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Subject:

CRS: Daily Summary - 4/7/2000 - 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, 7 Apr 2000 15:43:52 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

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]
*******


SALMON ALONG THE PACIFIC COAST

Salmon Field Hearing. On April 27, 2000, the House Resources Committee
has
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 by
failing
to consult NMFS on Elk Creek Dam (on a tributary of the Rogue River, OR)
and
its impacts on threatened coho salmon. These groups would like a 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 habitat. [Assoc
Press]

Bristol Bay Salmon Lawsuit. On Mar. 28, 2000, lawyers for more than
5,000
Bristol Bay fishermen filed an appeal with the AK Supreme Court, in
their
class-action lawsuit alleging price-fixing by salmon processors and
Japanese
buyers. The lawsuit had been dismissed in AK Superior Court in July
1999
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 options for
the
years 2000 ocean salmon season. Additional public comment will be taken
at
the Council's Apr. 3-7, 2000 meeting in Portland, OR. [personal
communication]

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
uncooked
salmon to Australia since strict quarantine provisions would be
applicable
to these imports. However, Tasmanian state officials remain adamant
about
defying the WTO by retaining a ban on importing Canadian salmon, opening
the
possibility that WTO could permit Canada to impose retaliatory sanctions
on
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
Puget
sound chinook salmon recovery framework regulations [
http://www.salmoninfo.org ] 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
groups
filed a complaint with the North American Free Trade Agreement's
(NAFTA's)
Commission for Environmental Cooperation, charging Canada with failing
to
enforce its laws to adequately protect fish habitat from logging.
Particular concern was expressed with British Columbia's logging
regulations
that allow timber companies to clearcut areas adjacent to streams and
drag
logs through streambeds. [Natural Resources Defense Council press
release]

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 [
http://www.fire.ca.gov/bof/board/board_proposed_rule_packages.html ] 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
Bee]

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
to
breach the 4 hydroelectric dams to aid salmon recovery efforts. In late
March 2000, Corps of Engineers officials reported that, at recent
hearings
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. {In late March 2000,
officials
of the Army Corps of Engineers announced that they would extend the
public
comment period for an additional month, until Apr. 30, 2000, on their
draft
study of strategies to restore Snake River salmon and steelhead trout.}
[Assoc Press, Portland Oregonian, MSNBC, American Rivers press release]

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
Oregonian]

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,
the
dams are being operated by the Bureau of Reclamation for power
production.
[Dept. of the Interior press release, Trout Unlimited press release,
Assoc
Press]

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]

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
U.S.
implementation of the Pacific Salmon Treaty. BC took this action to
signal
an intent to improve cooperation with the United States. [Canadian
Press,
Assoc Press]

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]

Salmon Management Options. From Feb. 3 through Mar. 8, 2000, a total of
13
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" [
http://www.bpa.gov/Power/PL/FederalCaucus/fcspl.shtml ] presenting
options
for altering harvest, hatcheries, habitat, and hydroelectric dams. The
initial hearing on Feb. 3, 2000, in Portland, OR, was attended by at
least
1,000 people. [Assoc. Press]

AQUACULTURE AND AQUARIA

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]

Organic Handling and Production. Between Apr. 10 and May 3, 2000, the
U.S.
Dept. of Agriculture has scheduled 3 public meetings in AL, AK, and RI
to
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
release]

{Norsk Hydro Aquaculture Sale. On Apr. 5, 2000, Fox News announced that
Norsk Hydro ASA is selling its Hydro Seafoods aquaculture division to
Nutreco Holding NV of the Netherlands for $452 million. The Hydro
Seafoods
division has an 11% share of the world market in farmed salmon, with
reported 1999 sales of $266 million in nearly 50 countries. The
purchase
would give Nutreco a 20% share with aquaculture operations in 18
countries.}
[Fox News]

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
$0.5
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
responsible
marine aquaculture, 3) demonstration of the use of geographic
information
system technology for siting marine aquaculture projects, 4)
environmental
sound technologies and evaluation of impacts associated with grow-out
and
enhancement activities, and 5) regional planning and coordination
efforts
furthering regional or national marine aquaculture goals. Proposals are
due
by May 15, 2000. [Fed. Register]

Federal Fisheries Financial Assistance. On Mar. 27, 2000, NMFS
announced
the availability of $23.7 million in loans, prioritized for 1) fishing
capacity reduction, 2) supporting the existing FFP credit portfolio
through
loan refinancing, etc., 3) about $10 million in backlogged FY1999
applications, and 4) marine and closed system aquaculture. If the
entire
$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
open
systems, fisheries shoreside facilities, and fishing vessels). In
addition,
$5 million is available for loans to purchase halibut and sablefish
individual fishing quota (IFQ). However, since the backlog of
application
for IFQ loans exceeds the $5 million available, no new applications for
IFQ
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
AK.
The Board postponed action for a year because it was unsure it had
authority
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
Carissa,
its Japanese owners, its captain, and a Portland salvage operator,
charging
that fuel oil spilled when the ship ran aground in Coo Bay, OR, in
February
1999, destroyed half of Clausen's 700 acres of oysters. Three claims
(together totaling almost $325,000) have been settled with other Coos
Bay
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
creations
are to become available in Japanese stores in fall 2000, with a price of
around $140 each. [Assoc Press]

FRESHWATER FISHERIES

{Endangered Fish Recovery. On Apr. 25, 2000, the Senate Energy and
Natural
Resources Subcommittee on Water and Power is scheduled to hold a hearing
on
S.2239, authorizing the Bureau of Reclamation to provide cost sharing
for
implementing endangered fish recovery programs for the Upper Colorado
River
and San Juan River basins.} [personal communication]

Alberta Fishing Moratorium. From Apr. 1 through May 19, 2000, fishing
will
be banned, for the first time ever, in most Alberta lakes, stream, and
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
Service
announced that almost $241 million was being distributed among states
under
the Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration (Dingell-Johnson/Wallop-
Breaux)
Program. [U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service press release]

Coordinated Fishery Survey. On Mar. 26-31, 2000, staff from the
fisheries
departments and fisheries research institutes of Kenya, Uganda, and
Tanzania
will conduct a coordinated survey of fishing boats, fishermen, fishing
gear,
and fish landings at Lake Victoria. Organized by the Lake Victoria
Fisheries Organization, this effort aims to promote regional cooperation
in
fishery management. Funding for this program is provided by the World
Bank
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
by
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 Fisheries
Society sent a letter to the Robert Hight, Director of the CA Dept. of
Fish
and Game, calling the Dept's management plan [
http://www.dfg.ca.gov/northernpike/mgpike.htm ] for northern pike in
Lake
Davis, irresponsible for settling for less than complete eradication.
[San
Francisco Examiner]

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]

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]

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
the
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
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. {{In
late
March 2000, the senior biologist of ME's Atlantic Salmon Commission
resigned
in protest, alleging that ME officials filed to listen to his concerns
about
protecting Atlantic salmon.}} [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
Wildlife
Service's FY2001 budget request. [personal communication]

MARINE MAMMALS

MMPA Hearing. On April 6, 2000, the House Resources Subcommittee on
Fisheries Conservation, Wildlife, and Oceans has scheduled an oversight
hearing on Sections 118 and 119 of the Marine Mammal Protection Act.
[personal communication]

{Dolphin-Safe Tuna. In an Apr. 3, 2000 hearing before U.S. District
Judge
Thelton Henderson, animal protection groups asked that modifications to
requirements for labeling tuna as "dolphin-safe" be halted, rather than
allowed to take effect on Apr. 11, 2000. These groups fear new
regulations
allowing tuna to be labeled as dolphin-safe as long as no dolphins are
observed to have been killed or seriously injured when tuna are caught
by
surrounding dolphins with purse seine nets.} [Fox New, Assoc Press]

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

Zoo Polar Bears Killed. On Mar. 30, 2000, four polar bears, released by
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
Service
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
and
Flora (CITES). [personal communication]

{Seal Branding. In late March 2000, Australia's Environment Minister
Robert
Hill ordered an end to hot iron branding of Macquarie Island elephant
seals
for a research program, after a report for the Tasmanian Parks and
Wildlife
Service found branded seals were almost 3 times as likely to be in poor
physical condition as unbranded seals.} [Environment News Service, The
Antarctican]

Canadian Sealing. In late March 2000, the Canadian harp seal hunt off
Prince Edward Island was scheduled to begin. However, seals are scarce
and
not concentrated due to the lack of pack ice in the Gulf of St.
Lawrence.
Because of the poor ice conditions, seal pups are reportedly being born
in
the water or are drowning before they can be weaned. {{In early April
2000,
Newfoundland's Fisheries Minister John Efford issued a renewed call for
a
harp seal cull, saying that exploding populations of seals are wiping
out
cod stocks off the north coast of Newfoundland.}} [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.
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. On Mar. 23, 2000, the Japan
Whaling
Association and Japanese government officials questioned the validity of
the
IFAW survey, citing previous surveys taken in 1992-1995 indicating
strong
public support in Japan for whaling. [IFAW press release, Japan Whaling
Association press release, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and
Fisheries
(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
whales,
goose-beaked whales, spotted dolphin, minke whales, rorqual) beached and
9
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,
some
biologists consider the large number of coincident strandings as well as
the
involvement of several species highly unusual and probably related in
some
way. {On Apr. 3, 2000, officials of the Sea Shepherd Conservation
Society
accused the U.S. Navy's exercises of causing whale beachings and deaths,
and
called on NMFS to take action to protect these marine mammals. Sea
Shepherd
officials announced that they were planning to file a lawsuit against
the
Navy and NMFS.} {{On Apr. 6, 2000, Navy officials responded by letter
to
the Humane Society, denying accusations that anti-submarine activities
near
the Bahamas had harmed marine mammals.}} [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
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]

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
approval
for the community to hunt and kill an endangered bowhead whale in
mid-July
2000. [Canadian Press]

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. {{After 2 weeks in Sitka, these animals
were
reported to have returned to San Diego, CA, having performed their tasks
extremely well and providing Navy scientists with a wealth of
environmental
data.}} [Anchorage Daily News, personal communication]

Keiko. On Mar. 3, 2000, Keiko was released from his pen into the larger
net- enclosed Klettsvik Bay, Iceland [http://www.oceanfutures.org].
[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
of
Mexico and Mitsubishi Corp. would not continue to pursue construction of
a
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
Mexico
press release, Reuters, International Fund for Animal Welfare press
release,
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
fishing
gear off Manomet, MA, in Cape Cod Bay. Initial attempts were
unsuccessful,
but the whale appeared to be strong and in good health. 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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