LISTSERV mailing list manager LISTSERV 15.5

Help for FISH-SCI Archives

FISH-SCI Archives

FISH-SCI Archives


Next Message | Previous Message
Next in Topic | Previous in Topic
Next by Same Author | Previous by Same Author
Chronologically | Most Recent First
Proportional Font | Monospaced Font


Join or Leave FISH-SCI
Reply | Post New Message
Search Archives


CRS: Daily Summary - 4/28/2000 - Longer Friday Version - Part 1


Peter Hagen <[log in to unmask]>


Fish-Sci-request <[log in to unmask]>


Fri, 28 Apr 2000 13:12:42 -0800





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. 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]

Fisheries and Marine Mammals: Most Recent Developments -- 4/28/2000 (updated

New info and changes since 4/21/2000 are bracketed {...}
New info and changes since 4/27/2000 are double-bracketed {{...}}


Lobster Stock Assessment. On May 8-9, 2000, the Atlantic States Marine
Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) will meet in Warwick, RI, to conduct an
external (independent) peer review of the most recent American lobster stock
assessment, to examine the quantity and quality of data used in the models,
to examine the appropriateness of the models chosen to assess the
population, and to evaluate the status of the stock. The final stock
assessment will be presented to the ASMFC at its June 2000 meeting. [ASMFC
press release]

Mackerel. On May 2-3, 2000, the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council's
(GMFMC's) Mackerel Advisory Panel and the Standing and Special Mackerel
Scientific and Statistical Committees will meet in Tampa, FL, to review
assessment information on king mackerel stocks and recommend to the Council
possible changes to federal regulations affecting mackerels. [GMFMC press

Striped Bass Hearing. On April 28, 2000, the House Resources Subcommittee
on Fisheries Conservation, Wildlife, and Oceans has scheduled an oversight
field hearing in Toms River, NJ, on reauthorization of the Atlantic Striped
Bass Conservation Act. [personal communication]

{Port Ecology Study. On Apr. 26, 2000, the Port of Los Angeles joined the
Port of Long Beach in agreeing to a $750,000 one-year study of the marine
ecology of the largest U.S. harbor complex. The last similar assessment of
this area was conducted in 1987, but major changes have occurred since,
e.g., landfills for new terminals, channel improvements, and modified
pollution controls.} [Los Angeles Times]

{Marine Reserves. On Apr. 26, 2000 through June 1, 2000, the South Atlantic
Fishery Management Council has scheduled 9 public scoping meetings in NC,
SC, GA, and FL on using marine reserves as a fishery management tool, with
emphasis on conservation of essential fish habitat and the species
associated with the snapper-grouper complex.} [Fed. Register]

{Magnuson-Stevens Act Briefings. On Apr. 26 and 27, 2000, NMFS staff is
scheduled to brief congressional staff on implementation of national
standard 8 (economic impacts on fishing communities - Weds) and national
standard 1 (overfishing definition - Thurs). Separate briefings will be
held on both the House and Senate side on both days.} [personal

{Crabber Lawsuit. On Apr. 25, 2000, thirty Bering Sea crab fishermen filed
suit in U.S. District Court (Seattle) against NMFS and the Dept. of
Commerce, claiming snow crab harvest quotas were too low and that NMFS
should be ordered to reopen the crab fishery. This year's harvest quota was
about an 85% reduction from 1999.} [Anchorage Daily News]

{Seafood Safety. On Apr. 25, 2000, Japan's Health and Welfare Ministry
introduced comprehensive measures to strengthen supervision of seafood
production, distribution, and consumption in an effort to prevent acute
enteritis from Vibrio sp. Producers will be asked to voluntarily stamp
products with a "consume-by" date and consumers will be reminded to keep
seafood refrigerated. Mandatory regulations are anticipated next year to
require all seafood to be kept at temperatures below 4 C, require specific
processing temperatures for shellfish, and to prohibit fishermen for using
seawater in tanks aboard fishing vessels. On May 9, 2000, a subcommittee
report on sanitation of seafood products is scheduled to be submitted to an
advisory panel to the Health and Welfare Minister. Japan experiences about
10,000 cases of reported food poisoning from Vibrio annually.} [Daily

{Mussel Contamination. In late April 2000, a study by a joint Canada-U.S.
Gulfwatch monitoring program of blue mussels at 60 sites from Nova Scotia
though MA, reportedly found mussels in American waters to be, on average,
about twice as contaminated with PCBs as mussels in Canadian waters.
Mussels at most U.S. sites were reported to exceed the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency's screening level of 10 parts per billion for PCBs, but
mussels at only one site (Boston Harbor) exceeded U.S. Food and Drug
Administration recommended levels for human consumption. Concentrations of
silver, lead, dioxins, and furans were also reported to be higher in mussels
from U.S. waters.} [Ottawa Citizen]

{Mercury Contamination. On Apr. 24, 2000, the CT Council on Environmental
Quality issued its annual report, stating that fish in all the state's
rivers and lakes are contaminated with mercury. On Apr. 25, 2000, a
coalition of environmental groups released a report "One That Got Away" [ ] asking states to warn pregnant women and
nursing mothers against eating seafood, since the Food and Drug
Administration was reported to no longer be testing mercury levels in tuna,
swordfish, and shark.} [Assoc Press, Boston Globe]

{Nuclear Plant Lawsuit. On Apr. 21, 2000, two CT fishermen announced that
they would file a $12 million lawsuit against Northeast Utilities, operators
of the Millstone nuclear power plants in Waterford, CT, blaming the cooling
water systems of these plants for the decline of winter flounder in Long
Island Sound.} [Assoc Press]

Coral Protection. On Apr. 18, 2000, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. went scuba
diving at Vieques, Puerto Rico. On Apr. 17, 2000, he had announced that the
Natural Resources Defense Council would be filing a lawsuit against the Navy
to stop military exercises and protect coral reefs. [Assoc Press]

Iceland ITQ Case. In mid-April 2000, Iceland's Supreme Court announced it
verdict, having voted 4-3 to overturn a lower court judgment and found 3
fishermen who fished without quota shares, guilty of fishing illegally. The
ruling made clear that fish stocks are the property of the Icelandic nation
as a whole, and that allocated fishing quotas do not constitute ownership.
[personal communication]

{TX Shrimp. In mid-April 2000, the TX Dept. of Parks and Wildlife released
a study of the TX shrimp industry, concluding that fishery could collapse
unless new regulations were enacted to reduce the annual harvest. The state
study concluded that the shrimp fleet currently was catching too many shrimp
before they could spawn, and that shrimp populations are declining rapidly.
TX shrimpers disputed this conclusion and called for an independent review
of the state report before action is taken.} [Assoc Press]

Maritime Snow Crab. On Apr. 13, 2000, Canada's federal Fisheries Minister
Herb Dhaliwal announced that snow crab harvest quotas would be reduced by an
average of 25%. [Canadian Press]

Sharks. On April 13, 2000, the House Resources Subcommittee on Fisheries
Conservation, Wildlife, and Oceans held a hearing on H.R. 3535, proposing to
ban shark finning in the Pacific. On Apr. 12, 2000, NMFS published notice
of receipt of a petition for rulemaking to prohibit shark finning and
require full utilization of sharks in waters under the authority of the
Western Pacific Fishery Management Council. On Apr. 18, 2000, delegates to
the Conference of Parties to the Convention on International Trade in
Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) rejected proposals to
impose restrictions on trade in great white shark, basking shark, and whale
shark products. On Apr. 20, 2000, at the CITES Conference of Parties, the
United Kingdom presented a revised proposal on basking sharks, but it failed
to gain the required two-thirds majority with a vote of 67 for and 42
against, with 8 abstentions. [Reuters, personal communication, Center for
Marine Conservation press release, Fed. Register, Assoc Press, International
Fund for Animal Welfare press release, Center for Marine Conservation press

MHLC. On Apr. 12-19, 2000, the Multilateral High-Level Conference on the
conservation and management of highly migratory fish stocks in the Central
and Western Pacific will convene in Honolulu, HI, for a final negotiating
session before an agreement is presented for signing in August 2000.
[personal communication]

{Red Snapper Lawsuit. On Apr. 12, 2000, the U.S. District Court (N. FL)
dismissed a January 2000 lawsuit against NMFS by the TX Shrimp Assoc
challenging an interim rule that changed seasons and other harvest limits on
the basis that the total allowable catch was too high. The court agreed
with the defendant's argument that, since the rule did not change the TAC,
there was no reviewable agency action on the TAC.} [personal communication]

Illegal Shrimping. On Apr. 12, 2000, FL Fish and Wildlife Conservation
Commission officers seized two AL shrimp vessels illegally fishing within
the Tortugas shrimp sanctuary. More than 8 tons of shrimp aboard the
vessels was sold, with the proceeds to be held in escrow until the court
hears this case. [Miami Herald]

Fisheries Enforcement Killings. On Apr. 11, 2000, three Cambodian fishery
enforcement officers were killed by a mob of about 30 fishermen after the
officers confiscated banned nets fished illegally at night in an early
morning raid on the Tonle Sap River, north of Phnom Penh. Five fishermen
were captured by coastguard patrol officers. Tension has increased since
local villages depend heavily on fishing while the government seeks to halt
fish stock depletion. [South China Morning Post]

Oyster and Clam Poaching. On Apr. 11, 2000, four CT commercial
shellfishermen were arrested and charged with misdemeanors for poaching
clams and oysters from beds where they were not authorized to fish. [Assoc

Pelagic Longlining. On Apr. 10, 2000, NMFS announced that implementation of
a vessel monitoring system (VMS) required for Atlantic pelagic longline
fishermen was being delayed from June 1, 2000, until September 1, 2000.
[personal communication]

MSFCMA Field Hearing. On Apr. 10, 2000, the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on
Oceans and Fisheries held a field hearing in Boston, MA, on reauthorization
of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. [Boston

Bering Sea Crab Fishery. On Apr. 8, 2000, the Bering Sea snow crab fishery
closed after a harvest of about 30 million pounds against a quota of 26.4
million pounds. Fishermen are arguing that stock assessment surveys were
flawed and have petitioned Secretary of Commerce William Daley to have the
season reopened. [Anchorage Daily News]

Canadian Groundfish. On Apr. 7, 2000, officials of the Dept. of Fisheries
and Oceans announced that surveys indicated little or no growth in cod
stocks off the north coast of Newfoundland for almost 20 years. [Canadian

Bluefin Tuna Angling. On Apr. 7, 2000, NMFS requested comment on relocating
the line, currently at Delaware Bay, that divides northern and southern
management areas for bluefin tuna angling quotas and seasons. Public
comment is to be accepted through May 22, 2000. [NMFS press release]

GAO Report. On Apr. 6, 2000, the General Accounting Office released a new
report to Congress (RCED-00-69) entitled "Problems Remain With National
Marine Fisheries Service's Implementation of the Magnuson-Stevens Act." GAO
faults NMFS for basing actions on outdated and incomplete data, for not
giving sufficient attention to determining how best to minimize the effects
of conservation and management measures on fishing communities, and for
overly broad designations of essential fish habitat. GAO recommends actions
that might be taken to address these concerns. [GAO report RCED-00- 69]

Mexican Lanchas. On Apr. 6, 2000, the Coast Guard Cutter Knight
Islandassisted by Coast Guard Station South Padre Island personnel located
and seized a Mexican lancha illegally fishing north of the U.S./Mexican
border. The lancha, gillnet gear, illegally harvested fish, and 2 crew were
turned over to TX Dept. of Parks and Wildlife for prosecution. On Apr. 14,
2000, another Mexican lancha was located by the Coast Guard Cutter Knight
Islandfishing illegally in U.S. waters, and was seized by Coast Guard
Station South Padre Island personnel, to be prosecuted by the TX Dept. of
Parks and Wildlife. A second lancha was pursued into the Mexican EEZ, where
the seized lancha, catch, and fishing gear were transferred by the Coast
Guard to Mexican enforcement officials for prosecution. [personal

Long Island Sound Lobsters. In early April 2000, five CT lobstermen's
groups are scheduled to begin participating in studies to determine what is
killing Long Island Sound lobsters by collecting dead lobsters and sediment
for testing. The $75,000 to $100,000 cost of the testing will be paid by a
NY- based fisheries conservation group. Test results are anticipated by
mid-May 2000. On Apr. 17-18, 2000, scientists and environmentalists held a
lobster health symposium in Stamford, CT, to review progress and develop an
action plan for identifying the cause of Long Island Sound lobster
mortalities. [Assoc Press]

Sharks and Cancer. In an early April 2000 news conference at the annual
meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research, scientists from The
Johns Hopkins University and George Washington University presented a
detailed history of benign and malignant tumors found in sharks and related
fishes. This refutes claims by promoters of shark cartilage as a cancer
cure or preventative that sharks never get cancer. [Science Daily]

Native Fishery. As of Apr. 5, 2000, interim management agreements had been
concluded with 6 Native bands for Canadian maritime fisheries. {On Apr. 21,
2000, Canadian Fisheries Minister Herb Dhaliwal announced that the Canadian
government had acquired 376 commercial licenses through buybacks that would
be used to help Indians enter the fishery. Altogether more than 1,400
fishermen have offered to retire more than 5,000 licenses. A total of 19
out of the 34 Native bands have concluded interim fishing agreements or
agreements in principle with the federal government.} [Canadian Press,
National Post, Halifax Herald, Assoc Press]

Dogfish. On Apr. 5, 2000, Secretary of Commerce William Daley announced the
quota for dogfish would be 4 million pounds, with trip limits of 600 pounds
between May 1 and Oct. 1, 2000, decreasing to 300 pound between Nov. 1, 2000
and Apr. 30, 2001. The projected harvest for the current fishing year,
ending Apr. 30, 2000, is 22 million pounds. [Assoc Press, Center for Marine
Conservation press release]

Coastal Pollution. On Apr. 4, 2000, the National Research Council's
Committee on the Causes and Management of Coastal Eutrophication released
the report "Clean Coastal Waters: Understanding and Reducing the Effects of
Nutrient Pollution" that discusses the problem of coastal pollution from
nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizers and related algal blooms. Severe
problem areas are cited in 9 states: WA, CA, LA, TX, FL, NC, MD, NY, and MA.
[Assoc Press, NAS press release]

Sea Turtle Protection. On Apr. 3, 2000, NMFS asked shrimp trawlers
operating in waters within 10 miles of the coast between Cape Canaveral, FL
and the NC/VA border to modify turtle excluder devices (TEDs) so that
leatherback sea turtles would not be harmed. These turtles are currently on
their annual northward spring migration along the coast. Areas where
turtles are noted in high density will be closed to shrimpers who are not
using the modified TEDs. Between Apr. 14 and Apr. 17, 2000, a total of 68
sea turtles, the majority being loggerhead, washed up dead on NC Outer Banks
beaches. The cause of this mortality event is unknown. On Apr. 20, 2000,
at the Conference of Parties to the Convention on International Trade in
Endangered Species of Wildlife Fauna and Flora (CITES) in Nairobi, Kenya,
delegates declined to adopt a Cuban proposal to allow sale of stockpiled
hawksbill turtle shell to Japan. The secret ballot on this proposal failed
to gain the required two-thirds majority, with 67 in support and 41 against.
[Assoc Press, MSNBC, International Fund for Animal Welfare press release]

Invasive Species. The Apr. 1, 2000 issue of Environmental Science and
Technology contains an article reporting that zebra mussels are consuming so
much dissolved oxygen from the Hudson River that much of the ecosystem is
approaching a danger point at which other aquatic life will flee or die. On
Apr. 13, 2000, the Coast Guard published voluntary guidelines on
recreational activities (e.g., boating and fishing) to control the spread of
zebra mussels and other aquatic nuisance species. Public comment will be
accepted through June 12, 2000. [personal communication, UMRCC press
release, New York Times, Fed. Register]

Horseshoe Crabs. On Mar. 31, 2000, two DE men were found guilty in Federal
District Court (Wilmington) of misdemeanor violations of the Lacey Act for
illegal horseshoe crab harvesting. Crabs illegally harvested in DE were
transported to VA for sale. Sentencing is scheduled for late June 2000. On
Apr. 4, 2000, the Horseshoe Crab Management Board of the Atlantic States
Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) approved state plans for MA, RI, CT, NY,
NJ, DE, and MD, implementing ASMFC horseshoe crab landing reduction
guidelines. De minimus status was granted to ME, NH, PA, DC, NC, SC, GA,
and FL. VA's proposed management measures were not approved as they
exceeded the required landings cap. NMFS also reported to the Board that it
would be proposing the designation of an offshore horseshoe crab sanctuary
just outside Delaware Bay, with public hearing during the summer of 2000 and
promulgation of a final rule by late fall 2000. On Apr. 5, 2000, the
ASMFC's Interstate Fisheries Management Program Policy Board recommended
that VA be found out-of-compliance with the required landings cap provision
for horseshoe crab. The ASMFC is scheduled to take action on the
out-of-compliance recommendation at its June 2000 meeting in Portland, ME.
{{On Apr. 25, 2000, the VA Marine Resources Commission passed a resolution
calling the ASMFC's harvest limit illegal under VA state law, and requested
a delay in federal action until the VA General Assembly considers the issue
in January 2001.}} [Boston Globe, Assoc Press, ASMFC press release, U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Service press release, Virginian-Pilot]

><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><>
       To leave the Fish-Sci list, Send blank message to:
        mailto:[log in to unmask]
 For information send INFO FISH-SCI to [log in to unmask]
><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><>

Back to: Top of Message | Previous Page | Main FISH-SCI Page



CataList Email List Search Powered by the LISTSERV Email List Manager