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Info Summary for U.S. Congress and Staff


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


[log in to unmask]


Sat, 20 Jul 1996 07:11:15 GMT





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Date: Fri, 19 Jul 1996 10:33:48 -0500
From: Gene Buck <[log in to unmask]>
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
Sport Fishing Conviction. On July 17, 1996, a FL sport fish
charterboat captain pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court of
importing illegal quantities of fish to the United States from the
Bahamas in 1993. The Lacey Act prohibits interjurisdictional
transport of fish taken illegally. Sentencing will be Oct. 18,
1996. [Assoc Press]
Fishing Vessel Safety. On July 17, 1996, China announced a new
program to promote fishing vessel safety after 742 fishing vessels
sunk and 600 fishermen died in 1995 -- a 38% increase in deaths and
an almost 50% increase in vessels lost compared to 1994. Direct
1995 losses were calculated at $32.5 billion of which only $27,700
was compensated by insurance. [Reuters]
Tuna-Dolphin. On July 17, 1996, the House Committee on Ways and
Means ordered H.R. 2823 (amendments to the Marine Mammal Protection
Act of 1972 to support International Dolphin Conservation Program in
the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean) reported. [Congr. Record,
Blue Crab Bust. On July 17, 1996, MD Natural Resources Police cited
a New Jersey man for 136 counts (136 bushels of crabs in violation)
of possession of undersize blue crabs, with fines totalling $42,540.
Since Apr. 1, 1996, more than 400 citations have been issued in MD
for possession of undersize blue crabs. [Assoc Press]
Marine Catfish Deaths. On July 16, 1996, Auburn Univ. scientists
reported that a combination of an infectious viral disease
accompanied by gill-eating parasites was likely responsible for mass
mortalities of hardhead catfish along the Gulf of Mexico coastline.
[Assoc Press]
Halibut Case Sentencing. In mid-July 1996, U.S. District Court
Judge James Fitzgerald sentenced the president of a Juneau, Alaska,
seafood processing company and a fisherman each for five months in
prison for conspiring between 1991 and 1993 to catch, process, and
sell halibut valued at more than $20,000, and of falsifying fish
ticket records to conceal their illegal activities. [Assoc Press]
New Cuban Fishery Law. On July 12, 1996, Cuban officials announced
a new fishery law, Decree Law 164, revising the regulation of
fishing in Cuban waters. Priority zones are identified for
commercial fishing, with certain open zones were sport fishing is
permitted. Unauthorized capture of endangered species (e.g.,
manatees and hawksbill turtles) and important export species (e.g.,
spiny lobsters and prawns) are prohibited. Sport anglers cannot
sell their catch. [Reuters]
Bluefin Tuna. On July 12, 1996, the Prince Edward Island
Fishermen's Association and its Gulf-Nova Scotia counterpart voted
to delay fishing for Atlantic bluefin tuna while developing a
data-monitoring proposal to the Canadian Dept. of Fisheries and
Oceans. The industry offer will be a counter-proposal to a
government plan that fishers allege is unworkable. The government's
plan was proposed after last year's logbook approach was determined
inadequate. [Assoc Press]
First Marine Superfund Site. On July 10, 1006, the Environmental
Protection Agency added the first non-harbor marine site to its list
of Superfund cleanup projects. The Montrose Chemical Corp. sewer
outfall deposit contains more than 100 tons of DDT spread over a
27-square mile area off the Palos Verdes Peninsula, CA. [Greenwire]
Coast Guard Boardings. On July 15, 1996, the Jamaican government
called for an investigation into allegations that the U.S. Coast
Guard illegally boarded seven Jamaican fishing vessels within
Jamaican waters on July 7, 1996. The U.S. Coast Guard was
searching for drugs. Jamaican fishermen claim that fishing gear was
destroyed and that they must be compensated. [Assoc Press]
Seahorse Report. In early July 1996, TRAFFIC (Trade Records
Analysis of Flora and Fauna in Commerce) International released a
160-page "Species in Danger" study entitled "The International Trade
in Seahorses," forecasting that wild populations could decline
significantly if demand for seahorses (particularly for traditional
Chinese and derivative medicines) does not diminish. [World Wide
Fund For Nature - International press release]
Illegal High Seas Driftnet. On July 13, 1996, U.S. Coast Guard
personnel and Taiwanese police boarded the Chang Fu 31 600 miles off
the Japanese coast. No nets or fish were found aboard the vessel.
The U.S. Coast Guard will continue to escort the Chang Fu 31 toward
Taiwan and a meeting with a Taiwanese patrol vessel. [Assoc Press]
Salmon Along the Pacific Coast
Snake River Basin Water Release Plans. On July 17, 1996, a regional
committee approved an agreement between states, tribes, and federal
agencies for summer 1996 water releases in the Snake River basin.
The agreement provides that Dworshak Reservoir will drop only 20
feet by mid-August, with needed water coming from a 35-foot drop at
Brownlee Reservoir. Warmer Brownlee water will be released first
with colder Dworshak water to be used later. Dworshak Reservoir
would be lowered to between 55 and 60 feet below full by the end of
August, with an additional 20 foot drop scheduled for September. In
mid-July 1996, Payette River, ID, water users reached agreement on
managing water releases from Cascade Reservoir. To assist salmon,
72,500 acre-feet will be released annually during July and August,
with the remaining 72,500 acre-feet to be released in winter.
[Assoc Press]
Elwha Dam Removal. On July 16, 1996, the Senate Committee on
Appropriations ordered H.R. 3662 (FY1997 Dept. of Interior
appropriations) reported, with Sec. 115 containing an amendment to
P.L. 102-495 (Elwha River Ecosystem and Fisheries Restoration Act)
permitting the State of Washington to purchase Elwha Dam and Glines
Dam after these dams are acquired by the federal government and
thereafter repealing P.L. 102-495. The State of Washington would
then assume responsibility for removal of both dams. [Greenwire,
personal communication]
Salmon Recovery Funding. On July 16, 1996, the Senate Committee on
Appropriations ordered S. 1959 (FY1997 appropriations for energy and
water development) reported, with language in Title V directing the
Northwest Power Planning Council to appoint a five-member
Independent Scientific Review Panel that would review and recommend
Bonneville Power Administration funding awards for Columbia River
basin salmon restoration projects. Panel members are to be
nominated by the National Academy of Sciences. [Assoc Press,
personal communication]
Lower Return of Bristol Bay Sockeye Salmon. In mid-July 1996,
Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game managers revised estimates to
recognize that the Kvichak-Lake Iliamna drainage would likely
receive only about 1.5 million of a predicted 4 million sockeye
salmon return. The June 1996 fishery on sockeye salmon moving
through False Pass in the Aleutians was so low that many eastern
Aleutian villages are facing financial problems. Fish sales and raw
fish tax revenues are expected to be only about $15,000 this year in
False Pass, compared to $100,000 last year. [Assoc Press]
Fertilizer Spill Penalty Use. On July 11, 1996, Idaho Governor Batt
approved use of $24,000 in mitigation funds derived from a state
suit against a trucking company for a Dec. 1987 accident when a
tractor-trailer carrying red fertilizer dumped chemicals into the
Little Salmon River, killing all fish for miles. Funded projects,
to be conducted by local Soil Conservation Districts and a chapter
of Trout Unlimited, will improve salmon and steelhead trout habitat
on private property along the Little Salmon River. [Assoc Press]
British Columbia Salmon Fleet Restructuring. On July 11, 1996, the
BC government released a study projecting that the jobs of 2,200
salmon fishers are a risk from the DFO's West Coast commercial
salmon fleet restructuring proposal. In addition, the study
estimated that the jobs of 6,200 fishers, shoreworkers, and sport
fish industry workers are threatened by this year's poor fishing
season. [Assoc Press]
Record Alaska Chum Salmon Catch. In mid-July 1996, the sport catch
limit for chum salmon was doubled in some portions of southeast
Alaska. [Assoc Press]
Pacific Salmon Treaty. On July 15, 1996, Canadian officials asked
the Pacific Salmon Commission to establish a technical dispute
settlement board to review scientific disagreement and address
chinook salmon concerns by Sept. 30, 1996. This is the first time
under this Treaty that either nation has requested such a dispute
resolution panel. In addition, Canadian officials announced that
U.S. vessels transiting Canadian waters will be required to ask the
Canadian Dept. of Fisheries and Oceans for clearance and, if
clearance is granted, will be required to stow their fishing gear
while in Canadian waters. [Assoc Press, Reuters]
Freshwater Fisheries
Salmon Harvest Weir Contract Award. On July 16, 1996, the Michigan
Administrative Board approved the Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians'
bid of $0.17 per pound of fish and $2.20 per pound for loose eggs to
operate the State of Michigan's six salmon harvest weirs. Only two
bids were submitted for this contract. [Assoc Press]
Yellowstone Lake Trout. In mid-July 1996, U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service biologists announced that they had netted more than 150 lake
trout, including a 21-pound female, in Yellowstone Lake, WY, since
early June 1996, indicating that the lake trout population was much
larger and better established than had previously been understood.
[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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