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Subject: CRS: Daily Summary - 1/14/2000 - Longer Friday Version - Part 1 of 2]
From: Steve Gutreuter <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Scientific forum on fish and fisheries <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Fri, 14 Jan 2000 15:06:24 -0600

text/plain (292 lines)

Note to list members: These reports from the  U.S. Congressional
Research Service, are generally posted once a week and are made
available by way of friendly staff in congress.  If you would rather not
see them in your mailbox you can modify your subscription by sending the
command  SET FISH-SCI TOPICS -CRS to [log in to unmask]

Fisheries and Marine Mammals: Most Recent Developments -- 1/14/2000

New info and changes since 1/7/2000 are bracketed {...}
New info and changes since 1/13/2000 are double-bracketed {{...}}


{Shark Conference.  On Feb. 21-24, 2000, a coalition of five foundations
sponsoring an international shark conservation conference in Honolulu,
HI [ ].} [personal communication]

{{Fisheries Budget Hearings.  On Feb. 17, 2000, the House Resources
Subcommittee on Fisheries Conservation, Wildlife, and Oceans has
an oversight hearing on the Administration's FY2001 budget request for
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and NMFS.}} [personal communication]

{{Pelagic Longline Hearings.  On Feb. 8, 2000, the House Resources
Subcommittee on Fisheries Conservation, Wildlife, and Oceans has
scheduled a
hearing on H.R. 3331, H.R. 3390, and H.R. 3516, measures to ban all
longline fishing or to prohibit pelagic longline fishing in certain
and buyout pelagic longline fishing vessel permits.  On Feb. 23, 2000,
House Resources Subcommittee on Fisheries Conservation, Wildlife, and
has scheduled a field hearing in Fort Lauderdale, FL on these same 3
bills.}} [personal communication]

{{Red Drum Stock Assessment.  On Feb. 7-9, 2000, the Gulf of Mexico
Management Council's Red Drum Stock Assessment Panel will meet in Miami,
to re-evaluate NMFS data and analysis of stock assessment and status of
drum stocks in the Gulf.}} [GMFMC press release]

{Shrimp Bycatch Reduction.  On Feb. 2-10, 2000, the Gulf of Mexico
Management Council (GMFMC) has scheduled a series of public workshops to
receive comments on the need for additional bycatch reduction
for the shrimp fishery south and east of Cape San Blas, FL.} [GMFMC

{Fishing Vessel Safety.  During the month of February 2000, the U.S.
Guard will be scheduling a series of public hearings in fishing ports
the nation, to determine fishermen's views on proposed amendments to the
Commercial Fishing Vessel Safety Act.} [Asbury Park Press]

{Horseshoe Crab Harvest.  Jan. 21, 2000, is the deadline for public
on the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission's (ASMFC's) Public
Information Document concerning the Commission's Draft Addendum I to the
Horseshoe Crab Fishery Management Plan (FMP).  This document outlines 13
options for  implementing a coastwide landings cap for the commercial
horseshoe crab bait fishery prior to the beginning of the 2000 fishing
season.  Public hearings are being held in various states along the
coast.  The ASMFC is scheduled to consider which option to adopt at its
9, 2000, meeting in Alexandria, VA.} [Assoc Press, ASMFC press release]

{Magnuson-Stevens Act Hearings.  On Jan. 18, 2000 (Anchorage, AK) and
19, 2000 (Seattle, WA), the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Oceans and
Fisheries has scheduled field hearings on reauthorization of the
Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act.} [personal

{Pacific Groundfish Overcapacity.  On Jan. 13-14, 2000, the Pacific
Management Council has scheduled a work session in Portland, OR, on
overcapacity in Pacific coast groundfish fisheries and potential ways
Council may choose to consider to reduce capacity in these fisheries.}
[personal communication]]

Squid Fishery and Seabirds.  On Jan. 13, 2000, the CA Dept. of Fish and
Game's Squid Advisory Committee has scheduled a special meeting in Long
Beach to discuss potential squid fishery harm to seabirds in the Channel
Islands. [personal communication]

{Spiny Dogfish.  On Jan. 11, 2000, NMFS published final regulations to
implement the Spiny Dogfish Fishery Management Plan along the Mid-
and New England coasts.  Under these regulations, stringent restrictions
commercial fishing aim to stop overfishing and rebuild the dogfish
population.} [Center for Marine Conservation press release, Fed.

{Smoked Fish Recall.  On Jan. 10, 2000, Food and Drug Administration
officials announced that a NY company, Royal Baltic Ltd., was expanding
recall of selected smoked fish (sea bass, trout, turbot, and salmon)
products from 4 states to nationwide.  The products are possibly
contaminated with the bacteria Listeria.} [Reuters]

{Tuna Rebate Modification.  On Jan. 10, 2000, Federal Trade Commission
officials announced that Bumble Bee Seafoods Inc. had agreed to modify a
misleading label and coupon offer, wherein a special label on tuna cans
promised a 75-cent coupon toward  the consumer's next purchase while
inside the label required the consumer to buy 5 cans of tuna.  Bumble
has agreed to start a new coupon program.} [Assoc Press]

Boat-Burning Protest.  On Jan. 8, 2000, inshore fishermen in southern
Thailand plan to burn their own boats in protest over a government
not to curb what they consider to be improper and possibly illegal
night-time anchovy trawling. [Bangkok Post]

Shrimp Closure and Bycatch Meeting.  On Jan. 6, 2000, the Shrimp
Panel of the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (GMFMC) is
to meet to review scientific information on the effects of the
shrimp seasonal closure with the state of Texas, to hear a presentation
that status of shrimp stocks and an overfishing report, and to review a
draft of options for additional measures to reduce bycatch in the shrimp
fishery. [GMFMC press release]

Iceland ITQ Ruling.  On Jan. 5, 2000, Iceland's Regional Court of the
Western Fjords found a fishing vessel captain and vessel owner not
guilty of
fishing without owning or leasing quota in January 1999, concluding that
Icelandic laws on individual transferrable quotas (ITQs) violate both
constitutional rule against discrimination and the rule about the right
work.  The Minister of Fisheries reportedly indicated the case will
be appealed to the Supreme Court. [personal communication]

Canadian Groundfish.  In early January 2000, the Canadian government
announced the conclusion of a 5th round of buyouts of Newfoundland
groundfish licenses.  A total of 120 licenses were purchased from a
total of
600 bids.  The total cost of the buyout is about C$13 million.
the 6-year program has purchased about 1,300 licenses for a cost of
C$114 million.  On Jan. 6, 2000, Canadian Dept. of Fisheries and Oceans
officials reported that owners of the Portuguese fishing vessel Calvao,
boarded in late December 1999, will be charged in Portugal with
American plaice on the Grand Banks and misreporting their catch.  The
was supposed to be fishing for redfish. [Canadian Press]

Bering Sea Snow Crab.  In early January 2000, AK Dept. of Fish and Game
managers speculated that the Bering Sea snow crab fishery, scheduled to
on Jan. 15, 2000, might be postponed until late April or May 2000, if
extending much farther south than normal makes most of the fishing area
unaccessible.  Ice conditions are reported to be the most severe since
January 1975, with the St. Paul Island and harbor (with processing
iced in and inaccessible.  Others suggest that postponing the season may
an economically motivated decision, allowing fishermen to catch
cod now and snow crab later in the spring.  A decision on this fishery
expected to be made by Jan. 7, 2000. [Anchorage Daily News]

Invasive Species.  On Jan. 1, 2000, CA became the first state to require
ships to exchange their ballast water at sea to minimize the possibility
transporting invasive species to CA ports.  This is the result of the CA
Legislature enacting AB703. [San Jose Mercury]

Oil Spill Compensation.  On Dec. 29, 1999, representatives of the
International Fund for Compensation for Oil Pollution Damage announced
Japanese businesses harmed by rumors that crab and shrimp had been
by a January 1997 Russian tanker spill would receive more than $2.6
in compensation.  More payments are anticipated. [Yomiuri Shimbun]

Illegal Fishing.  On Dec. 27, 1999, Coast Guard personnel intercepted a
Mexican lancha fishing illegally for shark in U.S. waters off TX with
gillnets.  The TX Dept. of Parks and Wildlife assumed responsibility for
prosecution. [personal communication]

RI Oil Spill Settlement.  On Dec. 21, 1999, U.S. District Court Judge
Torres announced approval of the agreement between Eklof Marine Corp.
and RI
lobstermen, fishermen, and fishing-related businesses whose livelihoods
damaged by the January 1996 North Cape barge grounding and heating oil
in Block Island Sound near Point Judith.  On Dec. 22, 1999, a tentative
agreement was announced for environmental damages, including more than
million to be spent on restoring fish stocks and other resources.
$8 million and $10 million would be spent to purchase 1.24 million
lobsters from wholesalers to be reintroduced into the fishery with
making them illegal to land.  This agreement must be approved by the
[Boston Globe, MSNBC, Assoc Press, NOAA press release]

French Oil Spill.  As of Dec. 19, 1999, the oil spilled when the
registered oil tanker Erika broke in half about 43 miles off the
northwestern coast of France, was in numerous small sections about 40
off the French coast and moving southward.  The tanker's captain was
held in
a Paris jail until Dec. 23, under investigation for "endangering the
life of
others and marine pollution."  Oil first hit shore on Dec. 25, 1999.  On
Dec. 26, 1999, France's Environment Minister Dominique Voynet declared
France's Atlantic coast is facing a significant ecological catastrophe
oil washing up on beaches and rocky coastline.  More than 6,000 dead
have been collected from beaches.  A grey seal population may also be
threatened.  Eight tugboats have vacuumed up about 10% of the spill.  By
Jan. 3, 2000, an estimated 18,000 seabirds had been killed by the
spill.  On
Jan. 6, 2000, the French food safety agency, Agence Francaise de
Sanitaire des Aliments, recommended a ban on the sale of shellfish and
seaweed from the coastline most affected by the oil spill as well as a
on fishing from the shore in the region.  Tests were recommended for
caught at sea to assure they are not contaminated.  Oil has come ashore
along 250 miles of the coast. [Environment News Service, Assoc Press]

ICCAT Tuna Enforcement.  On Dec. 17, 1999, Mitsubishi Corp. distributed
press release announcing that it was ceasing to buy or transport any
caught by 315 flag of convenience tuna fishing vessels identified as not
complying with International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic
Tunas (ICCAT) regulations and reporting requirements. [personal

EU Fishery Ministerial Meeting.  On Dec. 16 and 17, 1999,  European
fishery ministers met in Brussels to set fishery quotas, agreeing to
cod harvest in the Irish Sea by about 62%, while whiting and herring
would be reduced by 40%.  In the North Sea, cod and monkfish harvest
be reduced by about 40%, hake by 39%, whiting by more than 30%, and
by more than 13%.  The projected annual loss for British fishermen is
than $140 million. [The Guardian, Daily Telegraph, BBC News, Environment
News Service]

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