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Info Summary for U.S. Congress and Staff


Aldo-Pier Solari <[log in to unmask]>


[log in to unmask]


Fri, 26 Jul 1996 18:23:09 GMT





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Date: Fri, 26 Jul 1996 11:07:50 -0500
From: Gene Buck <[log in to unmask]>
7/26/96 -- Info Summary for U.S. Congress and Staff
Fisheries Groups:
I'm appending part of a regular update I prepare for congressional
staff on fisheries and marine mammal public policy issues as I see
them . In deference to those who have to pay for communications
time, I am including only new items added since my last posting, and
a shortened introduction. I will post the entire summary and the
longer introduction on the first Friday of the month.
NOTE: Archived copies of "first Friday" longer summaries for
February 1994 through the present are now available at:
                                Gene Buck, Senior Analyst
                                Congressional Research Service
                                e-mail: <[log in to unmask]>
Summary follows:
Marine Fisheries
{CDC Raw Shellfish Concerns. On July 25, 1996, the Centers for
Disease Control expressed renewed concerns that people at risk may
not be seeing or hearing warnings about raw shellfish after three
Spanish-speaking Californians died following consumption of raw
oysters from the Gulf of Mexico.} [Assoc Press]
{FSM-Korea Tuna Agreement. In mid-July 1996, the Federated States
of Micronesia (FSM) and the Korean Deep Sea Fishing Association
concluded an agreement that would allow 29 South Korean purse
seiners to catch yellowfin, skipjack, albacore, and other tunas in
FSM waters.} [Assoc Press]
{Alaska-Taiwan Seafood Venture. On July 22, 1996, a group of
Taiwanese businessmen representing Central Investment Holding Co.
of Taiwan met with Alaska State officials to discuss a joint venture
to develop a $120 million Alaska Seafood Center, to process Alaskan
fish for sale primarily to Taiwan. The Center would be located in
Anchorage.} [Assoc Press]
{Mexican Sea Turtle Sanctuaries. In mid-July 1996, Mexican
officials announced the establishment of 12 new protected beach
nesting areas for sea turtles along Mexico's Pacific coast in the
state of Michoacan.} [Assoc Press]
{Sport Fishing Protest. In late July 1996, representatives from the
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) plan to attend
the International Grand Isle Tarpon Rodeo in Louisiana to promote
their anti-fishing "Save our Schools Campaign."} [Assoc Press]
{IFQ Legal Challenge. On July 24, 1996, an attorney for the
Alliance Against IFQs announced that the Alliance had asked the 9th
Circuit Court of Appeals to reconsider their May 1996 ruling
upholding an earlier District Court decision that the federal
individual fishing quota (IFQ) system for blackcod/sablefish and
halibut in the North Pacific should not be halted.} [Assoc Press]
{Native American Shellfish Harvesting. In late July 1996, the
Tulalip Tribe announced plans, within the next two weeks, to start
digging clams on private beaches on Hat Island, off Everett, WA.}
[Assoc Press]
{EU Fishing Fleet Restructuring. On July 19, 1996, British Prime
Minister John Major announced and, on July 22, 1996, Britain began a
diplomatic initiative to reform the EU Common Fisheries Policy and
counter what Britain believes to be unfair competition through
"quota hopping" from other EU member nations. Britain submitted a
Memorandum containing proposals for a protocol to the Treaty of Rome
to deal with concerns for the EU's Common Fisheries Policy at the EU
Intergovernmental Conference.} [Reuters]
{Chesapeake Bay. In mid-July 1996, Maryland crab industry personnel
reported that so few blue crabs were being caught that only one of
four crab picking companies were operating in the Crisfield, MD,
area.} [Assoc Press]
{NASA Fisheries Study. On July 22, 1996, the National Aeronautics
and Space Administration (NASA) announced it will fund half of a
$2.4 million, 3-year study to predict oceanic conditions and changes
important to fishermen off the northeastern United States. The
study will be coordinated by the Univ. of MA-Dartmouth Center for
Marine Science and Technology with assistance from Harvard Univ.
and Physical Science, Inc., Andover, MA.} [Assoc Press]
{Illegal Cannery Paycheck Deductions. In mid-July 1996, the Oregon
Bureau of Labor & Industries fined a temporary employment agency for
alleged excessive deductions from seafood cannery workers' paychecks
for supplies and equipment. Oregon law prohibits deductions which
cause paychecks to fall below minimum wage.} [Assoc Press]
Illegal High Seas Driftnet. {On July 18, 1996, a second Taiwanese
patrol vessel met the Chang Fu 31 about 420 miles off the Japanese
coast, and the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Boutwell departed to return
to U.S. waters. On July 25, 1996, the captain of the Charngder No.
2 (previously referred to erroneously as the Chang Fu 31) admitted
to a Taiwanese prosecutor that he had fished for salmon with an
illegal driftnet following orders from the vessel's owner. Crew
members reported that 6 tons of salmon were sold to another vessel
on June 26 and about 60 tons of salmon were discarded overboard
after the U.S. Coast Guard spotted the vessel.} [Assoc Press]
New England Groundfish. {On July 23, 1996, the U.S. Coast Guard
seized the catch (valued at $22,185) of a U.S. scallop vessel found
inside a closed groundfish spawning area 30 miles east of Nantucket
Island. On Aug. 1, 1996, the House Committee on Resources'
Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, and Oceans has tentatively
scheduled an oversight hearing on the economic effects of Amendment
7 to the New England groundfish management plan.} [Assoc Press,
personal communication]
Italian Driftnets. {On July 25, 1996, Italy's Agriculture Minister
reported that agreement had been reached to compensate Italian
fishermen who ceased using illegal driftnets. Together, the EU and
the Italian government have allocated $230 million to retrain and
purchase new equipment for 3,500 fishermen over a three-year
period.} [Reuters]
Salmon Along the Pacific Coast
{Steelhead ESA Listing. On July 25, 1996, Secretary of the Interior
Babbitt announced that on July 30, 1996 the federal government will
recommend that several west coast steelhead trout populations be
added to the Endangered Species List, decisions on several
additional populations will be deferred, and listing will be denied
to several populations. A total of 15 populations were studied for
possible protection.} [Assoc Press]
{USDA Salmon Purchases. On July 25, 1996, the Administrator of the
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture's Agricultural Marketing Service
announced that USDA would purchase as much as $14 million in pink
salmon products from the 1995 and 1996 harvests for school lunch and
other feeding programs. $10 million will be spent for canned pink
salmon with as much as $4 million for pink salmon nuggets and pink
salmon in 4-pound pouches. Bids for purchase would be solicited
from salmon processors beginning Aug. 12, 1996.} [Assoc Press]
{Salmon Recovery Plan Injunction. On July 23, 1996, representatives
of the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund announced that a limited
agreement had been negotiated with the Clinton Administration to
spill more water for salmon at Snake and Columbia River dams this
summer. As a result of the agreement, the June 12, 1996 request by
10 environmental groups for a preliminary injunction was dropped.}
[Assoc Press]
{Bristol Bay Salmon Price-Fixing Suit. On July 23, 1996, a
plaintiffs' motion was filed in Alaska Superior Court asking Judge
Larry to approve settlements in part of this case with nine
defendants totalling an estimated $425,000, on the condition that
the pending lawsuit is certified as a class action. Plaintiffs had
filed a $720 million lawsuit alleging price-fixing by Bristol Bay
sockeye salmon processors and several major Japanese firms.
Additional settlements are anticipated.} [Assoc Press]
British Columbia Salmon Fleet Restructuring. {On July 15, 1996,
Canada's Dept. of Fisheries and Oceans signed a Memorandum of
Understanding with the British Columbia government recognizing an
agreement to review their respective roles and responsibilities in
managing the Pacific salmon fishery. This review is to be concluded
by February 1997.} [personal communication]
Record Alaska Chum Salmon Catch. {In mid-July 1996, at least one
southeast Alaska hatchery began controversial roe-stripping chum
salmon, taking eggs but dumping about 500,000 salmon carcasses. The
price of chum salmon has fallen to as low as $.05 per pound and all
the excess fish cannot be given away. Other hatcheries have applied
to the State of Alaska for dumping permits.} [Assoc Press]
Pacific Salmon Treaty. {On July 19, 1996, the WA State Dept. of
Fish and Wildlife along with federal and tribal officials concluded
successful negotiations with Canada for a one-year agreement on
catch levels for Washington-bound coho salmon and British
Columbia-bound sockeye salmon, permitting a catch of 75,000 coho
salmon along the Washington coast. Canada agree to limit its
commercial harvest of coho salmon along the west coast of Vancouver
Island to 1 million fish, while Washington agreed to a conservative
plan for Treaty tribe harvest of 30,000 to 50,000 summer-run sockeye
salmon bound for BC's Fraser River. Based on pre-season forecasts
and escapement objectives, no non-tribal commercial fishery for
Fraser River sockeye salmon will be permitted. If actual returns
are larger than anticipated, the U.S. share of any commercial
harvest will be 16.1%.} [Assoc Press, Reuters, WA Dept. of Fish and
Wildlife press release, personal communication, Canadian Dept. of
Fisheries and Oceans press release]
Freshwater Fisheries
{Operation Bass Sale. On July 24, 1996, an executive of the holding
company, Bass Acquisition, Inc., announced the acquisition of
Operation Bass (Gilbertsville, KY), the nation's largest bass
fishing tournament organization with 140 annual events across the
United States.} [Operation Bass press release]
{Great Lakes Ballast Water. On July 23, 1996, the Governors of
Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin jointly announced a $1 million
project to install and test new filtration technology to remove
unwanted organisms from the ballast water of bulk carrier ships.
Funds for this project are provided by the Great Lakes Protection
Fund, created by the regional governors through an endowment.}
[Greenwire, Assoc Press]
{Clyde River Dam Removal. On July 25, 1996, Citizens Utilities
officials, conservation group representatives, VT state officials,
and federal regulators met to finalize details for removing the
breached Newport 11 hydroelectric dam on the Clyde River near
Newport, VT, by Oct. 1, 1996, before the fall salmon spawning run
begins. Dam removal is anticipated to restore about one-half mile
of landlocked salmon spawning habitat. The Federal Energy
Regulatory Commission had recommended in June 1996 that the Clyde
River dam should be removed.} [Assoc Press]
{Alaska Subsistence Fishery Management. In late June 1996, the U.S.
Dept. of the Interior issued a report "Implications of a Federal
Management of Subsistence Fisheries in Alaska" estimating that
assumption of management of Alaska fisheries for subsistence would
cost the federal government $31 million without state assistance,
excluding $1 billion to replace state equipment necessary to manage
these fisheries.} [Assoc Press]
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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