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Subject: NEWCRS: Daily Summary, New Material 6/23/2000
From: Peter Hagen <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Fish-Sci-request <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 26 Jun 2000 12:31:02 -0800

text/plain (141 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.

Gulf Dead Zone.  On June 20, 2000, representatives of 2 environmental
groups accused Iowa officials of stalling action by a federal task force
seeking to address nutrient concerns that contribute to creating an
8,000 square mile "dead zone" off the mouth of the Mississippi River in
the Gulf of Mexico.[Assoc Press]

MA Sea Urchin Dredging.  On June 19, 2000, the MA Legislature's House
Committee on Natural Resources and Agriculture held a public hearing on
House No. 5227, proposing to ban the taking of sea urchins by dredging
to protect bottom habitat and lobster pots.[Assoc Press, personal

Shark Fin.  On June 16, 2000, Thai Airways International announced that
it was responding to passenger concerns by taking shark fin soup off its
menus. On June 22, 2000, HI Governor Benjamin Cayento signed a bill
prohibiting the landing or possession of shark fins in HI without the
entire carcass.[Assoc Press, Environment News Service, San Jose Mercury

On June 20,
2000, H. J. Heinz Co. announced that it had sold its can-making
operations in the United States, American Samoa and Puerto Rico to
Amsterdam-based Impress Metal Packaging Holdings.[Assoc Press,
Pittsburgh Tribune- Review, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

On June 14, 2000, NMFS initiated civil action against a New Bedford
scallop vessel, alleged to have been identified by the satellite vessel
monitoring system (VMS) as having entered a Georges Bank area closed to
scalloping in December 1998.[NOAA press release, Assoc Press]

In mid-June 2000, about 80 fishermen representing different First Nation
bands gathered in Shubenacadie, Nova Scotia, to form an alliance that
would encourage Native reserves from signing fishing agreements with the
Canadian federal government.[Canadian Press, National Post, Halifax
Herald, Assoc Press]

On June 19, 2000, NMFS implemented regulations to prevent overfishing of
gag, black, and red grouper in the eastern Gulf of Mexico, including
closing two grouper aggregation areas, totaling 219 square miles, to all
fishing except for highly migratory species. [White House press release,
Fed. Register, NOAA press release]


Salmon Symposium.  On July 7-8, 2000, Portland State University is
sponsoring a conference "What We Don't Know About Pacific Northwest Fish
Runs: An Inquiry Into Decision-Making Under Uncertainty."[personal

4(d) Regulations.  On June 21, 2000, NMFS released its final 4(d)
regulations for 14 salmon and steelhead trout populations between
Central CA and Puget Sound, WA.  These regulations prohibit certain
activities that harm or kill salmon populations listed as threatened
under the Endangered Species Act.  Certain state or local conservation
efforts are exempted from the ESA's "take" prohibition where
NMFS-approved conservation plans are in effect.  The WA Environmental
Council indicated it would likely notify NMFS of its intent to file suit
if the regulations were thought to be inadequate.[NOAA press release,
Assoc Press]


CT Oyster Farmers.  On June 2, 2000, the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture's
Farm Service Agency sent letters to 23 CT oyster farmers, requesting the
return of more than $1 million in federal disaster assistance paid to
these farmers.  CT oyster farmers were deemed ineligible for the
assistance since the oysters were not grown in a controlled
environment.[Assoc Press]


Bighorn River Management Plan.  On June 15, 2000, the management plan
for the Bighorn River and Bighorn Lake, MT, approved by negotiators for
MT, the Crow Tribe, and the federal government, was released.  The plan
is binding on the state of MT, but the larger Montana Reserved Water
Rights Compact (which includes the management plan) must be approved by
the U.S. Congress and the Crow Tribe.  A main focus of the management
plan is protection of the sport fishery and recreational opportunities
below Yellowtail Dam.[Billings Gazette]

Cormorants.  On May 30, 2000, about 500 cormorants nesting on Little
Charity Island in Saginaw Bay, MI, were shot and killed.  State and
federal wildlife enforcement agents are investigating this illegal
activity.[Syracuse Online]


Discovery Cove.  On July 1, 2000, SeaWorld Orlando's Discovery Cove is
scheduled to open to the public.  Providing the opportunity to swim with
dolphins, the facility is sold-out for its first two months already.  A
coral reef swim area has not been completed.  Attendance will be limited
to 800 to 1,000 people per day.[Orlando Sentinel]

Caspian Seal Mortality.  On June 21, 2000, an official of Kazakhstan's
Emergency Situations Agency reported that 11,000 Caspian seals have died
this spring of disputed causes.  While environmental groups assert that
the mortality is related to oil pollution, officials blame unseasonable
weather.[Assoc Press]

On June 22, 2000, NMFS announced that it would not list Cook Inlet
beluga whales as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. Officials
of the Center for Marine Conservation announced that they intended to
sue NMFS to force an endangered listing.  NMFS is currently
investigating 2 cases of possible illegal hunting of Cook Inlet beluga
whales.[Anchorage Daily News, Fed. Register]

On Aug. 14-15, 2000, the Ocean Mammal Institute is sponsoring a
symposium on low frequency active sonar, to be held at the College of
the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, ME.  On June 22, 2000, the journal Nature
published results of a cooperative study with the U.S. Navy, indicating
that male humpback whales lengthen their vocalizations or cease
vocalization altogether in response to low-frequency active sonar.  No
other extreme behavior was noted.[Assoc Press, personal communication,
News, London Times, Nature]

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