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands). Reports of live or dead stranded, injured or entangled marine mammals will immediately go to trained and authorized emergency responders from the Southeast U.S. Marine Mammal Stranding Network.  The public may also send GPS stamped photos of the animal to the Stranding Network in real more

NOAA Fisheries reminds boaters, right whales are on the move

Image of a whale

NOAA Fisheries is reminding all boaters and fisherment that North Atlantic right whale calving season begins in mid-November and runs through mid-April, which means these large whales are on the move, making their way down the Atlantic coast of the U.S. more


NOAA Fisheries announces: morbillivirus outbreak reaches Florida

Image of Dolphin UME

NOAA Fisheries experts provide update on dolphin unusual mortality event along the east coast. According to experts the morbillivirus killing hundreds of bottlenose dolphins along the east coast has now reach more

For more on why animals strand click here. For more on bottlenose dolphins click here

Listen to press conference held Nov. 8.

NOAA Fisheries Sponsors 5th Annual Right Whale Festival 

Image of Right WhaleNOAA Fisheries, Sea to Shore Alliance and other dedicated partners are hosting the 5th annual right whale festival at the Sea Walk Pavillion on Jackonville Beach, FL Saturday, November 23. This celebration marks the endangered North Atlantic right whale's annual return to the southeast more.


Back in Black: Black Sea Bass Stock is Rebuilt

The southern population of black sea bass has been successfully rebuilt and catch limits are now more than more

Image of a diver and black sea bass
Fishery Bulletin:  Final Rule to Implement Regulatory Amendment 19 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic.

For more on Black Sea Bass Management Past, Present and Future click here

Gulf of Mexico Red Snapper Management

NOAA Announces a Quota Increase for Gulf of Mexico Red Snapper and a 14-Day Supplemental Recreational Season Beginning October 1

Image of a red snapperNOAA Fisheries announces a rule increasing the allowable catch for red snapper from 8.46 million pounds (mp) to 11 mp. The recreational quota will increase from 4.145 mp to 5.39 mp and the commercial quota will increase from 4.315 mp to 5.61 more

(photo courtesy Dave Hickson)

For more on Red Snapper Management Past, Present and Future click here

NOAA Announces 2013 South Atlantic Recreational and Commercial Red Snapper Seasons

The three-day recreational season opens on August 23 and the commercial season opens August more

NOAA Fisheries declares an Unusual Mortality Event involving bottlenose dolphins in the Indian River Lagoon System along the east coast of Florida

The declaration comes at the recommendation of the Working Group on Marine Mammal Unusual Mortality Events and is based on elevated strandings of bottlenose dolphins beginning in January more


Photo credit: Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Insitute

Smalltooth Sawfish Are Protected Under the Endangered Species Act

Image of a sawfish
Smalltooth sawfish were listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act in 2003. Sawfish were once a common species found throughout the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean from Florida to North Carolina. Fishing pressure and habitat loss led to a significant decline in their population. For more on safe sawfish handling and release here.


For a list of Frequently Asked Questions, click here.

Cape Fear River Partnership
Agencies and communities work together to protect valuable marine resources

The Cape Fear River once supported thriving migratory fish populations including American shad, sturgeon, river herring, American eel, and striped bass. NOAA Fisheries Southeast Regional Office has worked to restore these populations for nearly 20 years.  Installation of a rock-arch ramp, completed this year allowing upstream migrating fish to pass beyond the lowermost dam and into historical spawning grounds, shows close coordination between the Regional Office’s Protected Resources and Habitat Conservation Divisions linking stewardship authorities to accomplish successful fish passage. NOAA's conservation experts consulting on public works projects created a "win-win" scenario for the Port of Wilmington, the local community and the valuable marine resources.

The Cape Fear River Partnership is the next step in restoring this basin.  The partnership’s “Cape Fear River Basin Action Plan for Migratory Fish” identifies actions aimed at further improving habitat for migrating fishes.  The action plan was developed by federal, state, local, academic, private, and other organizations that recognize the economic, ecological, social, and cultural importance of migratory fish in the Cape Fear River basin and strengthens the Regional Office's many years of effort in the basin.

Funding for this project was provided by the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

NOAA Fisheries Announces New Regulations for Gulf of Mexico Gray Triggerfish

This rule adjusts the commercial and recreational annual catch limits and annual catch targets, establishes a 12-fish commercial trip limit and a 2-fish recreational daily bag limit, establishes an annual fishing season closure fromJune 1 through July 31 for the commercial and recreational sectors, and establishes an overage adjustment for the recreational more 

(photo courtesy Capt. Johnny Greene)

Mississippi River Freshwater Diversions in Southern Louisiana: Effects on Wetland Vegetation, Soils and Elevation

A Position Paper by the Technical Panel from the Workshop on Response of
Louisiana Marsh Soils and Vegetation to more

Notice of Intent to prepare a Supplement to the Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for the Gulf Aquaculture FMP

This supplemental Notice of Intent is intended to inform the
public of NMFS and the Gulf Council’s decision to consider new information from the Deepwater Horizon MC252 blowout.  This information is needed in order to consider potential changes to the environment linked to the Deepwater Horizon more

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