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Subject: Info Summary for U.S. Congress and Staff
From: Aldo-Pier Solari <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:[log in to unmask]
Date:Sat, 20 Jul 1996 07:11:15 GMT

text/plain (211 lines)

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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