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Subject:

CRS: Daily Summary - 1/14/2000 - Longer Friday Version - Part 2 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 15:07:35 -0600

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

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*******
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]
*******

SALMON ALONG THE PACIFIC COAST

Savage Rapids Dam. On Jan. 18, 2000, ballots from Grants Pass
Irrigation
District patrons will be counted to determine whether patrons will
approve
conditions set by the District's Board for meeting demands by the OR
Water
Resources Council and NMFS to remove Savage Rapids Dam. [Portland
Oregonian,
Assoc Press]

{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]

OR Salmon Management. On Jan. 5, 2000, an ECONorthwest economist
submitted
a report to the OR Board of Forestry, concluding that logging
restrictions
to protect salmon habitat would yield other economic benefits in tourism
and
recreation that could outweigh the costs of the reduced timber harvest.
This report was prepared for several environmental groups, including OR
Trout, Portland Audubon, and Pacific Rivers Council. On Jan. 6, 1999,
OR
Governor John Kitzhaber announced that programs under the OR salmon plan
had
improved salmon habitat by upgrading or removing more than 1,400 miles
of
road from service to reduce erosion and by fencing wildlife and
livestock
from 400 miles of streambank. [Portland Oregonian]

AK Salmon Dumping Case. On Jan. 5, 2000, Juneau, AK, District Court
officials announced that a May 2, 2000 trial date had been set for an
Excursion Inlet salmon canning plant and its manager charged in November
1999, with 19 misdemeanor counts of intentional salmon waste. Almost
3.2
million pounds of chum salmon carcasses were alleged to have been dumped
in
Icy Strait over a period of 19 days, after their eggs were removed (roe
stripping). [Anchorage Daily News]

BC Salmon Management. On Jan. 4, 2000, managers of Canada's Dept. of
Fisheries and Oceans released salmon forecasts for 2000, predicting a
below
average to poor harvest in all areas with limited fishery openings and
possible complete closures. The sockeye salmon fishery at the mouth of
the
Fraser River is expected to be limited or closed. For the sport
fishery,
additional restrictions may be imposed on catching chinook salmon on the
west coast of Vancouver Island. The northern commercial troll fishery
will
likely be closed for the entire season due to coho and chinook salmon
conservation concerns. However, sockeye salmon returns to the Skeena
and
Nass Rivers are expected to improve. A third round of commercial
license
buybacks ended in late December 1999. [Canadian Press]

{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]

Proposed Tribal Plan Exemption. On Jan. 3, 2000, NMFS published a
proposed
rule that would exempt implementation of tribal resource management
plans
from the Endangered Species Act's Section 9 take prohibitions for
threatened
salmon populations, where implementation of such plans has been
determined
to be unlikely to reduce the survival and recovery of listed salmon.
[Fed.
Register]

Salmon 4(d) Rule. NMFS published new proposed regulations in the
Federal
Register for protecting 14 populations of threatened steelhead trout and
salmon under Section 4(d) of the Endangered Species Act, giving state
and
local governments significant powers, on Dec. 30, 1999 (steelhead trout)
and
on Jan. 3, 2000 (salmon). Public comment will be accepted until Feb.
22,
2000 (steelhead trout) and Mar. 3, 2000 (salmon). {{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]

Corps Draft EIS. In Portland, OR, on Dec. 17, 1999, the Army Corps of
Engineers released its 5-year, $20 million, 4,000-page draft
environmental
impact study of 4 options to change operation of the 4 lower Snake River
dam
to assist salmon recovery. The document is reported to include an
advisory
recommendation from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that the dams be
breached. The Corps recommended more study in the belief that current
scientific understanding in inconclusive. A preferred alternative would
be
identified late in 2000. NMFS officials announced a plan to conduct a
comprehensive economic analysis of the all salmon recovery options.
[Assoc
Press, Seattle Times, American Rivers press release]

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]

Atlantic Salmon. In late December 1999, NMFS and the U.S. Fish and
Wildlife
Service announced that the public comment period for the proposed
Endangered
Species Act listing of Atlantic salmon in ME was extended for an
additional
month, and that 2 additional public hearings were scheduled. [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]

AK Sea Otters. Jan. 11, 2000 is the deadline for public comments to the
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on a request by a consultant to 2
Japanese
aquariums to capture a up to 2 sea otters apiece from Kodiak waters for
export and public display in Japan. [Anchorage Daily News, Fed.
Register]

{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 Sea Lion Deaths. The Jan. 6, 2000, issue of Nature contained an
article
concluding that the deaths of more than 400 CA sea lions between
Monterey
Bay and Morro Bay in May-June 1998 was caused by domoic acid from a
toxic
dinoflagellate plankton bloom. [San Jose Mercury, Environmental News
Network]]

{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]

FL Manatees. {On Dec. 28, 1999, Blue Spring State Park officials
counted a
record 112 manatees in the park's spring run.} On Jan. 5, 2000, the FL
Marine Research Institute announced that a record high 73 manatees were
killed by boats in the first 10 months of 1999. This exceeded the
previous
record loss of 60 manatee deaths in all of 1996. {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]

Dolphin-Safe? On Dec. 22, 1999, U.S. Dept. of Commerce officials
published
notice in the Federal Register, proposing adoption of an official
dolphin-safe logo in conjunction with a tuna tracking program to assure
consumers that no dolphins were injured or killed during tuna
harvesting.
On Jan. 3, 2000, NMFS published an interim final rule in the Federal
Register, implementing provisions of the International Dolphin
Conservation
Program Act and establishing specific requirements for the program.
Public
comment on the new rule will be accepted through Apr. 3, 2000. The
regulations implement a new labeling standard for dolphin-safe tuna,
effective Feb. 2, 2000, and establish requirements to track and verify
the
status of tuna imports from the eastern tropical Pacific. [Environment
News
Service, Fed. Register, Environmental News Network, Dept. of State,
Humane
Society of the United States press release]

Canadian Sealing. On Dec. 21, 1999, Canadian Fisheries Minister Herb
Dhaliwal announced that the year 2000 harp seal kill quota will remain
at
275,000 animals, saying no information justifies a change from last
year.
The hooded seal kill quota would remain at 10,000 animals. In addition,
a
kill of several hundred grey seals will be allowed in areas other than
Sable
Island. [Canadian Press]

Japanese Whaling. On Dec. 20, 1999, Greenpeace activists harassed
Japanese
whalers killing minke whales in the Antarctic. On Dec.21, 1999, the
Japanese factory whaling ship Nisshin Maru collided with the Greenpeace
vessel Arctic Sunrise carrying activists protesting Japan's research
kill of
Antarctic minke whales. There were no reported injuries and damage
appeared
to not be serious. [Reuters, Greenpeace press release, Environment News
Service, personal communication]


Items in this summary are excerpted from a variety of information
sources.
The Congressional Research Service (CRS) is not responsible for the
accuracy
of the various news items.

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