NOAA announces $9.9 million right whale partnership

Posted 1/24/24

The shipping, boating, commercial and recreational fishing industries have asked NOAA Fisheries and partners to identify new and better ways to track and avoid collisions with all large ocean …

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NOAA announces $9.9 million right whale partnership


The shipping, boating, commercial and recreational fishing industries have asked NOAA Fisheries and partners to identify new and better ways to track and avoid collisions with all large ocean animals, particularly the North American right whale. So, the fishing community was particularly pleased to hear about the right whale NOAA Fisheries/MITRE Corporation partnership announced earlier this month.
The $9.9 million NOAA Fisheries/MITRE partnership will support North Atlantic right whale recovery efforts using Inflation Reduction Act funds. MITRE is a not-for-profit company that bridges the gap between government and industry, tackling complex challenges with no commercial interest. MITRE’s Center for Enterprise Modernization is the lead on this project.
Endangered North Atlantic right whales are one of the most imperiled species on the planet and have experienced a rapid decline over the past decade. The latest preliminary estimate suggests there are approximately 360 remaining, with only about 70 breeding females. NOAA Fisheries and partners are dedicated to conserving and rebuilding this whale population.
The partnership with MITRE will focus on the development of technologies and engineering approaches related to whale detection, vessel strike avoidance, and ropeless/on-demand fishing gear. This partnership will support NOAA’s North Atlantic Right Whale Road to Recovery, which describes efforts to address threats to the species and monitor recovery progress.
Any advancements in technological solutions identified through this partnership will be shared broadly, allowing other species vulnerable to these threats―such as other large whales―to benefit as well.
NOAA recently announced dates for a right whale vessel strike risk reduction technology workshop scheduled for March 5-7, 2024, in Arlington, Virginia. Working collaboratively with mariners, industry, and technology and engineering firms―including MITRE―is essential to ensuring the conservation of right whales in these busy waters. For more information visit NOAA’s website at North Atlantic Right Whale Vessel Strike Risk Reduction Technology Workshop | NOAA Fisheries.

Waterways stocked for winter fishing
Massachusetts and Rhode Island have been engaged in a trout stocking program. Massachusetts stocked over 60,000 trout in area waterways this year and last week Rhode Island had a special stocking in eleven waterways.
Falls Pond and Whiting Pond in North Attleboro as well as Wallum Lake in Douglas were stocked in the fall. For a complete current list of stocked ponds in Massachusetts visit Mass Wildlife at Trout stocking report | .
Last week, the Rhode Island the Department of Environmental Management (DEM) stocked 11 freshwater ponds with Rainbow Trout, Brook Trout, and Sebago Salmon. Waterbodies stocked include Melville Ponds, Portsmouth; Simmons Mill Pond, Little Compton; Stafford Pond, Tiverton; Willett Pond, East Providence; Barbers Pond, South Kingstown; Wyoming Pond, Hopkinton; Silver Spring Lake, North Kingstown; Meadowbrook Pond, Richmond; Watchaug Pond, Charlestown; Round Top Ponds, Burrillville; and Peck Pond, Burrillville.
Visit DEM’s Division of Fish and Wildlife’s Facebook Page or for more information on stocking. Information about stocked freshwaters, size and creel limits for all freshwater fish species is available in the 2023-24 Freshwater Fishing Abstract, or by calling DEM’s Great Swamp Field Office at 401-789-0281.

Big fish are caught in the winter,
rig tying seminar Monday
I always loved the Vince Lombardi saying about big football games. It went something like this, “Big games are won in the summer” when ball players put in the time to train.
So too with fishing… big fish are caught in the winter when you prepare to catch them.
Attend the RI Saltwater Anglers Association (RISAA) seminar on fishing rig tying to prepare for the season on Monday, Jan. 29, 7 p.m. at the West Warwick Elk’s Lodge, 60 Clyde Street, West Warwick, RI. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Members free, non-members are asked for a $10 donation to the RISAA scholarship fund.
Learn how to tie tautog, summer flounder (fluke), cod, black sea bass rigs and more from RISAA member experts.
Have questions, call Scott Travers, Executive Director at 401.826.2121 or email him at

Chowder Festival February 17
The second annual Battle of the Clam Chowdahs sponsored by Fishing for the Mission 22, a non-profit to help veterans in crisis, will be held February 17, 2024 at Stone Path Malt, 11 Kendrick Road, Wareham, MA.
The tasting of chowders from area restaurants will take place from 1 to 4 p.m. with a $15 per person donation, or $30 per person which includes entertainment and an “Elvis Valentine Show” from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. For information visit

Workshop on fishing
regulations Feb. 5 in RI
Anglers are reminded of one of the most important regulation meetings of the year. The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management’s (DEM) Division of Marine Fisheries will hold a regulatory workshop on Monday, Feb. 5, 2024, at 4:30 p.m. to solicit input regarding prospective and/or proposed amendments to the marine fisheries regulations. Recreational species discussed at the workshop will include scup. Black sea bass, summer flounder, as well as commercial and recreational regulations for striped bass, bluefish and tautog.
The in person meeting will be held at the URI Bay Campus, Corless Auditorium, 215 South Ferry Road, Narragansett RI. The hybrid meeting’s Zoom webinar link is [] ; meeting ID: 865 6068 5183; Passcode: 565590; dial in: 1-929-205-6099 (listen only)

Where’s the bite?
Freshwater fishing in stocked ponds for trout and salmon continues to be good with a largemouth bass bite too. For a complete list of trout stocked ponds in Massachusetts visit Mass Wildlife at Trout stocking report | and in Rhode Island visit, or call 401-789-0281 or 401-539-0019 for more information on trout stocking.
Saltwater fishing has been limited with high winds and storms. However, anglers continue to catch school striped bass and an occasional keeper in salt ponds and estuaries. If you want to try your hand at cod fishing call ahead to make a party boat reservation, vessels will sail once the weather clears. Visit and Full day rates for vessels are generally $130 to $135 per adult and around $80 for those under 12 years old.
Dave Monti holds a captain’s license and charter fishing license. He serves on a variety of boards and commissions and has a consulting business focusing on clean oceans, habitat preservation, conservation, renewable energy, and fisheries related issues and clients. Forward fishing news and photos to or visit


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