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Subject: NEWCRS: Daily Summary - 3/17/2000 - Longer Friday Version
From: Peter Hagen <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Fish-Sci-request <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Fri, 17 Mar 2000 16:27:06 -0900

text/plain (205 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.

Southern Bluefin Tuna.  On Mar. 20, 2000, the Commission for the
Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna is scheduled to begin discussing
issues, including quotas and the potential changes that might be necessary
should previously unregulated nations, such as Korea, Taiwan, and Indonesia,
decide to join the Commission.[Australian Broadcasting Corp]

Imitation Shark Skin.  On Mar. 16, 2000, the swimwear manufacturer Speedo
unveiled what it terms a revolutionary swimsuit which is covered in dermal
denticles, mimicking a shark's skin to allow swimmers to glide through the
water 3% faster.[The Guardian]

Dogfish.  On Mar. 15, 2000, Secretary of Commerce William Daley again
delayed implementation of fishing restrictions on spiny dogfish until Mar.
27, 2000, to give the New England and Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management
Councils additional time to agree on regulations, with the Mid-Atlantic
Council preferring more restrictive measures.[Assoc Press]

Sea Turtle Protection.  On Mar. 15, 2000, the Chairman of Pakistan's
Fishermen Cooperative Society reported that a total of about 2,500 turtle
excluder devices had been installed in 1,776 Pakistani fishing
vessels.[Frontier Press]

Shellfish Damage Lawsuit.  In mid-March 2000, the CT Supreme Court voted
4-1 to reverse an Aug. 19, 1999 Superior Court ruling that had ordered
Iroquois Gas Transmission System to pay two shellfish companies a total of
more than $3.5 million for damage to clam and oyster beds caused by pipeline
construction in 1991.  The majority felt that unambiguous language in an
agreement between the two shellfish companies and Iroquois Gas precluded any
claim of liability.[Assoc Press]

Toothfish Rule.  On Mar. 13, 2000, NMFS published proposed regulations to
revise and strengthen permit requirements for U.S. vessels harvesting or
transshipping Patagonian toothfish and Antarctic toothfish, to implement
U.S. obligations as a party to the Convention for the Conservation of
Antarctic Marine Living Resources in preventing and discouraging unlawful
harvest and trade in these species. Public comment on the proposed rule will
be accepted through Apr. 7, 2000.[Fed. Register, U.S. Dept. of State, NMFS
press release]

NC Basking Shark and Sea Turtle Strandings.  In the first two weeks of
March 2000, a total of 5 massive basking sharks and 9 sea turtles were
reported to have stranded on NC beaches.  It is unknown whether these
mortalities are related or what may have caused them.[MSNBC]

Fishing Vessel Safety.  In early March 2000, the Coast Guard reported a
decrease in lives lost at sea, with a decline to 7 deaths for Dec 1999-Feb
2000 compared to 22 deaths for the same period in 1998-1999.  Some of this
may be attributable to the Coast Guard's Operation Safe Catch program, which
focuses on identifying high-risk vessels and kipping them in port until they
are repaired.[Assoc Press]

SA Fisheries Crisis.  In early March 2000, four of the 5 members of South
Africa's Fisheries Transformation Council resigned over a pay dispute,
leaving the Fisheries Dept. in chaos amid accusations of corruption and
mismanagement.  The Dept. has not allocated longline hake quotas and 50% of
the pilchard/anchovy harvest.[South Africa Press Assoc]

On Mar. 15, 2000, AK Dept. of Fish and Game
officials announced that Bering Sea ice had retreated sufficiently that
commercial snow crab harvesting would be allowed to begin Apr. 1,
2000.[Anchorage Daily News]

On Mar. 15, 2000, the National Blue Crab Industry Association held a
congressional staff briefing in Russell Senate Office Bldg. on the current
situation with the domestic blue crab industry, including marketing
promotion and import relief efforts.[Carteret News-Times, personal

On Mar. 14, 2000, negotiators for the Burnt
Church First Nation walked out on talks with federal officials, and were
reportedly preparing to go fishing in defiance of Canadian federal
management.  Much of the disagreement surrounds the right to fish for
subsistence outside of commercial open seasons.[Canadian Press, National
Post, Halifax Herald]

On Mar. 11, 2000,
MMS held a public hearing in Long Branch, NJ, on the sand mining
proposal.[Asbury Park Press, Fed. Register, Assoc Press]


Lower Columbia Sport Fishery.  On Mar. 15, 2000, OR and WA officials closed
the lower Columbia River sport fishing season on spring chinook, after NMFS
declined to issue the states permits to take ESA-listed Snake River chinook.
NMFS did not issue the permit because the Columbia River Fish Management
plan between these states for allocating harvest had expired in July 1999.
State managers contend the fishery is managed to focus on Willamette River
hatchery chinook and minimize the threat to ESA-list salmon.[Assoc Press]

CA Management.  On Mar. 14, 2000, the CA Board of Forestry and Fire
Protection held a public hearing in Sacramento to consider changes to CA's
Forest Practice rules affecting streams, road building, and logging [
[ ] on
private land from Santa Cruz County to the OR border.  Both loggers and
environmentalists protested the proposed new rules on how close to streams
private landowners could cut timber to better protect coho salmon and
steelhead trout; sport and commercial fishermen supported the new rules.
On Mar. 15, 2000, the CA Board of Forestry and Fire Protection voted
unanimously to adopt a compromise set of temporary logging limits to
increase protection for coho salmon.  Under the compromise, logging near
streams on private land will be limited through the end of 2000 while
specific plans are developed for each major watershed.[San Jose Mercury,
Assoc Press]

NPPC Salmon Expenditures.  On Mar. 14, 2000, the Northwest Power Planning
Council (NPPC) met in Pasco, WA, to discuss development of a master plan to
guide future decisions on spending about $120 million annually to restore
salmon.[Assoc Press]

Northern California Water.  On Mar. 13, 2000, U.S. District Court Judge
Oliver Wanger, in response to a San Joaquin Valley farmers' lawsuit, ruled
that the U.S. Dept. of the Interior had legally used and accounted for
Central Valley Project water ordered to remain in northern CA rivers for
environmental purposes to benefit threatened and endangered fish.[Fresno

Dworshak Hatchery.  On the weekend of Mar. 4-5, 2000, intruders at the
Dworshak National Fish Harchery, ID, released 150-200 hatchery-raised adult
steelhead trout from a hatchery holding pond.[Spokane Spokesman]

International Enforcement.  On Mar. 1-3, 2000, U.S., Japanese, Canadian,
and Russian officials met in Tokyo for an Enforcement Planning and
Coordination meeting under the authority of the North Pacific Anadromous
Fish Commission to coordinate high seas driftnet enforcement in the North
Pacific.[Coast Guard press release]

Mar. 20, 2000 is the deadline for comments on draft Puget
sound chinook salmon recovery framework regulations [
[ ] developed by the Tri-County Salmon Recovery


Aquaroid Fish?  At a Tokyo toy fair on Mar. 16, 2000, Takara Co. displayed
a new line of Aquaroid Fish -- robot cyber-pets, including a fish, a
jellyfish, and a crab.  These solar-powered, computer-controlled creations
are to become available in Japanese stores in fall 2000, with a price of
around $140 each.[Assoc Press]


Kokanee Recovery.  On Mar. 13, 2000, King County Executive Ron Sims
proposed emergency measures to restore kokanee (non-migratory sockeye
salmon) that spawn in lower Issaquah Creek, including a supplementation
program for kokanee at the Issaquah Hatchery to increase spawning
success.[Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Seattle Times]

On Mar. 14,
2000, the ME Legislature's Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee voted to
reject a bill that proposed reopening ME's fishing season for
catch-and-release taking of Atlantic salmon in 3 rivers where these fish
have not been proposed for listing under the Endangered Species Act.  This
fishery had been closed by ME's Atlantic Salmon Commission in December 1999.
On Mar. 15, 2000, NMFS and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service published
notice that the public comment period on the proposal to list populations of
Atlantic salmon in ME as an endangered species had been extended through
Apr. 14, 2000.[Fed. Register, American Lands press release, Assoc Press]


Japanese Whaling.  On Mar. 16, 2000, the International Fund for Animal
Welfare (IFAW) and Greenpeace release the results of a survey of 1,185
Japanese adults on attitudes about whaling and whalemeat consumption.  About
55% of the Japanese public had no opinion or were neutral regarding
commercial whaling, 14% opposed whaling outright, 11% supported commercial
whaling, and 20% reported that the reason for killing whales would affect
whether they supported whaling.  In addition, about 61% had not eaten
whalemeat since childhood, if at all.[IFAW press release]

Manatee and Sea Turtle Ruling.  On Mar. 10, 2000 and in response to a
lawsuit by a coalition of environmental groups, a FL Circuit Court judge
ruled that, contrary to a specific exemption by the FL Legislature, a FL
constitutional amendment gives the FL Fish and Wildlife Conservation
Commission the right to protect marine species (e.g., manatees and sea
turtles) as well as land animals.[Assoc Press]

The Foundation pleaded not guilty, and May 22, 2000 was set as the
state trial date.[Maui News]

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