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Subject: RS: Daily Summary - 8/4/2000 - Longer Friday Version - Part 2 of 2
From: Peter Hagen <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Fish-Sci-request <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 14 Aug 2000 19:04:29 -0800

text/plain (308 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]


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]

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]

Biological Opinion Hearing.  On July 25, 2000, the Senate Energy and Natural
Resources Subcommittee on Water and Power was 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]

North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission.  On July 12, 2000, President
Clinton announced his intent to appoint Guy R. McMinds as U.S. Commissioner
of the North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission.  McMinds is Past
Commissioner of the Pacific Salmon Commission and a member of the NOAA's
Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee. [White House press release]

Kvichak Sockeye.  As of July 10, 2000, fewer than 900,000 sockeye salmon had
been counted into the Kvichak River drainage, AK.  In this peak run year, an
escapement of 6 million sockeye was the management goal.  With the run about
60% over, the expectation is that less than 2 million sockeye will enter the
drainage.  Sport and commercial fisheries affecting Kvichak sockeye have
been closed or modified.  On July 11, 2000, AK Dept. of Fish and Game
officials announced the emergency closure of all sportfishing for sockeye
salmon in the Lake Iliamna and Kvichak River drainage as of July 15, 2000,
due to record low escapements. [Assoc Press, Anchorage Daily News]

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

Western AK Salmon Disaster.  In early July 2000, AK Dept. of Fish and Game
(ADF&G) officials reported early indications of some of the poorest salmon
runs in history in western AK.  For the first time ever, subsistence
restrictions have been placed on Kuskokwim River chinook salmon, with
subsistence restrictions for chinook salmon throughout the Arctic Yukon
Kuskokwim region.  Chum salmon returns also are lower.  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. [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]

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

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]

Closed System Aquaculture Loan.  On July 11, 2000, NMFS announced the
approval of a $10 million loan for aquaculture development to the Southern
States Cooperative, Inc., one of the largest farmer-owned organizations,
operating in 16 states from MI to FL and west to LA, with main offices
located in Richmond, VA.  Loans will be made available to aquaculture
growers through Southern States, with most going to help farmers finance
state-of-the-art closed systems for tilapia production in southeast VA,
northeast NC, and southern GA.  The remainder of the loan will be used to
construct a fingerling nursery and a processing plant. [NMFS press release]


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, are
releasing 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

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]

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 [
] 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

{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]

Pfiesteria?  In mid-July 2000, the MD Dept. of Natural Resources reported
finding signs of Pfiesteria, menhaden with lesions, in the Pocomoke River.
No Pfiesteria were detected in the water, however. [Assoc Press]

Bonytail Reintroduction.  On July 13, 2000, about 10,000 endangered bonytail
were reintroduced into the Green and Yampa Rivers in Dinosaur National
Monument, northwestern CO.  This is reported to be a significant step in a
more than $100 million joint state-federal effort to recover 4 endangered
Colorado River basin fish. [Denver Rocky Mountain News]

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]

Lake Erie Fisheries Enforcement.  On July 10, 2000, U.S. Coast Guard Admiral
Venuto signed a law enforcement Memorandum of Understanding on behalf of the
United States with Canada allowing U.S. Coast Guard vessels to enter
Canadian waters on Lake Erie to identify fishing vessels and nets observed
operating in U.S. waters. [personal communication]

Sacramento Splittail.  In early July 2000, U.S. District Court Judge Oliver
Wanger ruled that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service violated the Endangered
Species Act by ignoring state scientific information, showing the fish's
population was not declining, in its decision to list a CA Central Valley
fish, the Sacramento splittail, as threatened.  After hearing arguments from
federal officials and agricultural interests, Judge Wanger is expected to
rule, within the next 2 months, on whether the splittail should be
protected. [Fresno Bee]


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]

{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]

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.  Manatee deaths from watercraft have increased to 82 this
year, compared to 62 at this time last year. [MSNBC, Bradenton Herald]

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 [ ].  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 [ ] 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]

Haul of Shame.  In mid-July 2000, the Royal Society for the Prevention of
Cruelty to Animals released a report entitled "Haul of Shame" claiming that
fishing practices off the United Kingdom's coasts may have killed as many as
20,000 harbor porpoises in the last 6 years.  A Harbor Porpoise Conservation
Strategy is to be discussed at the July 26-28, 2000 Meeting of the Parties
to the Agreement on the Conservation of Small Cetaceans of the Baltic and
North Seas, in Bristol, UK. [Environment News Service]

Caspian Seal Mortality.  On July 10, 2000, Turkmen officials reported that
more than 300 dead seals have washed up along the Turkmen coast, near the
Kazakh border.  The first deaths were observed in early April 2000, with
seals continuing to die in small numbers.  Conflicting reports suggest the
cause to be either pasteurolosis or cumulative toxic poisoning that has
lowered the animals' immunity. [Agence France Presse]

IWC.  A July 4, 2000 letter from the Secretary General to the Convention on
International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) to
the Chairman of the IWC reportedly expressed concerns that a lack of
progress at the IWC has caused a transfer of the IWC debate to CITES fora,
causing significant discord.  On July 4, 2000, the IWC adopted, without a
vote, a resolution to direct the IWC Secretariat to prepare a draft text of
the legal document for the Revised Management Scheme (RMS) before December
2000, and that the RMS working group meet before the end of February 2001 to
discuss that draft.  On July 5, 2000, the IWC passed 2 non-binding
resolutions requesting Japan to stop scientific whaling.  For the resolution
on scientific whaling in the North Pacific, the vote was 19 for, 12 against,
and 2 abstentions.  For the resolution on scientific whaling in the Southern
Ocean, the vote was 20 for, 10 against, and 3 abstentions.  On July 6, 2000,
the IWC adopted a resolution asking Canada to refrain from issuing hunting
permits for bowhead whales and to rejoin the IWC.  On July 10, 2000,
President Clinton announced his intent to appoint Rolland A. Schmitten,
former Assistant Administrator for NMFS, to serve as U.S. Commissioner of
the International Whaling Commission. [White House press release, Reuters,
BBC News, High North Alliance News]

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]

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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