Tag Archives: NOAA

Hurricane Irma

Get accurate information on Hurricane Irma and downloadable videos here at NOAA:  view the damage https://storms.ngs.noaa.gov

You can select a location and the download is usually very quick.

NOTE: I find the best data from sources other than CNN and other news outlets that specialize in hype and hysteria to boost ratings. I found their coverage to be ill-informed, out of date and repeated without substance.  I have family in Houston and the Keys and I don’t need to be overwhelmed by fake news and neither do you.

Friend of Fisheries

North Carolina’s Walter Jones survives primary challenge

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WASHINGTON (Saving Seafood) May 6, 2014 — Congressman Walter Jones (R-N.C.) one of the most prominent and vocal voices for East Coast fisheries in Congress, has defeated his primary challenger, Taylor Griffin, 53 percent to 44 percent in a race that has been called by the Associated Press by with 71 percent of precincts reporting.

Mr. Jones has been a longtime supporter of fisheries issues.  He joined forces with former Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank to oppose overzealous actions by NOAA Fisheries law enforcement and to question the imposition of catch share programs in East Coast fisheries.  It was through the direct involvement of Mr. Jones that the most egregious wrongdoing by NOAA law enforcement – eventually corroborated by an investigation by the Department of Commerce Inspector General and a cabinet-level appointed Special Master – was brought to the attention of national television network news.

Mr. Griffin received a number of endorsements and assistance from conservative PACs, former Bush administration officials, former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, and various Tea Party groups


NOAA’s Bill Karp on
Georges Bank Yellowtail Flounder Assessments

“Collaboratively [NOAA] can be much more effective
in addressing our assessment and science problems
than we can working independently.”

WASHINGTON (Saving Seafood)– February 10, 2014 — On Friday, NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center released details and data from a flatfish pilot survey conducted last August designed cooperatively by scientists, fishermen, and gear manufacturers. This survey is part of a larger effort by NOAA to include contemporary, non-traditional information in their data collection for the region, and particularly for the critical yellowtail flounder assessment. Tomorrow, NOAA scientists will meet with industry representatives and fisheries scientists at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth School for Marine Science and Technology (SMAST) in New Bedford, Mass. to present their findings and discuss ways in which the data can be incorporated into current evaluations. 
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Saving Seafood’s Bob Vanasse recently sat down with Dr. Bill Karp, Director of NOAA’s Northeast Regional Science Center, to discuss NOAA’s increased focus on cooperative research. Read the summary below:

In this installment of Saving Seafood Radio, Dr. Bill Karp, Director of NOAA’s Northeast Regional Science Center, discusses NOAA’s recently announced decision to incorporate information not previously considered in federal assessments for the upcoming Georges Bank yellowtail flounder stock assessment. This new data will include information from the fishing industry; facts and figures collected by the Science Center’s Social Sciences Branch, which reviews the economic impacts of management decisions; and studies conducted by the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth School for Marine Science and Technology (SMAST).

According to Dr. Karp, the Georges Bank yellowtail flounder population has been particularly difficult for NOAA to assess due to uncertainty surrounding the cause of a decade-long decline in the stock’s productivity. In July 2012, one of the largest industry associations, the Fisheries Survival Fund (FSF), wrote to NOAA voicing concerns about the methodology used to conduct these assessments. NOAA agreed to make changes to the survey, but maintained its previous approach for the next assessment that took place in 2013. This caused backlash last August when the Transboundary Resources Assessment Committee (TRAC), a cooperative scientific committee that provides advice for jointly managed stocks between the U.S. and Canada, used the unchanged assessment model to recommend drastically reduced catch limits for Georges Bank yellowtail flounder. Following the report, FSF again spoke out against the “deeply flawed” survey. Their criticism was shared by multiple fisheries scientists, including the president of the American Institute of Fishery Research Biologists, Dr. Steve Cadrin, who wrote to the New England Fishery Management Council saying that the TRAC assessment provides an “insufficient basis” for fishery management. The Council’s Scientific and Statistical Team agreed and recommended a re-examination due to the TRAC model’s “troubling diagnostics.” Much of the criticism surrounds the assessment’s “retrospective pattern,” a term used to describe a systematic under or over-estimation of spawning stock biomass or fishing mortality.

In our interview with Dr. Karp, he explains that “the criticisms to address this retrospective pattern are very real and we [NOAA] have the same concerns.” Conventional methods of dealing with assessment uncertainty require NOAA to look at alternative models – which he says the Agency tried. Last summer, NOAA worked with international scientific groups to discuss different assessment methods using the yellowtail stock as an example. But according to Dr. Karp, the workshop did not shed any new light on its assessment issues. “The challenge we have in this assessment is not being able to find data to help us understand what is going on in a contemporary situation,” said Dr. Karp.

Now, the Northeast Regional Science Center is jumpstarting a new effort to address its uncertainties with historical data and the retrospective pattern by examining information from modern, though non-traditional, sources. These sources will include SMAST surveys and independent research, NOAA pilot surveys, industry data, and facts and figures collected by the Science Center’s Social Sciences Branch, along with other relevant scientific findings. This is a new direction for NOAA, which despite opposition, has maintained the status quo in past yellowtail assessments.

Dr. Karp addresses NOAA’s changed stance, stating, “We [NOAA] have some very important decisions to be made about how we need to focus our science to be more responsive to the needs of the 21st century.” He concludes, “There’s always more to learn by listening to fishermen and members of the broader community.”

Other future goals and challenges for NOAA that Dr. Karp discusses include:

  • Striving to increase transparency with the stock assessment process
  • Encouraging more participation from outside perspectives
  • Strengthening ties with industry and scientific partners, including SMAST
  • Moving to an ecosystem-based approach by incorporating how climate change and environmental conditions affect fisheries, and how different fisheries interact with each other

The new, integrative yellowtail assessment, dubbed a “diagnostic benchmark” by the Science Center, appears to be a first step for Dr. Karp and his team in enacting these changes. Starting in April, another leg of the assessment process, which includes public meetings and workshops, will begin. With New England fisheries in a precarious economic state, more informative science and management cannot come soon enough. Dr. Karp is hopeful that the results of the assessment will be used in management measures at the start of Fishing Year 2015.

Listen to the full interview with NOAA Northeast Regional Science Director Dr. Bill Karp
Saving Seafood has previously covered stories concerning yellowtail flounder assessments. For more information on this topic please see:

NOAA Proposes New Georges Bank Yellowtail Assessment that will Allow Consideration of Non-Traditional Information 


Went to a great science lecture last night at Stanford [spnsored by the Ethics and Society group] about pesticide and cancer, reproductive problems and farm workers especially in corn growing states. THE FIGHT IS ON.  The EPA needs to step up and do something… the EPA caution is costing us health and quality of life.
Atrazine NEEDS TO BE BANNED – —  company safety blurb.
then read the real deal…..
They make the chemical that starts amphibian reproductive [feminizing male frogs etc] malfunction in motion— very scary — and then they make the medicine that is given for the cancer cure. So gross ….

After 49 years of using atrazine at or above 80 million pounds per year, many target weed species have become atrazine-resistant [1, 2]. In fact, the number of documented atrazine-resistant “super” weeds number more than 80. No other herbicide has produced such dramatic effects on the evolution of weeds.

From the Atrazinelovers website, An explanation of what this chemical does: In addition to the ecological impacts on land, recently, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), showed that atrazine negatively affects marine phytoplankton [3, 4].

These microscopic organisms serve as food for other organisms such as clams and oysters and the effect of atrazine is likely reflected throughout marine food webs: Phytoplankton serves as food for zooplankton which is in turn food for many larval and young fish and several species of whales. Thus, atrazine’s impact on this critical member of the marine foodweb will have dramatic and irreversible effects on marine life including damage to commercially important shellfish and finfish populations as well as sea mammals (whales) of which many are already threatened or endangered.

  1. Heap, I., The occurrence of herbicide-resistant weeds worldwide. Pestic. Sci, 1997. 51: p. 235-245.
  2. Gadamski, G., et al., Negative cross-resistance in triazine-resistant biotypes of Echinochloa crus-galli and Conyza canadensis. Weed Science, 2003. 48(2): p. 176-180.
  3. http://www.publicaffairs.noaa.gov/releases2007/jan07/noaa07-r402.html.
  4. http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2007/s2778.htm.
  5. Rohr, J., et al., Multiple stressors and salamanders: Effects of an herbicide, food limitation, and hydroperiod. Ecological Applications, 2004. 14(4): p. 1028-1040.
  6. Rohr, J. and B. Palmer, Aquatic herbicide exposure increases salamander desiccation risk eight months later in a terrestrial environment. Environ. Toxicol. Chem., 2005. 24(5): p. 1253-1258.
  7. Fairchild, J., D. Ruessler, and A. Carlson, Comparative sensitivity of five species of macrophytes and six species of algae to atrazine, metribuzin, alachlor, and metolachlor. Environ. Toxicol. Chem., 1998. 17: p. 1830–1834.