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Subject:

NEWCRS: Summary of New Material - 1/14/2000

From:

Steve Gutreuter <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Scientific forum on fish and fisheries <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 14 Jan 2000 15:20:50 -0600

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (1 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.

This posting consists of new material from these summaries, obtained
by extracting only the material in {curly brackets}. In some cases,
when new material is inserted into an existing paragraph, the new
material may not make much sense by itself. Hint: if the lines in a
paragraph are very uneven, it is probably because the new material
was added to an existing paragraph, and the old stuff was cut out.
*******

MARINE FISHERIES

Shark Conference. On Feb. 21-24, 2000, a coalition of five foundations
is
sponsoring an international shark conservation conference in Honolulu,
HI [
http://209.133.10.132/sharkcon/ ]. [personal communication]

Fisheries Budget Hearings. On Feb. 17, 2000, the House Resources
Subcommittee on Fisheries Conservation, Wildlife, and Oceans has
scheduled
an oversight hearing on the Administration's FY2001 budget request for
the
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
pelagic
longline fishing or to prohibit pelagic longline fishing in certain
areas
and buyout pelagic longline fishing vessel permits. On Feb. 23, 2000,
the
House Resources Subcommittee on Fisheries Conservation, Wildlife, and
Oceans
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
Fishery
Management Council's Red Drum Stock Assessment Panel will meet in Miami,
FL,
to re-evaluate NMFS data and analysis of stock assessment and status of
red
drum stocks in the Gulf. [GMFMC press release]

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

Fishing Vessel Safety. During the month of February 2000, the U.S.
Coast
Guard will be scheduling a series of public hearings in fishing ports
across
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
comment
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
Atlantic
coast. The ASMFC is scheduled to consider which option to adopt at its
Feb.
9, 2000, meeting in Alexandria, VA. [Assoc Press, ASMFC press release]

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

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

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

Smoked Fish Recall. On Jan. 10, 2000, Food and Drug Administration
officials announced that a NY company, Royal Baltic Ltd., was expanding
a
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
had
promised a 75-cent coupon toward the consumer's next purchase while
details
inside the label required the consumer to buy 5 cans of tuna. Bumble
Bee
has agreed to start a new coupon program. [Assoc Press]


SALMON ALONG THE PACIFIC COAST

WA Salmon Management. On Jan. 12, 2000, the U.S. Geological Survey
released a report, outlining a stream-scoring method based on monitoring
aquatic insect life, water quality, and streamflow in Seattle's drinking
water source, the Cedar River Watershed, that will be used to balance
urban
water use with habitat protection for salmon. [U.S. Geological Survey
press
release]

Cole M. Rivers Hatchery Loss. Early on the morning of Jan. 6, 2000, a
water pump and alarm system failed at OR's Cole M. Rivers Hatchery,
resulting in the loss of more than 1.4 million juvenile Rogue River
spring
chinook salmon. This was about a 77% loss of eggs spawned at the
hatchery
for this population. [Portland Oregonian]

Elk Creek Dam. On Jan. 3, 2000, the Western Environmental Law Center
filed
a notice of intent to sue the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and NMFS for
alleged Endangered Species Act violations for operation of Elk Creek Dam
in
the Rogue River drainage, OR. The fear is that operation of the dam is
endangering ESA-listed coho salmon. [personal communication]

However, some interests
were surprised that anyone who killed, harmed, or harassed threatened
salmon
populations or their habitat could face up to a year in jail and a
$50,000
fine. A total of 22 public hearings on these proposed regulations are
scheduled between Jan. 10, 2000 and Feb. 3, 2000. [Fed. Register, Assoc
Press]


AQUACULTURE AND AQUARIA

Piranhas! On Jan. 12, 2000, officials of the FL Fish and Wildlife
Conservation Commission rejected a request from the FL Aquarium, Tampa,
for
a permit to keep and exhibit red-bellied piranhas from South America,
fearing ecological consequences should any fish escape. [Assoc Press]

Ocean Journey Investigation. In early January 2000, federal
investigators
with the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) began
looking
into employee complaints that CO's Ocean Journey Aquarium had
experienced
exceptional mortalities of marine life and might be insufficiently
protecting animal welfare. Ocean Journey officials cited an initial
annual
mortality rate of 19% for fish at their facility. APHIS inspectors
responded that they had jurisdiction over marine mammals, but not fish,
at
the facility. Only fish listed as endangered or threatened species can
be
regulated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service or NMFS. [Denver Post]

FRESHWATER FISHERIES

Whirling Disease. On Jan. 12, 2000, NM Dept. of Fish and Game
scientists
reported that parasites causing whirling disease had been identified for
the
first time in fish (rainbow trout) from a NM public river, the San Juan
River. [Albuquerque Journal]

Too Many Muskies? On Jan. 11, 2000, members of the Lake Miltona
Property
Owners Association testified before the MN House Environment and Natural
Resources Finance Committee, seeking to reduce state stocking of
muskellunge
in Lake Miltona, where property owners claim muskies have killed off
other
fish species. [Assoc Press]


MARINE MAMMALS

Mexican Salt Project. On Jan. 11, 2000, the CA Coastal Commission voted
8-1 in adopting a resolution asking Mitsubishi Corp. to withdraw plans
to
build a $120 million salt evaporation operation at Laguna San Ignacio,
Mexico. Mitsubishi officials had asked the Commission to postpone the
vote. [Assoc Press, Los Angeles Times]

FL Dolphin Mortality. On Jan. 10, 2000, NOAA scientists reported that
examinations of some of the 115 dolphins that died in bays along the FL
panhandle since August 1999 show lung and respiratory tract lesions
similar
to those found in manatees determined to have died from red tide toxins
in
1996. Red tide toxins were also found in the stomach contents in some
of
the dolphins. [Assoc Press]

CA Power Plant Mortalities. In early January 2000, NMFS officials
announced that they were considering enforcing federal law requiring
nuclear
power plants that kill or disturb endangered species and marine mammals
to
obtain permits. About 20 harbor seals, sea otters, and other marine
mammals
were reported to have died at southern CA power plants in 1999. [Assoc
Press]

On Dec. 28, 1999, Blue Spring State Park officials counted a
record 112 manatees in the park's spring run. On Jan. 8, 2000, the FL
Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission reported that 268 manatees had
died during 1999, with 82 of those deaths related to watercraft
injuries.
On Jan. 13, 2000, a coalition of 19 environmental and animal protections
organizations planned to file two lawsuits in Washington, DC, and
Tallahassee, FL, against the FL Dept. of Environmental Protection and
the
federal government (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Army Corps of
Engineers, and U.S. Dept. of the Interior) for alleged failure to
protect
manatees. [Orlando Sentinel, Naples Daily News, Assoc Press, Daytona
Beach
News-Journal, Save the Manatee Club pre!
ss release]

CITES and Whales. In late December 1999, the Icelandic Parliament
approved by consensus a recommendation that the nation become a party to
the
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna
and
Flora (CITES). In accordance with CITES, Iceland lodged reservations
for 14
cetacean species listed on CITES Appendix I and II. Iceland deposited
instruments for accession to CITES within the deadline required to
obtain
voting rights at the April 2000 meeting of CITES Parties in Kenya. On
Jan.
14, 2000, officials of the European Union meeting in Brussels were to
vote
on whether or not to support a CITES petition by Japan and Norway that
would
lift the current prohibition on international trade of some whale
products. [High North Alliance News, Greenpeace press release]

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