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Subject: NEWCRS: Daily Summary, New Material 6/16/2000
From: Peter Hagen <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Fish-Sci-request <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Fri, 16 Jun 2000 12:18:46 -0800

text/plain (202 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.


Salmon Shark Research.  In early July 2000, NMFS scientists will begin a
2-year Alaska Salmon Shark Assessment Project to tag and investigate the
increasing salmon shark population in Prince William Sound, AK, and the Gulf
of Alaska.[Assoc Press]

TX Shrimp.  On June 27 through July 20, 2000, the TX Parks and Wildlife
(TPW) Dept. has scheduled a series of public hearings on its Shrimp Fishery
Proclamation, proposing increased regulation of the fishery.  The
Proclamation has 5 major components dealing with 1) protection of smaller
shrimp through deferred harvest, 2) additional harvest efficiency and
opportunities, 3) increased spawning success of adult shrimp entering the
Gulf, 4) acceleration of a voluntary shrimp license buyback program, and 5)
restrictions to conserve other marine life affected by shrimp trawling.  The
TPW Commission is scheduled to consider the new proposals at its Aug. 31,
2000 meeting.[Houston Chronicle]

Sea of Cortez.  On June 16, 2000, the Arizona-Mexico Commission, meeting in
Tucson, AZ, was scheduled to discuss a proposal by a non-profit organization
that would urge Mexico to create a Sonora Marine Park in the Sea of
Cortez/Gulf of California.[Assoc Press]

Tuna Innovation.  On June 15, 2000, H. J. Heinz Co. announced that it will
begin marketing tuna in vacuum-sealed 7-ounce foil bags in late September
2000, to provide a firmer texture product that does not require draining.
This product packaging is to be done in Thailand and Ecuador.[Assoc
Press, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review]

EU Fishery Policy.  In mid-June 2000, two Irish officials published a 379-
page study of EU fishery policy, concluding mismanagement of the European
Union's marine resources results in a loss of more than $2.8 billion
annually.  Other findings include uneven enforcement and insufficient
cooperation between EU-member states.  The study raises issues to be
discussed during the 2002 review of the Common Fisheries Policy.[Irish

New England Scallops.  On June 14, 2000, Secretary of Commerce William
Daley announced approval of a New England Fishery Management Council
recommendation that the southern part of Georges Bank Closed Area II be
opened to scallop harvesting on June 15.  Parts of two other presently
closed areas (Nantucket Lightship Closed Area and Closed Area I) will be
opened to scallop harvesting later in the summer and fall.  Vessel trips to
each area are limited, and the harvest will close when all allowable trips
have been taken, the yellowtail flounder bycatch limits are reached, or the
scallop total allowable catches have been taken.[NOAA press release, Assoc

Red Snapper.  On June 9, 2000, NMFS proposed the indefinite continuation
of almost all current red snapper sport and commercial regulations.  Limited
changes include an adjustment to the starting date of the fall commercial
season and a minor change in the allocation of the commercial quota.  Public
comment will be accepted through July 10, 2000.[Fed. Register]


Yakima Chinook Salmon.  On June 10, 2000, the WA Dept. of Fish and Wildlife
opened the first spring chinook salmon sport fishery in 40 years on the
upper Yakima River.  The salmon return this year is the largest since
records have been kept, and an even large return is anticipated in 2001.
[Seattle Herald]

Northern CA Steelhead.  On June 7, 2000, NMFS published a final rule
listing the northern CA evolutionarily significant unit of steelhead trout
as "threatened" under the authority of the Endangered Species Act.[Fed.

On June 14, 2000,
Superior Court Judge Patricia Collins declined to issue an injunction
against ADF&G's chinook salmon sport fishing regulations.[Anchorage Daily

On June 9, 2000,
President Clinton signed a proclamation, under the authority of the 1906
Antiquities Act, creating the 195,000-acre Hanford Reach National
Monument.[Seattle Times, Environmental News Network, White House press release]


Houston Redevelopment.  On June 13, 2000, officials of Landry's Seafood
Restaurants announced plans for a $21 million aquatic-themed entertainment
center, including 200,000-gallon aquarium, along the Buffalo Bayou in
Houston, TX.  Construction is scheduled to begin in early 2001.[Houston


Invasive Species.  On June 14, 2000, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
biologists began annual sampling of rivers within 100 miles of the Chicago,
IL, area for round goby.  In early August 2000, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service and the Army Corps of Engineers will begin construction of a $1.2
million low-voltage electric barrier demonstration project in the Chicago
Sanitary & Ship Canal, near Romeoville, IL.  If it works, this structure
will keep round goby from moving from the Great Lakes into the Mississippi
River drainage and keep bighead carp from moving in the opposite direction.
Construction is scheduled for completion in fall 2000.[Copley Newspapers,
Chicago Tribune]

Caviar Smuggling.  On June 12, 2000, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
(FWS) announced the first case upholding international protection for
declining wild sturgeon populations, with the June 6, 2000, sentencing of a
CT importer to 20 months in prison and imposing a $25,000 fine.  The
importer also forfeited $70,000 and caviar worth more than $2 million.  The
importer was found guilty of conspiracy, smuggling, and violating the Lacey
Act, paying off-duty airline employees to smuggle suitcases of caviar into
the United States.[FWS press release]

In early
June 2000, a U.S. District Court judge approved an agreement between
NMFS/Fish and Wildlife Service and environmental groups, suspending a
lawsuit filed by environmental groups challenging approval of a ME state
plan for salmon conservation and barring NMFS/FWS from requesting an
extension of the Nov. 17, 2000 deadline for announcing a determination on
whether to list Atlantic salmon in 7 ME rivers as an endangered species.c
NASCO passed a consensus resolution urging caution
in introducing commercial farming of genetically modified salmon and adopted
another acknowledging the urgency or an internationally coordinated research
program to identify and mitigate the causes of high mortality of Atlantic
salmon in the ocean.[Assoc Press, personal communication, Canadian Press,
Atlantic Salmon Federation press release]


BC Aquaculture Kills.  On June 14, 2000, the Vancouver, BC, Sunreported
that more than 5,000 seals and sea lions, including 500 CA sea lions and 300
Steller sea lions, were legally killed by BC salmon farmers during the
1990s.  In 1999, salmon farmers killed 692 marine mammals, including 470
harbor seals, 133 CA sea lions, and 88 Steller sea lions.  Special predator
control permits issued by the Canadian government allowed salmon farmers to
kill marine mammals that threatened salmon net pens.  Dept. of Fisheries and
Oceans officials have scheduled meetings with fish farmers to communicate
the need to improve net pen equipment to reduce the opportunity for marine
mammal damage.[Vancouver Sun, Canadian Press]

IWC.  On June 12, 2000, the International Whaling Commission's Secretary
Dr. Ray Gambell was reported to have said the IWC must end a decade of
inactivity and bring all whaling under international control, implying that
the IWC's moratorium on commercial whaling should be reviewed with the aim
of ending or modifying it.[Reuters, BBC News]

CA Sea Otters.  On June 12, 2000, the U.S. Geological Survey reported the
results of the annual spring count of CA sea otters, with the population
estimated to be almost 11% larger than last year.  Between Santa Barbara and
Half Moon Bay, a total of 2,317 otters were counted this spring, compared to
2,090 in 1999.[Assoc Press]

Gray Whale Mortalities.  As of June 11, 2000, a total of 46 gray whale
deaths had been recorded along the CA coast, compared to 48 in all of 1999.
Between Mar. 23 and June 11 alone, a total of 24 stranded (dead) gray whales
have been reported between San Mateo and Marin Counties.  Factors
contributing to this increased mortality have not been conclusively
identified.[San Francisco Examiner]

On June 9, 2000, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of
Appeals voted 2-1 to overturn a lower court ruling, stating that the
environmental impact of allowing the Makah to resume whaling had not been
adequately considered.  The case will be returned to Judge Franklin Burgess
in the U.S. District Court in Tacoma, WA.  The federal government has been
ordered to suspend whaling until a new objective environmental study is
completed.  Others suggest that treaty rights cannot be abrogated, and the
Makah can continue whaling while NMFS completes a new environmental study.
[Assoc Animals press release, Humane Society of the United States press

On June 14,
2000, a biologist hired by NMFS to conduct necropsies on whales that beached
in mid-March in the Bahamas reported finding severe trauma and bleeding
around their inner ears that may indicate damage from intense
sound/pressure.  Such damage may suggest a connection to Navy exercises and
acoustic activities in the area.  The Navy agrees there is a priority need
to examine the issue, and has appointed a panel of experts.[Assoc Press,
Welfare Institute press release, MSNBC, ABC News]

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