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Subject: NEWCRS: Summary of new material - 8/4/2000
From: Peter Hagen <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Fish-Sci-request <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 14 Aug 2000 19:11:59 -0800

text/plain (149 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.


HMS Regulations.  On Aug. 1, 2000, NMFS published final regulations
establishing 3 time/area closures and gear restrictions to reduce bycatch
and bycatch mortality by U.S. commercial pelagic longline fishermen in the
Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico.  Under these regulations DeSoto Canyon in
the northeast Gulf of Mexico (beginning Nov. 1, 2000) and the East Florida
Coast (beginning Feb. 1, 2001) will be closed year-round, while the
Charleston Bump will be closed seasonally from February through April.  In
the Gulf of Mexico, longline fishing with live bait will be prohibited after
Aug. 30, 2000.[Fed Register]

Shark Management.  On July 31, 2000, NMFS announced the availability of a
draft National Plan of Action for the conservation and management of sharks
for their long-term sustainable use
[ ], in response
to the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization Committee on
Fisheries call for nations to develop such plans.  Public comment on the
draft will be accepted through Sept. 30, 2000.

Illegal Geoducks.  On July 31, 2000, the owner of a Boston, MA, seafood
supplier pleaded guilty in federal court to buying illegally harvested
geoduck clams from NMFS undercover agents, was sentenced to 2 years
probation, and fined $2,5000.  His company was fined $7,500.  This action
was part of a larger investigation of illegal harvesting of geoduck clams in
WA.[Assoc Press]

Russian Trawler.  On July 30, 2000, personnel from the U.S. Coast Guard
cutter Acushnet observed the 105-foot Russian trawler Spitak about 800 yards
inside U.S. waters in the Bering Sea, and subsequently seized the vessel for
illegal fishing.  The trawler is being escorted to Dutch Harbor, AK, where
its 150 lb. catch is to be transferred to NMFS on Aug. 4, while a decision
on whether to prosecute is considered.[Assoc Press, Coast Guard press
release, personal communication]

ICCAT Advisory Committee.  On July 19, 2000, NMFS solicited nominations to
the Advisory Committee to the U.S. Section to the International Commission
for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT).  The deadline for
nominations is Aug. 18, 2000.  In early August 2000, NMFS is scheduled to
publish an announcement of public meetings of the Advisory Committee to
ICCAT.  A series of 4 public meetings will be held between Sept. 7 and Oct.
5, 2000, to obtain public input on issues relating to U.S. participation in
ICCAT.[personal communication, Fed. Register]

On July 30-Aug. 3, 2000, coral experts from 7 nations met
in Halifax, Nova Scotia, at the first international symposium on deepwater
corals.  The focus was a discussion of management options when and where
fishing gear may pose a threat to these resources.[CBC News, Center for
Environmental Responsibility press release]

On July 28, 2000, the Secretaries of
Agriculture, Commerce, and the Interior jointly announced the appointment of
Lori C. Williams, special assistant to the Director of the U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service, as Executive Director of the federal interagency Invasive
Species Council.[Dept. of the Interior press release, personal

On July 21, 2000, Judge Ezra extended his injunction imposing
restrictions on longlining for 10 days, from July 26 to Aug. 5, 2000, to
provide more time to consider motions filed calling on him to reconsider his
ban.  The Western Pacific Fishery Management Council reportedly asked Ezra
to lift his ban.[Reuters, personal communication, Honolulu Star-Bulletin]


Salmon Marketing Grant.  On July 26, 2000, Secretary of Commerce Norman
Mineta announced a $4.8 million grant to the AK Seafood Marketing Institute
to implement a strategic 3-year marketing plan to assist recovery of the
wild salmon commercial fishing industry from lost sales due to increased
imports of farmed salmon.  The marketing plan includes consumer, food
service, and grocery merchandising initiatives.  The grant was provided
under the authority of the Trade Adjustment Assistance Act of 1974, which
assists U.S. industries in combating the adverse effects of free
trade.[Fishmonger News]

As part of
this declaration, Governor Knowles promised to ask the AK Board of Fisheries
to stop the False Pass interception fishery.  In addition, he will send a
letter to the North Pacific Fishery Management Council demanding a halt to
bycatch of chinook and chum salmon by bottomfish trawlers, and will direct
the AK Dept. of Fish and Game to reduce or halt hatchery production of fish
in other parts of the state that may be competing in the ocean with wild
chum salmon from western AK.  Gov. Knowles has also requested a full
accounting of possible harvest of AK salmon in foreign fishing zones and
increased Coast Guard patrols to minimize illegal high-seas driftnet
fishing.[Assoc Press, MSNBC,
Reuters, White House press release, HHS press release]


Atlantic Salmon Escape.  On July 31, 2000, about 4,500 farmed Atlantic
salmon escaped from a ship transporting the 9-10 lb fish through Johnstone
Strait, off the east coast of Vancouver Island, BC, to a processing
facility.  A commercial gillnet fleet operating in the area was reported to
have harvested the majority of the escaped fish.[BC Salmon Farmers Assoc
press release]


Tui Chubs.  In mid-July 2000, the OR Dept. of Fish and Game arranged to
have herring purse seiners trucked from Newport to Diamond Lake to conduct
an experimental attempt at removing as many of the lake's 25-30 million tui
chubs as possible to benefit resident trout.  About 40,000 tui chubs were
caught by the seiners in 3 days' effort.  The experiment is part of an
effort to find alternatives to poisoning to rid Diamond Lake of the
illegally introduced tui chub.[Portland Oregonian]


Japanese Whaling.  On July 29, 2000, four Japanese whaling vessels departed
for the northwest Pacific Ocean on a two-month scientific research
expedition to kill 10 sperm whales, 50 Bryde's whales, and 100 minke whales.
On July 31, 2000, U.S. officials were reported to have "forcefully
expressed" U.S. opposition "at the highest level" threatening sanctions if
Japan continued its new whaling venture.  On Aug. 1, 2000, Japan denounced
the U.S. threat as unwarranted and warned the United States against taking
any punitive action.[Reuters, London Times, Assoc Press, BBC News]

Sea Otters.  On July 19, 2000, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released
a Biological Opinion [ ] on southern
sea otter, concluding that removal of sea otters from the southern CA "otter
free management zone" would jeopardize the population's continued

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