• Wind energy leasing plan under fire by Mass. lawmakers

    From the Cape Cod Times
    February 23, 2011

    Members of the state’s congressional delegation are pressuring the U.S. Department of the Interior to listen to fishermen as the agency plans to lease waters south of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket to offshore wind energy developers.

    “I’m disappointed in both state and federal officials,” U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., said Tuesday about potential leases in 3,000 square miles of ocean. “They should have been much more careful and deliberate about this.”

    The Newton Democrat is concerned about the effect of wind energy projects on fishing grounds near Georges Bank, he said.

  • Co-management holds promise of sustainable fisheries worldwide

    From: University of Washington

    By Sandra Hines

    News & Information

    Encouraging new evidence suggests that the bulk of the world’s fisheries – including small-scale, often non-industrialized fisheries on which millions of people depend for food – could be sustained using community-based co-management.

    “The majority of the world’s fisheries are not – and never will be – managed by strong centralized governments with top-down rules and the means to enforce them,” according to Nicolas Gutiérrez, a University of Washington doctoral student in aquatic and fishery sciences who is lead author of a paper that went online Jan. 5 in the journal Nature. “Our findings show that many community-based co-managed fisheries around the world are well managed under limited central government structure, provided communities of fishers are proactively engaged.

  • NOAA Extends Deadline for Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary Regulations Revisions

    The Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, National Ocean Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, has extended to March 25, 2011, the comment period for proposed revised regulations for the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary. Dates, times, and location of the public hearings mentioned in that proposed rules have not changed.

    The instructions for submitting comments are detailed in the proposed rule published on January 14, 2011 (76 FR 2611), available online at http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2011/2011-630.htm .

     For further information please contact George Galasso at (360) 457-6622, extension 12.

  • Fishing Coalition to highlight concerns over Marine Protected Areas

    From: World Fishing & Aquaculture

    A coalition of fishermen’s groups set up to provide a united voice on how marine protected areas are established in UK waters has confirmed that it will be exhibiting at the Fishing 2011 Expo in Glasgow.
    The MPA Fishing Coalition will use the high-profile event at the SECC to highlight how the current implementation of a network of Marine Protected Areas is being mishandled.
    The MPA Fishing Coalition has a broad support base covering all sizes of vessels and methods of fishing and all parts of the UK, as well as fishing organisations from other European member states.
    According to Coalition Chairman Dr Stephen Lockwood, participation at Fishing 2011 will provide a powerful platform to further highlight the fishing industry’s concerns over MPAs and how they are being implemented.
    “We have real concerns over the weakness and lack of clarity about the development these management measures and the criteria that are used,” he said.
    “There are potentially very serious economic consequences for the fishing industry and our aim is to ensure that the fishing sector is represented at the highest levels where the critical decisions will be made.
    “Our attendance at Fishing 2011 will provide an excellent opportunity to publicly highlight these concerns to a wide audience of marine stakeholders and decision makers.”
    The MPA will be inviting members of the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations and the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation to attend and support their campaign at the show.
  • Offshore Wind Strategy Announced by Department of Energy

    A National Offshore Wind Strategy: Creating an Offshore Wind Energy Industry in the United States was released by DOE.  The Department of Interior also participated in the document’s development.

    The press release notes that the document is “the first-ever interagency plan on offshore wind energy and demonstrates a strong federal family commitment to expeditiously develop a sustainable, world-class offshore wind industry in a way that reduces conflict with other ocean uses and protects resources. The plan focuses on overcoming three key challenges: the relatively high cost of offshore wind energy; technical challenges surrounding installation, operations, and grid interconnection; and the lack of site data and experience with project permitting processes.”

  • NOAA Announces Nominations to the National System of Marine Protected Areas

    NOAA is accepting comments on “the list of nominations received from state and territorial marine protected area programs to join the National System of Marine Protected Areas and notice of updates to the List of National System Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).”

    The NOAA Federal Register notice  “(1) announces the addition of four MPAs managed by the National Marine Fisheries Service in consultation with the Mid Atlantic Fishery Management Council to the National System of MPAs (national system), thereby updating the List of National System MPAs; and (2) corrects a Federal Register notice published on December 27, 2010 announcing the nomination of 38 existing marine protected areas to the national system.