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NEWCRS: Daily Summary, New Material 6/2/2000


Peter Hagen <[log in to unmask]>


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


Tue, 6 Jun 2000 09:27:40 -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.

 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.


Lobster Smuggling. On May 31, 2000, the Justice Dept. announced that 4
individuals had been indicted in a conspiracy to smuggle more than $2.5
million worth of illegally harvested Caribbean lobsters into the United
States at Bayou La Batre, AL. The U.S. government alleges that a Honduran
fishing fleet owner sold illegally caught spiny lobsters to 2 FL importers,
who sold them to a woman with connections to 3 seafood companies in CA, FL,
and NJ. Arraignment is scheduled for June , 2000, in Mobile, AL.[CNN]

Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary. On May 30, 2000, the federal
Sanctuary Advisory Council discussed 5 preliminary options to expand the
Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, with some new areas likely to be
designated as "no-take" zones. Proposals under consideration range from
small changes to sanctuary boundaries to an increase of 5,096 square miles.
After additional public meetings, the Council will prepared a formal draft
of alternatives by July 2000 for Sanctuary managers, who will select a
preferred option late in 2000.[Los Angeles Times]

Shark Quota. On May 30, 2000, NMFS announced that it was adjusting the
second 2000 semiannual quota for large coastal sharks (lowering the quota
from 642.5 metric dons dressed weight to 542 metric tons dressed weight) to
account for overharvest during the first 2000 semiannual season. The
fishery was estimated to be able to harvest this quota during a season
scheduled to be open from July 1, 2000, until Aug. 7, 2000.[personal

Illex Squid. In late May 2000, NMFS scientists at the Northeast Fisheries
Science Center, Woods Hole, MA, in cooperation with 2 commercial squid
vessels, began a 10-day survey of short-finned (Illex) squid abundance
between NC and the Canadian border.[Boston Herald]

AK Snow Crab Fishery. In late May 2000, NMFS determined the AK snow crab
fishery suffered a commercial fisheries failure due to natural and
environmental factors. Such a determination would allow financial
assistance to participants in this fishery and affected communities, if
funds are appropriated by Congress.[personal communication]

Import Prohibitions. On May 24, 2000, NMFS published proposed regulations
that would prohibit the import of Atlantic bluefin tuna and their products
from Equatorial Guinea, and would prohibit the import of swordfish and their
products from Belize and Honduras. Prohibitions on the import of Atlantic
bluefin tuna from Panama would be repealed. These actions are being taken
to implement recommendations by the International Commission for the
Conservation of Atlantic Tunas. A series of 5 public hearings will be held
between June 5, 2000, and July 11, 2000, with comment accepted through July
18, 2000.[Fed. Register]

Swordfish Quotas. On May 24, 2000, NMFS published proposed regulations
that would reduce the 2000, 2001, and 2002 annual landing quotas for north
Atlantic swordfish from 2,333 metric tons (dressed weight) to 2,219 metric
tons (dressed weight) as part of an international stock rebuilding program.
A series of 5 public hearings will be held between June 5, 2000, and July
11, 2000, with comment accepted through July 18, 2000.[Fed. Register]

On May 12, 2000, NOAA received a report of the Danish
freighter Caroline K was anchored inside a "no anchoring zone" within the
Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Upon investigation, about 220
square feet of coral damage was found to have been caused by the vessel's
anchor and its chain. The case is being reviewed for possible prosecution.
On May 18, 2000, NOAA published proposed regulations to expand the Florida
Keys National Marine Sanctuary by 96 square nautical miles and establish a
151 square nautical mile "no-take" reserve to protect corals in the Tortugas
area. A series of 6 public hearings on the proposal is scheduled, with
comment accepted through July 31, 2000.

On June
21-22, 2000, the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (GMFMC) has
scheduled two public hearings on the proposal to establish the Tortugas
South and Tortugas North marine reserves, for a period of at least 10 years.
The Council will accept comment on the proposal through June 30, 2000, and
is scheduled to take action on the amendment establishing these reserves at
its July 12, 2000 meeting in Key Largo, FL.[American Geophysical Union
release, GMFMC press release]

On June 1, 2000, federal fisheries enforcement officers confiscated at least 40
lobster traps marked with tags issued by the Burnt Church First Nation.[Canadian
Press, National Post, Halifax Herald, Assoc Press]

Although large-mesh gillnet gear used to catch monkfish was found
associated with 4 dead turtles,
An article in the May 31, 2000 issue of Nature reported that
the population of Pacific leatherback sea turtles may be as low as a few
thousand individuals. This compares with NMFS's previous estimate of a
population of 85,000 individuals. This information may affect Judge Ezra's
action on modifying waters closed to the Hawaiian longline fishery, expected
in June 2000.[Assoc Press, MSNBC, International Fund for Animal Welfare
Center for Marine Conservation press release, Reuters]

A Marine
Protected Area Center would be established within the National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to coordinate this effort.[White House
press release, Fed. Register]


NMFS Biological Opinion Hearing. On June 14, 2000, the Senate Energy and
Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water and Power has scheduled an oversight
hearing on NMFS's draft Biological Opinion and its potential impact on the
Columbia River operations.[personal communication]

Pacific Salmon Treaty. On May 25, 2000, President Clinton announced his
intent to reappoint W. Ron Allen, Tribal Chairman/Executive Director of the
Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe, WA, as Commissioner of the Pacific Salmon
Commission.[White House press release]



National Fishing Week. On June 5-11, 2000, National Fishing Week will be
observed, with fishing tournaments, derbies, clinics, casting contests, fish
hatchery open houses, and other activities and educational programs
scheduled.[American Sportfishing Assoc press release]

Edwards Dam. On May 31, 2000, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
(FERC) affirmed their decision to remove Edwards Dam by voting 3-1 to deny a
request by hydropower trade associations for rehearing of FERC's September
1998 decision to accept the settlement agreement that led to the removal of
Edwards Dam.[Kennebec Coalition press release]

Lamprey Restoration. In mid-May 2000, biologists with the Confederated
Tribes of the Umatilla released nearly 600 adult lamprey at 3 locations in
the Umatilla River Basin, WA, in an effort to restore the population of this
anadromous species that is a traditional food and part of tribal culture.[Assoc

On May 25, 2000, the Atlantic Salmon Federation called upon the Canadian
federal government to fund a C$50 million 5-year study of North American
stocks of Atlantic salmon, to determine where fish are being lost. Canadian
officials want to discuss the problems with Atlantic salmon declines at the
June 5-9, 2000 meeting of the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation
Organization in Miramichi, New Brunswick.[Assoc Press, personal
communication, Canadian Press]

On May 19, 2000, the manager of the Kenai National Wildlife
Refuge sent a letter to the Federal Subsistence Board, asking that all
refuge waters be closed to all subsistence fishing to protect rainbow trout
and steelhead.[Anchorage Daily News]


On May 30, 2000, NMFS published final regulations designating
an official mark that can be used to label tuna products as being
"dolphin-safe."[Fed. Register, NOAA press release]

On May 26, 2000, U.S. Navy officials
announced that Littoral Warfare Advanced Development tests , scheduled for
early June 2000 off the NJ coast, would exclude active acoustic sources.
Environmental groups took this as a sign that the Navy had become more
responsive to addressing concerns that sonar may affect marine mammals.[Assoc
Press, Washington Post, personal communication, U.S. Navy press
release, Animal Welfare Institute press release, MSNBC]

On May 29, 2000, Makah whalers resumed hunting
gray whale, but did not kill an animal.[Assoc Press, personal
communication, Reuters, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, APB Multimedia]

On May 31, 2000, NMFS published final regulations declaring the Cook Inlet stock
of beluga whales to be "depleted" under the authority of the Marine Mammal
Protection Act.[Anchorage Daily News, Center for Marine Conservation press
release, Fed.

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