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Subject: NEWCRS: Daily Summary - 3/10/2000 - Longer Friday Version
From: Peter Hagen <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Fish-Sci-request <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Fri, 10 Mar 2000 15:16:02 -0900

text/plain (210 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.

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 and
Flora (CITES).[personal communication]

On Mar. 28, 2000, the House
Resources Subcommittee on Fisheries Conservation, Wildlife, and Oceans has
scheduled an oversight hearing on the Administration's FY2001 budget request
for NMFS.[personal communication]

HI Longline Lawsuit.  Mar. 22, 2000 is the end of the 90-day period after
which parties to the Leatherback Sea Turtle v. NMFS lawsuit will make
recommendations to change U.S. District Judge David Alan Ezra's order.  An
NMFS analysis of the spatial and temporal distribution of sea turtle and HI
longline vessel interactions is also due to Judge Ezra on Mar. 22, 2000.
[Endangered Species & Wetlands Report]

Draft Scup Emergency Rule.  On Mar. 13, 2000, the Atlantic States Marine
Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) anticipates making a Draft Emergency Rule
available for public review and comment to address problems in the summer
period fishery for summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass.  This
Emergency Rule proposes to resolve difficulties between the ASMFC's
management system and that of the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council so
that harvest quotas are not exceeded.  A total of 5 public hearings is
scheduled for Mar. 21-30, 2000.  The ASMFC's Summer Flounder, Scup, and
Black Sea Bass Management Board is scheduled to take final action on the
Emergency Rule during the ASMFC's Apr. 3-6 meeting.[ASMFC press release].

A total of $160
million was reported to have been spent by the federal government since 1994
on fishery disaster relief, with Congress reportedly considering an
additional $421 million in such programs.  MFCN's point was that poor
fishery management by regional fishery management councils and lax oversight
by NMFS has led to these disasters and their costs.[Marine Fish
Conservation Network press release, Assoc Press]

Seafood Mishandling.  On Mar. 8, 2000, more than 51,000 pounds of rotting
and contaminated seafood (shrimp, flounder, whiting, lobster tails) was
hauled away from a FL wholesaler's freezers after the FL Dept. of
Agriculture condemned the food and business.  The owner of the wholesale
business was charged with 2 misdemeanors about illegal storage and sale of
seafood unfit for human consumption, most of it packaged for retail sale.
[Orlando Sentinel]

Wetland Preservation.  On Mar. 8, 2000, the National Fisheries Institute
and NOAA signed an agreement to help local communities restore polluted
wetlands nationwide.  A total of $2 million in federal funds will support 83
wetlands projects. In addition, the fishing industry will identify
threatened wetlands and match federal funds, the federal government will
provide technical expertise, and local communities will provide manual
labor.[Assoc Press]

Canadian Groundfish.  On Mar. 8, 2000, the Canadian Dept. of Fisheries and
Oceans closed the cod fishery in Newfoundland's Placentia Bay, on the
recommendation of fishermen concerned that stocks were too small to support
the fishery.[Canadian Press]

Frozen Seafood Patent.  On Mar. 6, 2000, the Univ. of ME announced that it
had received a patent for a new process to preserve the flavor and texture
of seafood when it is frozen.  This process, involving the injection of
sugar-based compounds, has been used on lobsters and may be used for other
types of seafood.[Assoc Press]

Nutritional Survey.  In early March 2000, Quaker Oats Co. released the
results of a survey of 525 registered dieticians nationwide, conducted for
them by a Chicago research firm.  Fish was reported to have been named as
the number 1 choice of food considered best for improving heart health by
88% of the dieticians.[Knight Ridder]

E-Commerce for Seafood.  In early March 2000, CMGI, Inc. (Andover, MA)
announced a $12 million venture capital investment in online
seafood marketplace.[Boston Globe]

Bering Sea Crab Fishery.  In early March 2000, nearly 100 crab vessel
owners, processors, skippers, and other interested parties attended a
meeting in Seattle, WA to determine how to deal with overcapitalization of
the Bering Sea crab fleet.  This group decided to form a committee of 13
industry members to develop a proposal for  vessel buybacks to take to
Congress.  A separate committee of 21 members will consider a proposal for
fishing cooperatives.[Anchorage Daily News]

Blue Crab Imports.  On Mar. 3, 2000, the national Blue Crab Coalition filed
a petition with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), seeking
relief from imports that are alleged to be hurting fishermen and processors.
The volume of U.S. crabmeat imports was reported to have tripled between
1994 and 1999.  The ITC will investigate the situation and make a
recommendation to the President.  A major concern is the importing of
crabmeat labeled to give the incorrect impression that it is blue crab
meat.[Carteret News-Times]

Illegal Shrimping.  On Mar. 3, 2000, personnel from the Coast Guard Cutter
Marlin observed a vessel fishing illegally for shrimp in a closed area off
St. Petersburg, FL.  The vessel was escorted to port, where NMFS agents met
it, selling its catch and assuming responsibility for prosecution of the
case.[personal communication]

Sustainable Fishery Designation.  On Mar. 3, 2000, the Marine Stewardship
Council (MSC) announced that the Australian western rock lobster fishery had
been awarded MSC accreditation as a sustainable fishery, allowing packages
of this product to display the MSC's "Fish Forever" logo.  Thames herring
are also reported to be certified, and AK salmon is being evaluated.[personal
communication, Assoc Press]

One of their proposals, setting aside 20% of U.S.
coral reefs as "marine ecological reserves," has generated significant
concern among commercial fishermen in the FL Keys.  On Mar. 23, 2000, the
House Resources Subcommittee on Fisheries Conservation, Wildlife, and Oceans
has scheduled markup of H.R. 2903, the Coral Reef Conservation and
Restoration Act of 1999.[personal communication, White House press

On Mar. 7, 2000, MA fishermen met
with Secretary of Commerce Daley, seeking changes in proposed January
closures to cod fishing in the Gulf of Maine, beginning in 2001.  The
fishermen's 4- point proposal included 1) allowing 7 days of fishing during
January, 2) buying back fishing permits of those who use them sparingly, 3)
appropriating $2.5 million for a marketing program, and 4) expediting the
release of federal funds already approved to assist fishermen.[Boston
Globe, Assoc Press, Boston Herald, personal communication]


Fish-Friendly Turbines?  On Mar. 7, 2000, Army Corps of Engineers officials
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

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 to breach the 4 hydroelectric
dams to aid salmon recovery efforts.[Assoc Press, Portland Oregonian,
MSNBC, American Rivers press release]


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 a
rotating fish tank, a 100,000-gallon shark tank, and interactive exhibits.
[Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]


Fairy Shrimp.  On Mar. 8, 2000, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed
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]

In early March 2000, U.S. District Judge
Gene Carter extended the public comment time by 30 days, or until April
14,2000, to give ME scientists time to review genetic data..[American
Lands press release, Assoc Press]


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 and
Flora (CITES).[personal communication]

Soviet Navy Mammals.  In early March 2000, the London Times reported that
Crimean authorities had completed the sale and transfer to Iran of 27 marine
mammals (dolphins, beluga whales, walruses, and sea lions) trained by the
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 lion
bycatch mortality reached 65 animals.  The early closure may result in as
much as a NZ$50 million loss to the fishing industry.[Southland Times]

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

On Mar. 3, 2000, the Conservation Law Foundation (Boston, MA) filed a
60-day notice of intent 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]

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