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Subject: CRS: Daily Summary - 3/31/2000 - 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, 31 Mar 2000 15:07:25 -0600

text/plain (572 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]


Salmon Field Hearing.  On April 27, 2000, the House Resources Committee
scheduled an oversight field hearing in Pasco, WA, on hydropower, river
management, and salmon recovery issues on the Columbia and Snake Rivers.
[personal communication]

{{Elk Creek Dam.  On Mar. 30, 2000, a coalition of 5 environmental and
fishing groups filed suit in U.S. District Court (Portland, OR), arguing
that the Army Corps of Engineers has violated the Endangered Species Act
failing to consult NMFS on Elk Creek Dam (on a tributary of the Rogue
OR) and its impacts on threatened coho salmon.  These groups would like
judge to order the half-constructed dam to be notched so salmon will not
have to be trapped and hauled around the dam to reach spawning
[Assoc Press]

{Bristol Bay Salmon Lawsuit.  On Mar. 28, 2000, lawyers for more than
Bristol Bay fishermen filed an appeal with the AK Supreme Court, in
class-action lawsuit alleging price-fixing by salmon processors and
buyers.  The lawsuit had been dismissed in AK Superior Court in July
for lack of evidence.  The appeal seeks to have the lawsuit remanded to
Superior Court for a jury trial.} [MSNBC]

{Pacific Council Salmon Management.  On Mar. 27-28, 2000, the Pacific
Fishery Management Council held a series of hearings on regulatory
for the years 2000 ocean salmon season.  Additional public comment will
taken at the Council's Apr. 3-7, 2000 meeting in Portland, OR.}

WTO Dispute Regarding Canadian Salmon.  On Mar. 21, 2000, Australia's
Minister of Trade Mark Vaile announced that Australia would not appeal a
World Trade Organization (WTO) decision allowing Canada to export
salmon to Australia since strict quarantine provisions would be
to these imports.  However, Tasmanian state officials remain adamant
defying the WTO by retaining a ban on importing Canadian salmon, opening
possibility that WTO could permit Canada to impose retaliatory sanctions
Australian imports.  The Australian Workers Union called for rolling
bans on
the handling of Canadian products. [Australian Assoc Press, Australian
Broadcasting Company]

WA Management.  Mar. 20, 2000 is the deadline for comments on draft
sound chinook salmon recovery framework regulations [ ] developed by the Tri-County Salmon Recovery
Group. [Seattle Herald, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Seattle Times]

NAFTA Complaint.  On Mar. 15, 2000, a coalition of 5 environmental
filed a complaint with the North American Free Trade Agreement's
Commission for Environmental Cooperation, charging Canada with failing
enforce its laws to adequately protect fish habitat from logging.
Particular concern was expressed with British Columbia's logging
that allow timber companies to clearcut areas adjacent to streams and
logs through streambeds. [Natural Resources Defense Council press

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

CA Management.  On Mar. 14, 2000, the CA Board of Forestry and Fire
Protection held a public hearing in Sacramento to consider changes to
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
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
Assoc Press]

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

Dam Breaching.  On Mar. 9, 2000, and for the second year in a row, the
environmental group American Rivers named the Snake River in WA as the
nation's most endangered river and called on the Clinton Administration
breach the 4 hydroelectric dams to aid salmon recovery efforts.  In late
March 2000, Corps of Engineers officials reported that, at recent
in 4 Pacific Northwest states, supporters of dam breaching outnumbered
opponents by  a ratio of 3-to-1.  Additional public comment is being
accepted by the Corps through Mar. 31, 2000. [Assoc Press, Portland
Oregonian, MSNBC, American Rivers press release]

Fish-Friendly Turbines?  On Mar. 7, 2000, Army Corps of Engineers
announced that, upon testing, a new $1.25 million "fish-friendly"
turbine at
Bonneville Dam fell somewhat short of anticipated levels of salmon
protection, improving juvenile salmon survival by 2-3%.  Nine additional
"fish-friendly" turbines are planned for Bonneville Dam. [Portland

Elwha River Dams.  In early March 2000, titles to the Elwha and Glines
Canyon dams were transferred from the Fort James Paper Co. And Daishowa
America Inc. to the U.S. National Park Service.  Pending further review,
dams are being operated by the Bureau of Reclamation for power
[Dept. of the Interior press release, Trout Unlimited press release,

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

Pacific Salmon Treaty.  On Mar. 2, 2000, British Columbia's Fisheries
Minister Corky Evans announced that the BC government was dropping its
appeal in U.S. federal court in a September 1997 lawsuit challenging
implementation of the Pacific Salmon Treaty.  BC took this action to
an intent to improve cooperation with the United States. [Canadian
Assoc Press]

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

Salmon Management Options.  From Feb. 3 through Mar. 8, 2000, a total of
public hearings were held by Bonneville Power Administration and 8 other
federal agencies across OR, WA, ID, MT, and AK on the U.S. Army Corps of
Engineers Draft Lower Snake River Juvenile Salmon Migration Feasibility
Report/Environmental Impact Statement and the Federal Caucus
Conservation of
Columbia Basin Fish "All-H Paper" [ ] presenting
for altering harvest, hatcheries, habitat, and hydroelectric dams.  The
initial hearing on Feb. 3, 2000, in Portland, OR, was attended by at
1,000 people. [Assoc. Press]


Pittsburgh Aquarium.  May 13, 2000 is the scheduled opening date for the
Pittsburg Zoo's new $15.9 million, 42,000 square foot AquaZoo, including
rotating fish tank, a 100,000-gallon shark tank, and interactive
[Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

Organic Handling and Production.  Between Apr. 10 and May 3, 2000, the
Dept. of Agriculture has scheduled 3 public meetings in AL, AK, and RI
discuss production and handling of aquatic animals to be labeled as
"organic."  This is part of an effort to establish national standards
governing the marketing of products as organically produced. [USDA press

{NOAA SAB Meeting.  On Apr. 4-7, 2000, NOAA's Scientific Advisory Board
(SAB) is scheduled to meet in Washington, DC.  Their agenda includes
presentations and discussions of a "Census of Marine Life" and of NOAA's
Aquaculture Initiative.} [Fed. Register]

{NOAA Marine Aquaculture Initiative.  On Mar. 27, 2000, NOAA's Office of
Oceanic and Atmospheric Research published a request for proposals for
funding under the National Marine Aquaculture Initiative.  A total of
million is available for five priority areas (in rank order): 1)
improvements to the regulatory framework for marine aquaculture, 2)
definition of elements to be included in a code of conduct for
marine aquaculture, 3) demonstration of the use of geographic
system technology for siting marine aquaculture projects, 4)
sound technologies and evaluation of impacts associated with grow-out
enhancement activities, and 5) regional planning and coordination
furthering regional or national marine aquaculture goals.  Proposals are
by May 15, 2000.} [Fed. Register]

{Federal Fisheries Financial Assistance.  On Mar. 27, 2000, NMFS
the availability of $23.7 million in loans, prioritized for 1) fishing
capacity reduction, 2) supporting the existing FFP credit portfolio
loan refinancing, etc., 3) about $10 million in backlogged FY1999
applications, and 4) marine and closed system aquaculture.  If the
$23.7 million is not allocated among these priorities by Apr. 17, 2000,
non-priority purposes will be funded (e.g., land-based aquaculture in
systems, fisheries shoreside facilities, and fishing vessels).  In
$5 million is available for loans to purchase halibut and sablefish
individual fishing quota (IFQ).  However, since the backlog of
for IFQ loans exceeds the $5 million available, no new applications for
loans will be accepted.} [Fed. Register]

{AK Chum Salmon Production.  On Mar. 26, 2000, the AK Board of Fisheries
tabled a request by the Bering Sea Fishermen's Association that hatchery
production  of chum salmon in Southeast AK and Prince William Sound be
reduced.  The Association was concerned that state-financed hatchery
production depresses the price for wild-caught chum salmon in western
The Board postponed action for a year because it was unsure it had
to alter hatchery production levels.} [Anchorage Daily News]

New Carissa Lawsuit.  In mid-March 2000, Clausen Oyster Co. filed a $3
million lawsuit in U.S. District Court (Eugene, OR) against the New
its Japanese owners, its captain, and a Portland salvage operator,
that fuel oil spilled when the ship ran aground in Coo Bay, OR, in
1999, destroyed half of Clausen's 700 acres of oysters.  Three claims
(together totaling almost $325,000) have been settled with other Coos
oyster growers.  Representatives of the ship owners claim the observed
oyster mortality was due to natural causes. [Assoc Press]

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
are to become available in Japanese stores in fall 2000, with a price of
around $140 each. [Assoc Press]


{{Alberta Fishing Moratorium.  From Apr. 1 through May 19, 2000, fishing
will be banned, for the first time ever, in most Alberta lakes, stream,
rivers to allow declining populations of walleye, perch, and pike to
reproduce.}} [Grand Prairie Daily Herald-Tribune]

{Wallop-Breaux Funds.  On Mar. 27, 2000, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
announced that almost $241 million was being distributed among states
the Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration (Dingell-Johnson/Wallop-
Program.} [U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service press release]

{Coordinated Fishery Survey.  On Mar. 26-31, 2000, staff from the
departments and fisheries research institutes of Kenya, Uganda, and
will conduct a coordinated survey of fishing boats, fishermen, fishing
and fish landings at Lake Victoria.  Organized by the Lake Victoria
Fisheries Organization, this effort aims to promote regional cooperation
fishery management.  Funding for this program is provided by the World
and the European Union.} [East African]

{Chippewa Spearfishery.  On Mar. 24, 2000, two Chippewa bands in
northern WI
began spearfishing for walleye.  This was the earliest starting date for
this fishery in the 16 years this modern spearfishing has been conducted
the Chippewa.  Four other bands will begin fishing when ice conditions
permit.} [Assoc Press]

{Lake Davis Pike.  In mid-March 2000, officials of the American
Society sent a letter to the Robert Hight, Director of the CA Dept. of
and Game, calling the Dept's management plan [ ] for northern pike in
Davis, irresponsible for settling for less than complete eradication.}
Francisco Examiner]

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

Fairy Shrimp.  On Mar. 8, 2000, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
designating critical habitat for endangered San Diego fairy shrimp on a
total of more than 36,000 acres in Orange and San Diego Counties, CA.
Public comment is being accepted through May 8, 2000. [Assoc Press]

Atlantic Salmon.  In early March 2000, U.S. District Judge Gene Carter
extended the public comment time by 30 days, or until April 14,2000, on
NMFS/FWS proposal to list ME Atlantic salmon as endangered to give ME
scientists time to review genetic data.  On Mar. 14, 2000, the ME
Legislature's Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee voted to reject a
that proposed reopening ME's fishing season for catch-and-release taking
Atlantic salmon in 3 rivers where these fish have not been proposed for
listing under the Endangered Species Act.  This fishery had been closed
ME's Atlantic Salmon Commission in December 1999.  On Mar. 15, 2000,
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
as an endangered species had been extended through Apr. 14, 2000. [Fed.
Register, American Lands press release, Assoc Press]

FWS Budget.  On Mar. 2, 2000, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on
Interior and Related Agencies held a hearing on the U.S. Fish and
Service's FY2001 budget request. [personal communication]


MMPA Hearing.  On April 6, 2000, the House Resources Subcommittee on
Fisheries Conservation, Wildlife, and Oceans has scheduled an oversight
hearing on the Marine Mammal Protection Act. [personal communication]

{{Steller Sea Lions.  On Mar. 30, 2000, plaintiffs in a lawsuit brought
environmental groups against NMFS filed a motion asking U.S. District
Judge Thomas Zilly to halt all trawling for pollock, Atka mackerel,
cod, sole, and rockfish in Steller sea lion critical habitat in the
Sea and Gulf of Alaska until NMFS finishes a report requested by Judge
on whether bottomfishing is harming Steller sea lions.}} [Anchorage

{{Zoo Polar Bears Killed.  On Mar. 30, 2000, four polar bears, released
vandels, were shot to death at the Nuremberg, Germany, zoo after zoo
personnel failed in attempts to tranquillize them.}} [Canadian Press]

HABs and Marine Mammals.  On Mar. 29, 2000, NMFS and National Ocean
staff have scheduled two briefings for congressional staff ?  in Dirksen
Senate Office Bldg. (morning) and in Longworth House Office Bldg.
(afternoon), Washington, DC -- on the existing collaborative response
network to respond to harmful algal blooms (HABs) and marine mammal
mortality problems associated with these HABs. [personal communication]

CITES Hearing.  On Mar. 28, 2000, the House Resources Subcommittee on
Fisheries Conservation, Wildlife, and Oceans has scheduled an oversight
hearing on April 2000 meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna
Flora (CITES). [personal communication]

Canadian Sealing.  In late March 2000, the Canadian harp seal hunt off
Prince Edward Island was scheduled to begin.  However, seals are scarce
not concentrated due to the lack of pack ice in the Gulf of St.
{{Because of the poor ice conditions, seal pups are reportedly being
born in
the water or are drowning before they can be weaned.}} [Canadian Press,
International Fund for Animal Welfare press release]

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.
55% of the Japanese public had no opinion or were neutral regarding
commercial whaling, 14% opposed whaling outright, 11% supported
whaling, and 20% reported that the reason for killing whales would
whether they supported whaling.  In addition, about 61% had not eaten
whalemeat since childhood, if at all. On Mar. 23, 2000, the Japan
Association and Japanese government officials questioned the validity of
IFAW survey, citing previous surveys taken in 1992-1995 indicating
public support in Japan for whaling. [IFAW press release, Japan Whaling
Association press release, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and
(Japan) press release]

Bahamas Whale/Dolphin Standings. On Mar. 15, 2000, seventeen whales and
dolphins of at least four species in three families (dense-beaked
goose-beaked whales, spotted dolphin, minke whales, rorqual) beached and
died in various locations around the Bahamas, coincidental to U.S. Navy
antisubmarine exercises off the northern Bahamas on Mar. 15.  The Navy
denies any evidence linking the unusual whale beachings and the Naval
exercises, which did not involve low-frequency active sonar.  However,
biologists consider the large number of coincident strandings as well as
involvement of several species highly unusual and probably related in
way. [Assoc Press, Washington Post, personal communication]

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]

Soviet Navy Mammals.  In early March 2000, the London Times reported
Crimean authorities had completed the sale and transfer to Iran of 27
mammals (dolphins, beluga whales, walruses, and sea lions) trained by
former Soviet Navy. [London Times]

Sea Lion Protection.  In early March 2000, New Zealand closed a squid
fishery around the Auckland Islands after endangered New Zealand sea
bycatch mortality reached 65 animals.  The early closure may result in
much as a NZ$50 million loss to the fishing industry. [Southland Times]

Inuit Bowhead Whale Permit.  In early March 2000, the Canadian Inuit
community of Coral Harbour (on Southampton Island), Nunavut, asked the
Nunavut Wildlife Management Board to request federal ministerial
for the community to hunt and kill an endangered bowhead whale in
2000. [Canadian Press]

Dolphins in the Navy.  In early March 2000, the U.S. Navy flew two
dolphins from San Diego, CA, to Sitka, AK, for participation in the
Edge 2000 military exercise. [Anchorage Daily News]

Keiko.  On Mar. 3, 2000, Keiko was released from his pen into the larger
net- enclosed Klettsvik Bay, Iceland [].
[Portland Oregonian, Reuters, Ocean Futures press release]

Mexican Salt Works Project.  On Mar. 2, 2000, Mexican President Ernesto
Zedillo and officials of Mitsubishi Corp. announced that the government
Mexico and Mitsubishi Corp. would not continue to pursue construction of
salt works project adjacent to San Ignacio lagoon.  On Mar. 22, 2000,
Mexican officials announced that the San Ignacio lagoon area would be
preserved and developed in a manner beneficial to local residents,
emphasizing eco-tourism and nature-friendly businesses. [Embassy of
press release, Reuters, International Fund for Animal Welfare press
Assoc Press]

North Atlantic Right Whale.  On Mar. 1, 2000, rescue teams attempted to
disentangle a 20-year old male northern right whale found tangled in
gear off Manomet, MA, in Cape Cod Bay.  Initial attempts were
but the whale appeared to be strong and in good health.  On Mar. 3,
the Conservation Law Foundation (Boston, MA) filed a 60-day notice of
to sue NMFS, claiming failure to take action sufficient to protect
endangered north Atlantic right whales under the Endangered Species Act.
[Assoc Press, Boston Herald, Boston Globe]

Sonar Lawsuit.  On Feb. 29, 2000, a coalition of 10 national and
organizations and Hawai'i County Council member Julie Jacobson filed
suit in
federal court (Honolulu) seeking to halt the U.S. Navy from deploying
Surveillance Towed Array Sonar System (SURTASS) low frequency active
sonar system.  The plaintiffs claim the Navy is violating environmental
by developing this system before completing an analysis of the system's
environmental effects and that the sonar system poses a threat to marine
life and to human swimmers and divers.  The lawsuit also seeks an
to prevent NMFS from processing the Navy's application for a deployment
permit for the system. [Environment News Service]

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

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