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Subject: NEWCRS: Daily Summary - 4/14/2000 - Longer Friday Summary
From: Peter Hagen <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Fish-Sci-request <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 17 Apr 2000 08:17:06 -0800

text/plain (208 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.

SECTION: NOTE: No summary will be prepared or distributed on Apr. 17-19, 2000.


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 release]

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

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 Herald]

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

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]

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]

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

On Apr. 14, 2000, another Mexican lancha was located by the Coast Guard Cutter
Knight Island fishing 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.[personal communication]

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]

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.[personal communication, Center for Marine
Conservation press release, Fed. Register, Assoc Press]


Salmon Dumping.  On Apr. 12, 2000, Wards Cove Packing Co. (Seattle)
reached a no-contest plea agreement in Juneau Superior Court and was fined
$60,000 for dumping 3.2 million pounds of "surplus" salmon in Icy Strait,
AK, in July 1999.[Assoc Press]

Columbia Hydropower Hearings.  On Apr. 12, 2000, the Senate Energy and
Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water and Power held an oversight hearing
to review how pending federal decisions on restoring endangered salmon could
affect operation of the federal Columbia River hydropower system.  On Apr.
18, 2000, the Subcommittee is scheduled to hold a field hearing on this same
issue at Cascade Locks, OR.[personal communication]

Tern Removal Lawsuit.  On Apr. 10, 2000, U.S. District Court Judge Barbara
Rothstein, responding to a lawsuit filed by a coalition of 4 environmental
groups,  issued a temporary restraining order on the Army Corps of Engineers
plan to destroy Caspian tern habitat and harass terns on Rice Island in the
Columbia River estuary to encourage terns to move in hopes that will reduce
tern predation on migrating juvenile salmon.  The plaintiffs in this case
seek to force the Corps to complete an environmental impact statement on
their plan.  A program of tern harassment on Rice Island was to have begun
on Apr. 11.[Seattle Times, National Audubon Society press release]

On Apr. 10, 2000, American Rivers released its 15th
annual list of "Most Endangered Rivers," naming the lower Snake River as its
top selection due to concerns for dam removal.  The 3rd river on their list,
the Ventura River (CA), reflects concerns for breaching Matilija Dam.[Assoc
Press, Portland Oregonian, MSNBC, American Rivers press release]


At the Apr.
12, 2000 meeting in Anchorage, AK commercial fishermen who harvest wild
salmon expressed concerned that the "organic" certification for farmed
salmon would be detrimental to them unless wild AK salmon also could qualify
as "organic.".[USDA press release, Anchorage Daily News]

GM Salmon.  On Apr. 10, 2000, officials of Aqua Bounty Farms Inc. (Souris,
Prince Edward Island, Canada) confirmed that they have applied to the U.S.
Food and Drug Administration for approval of their transgenic Atlantic
salmon as safe to eat.  These fish are reported to grow to market size in
about two-thirds the time of regular, farmed salmon, due to the injection
into fertilized eggs of a promoter gene sequence taken from ocean pout and a
growth hormone gene sequence taken from Chinook salmon.[Toronto Globe and


Santa Ana Sucker.  On Apr. 12, 2000, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
listed CA's Santa Ana sucker as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.
This fish once inhabited shallow streams throughout the Los Angeles basin.
[Assoc Press]

Tranquilizer Threat.  In late March 2000, representatives of an animal
welfare group, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, threatened to
release a tranquilizer into Lake Palestine, TX, the day before an Apr. 1
sport fishing tournament, to prevent fish from being harmed.  TX Parks and
Wildlife Dept. biologists doubted the effectiveness of such tactics due to
the large volume of Lake Palestine, but could charge activists with criminal
mischief.[Dallas Morning News]


Contraceptives for Seals?  On Apr. 11, 2000, Tory politicians suggested
that seals should be given contraceptives to restrict their abundance and
preserve fish stocks, in response to information that Scotland's grey seal
population had doubled in 10 years.[London Times]

Whale Research Irregularities.  In early April 2000, the Pacific Whale
Foundation (PWF) signed a settlement agreement with NOAA, with PWF admitting
to 2 charges ($5,000 fine), NOAA dismissing one charge, and NOAA issuing a
single written warning for 4 alleged charges.  All these charges related to
PWF's research activities during 1998.[personal communcation]

On Apr. 11, 2000, U.S. District Court Judge Thelton Henderson (San Francisco),
in response to a lawsuit filed by environmental and animal protection groups,
blocked NMFS implementation of more relaxed standards for what tuna might
qualify to be labeled as "dolphin-safe," saying that NMFS had failed to assess
whether the proposed labeling change would cause harm to dolphin populations.
Judge Henderson concluded that NMFS failed to complete critical stress
testing of dolphins that were repeatedly captured and released.  The ruling
does not alter U.S. action lifting an import ban on tuna caught using purse
On Apr. 12, 2000, Mexican officials called the court ruling "a
great loss for Mexico...not only unfair, but clearly uninformed."  On Apr.
12, 2000, the U.S. Court of International Trade (New York) heard oral
arguments on a separate lawsuit by environmental groups seeking to continue
the embargo on Mexican tuna, claiming that Mexico has not fully complied
with U.S. regulations intended to reduce dolphin mortality.[Seattle
Times, Fox New, Assoc Press]

In early April 2000, the Japanese
whaling fleet returned from Antarctic waters, having killed 439 minke whales
for scientific research.[London Observer, IFAW press release, Japan
Fisheries (Japan) press release]

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