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Subject:

NEWCRS: Summary of new material for the week of 4/2/2000

From:

Steve Gutreuter <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Scientific forum on fish and fisheries <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 7 Apr 2000 15:56:52 -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.

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.
*******


MARINE FISHERIES

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]

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]

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]

On Apr. 6, 2000, the Coast Guard Cutter Knight Island
assisted 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. [personal
communication]

In late March 2000, more
than 200 biologists and managers from the Upper Mississippi River
Conservation Committee (UMRCC) and the Lower Mississippi River
Conservation
Committee met in Cape Girardeau, MO, to discuss management issues,
including
damage of invasive species upon native organisms. Concerns include the
delay in construction of an electronic barrier to slow the spread of
round
goby from the Great Lakes into the Mississippi River basin and the
increasing use of Asian black carp to control snail infestations in
catfish
growing ponds in MS. 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.
[personal communication, UMRCC press release, New York Times]

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. [Boston Globe, Assoc Press, ASMFC press
release,
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service press release]

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]

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. [Assoc Press, Frontier Press,
MSNBC]



SALMON ALONG THE PACIFIC COAST



AQUACULTURE AND AQUARIA



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]

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]


MARINE MAMMALS

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]

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]

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]

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]

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]

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