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Subject: CRS: Daily Summary - 8/24/2000 - Longer "Friday" Version
From: Peter Hagen <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Fish-Sci-request <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Fri, 25 Aug 2000 08:52:08 -0800

text/plain (527 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.  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]

Fisheries and Marine Mammals: Most Recent Developments -- 8/24/2000 (updated

New info and changes since 8/18/2000 are bracketed {...}
New info and changes since 8/23/2000 are double-bracketed {{...}}


{{Bluefish.  Starting Aug. 25, 2000, new regulations for recreational and
commercial fishing for bluefish in federal waters off the South Atlantic
coast will take effect, including a 10 fish per day bag limit for
recreational anglers and new commercial vessel permits.  Commercial
fishermen may sell fish only to federally permitted dealers.  Party or
charterboats must also carry a valid party or charterboat permit.}}
[Savannah Morning News]

Lobster Lawsuit.  In late August 2000, Long Island Sound lobstermen are
reportedly planning to file suit in U.S. District Court (Brooklyn, NY)
seeking $75 million in damages from makers of malathion-based and pyrethoid-
containing pesticides and a methoprene-containing larvicide used during 1999
in CT and NY to kill mosquitoes carrying the West Nile Virus.  Lobstermen
blame the pesticides for an epidemic lobster mortality event. [Assoc Press]

{{Canadian Groundfish.  In the Aug. 24, 2000 issue of Nature, a Canadian
scientist published an analysis concluding that stocks of bottom-dwelling
fish, such as cod and haddock, recover from massive population declines far
more slowly than previously thought.  Data also indicated that the greater
the percentage stock decline over 15 years, the less likely the stock was
going to recover to the size from which it had declined.}} [Canadian Press]

{Menhaden.  On Aug. 22, 2000, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries
Commission (ASMFC) approved Draft Amendment 1 to the Atlantic Menhaden
Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for public review and comment.  A series of
public hearings will be scheduled along the Atlantic coast in late September
and early October 2000, to discuss the proposal to replace 6 variables used
in the current FMP to monitor changes in stock size and population
recruitment with more biologically based reference points.} [ASMFC press

{Diesel Fuel Prices.  On Aug. 22, 2000, about 200 fishing vessel blocked a
bay in Sichon district, Nakhon Si Thammarat province, Thailand, in protest
over steadily rising diesel fuel prices.  On Sept. 1, 2000, Thai fishermen
have threatened to stage a nationwide mass protest and strike to call
attention to the lack of government action to halt soaring fuel prices.}
[Bangkok Post]

{Spiny Dogfish.  On Aug. 21, 2000, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries
Commission (ASMFC) unanimously voted to take emergency action to close state
waters immediately, for at least 180 days, to the commercial harvest,
landing, and possession of spiny dogfish.  States are required to submit
evidence of closure by Oct. 15, 2000.  This action was taken because of low
adult female abundance and evidence of recruitment failure, complementing a
similar closure in federal waters, effective Aug. 1, 2000.  At least 4
public hearings on this closure will be scheduled and announced.  If
warranted, this emergency closure can be extended.  The ASMFC is in the
process of developing a spiny dogfish fishery management plan for fisheries
in state waters.} [ASMFC press release, Boston Globe]

{Marine Reserves and Fishing.  On Aug. 18, 2000, representatives of the
Kenya Wildlife Service, the Fisheries Dept., and Malindi fishermen met to
discuss the opposition by fishermen to the expansion of the Malindi Marine
Park Reserve.  Fishermen claim the expansion was done without consultation
them and that, since the expansion, substantial loss of fish traps to divers
and owners of diving businesses has occurred when fishermen continue to fish
in the restricted areas.} [Daily Nation]

Illegal Scalloping.  On Aug. 17, 2000, Coast Guard personnel intercepted a
New Bedford, MA, scallop trawler fishing illegally in the Nantucket
Lightship closed area.  The vessel was boarded, 2 tons of scallop seized,
and the vessel escorted to New Bedford, where the case was to be transferred
to NMFS for possible prosecution. [Boston Globe]

AK Crab Fishery Closure.  On Aug. 15, 2000, the AK Dept. of Fish and Game
announced that the St. Matthew Island blue king crab fishery and the
Pribilof Islands red and blue king crab fisheries will remain closed during
2000 due to low crab abundance identified in the summer 2000 Bering Sea
research survey.  {{On Aug. 18, 2000, the projected harvest level for the
October 15, 2000 Bristol Bay red king crab fishery was announced as 8.3
million pounds -- about 20% lower than the 1999 quota of 10.7 million
pounds, which was caught in 5 days of fishing.}} [Anchorage Daily News,
Assoc Press]

{Scallop Lawsuit.  On Aug. 14, 2000, U.S. District Court Judge Nancy Kessler
refused to grant an injunction requested by the Conservation Law Foundation
and the American Oceans Campaign that would have prevent scallop harvesting
in the Nantucket Lightship Area and Closed Area I.} [Garden State Seafood
Assoc Weekly Update]

Illegal Shrimping.  On Aug. 12, 2000, personnel from the Coast Guard Cutter
Key Biscayne observed the Mexican vessel Vikingo I illegally harvesting
shrimp in U.S. waters 35 miles off the TX coast.  The documented case is to
be forwarded to Mexican authorities. [personal communication]

Chinese Trawler Seized.  On Aug. 12, 2000, personnel from a Coast Guard
Hercules aircraft observed 5 foreign vessels operating within U.S. waters
along the U.S.-Russia Maritime Boundary in the Bering Sea.  The 334-foot
Chinese trawler Ming Chang illegally fishing for pollock farthest inside
U.S. waters.  After pursuit by the Coast Guard Cutter Hamilton and the
first-ever joint boarding with Russian Federal Border Service agents (after
the trawler entered Russian waters) that has led to law enforcement action,
the trawler was seized on Aug. 14, 2000.  The Ming Chang with its catch of
more than 1,000 metric tons of pollock was escorted to Dutch Harbor, AK,
where it was expected to arrive by Aug. 18. [Coast Guard press release,
personal communication]

Seafood Fraud?  On Aug. 11, 2000, creditors charged in a state district
court affidavit that a defunct Galveston, TX, seafood wholesaler's alleged
fraud scheme may have caused losses of $5.3 million to a TX firm and another
$15 million in losses to a NJ firm.  Contested claims surround the alleged
loss of shrimp or Spanish sardines in a warehouse fire; the "shrimp" was
used as collateral in obtaining loans.  Also, it is alleged that about $80
million in fictitious seafood accounts receivable were sold.  Trial is
tentatively scheduled for March 2001. [Houston Chronicle]

New England Groundfish.  On Aug. 10, 2000, personnel from the Coast Guard
Cutter Grand Isle intercepted and seized the catch of a ME groundfish
trawler for illegal fishing in the Cashes Ledge closed area.  The vessel was
escorted to Gloucester, MA, where more than 5 tons of groundfish were to be
auctioned with the proceeds held in escrow until any prosecution of this
case by NMFS concludes. [New London Day, personal communication]

Glacier Bay Fisheries.  On Aug. 10, 2000, the Senate Energy and Natural
Resources Committee held an oversight field hearing in Juneau, AK, on issues
involving Glacier Bay National Park including the implications of
restrictions on commercial fishing in Glacier Bay. [personal communication]

Billfish.  On Aug. 9, 2000, NMFS published notice requesting comments on
options for reducing U.S. recreational landings of Atlantic blue marlin to
comply with recommendations of the International Commission for the
Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT).  NMFS also requested comments on 1)
options to improve the monitoring of recreationally landed billfish and
swordfish, 2) prohibiting retention of Atlantic billfish onboard any
U.S.-flagged vessel that has been issued a commercial fishing permit for any
Atlantic highly migratory species, 3) the use of circle hooks or other gear
modifications to reduce mortality of released fish, and 4) the allowance of
exemptions to the minimum size for those anglers seeking fly rod/light
tackle records from certifying organizations.  Comments will be accepted
through Sept. 25, 2000. [Fed. Register]

Horseshoe Crabs.  On Aug. 8, 2000, Secretary of Commerce Norman Mineta and
DE  Governor Thomas Carper made a joint announcement of a proposed federal
preserve to protect horseshoe crabs in state and federal waters off the
mouth of Delaware Bay.  The proposed closure would prohibit fishing for
horseshoe crabs within approximately a 30-nautical-mile radius off the mouth
of Delaware Bay.  In addition, NMFS declared a moratorium on horseshoe crab
fishing in VA state waters, beginning in mid-September 2000, if VA fails to
comply with fishing quotas agreed to by other Atlantic coastal states.  On
Aug. 22, 2000, the Commission has scheduled a hearing on possible permanent
regulations for this fishery.  {On Aug. 21, 2000, the Atlantic States Marine
Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) met in Alexandria, VA, declining to lift a
proposed moratorium on VA horseshoe crab harvest in consideration of VA's
proposed modification of its horseshoe crab management.  The Commission did
agree to review a proposal to allow states that don't use their entire
harvest quota to transfer the difference to other states.} [ASMFC press
release, Virginian-Pilot, NOAA press release, Assoc Press]

Marine Debris Conference.  On Aug. 7-11, 2000, participants from the United
States, United Kingdom, Japan, and Russian met in Honolulu, HI, for the
"International Marine Debris Conference on Derelict Fishing Gear and the
Ocean Environment, seeking to develop an action plan to mitigate damage from
derelict fishing gear and reduce the impact on marine species and habitats.
[personal communication]

Mexican Lanchas.  On Aug. 7, 2000, personnel from the Coast Guard Cutter
Amberjack boarded and seized a Mexican lancha illegally fishing with
longline gear in U.S. waters 16 miles off the TX coast.  The case will be
transferred to Mexican law enforcement officials.  On Aug. 12 and 17, 2000,
additional Mexican lanchas were intercepted off the TX coast by personnel
from the Coast Guard Cutter Key Biscayne and subsequently transferred to
Mexican law enforcement officials. [personal communication]

ICCAT Advisory Committee.  In early August 2000, NMFS was 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]

IUU Fishing.  On Aug. 3, 2000, NMFS has scheduled a public meeting in Silver
Spring, MD, to receive comments on the U.S. position relative to the draft
UN Food and Agriculture Organization international plan of action to address
illegal, unregulated, and unreported (IUU) fishing.  Comments will be
accepted through Aug. 5, 2000.  The objective of the plan is voluntary
implementation of comprehensive, effective, and transparent actions by FAO
member countries to prevent, deter, and eliminate IUU fishing within 2 years
of its adoption.  The draft plan is scheduled for technical review in Rome
in October 2000. [NMFS press release]

HMS Fisheries.  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 for
highly migratory species (HMS) in more than 100,000 square miles of 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.  In response to the new regulations, in early August 2000,
two environmental groups, SeaWeb and the Natural Resources Defense Council,
ended their two- year campaign to discourage consumption of swordfish,
releasing 700 chefs nationwide from their pledge to not serve swordfish.
[Assoc Press, Fed Register]

Sea Turtles.  Between July 31, 2000, and August 17, 2000, NMFS has scheduled
a series of 7 scoping meetings to obtain input on short-term and long-term
solutions for reducing turtle interactions with the Atlantic pelagic
longline fishery.  Measures implemented must reduce turtle mortality by 75%
to meet the performance standard of NMFS's biological opinion of June 30,
2000. [personal communication]

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. [personal communication]

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]

ACCSP Critique.  July 31, 2000 is scheduled to be the last day for public
comment on two elements of the Atlantic Coastal Cooperative Statistics
Program (ACCSP) conducted through the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries
Commission (ASMFC).  A Biological Sampling module seeks to standardize the
type and amount of biological data collected, while a Release, Discard, and
Protected Species Interactions Monitoring module aims to collect
quantitative and qualitative data on these interactions. [ASMFC 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]

Invasive Species.  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 communication]

Chesapeake Bay Oysters.  On July 27, 2000, scientists from the Chesapeake
Bay Foundation started 500,000 disease-resistant seed oysters near the mouth
of the York River as part of a project that will, after a year, transplant
these oysters to state oyster sanctuaries elsewhere on the Bay.

Coral Protection.  On July 27, 2000, the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force will
hold a "pre-meeting" in Washington, DC, preliminary to the regular Task
Force meeting to be held in August 2000 in American Samoa, to accommodate
individuals unable to attend the American Samoa meeting.  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 Marine Conservation press release,
Environmental News Network, personal communication, NOAA press release,
Reuters, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility press release]

Pacific Groundfish.  From July 26 through Aug. 9, 2000, the Pacific Fishery
Management Council has scheduled a series of public hearings to disseminate
information on its Draft Strategic Plan for Groundfish Management and obtain
public comment.  The Plan calls for a reduction in harvest capacity by at
least 50%, discusses options, and recommends initial action. [personal

Native Fishery.  On July 26, 2000, eight Native fishermen were arrested and
5 were charged with assault in southwestern Nova Scotia, after refusing to
allow federal Dept. of Fisheries and Oceans and Royal Canadian Mounted
Police to board their boat in St. Mary's Bay in an investigation of the
alleged use of illegal traps.  When the fishing vessel returned to port, the
fishermen were reported to have resisted another attempt to board their
vessel, and a fight ensued.  Federal authorities seized the boat, a truck,
12 fishing traps, and 2 boxes of lobster.  On Aug. 13, 2000, Canadian
federal fisheries enforcement officials raided Native lobster fisheries in
Miramichi Bay, New Brunswick, confiscating 748 lobster traps alleged to be
illegal.   On Aug. 14, 2000, individuals of the Burnt Church First Nation
responded to the weekend trap seizure by establishing roadblocks on a major
highway through their reserve and setting more traps to replace those
seized.  The Burnt Church band is one of 5 bands (in a total of 34 bands)
which have refused or not yet completed negotiation of a fishery agreement
with the federal government.  On Aug. 14, 2000, the New Brunswick court
system released 4 aboriginal men charged with obstructing fisheries officers
during a the weekend raid and trap seizure.  The Canadian federal government
had sought to ban these individuals from fishing in Miramichi Bay, New
Brunswick.  {On Aug. 18, 2000, after Canadian federal fisheries official
agreed to consider the Burnt Church reserve's management plan, native
leaders removed barricades blocking a public highway in New Brunswick.  A
joint plan is also being negotiated that would allow for joint patrol and
enforcement by native and federal fisheries officers.  On Aug. 19, 2000,
Canadian federal fishery officers seized 107 lobster traps from Nova
Scotia's St. Mary's Bay.  Altogether about 900 traps have been seized in
waters off New Edinburgh, southwest Nova Scotia, where Mi'kmaq from the
Indian Brook reserve fish.  On Aug. 22, 2000, federal Dept. of Fisheries and
Oceans enforcement officers seized 553 lobster traps, seized one boat, and
arrested 2 Natives in New Brunswick's Miramichi Bay.  During this encounter,
one officer was injured when hit in the face by a thrown rock.  Royal
Canadian Mounted Police emergency response tactical teams are reported to be
in the area.} [Reuters, Canadian Press, Assoc Press, Halifax Herald]


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]

Cook Inlet Salmon  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.  {{On Aug. 18, 2000, the United Cook Inlet Drift
Association petitioned the AK Board of Fisheries to reopen fishing on
abundant pink and chum salmon.  In an emergency teleconference meeting on
Aug. 22, 2000, the AK Board of Fisheries unanimously rejected the petition
to allow commercial fishing for pink and chum salmon in Cook Inlet for fear
that coho salmon would be targeted.}} [Anchorage Daily News, Assoc Press]

Western AK Salmon Disaster.  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]

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.

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]


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.  {{On Aug. 23, 2000, the BC
provincial government announced accelerated implementation of the salmon
farm loss prevention and recovery measures originally introduced as part of
the October 1999 Salmon Aquaculture Policy framework.}} [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


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]

{{NV Reservoir Fish Mortality Event.  On Aug. 23, 2000, NV Div. of Wildlife
officials announced that a complete fish kill of an estimated 5,500 trout in
Knott Creek Reservoir on Aug. 10-11, 2000, was due to above- average water
temperatures causing extensive algae growth and subsequent low oxygen levels
as this algae decomposed.  The reservoir had been managed as a "trophy"
fishery.}} [Assoc Press]

{Zebra Mussels.  On Aug. 17, 2000, federal divers, for the first time, found
large numbers of young zebra mussels in the Lower St. Croix River, WI.
Until this discovery, only isolated zebra mussels had been seen and were not
considered a threat to 41 species of native mussels, including 2 species on
the federal list of threatened and endangered species.} [Assoc Press]

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

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

Great Lakes.  In late July 2000, the International Joint Commission released
its 10th Biennial Report on Great Lakes Water Quality [ ], 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]


{Whale Watching Report.  On Aug. 22, 2000, the International Fund for Animal
Welfare released a draft report "Whale Watching 2000: Worldwide Tourism
Numbers, Expenditures, and Expanding Socioeconomic Benefits" [ ] concluding that whale watching
expenditures more than doubled between 1994 and 1998, with this $1 billion
activity occurring in almost 500 communities in at least 87 countries.  In
1998, about 47% of all whale watching occurred in the United States.} [Assoc

Low-Frequency Active Sonar.  On Aug. 14-15, 2000, the Ocean Mammal Institute
sponsored a symposium on low frequency active sonar 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.  {On Aug. 20, 2000, a letter of protest on Japan's north
Pacific research whaling signed by the United States, United Kingdom,
Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, Netherlands, and Germany (and possibly
other nations) was reportedly scheduled to be delivered to Japan's Foreign
Minister Yohei Kono.  In addition to 6 minke whales, Japan's whaling fleet
is reported to have killed 4 Bryde's whales and 1 sperm whale.}
[International Fund for Animal Welfare press release, Humane Society of the
United States press release, Reuters, London Times, Assoc Press, BBC News]

Manatees.  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.
[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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