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Subject:

CRS: Daily Summary - 8/18/2000 - Longer Friday Version - Part 2 of 2

From:

Peter Hagen <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

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

Date:

Fri, 18 Aug 2000 13:25:24 -0800

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text/plain

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*******
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. If you would rather not
see them in your mailbox you can modify your subscription by sending the
command SET FISH-SCI TOPICS -CRS to [log in to unmask]
*******

SALMON ALONG THE PACIFIC COAST

Biological Opinion Hearing. {{On Sept. 12, 2000,}} the Senate Energy and
Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water and Power is scheduled to hold an
oversight hearing on the status of the Biological Opinions of the National
Marine Fisheries Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on the
operations of the Federal hydropower system of the Columbia River.
Administration officials have announced that they do not support dam removal
at this time. Dam removal will be considered if other measures taken to
restore salmon do not succeed over the next decade. [personal communication,
USA Today]

{{Kenai Peninsula Sockeye Disaster? On Aug. 18, 2000, AK Governor Tony
Knowles' disaster policy cabinet was scheduled to meet local residents and
businesspeople in Soldotna, AK, to consider whether the poor return of Cook
Inlet red salmon and low salmon prices warrant a disaster declaration or
other assistance for the Kenai Peninsula region.}} [Anchorage Daily News]

U.S. Salmon Vessel Seizure. On July 27, 2000, three U.S. commercial
fishermen were detained and their vessel, the Mariah Mae, seized by Canadian
enforcement agents for allegedly fishing illegally for sockeye salmon in
Canadian waters in the Juan de Fuca Strait between WA and British Columbia.
[Reuters]

Dam Breaching. On July 27, 2000, NMFS and 8 other federal agencies are
tentatively scheduled to release their draft Biological Opinion for the
Columbia River hydropower system and their draft "All-H" (Hydropower,
habitat, hatcheries, and harvest) document. The draft documents address a
complex array of 14 hydroelectric projects and 31 irrigation projects, and
will likely be finalized late in 2000. [Assoc Press]

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]

Governors' Agreement. On July 25, 2000, the four governors of ID, MT, OR,
and WA unveiled a plan for salmon and steelhead recovery, focusing on
improving habitat, controlling predators, limiting commercial and sport
fishing, adjusting hatchery production to focus on naturally spawning fish,
and modifying hydropower operations without jeopardizing electric supply.
[Assoc Press]

Western AK Salmon Disaster. On July 18, 2000, ADF&G officials announced
severe subsistence restrictions, for the first time ever, for both the Yukon
River chinook and summer chum salmon runs, which were the lowest recorded in
state history. The Governor's Disaster Policy Cabinet met to consider
whether the situation merits an official disaster declaration. On July 19,
2000, Governor Tony Knowles declared the entire Yukon and Kuskokwim River
drainages and all of Norton Sound to be disaster areas due to low chinook
and chum salmon returns. This is the 3rd consecutive disaster declaration
for these regions since 1998. 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. On July 25, 2000, President
Clinton directed the Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS) to release
$6.75 million in Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
emergency funds as disaster assistance for western AK, to help families pay
winter fuel bills. {{On Aug. 3, 2000, Secretary of Commerce Norman Mineta
declared a fishery disaster under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Act
for the Yukon, Kuskokwim, and Norton Sound regions of western AK, making
available low interest loans and other federal assistance.}} [Assoc Press,
MSNBC, Reuters, White House press release, HHS press release, Anchorage
Daily News]

AQUACULTURE AND AQUARIA

{{BC Atlantic Salmon Escape. In mid-August 2000, as many as 50,000 farmed
salmon escaped through an aquaculture operation's torn net into waters of
Johnstone Strait between Vancouver Island and the British Columbia mainland.
Commercial fishermen caught about 4,500 of the escaped fish on Aug. 14 and
15.}} [Canadian Press]

{Canadian Aquaculture Funding. On Aug. 8, 2000, Canadian Fisheries Minister
Herb Dhaliwal announced that the federal government is pledging C$75 million
over the next 5 years to enhance sustainable aquaculture development in
Canada. These funds will be spend on 1) aquaculture research and
development (C$32.5 million, including C$20 million for an Aquaculture
Collaborative Research & Development Program), 2) improved legislative and
management framework to streamline the regulatory processes (C$22.5
million), and 3) a program to enhance product quality and human helath
safety for the shellfish farming industry (C$20 million).} [BC Salmon
Farmers Assoc press release]

{Chilean Dumping of Salmon? On Aug. 8, 2000, the International Trade
Administration, U.S. Dept. of Commerce, announced preliminary results of a
review of an existing antidumping order against fresh farmed Atlantic salmon
from Chile for 9 exporters. The preliminary determination found sales at
below normal value. If the preliminary results are adopted as final,
antidumping duties will be assessed.} [Fed. Register]

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]

Great Lakes Aquarium. On July 29, 2000, the nation's only aquarium devoted
exclusively to freshwater, the $33.8 million Great Lakes Aquarium, opened on
the Duluth, MN, waterfront. One of its featured exhibits is a 120,000
gallon tank portraying the Lake Superior deep water ecosystem. [Duluth Star
Tribune]

AZ Aquarium? On July 24, 2000, developers announced plans to construct a
100,000-square-foot aquarium, including shark tank, to complement a hockey
arena planned for the Los Arcos redevelopment project in Scottsdale, AZ.
[Arizona Republic]

FRESHWATER FISHERIES

{AK Subsistence Fisheries Hearing. On Aug. 23, 2000, the Senate Energy and
Natural Resources Committee is scheduled to hold an oversight field hearing
in Anchorage, AK, to receive testimony on the implementation of the federal
takeover of AK subsistence fisheries, and to examine the recent decision by
the Federal Subsistence Board regarding a "rural" determination for the
Kenai Peninsula.} [personal communication]

Sport Fish Restoration. To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Aug. 9,
1950 signing of the Sport Fish Restoration Act, the American Fisheries
Society and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Division of Federal Aid,
released an 84-page publication "Celebrating 50 Years of the Sport Fish
Restoration Program," that includes a history of the Act, success stories of
projects funded, and the impact of the Act on sport fisheries. [personal
communication]

{Kennebec River PCBs. In early August 2000, the ME Dept. of Environmental
Protection aided by the Friends of Merrymeeting Bay and consultants placed a
series of 27 underwater containers of live mussels in the Kennebec River
between North Augusta and the South end of Swan's Island. After about 2
months the 1,500 mussels will be retrieved and analyzed to determine levels
of polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) contaminants and their source.} [Assoc
Press]

Great Lakes. In late July 2000, the International Joint Commission released
its 10th Biennial Report on Great Lakes Water Quality [
http://www.ijc.org/comm/10br/en/indexen.html ], concluding that the Canadian
and U.S. governments are not doing enough to warn the public about the risk
from eating contaminated fish. Other concerns include contaminated
sediments, alien invasive species, airborne toxic substances, urbanization,
and monitoring and information management. [Environment News Service]

Anti-Fishing Protests. On July 21, 2000, a coalition of British
recreational fishing groups met to discuss ways to counter the expanding and
more direct anti-angling campaign by animal protection advocates. Officials
of the Campaign for the Abolition of Angling [ http://www.anti-angling.com/
] were quoted as saying they believed angling would disappear within 20
years. [London Times]

Sport Fish Restoration. On July 19, 2000, the Senate Environment and Public
Works Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, and Drinking Water held an
oversight hearing on the Fish and Wildlife Services's administration of the
Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Program. [personal communication]

Sturgeon Reintroduction. On July 19, 2000, about 500 lake sturgeon were
reintroduced to the French Broad River, near Knoxville, TN. Better water
quality and other habitat improvements allowed the reintroduction of these
native fish nearly 50 years since they last inhabited this area. Additional
sturgeon are scheduled to be released later this year in an effort to avoid
Endangered Species Act listing for this fish. [Chattanooga Times & Free
Press]

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]

Flaming Gorge. On July 11-19, 2000, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation held
public scoping meetings to gather information to be used in preparing a
draft environmental impact statement describing the effects of operating
Flaming Gorge Dam, UT, to achieve the flows recommended by the Recovery
Implementation Program for Endangered Fish Species in the Upper Colorado
River Basin, and comply with section 7 of the Endangered Species Act.
Public comment will be accepted through Sept. 5, 2000. [Fed. Register, Salt
Lake Tribune]

MARINE MAMMALS

U.S. Navy Sonar. 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. [personal communication]

{Canadian Bowhead Whaling. On Aug. 10, 2000, the Canadian Dept. of
Fisheries and Oceans approved whaling equipment of Inuit from Coral Harbor,
Nunavut, for bowhead whaling. On Aug. 11, 2000, a bowhead whale was killed
and landed by the 10-member Coral Harbor hunt committee, near Expectation
Point on Southampton Island. This was the third Canadian Inuit bowhead
whale hunt since the Nunavut land claims agreement of 1993; Canadian Inuit
are allowed to kill one bowhead whale every other year.} [Northern News
Services]

{Mexican Dolphin Consultation. On Aug. 6, 2000, the Mexican Government
announced that it had made an urgent call to the U.S. Government for
political consultations to ensure compliance of commitments signed by the
United States in the Agreement on the International Dolphin Conservation
Program and regarding the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission. While
Mexico reports that substantial effort has been take to eliminate dolphin
deaths by the Mexican tuna industry, the United States has not yet lifted
the import ban nor changed the "dolphin-safe" definition, due to a case
before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. The ruling by this Court is not
anticipated until mid-2001. Thus, Mexico holds that the United States is
not in full compliance with the Panama Declaration, nor with the U.S.
International Dolphin Conservation Program Act. Mexico states that it
reserves its right to use the dispute resolution mechanisms of the World
Trade Organization.} [Embassy of Mexico press release]

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. {In early August 2000, Japanese whalers were reported
to have killed their first Bryde's whale in their North Pacific research
whaling program.} [Humane Society of the United States press release,
Reuters, London Times, Assoc Press, BBC News]

Manatees. On July 25, 2000, FL Governor Jeb Bush announced that FL would
not approve construction of additional boat slips in counties that have not
developed manatee protection plans. Only four of 13 FL counties ordered to
develop manatee protection plans under the State's Manatee Sanctuary Act of
1989 have done so. {{As of July 24, 2000, a total of 189 manatees had been
reported to have died during 2000, with 61 of these deaths attributed to
watercraft.}} [MSNBC, Bradenton Herald, personal communication]

Cape Fur Seal Harvest. On July 21, 2000, officials of the Namibian
government announced that they will nearly double Namibia's annual harvest
of Cape fur seals from 1999 levels of 30,000 pups and 5,000 bulls to 60,000
pups and 7,000 bulls for the Aug. 1 to Nov. 15, 2000 season. The increase
was justified as responding to rapid population increase and its perceived
threat to the fishing industry. [South Africa Press Assoc]

Steller Sea Lions. On July 20, 2000, U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Zilly
ruled that NMFS managers were not doing enough to protect endangered Steller
sea lions and ordered all trawling within 20 miles of sea lion critical
habitat to cease until NMFS completes a study of the impacts of fishing on
these marine mammals [ http://www.eswr.com/zilly7200.pdf ]. As a result,
pollock trawlers will be forced to fish farther from shore, possibly
resulting in a loss of as much as $93 million to the industry if a
settlement is not reached before Aug. 8, 2000, when the next pollock fishery
begins, increasing to a loss of as much as $173 million in 2001. [MSNBC,
Anchorage Daily News, Endangered Species and Wetlands Report]

Sea Otters. On July 19, 2000, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released a
Biological Opinion [ http://www.r1.fws.gov/news/seaotter.htm ] on southern
sea otter, concluding that removal of sea otters from the southern CA "otter
free management zone" would jeopardize the population's continued existence.
[personal communication]


Items in this Summary are excerpted from a variety of information sources.
The Congressional Research Service (CRS) is not responsible for the accuracy
of the various news items.

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