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Part 1 - Info Summary for U.S. Congress and Staff


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


[log in to unmask]


Sun, 8 Dec 1996 05:36:19 GMT





text/plain (1 lines)

Date: Fri, 06 Dec 1996 10:29:21 -0500
From: Gene Buck <[log in to unmask]>

Info Summary for U.S. Congress and Staff - Part 1


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 -- a selection of issues which I view as
having potential public policy implications for the U.S.
Congress. My role is to provide objective, non-partisan,
unbiased public policy analysis for Congress. Thus, it is useful
weekly to pass this summary by those subscribing to this list to
solicit input about areas where my objectivity could be improved,
where someone's bias shows through and should be adjusted, and
where there are simply other issues of which I am unaware.
Anyway, what follows is today's summary. Generally I add new
items every morning, and remove items after they have been on the
summary for about a month. Items in the summary are modified as
I receive new information.

In deference to those who have to pay for communications time, I
post the entire summary once each month on the first Friday of
the month, for those who do not monitor the group each week or
wish the more complete format. This is longer the first Friday
posting for ......

NOTE: Archived copies of "first Friday" longer summaries for
February 1994 through the present are now available at:


I would appreciate your feedback on this summary. Comments
should be directed to me ([log in to unmask]). I will post this
summary each Friday on this list as long as I continue to receive
helpful feedback on issues.

To further assist me in providing a broad scope of information
resources to Congress, I would appreciate being added to any
mailing lists of publications, news releases, newsletters, etc.
relevant to marine mammals and fisheries. Where there is a
subscription cost, a sample copy would provide a basis for
deciding whether or not a subscription could be justified.
Thanks for your assistance in this matter.

                            Gene Buck
                            Congressional Research Service - ENR
                            Library of Congress
                            Washington, DC 20540-7450
                            e-mail: [log in to unmask]

Summary follows:

New info and changes since 11/29/96 are bracketed {...}.

Marine Fisheries

Swordfish and Shark Limited Access. On Jan. 6-23, 1997, NMFS
will conduct a series of 10 public hearings along the Atlantic
coast on a proposed limited access system for Atlantic swordfish
and Atlantic sharks. [personal communication]

{Bluefin Tuna Conference. On Dec. 13, 1996, the NC Sea Grant
Program has scheduled an Atlantic bluefin tuna conference at Nags
Head, NC.} [NC Sea Grant brochure]

Highly Migratory Species Management. On Dec. 9-11, 1996, NMFS
will hold 3 public hearings (Silver Spring, MD; St. Petersburg,
FL; and Danvers, MA) on proposed regulations, published in the
Federal Register on Nov. 6, 1996, modifying management of
Atlantic bluefin tuna, billfishes, and sharks. This proposal
would consolidate several different sets of regulations (50 CFR
Parts 285, 644, and 678) into 50 CFR Part 630. The proposed
regulations revise reporting and monitoring requirements,
redefine the "incidental" catch permit category for Atlantic
tunas, address enforcement concerns, and remove inconsistent or
outdated language. [personal communication]

{Passamaquody Saltwater Fishing Claims. On Dec. 3, 1996,
District Judge John Romei agreed to delay arraignment until
February 1997 of a Passamaquody man charged with taking sea
urchins Oct. 12, 1996, during Maine's fall closed season, after
tribal officials claimed aboriginal rights to unrestricted
saltwater fishing had not been relinquished. The tribe is
negotiating with the state.} [Assoc Press]

{Shark Protection. On Dec. 3, 1996, the fisheries minister of
Australia's New South Wales (NSW) state declared the great white
shark to be a protected species along Australia's east coast. A
substantial fine and jail sentence could be imposed on anyone
killing or possessing a great white shark in NSW waters. This
species is already protected in Tasmania state and from
commercial fishing in South Australia state with protection under
consideration by Victoria state. On Dec. 5, 1996, a TRAFFIC
Network report entitled "An Overview of World Trade in Sharks and
Other Cartilaginous Fishes" was released. This report discusses
how limited controls and monitoring of harvest and international
trade in shark products threaten shark populations worldwide.}
[Reuters, World Wide Fund for Nature press release]

{Lower Bering Sea Pollock Quota. On Dec. 2, 1996, North Pacific
Fishery Management Council (NPFMC) biologists announced that a
60,000 metric ton (about 5%) decrease in the 1997 Bering Sea
pollock quota will be recommended at the Dec. 11-15 NPFMC
meeting. The new quota would be 1.13 million metric tons. The
Council is also expected to consider emergency measures to better
protect seabirds from longline fisheries.} [Assoc Press]

Texas Shrimper License Buyback. Nov. 30, 1996 is the deadline
for Texas-licensed commercial shrimpers to submit applications to
the Texas Parks and Wildlife Dept. for a voluntary buyback
program for shrimping licenses. The buyback was authorized by
1995 Texas law and potentially affects 3,300 licensed shrimpers.
[Assoc Press]

Atlantic Swordfish Drift Gillnet Closure. On Nov. 29, 1996,
NMFS announced a 6-month closure (Dec. 1, 1996 through May 29,
1997) of the drift gillnet fishery for swordfish in Atlantic,
Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean waters under U.S. jurisdiction to
better protect endangered right whales and loggerhead turtles.
[personal communication]

{Industrial Fishing Concerns. On Nov. 28, 1996, politicians,
lobbyists, and scientists joined in a London news conference
announcing the release of a Unilever-sponsored report critical of
industrial fishing practices and demanding more restrictions on
industrial fishing in the North Sea. Unilever officials have
expressed concern for the sustainability of fish stocks such as
cod, haddock, and whiting that feed on species caught by
industrial fishing.} [Reuters]

{Coral Reef Damage. On Nov. 27, 1996, Egyptian port authorities
announced that, as of Nov. 22, they had impounded the Ukrainian
ferry Moldova that ran aground and damaged the Woodhouse coral
reef in the Strait of Tiran in October 1996.} [Reuters]

{Sea Turtle Migration Routes. On Nov. 27, 1996, a Cornell Univ.
scientist and colleagues reported in Nature that migrating female
leatherback sea turtles, followed by satellite telemetry for 4
years, appear to follow a very narrow path between Costa Rica via
the Galapagos Islands into the mid-Pacific.} [Reuters]

Japanese-Russian Fishery Negotiations. On Nov. 25, 1996, Japan
and Russia began an anticipated 2 weeks of negotiations under a
1984 bilateral agreement on 1997 quotas for fish harvests within
the other's exclusive economic zone. Japan is expected to
discuss that nation's move to use of a quota system based on
total allowable catch. [Dow Jones News]

Fishing for Educational and Cultural Purposes. On Nov. 25,
1996, the Kahoolawe Island Reserve Commission will begin a series
of public meetings on the Kahoolawe Ocean Management Plan, that
proposes to restrict fishing around the Hawaiian island of
Kahoolawe to permit only those on the island for education or
cultural purposes to subsistence fish in adjacent waters. [Assoc

Coral Reef Protection. The Nov. 25, 1996 issue of U.S. News
and World Report announced the beginning of a $21 million U.S.
Agency for International Development project (Coastal Resources
Management Project) in the Philippines to combat destruction of
coral reefs by detonating dynamite and spraying cyanide to catch
fish. The project will attempt to create a local coalition for
sustainable management to preserve the coastal environment and
defeat forces earning money by destroying it. [U.S News and
World Report via Greenwire]

EU Fleet Restructuring. On Nov. 22, 1996, EU Fisheries Council
met in Brussels to discuss a draft Irish compromise suggesting a
20% reduction over 3 years for most threatened fish stocks
(mackerel, herring, hake, and North Sea cod) and a 15% reduction
for less threatened stocks (such as haddock), with considerable
flexibility in how member states choose to reduce fish harvests
through reducing fishing or reducing capacity. France, the
Netherlands, and the United Kingdom requested that the 1992-1996
fleet reduction program be extended an additional year; Portugal,
Spain, and Denmark claim to be the only nations to have met their
capacity reduction targets under the 1992-1996 program. The
meeting concluded without agreement; EU Fisheries Commissioner
Emma Bonino expressed disappointment that the Council was unable
to come to a decision as the EU would not be able to continue
paying aid to restructure fishing fleets if no agreement is
reached by the end of the year. [Reuters, Agence Europe via
Reuters, Financial Times via Greenwire]

EU Satellite Monitoring. On Nov. 22, 1996, the EU Fisheries
Council discussed a generalized system of satellite monitoring of
fishing activities beginning Jan. 1, 1997. The proposal would
affect only vessels exceeding 24 meters in length, and would
exclude short-term, inshore fishing. Whether or not to include
the driftnet fleet in the initial monitoring scheme was
discussed. The discussion was concluded without agreement; a
decision will be made at the December 1996 Fisheries Council
meeting. The preliminary satellite tracking system is scheduled
to begin June 30, 1998. [Agence Europe via Reuters]

Clinton at the Great Barrier Reef. On Nov. 22, 1996, President
Clinton visited Australia's Great Barrier Reef where he promoted
the International Coral Reef Initiative, commented on Australia's
success in reef protection, and warned of dangers to reefs
worldwide from overfishing, pollution, and sedimentation. [San
Francisco Chronicle/Examiner via Greenwire, Assoc Press, Reuters]

Exxon Valdez Compensation. On Nov. 21, 1996, the 9th U.S.
Circuit Court of Appeals voted 3-0 to uphold a lower court
decision that loss of customers, attributed to the 1989 Exxon
Valdez oil spill's impact on commercial fishing, was not direct
physical harm and is not eligible for compensation. [Assoc

Chilean Trawler Protest. On Nov. 21, 1996, Chile's Foreign
Investment Committee rejected an application by a local fishing
company to replace 3 small vessels with the world's largest
factory trawler, the American Monarch of Norwegian registry.
Greenpeace had protested the proposal to use this vessel to
harvest and process as much as 1,000 tons of fish daily off
southern Chile. [Reuters]

Degradable Nets in Mississippi. On Nov. 19, 1996, the MS
Commission on Marine Resources adopted a regulation requiring MS
fishermen to use nets made of degradable material after Jan. 1,
1997. Fishermen protest that such nets are not made in
commercial quantities, such material is difficult to distinguish
from non-degradable materials, and that costs are significantly
higher than non-degradable nets. [Assoc Press]

Canada-Chile Agreement. In Ottawa on Nov. 18, 1996, Canada
signed a trade agreement with Chile, who seeks membership in the
North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). In response to this
agreement, Chilean fishmeal and salmon are among commodities that
will enter Canada without tariff or duties. The agreement must
be approved by both Canada and Chile. [Santiago El Mercurio via
Foreign Broadcast Information Service]

LA Gillnet Ban Protest. On Nov. 17, 1996, 30 Louisiana chefs
held a benefit to express their concern to the public that the
Louisiana gillnet ban is decreasing the amount and availability
of local fresh fish. Proceeds of the benefit were to be donated
to the Louisiana Seafood Management Council. [Assoc Press]

Russia-Iceland Fishery Concerns. In mid-November 1996, the
Northeast Atlantic Fishing Commission, meeting in London, passed
a resolution {increasing Russia's Atlantic deep sea ocean perch
(redfish) quota on the Reykjanes Ridge} by 5,000 tons. {Quotas
for other nations were unchanged. Russia opposed the quota
allocation and was reported to have exceeded its 1996 quota by
July. In response, Iceland closed its ports to Russian perch
trawlers.} The deputy chairman of the Russian State Fisheries
Committee stated that Russia would continue to harvest these fish
at what Russia considered its rightful and legal interest. On
Nov. 26, 1996, Russia received an official protest from the
Icelandic government after Russia expressed concerns and
increased efforts to exclude Icelandic trawlers from cod fishing
in the international waters (loophole) of the Barents Sea.
Russia is concerned over Iceland's cod harvests since 1993 from
international waters in the Barents Sea. Russia and Norway have
both also asked Iceland to cease fishing for cod in the Barents
Sea loophole in trilateral discussions. In October 1996, Russia
recommended that its fishermen cease delivering cod to Icelandic
processors. [Interfax, personal communication]

Alaska Seafood Center. In mid-November 1996, the Alaska
Industrial Development and Export Authority (AIDEA) began
reviewing a proposal for a $100 million seafood processing
facility in Anchorage. AIDEA could decide to sell as much as $50
million in bonds to partially fund the project, which has
attracted $16 million from Taiwanese investors. [Assoc Press]

Baltimore Harbor Contamination. In mid-November 1996, Univ. of
Maryland researchers reported, in a study completed for the
Chesapeake Bay Foundation and the Baltimore Urban League, that
blue crabs, eels, and catfish collected from the Baltimore Harbor
between 1983 and 1990 were contaminated with heavy metals (lead
and cadmium) and could be harmful if consumed. MD Dept. of the
Environment officials reported that harbor crabs tested in 1995
contained much less lead. [Assoc Press, Baltimore Sun via

ICCAT Meeting. On Nov. 15, 1996, a U.S. ICCAT Commissioner
indicated that the United States may seek ICCAT approval of trade
sanctions against non-ICCAT Member nations Belize, Honduras, and
Panama for harvesting bluefin tuna in the Mediterranean Sea
without regard to ICCAT guidelines. On Nov. 20, 1996, Panama's
Commerce Minister denied any violations of ICCAT guidelines. He
reported that Panamanian vessels were told in October 1996 that
their registry would be canceled if they fished for Atlantic
bluefin tuna. On Nov. 22-29, 1996, the International Commission
for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) met in San
Sebastian, Spain. On Nov. 29, 1996, NMFS announced that ICCAT
had adopted a program for compliance with bluefin tuna and
swordfish catch quotas by member nations. Nations will be
required to repay 100% for any overharvest as an initial penalty,
with repeated overharvesting resulting in quota reductions of
125% of the overharvested volume and, as a last resort, import
bans. In addition, ICCAT authorized nations to impose import
bans against non-members Belize, Honduras, and Panama for
undermining ICCAT's conservation measures for bluefin tuna.
{Belize and Honduras were given 6 months to respond before
sanctions would be imposed; Panama was given until Jan. 1, 1998
to provide proof that actions already taken have been effective
in controlling illegal fishing.} Non-member Trinidad and Tobago
was to be notified of ICCAT concern that its swordfish activities
jeopardize ICCAT's conservation programs and that continued
fishing could lead to an import ban. ICCAT increased the annual
quota for western Atlantic bluefin tuna by 150 metric tons to
2354 metric tons, with the U.S. share being 1344.4 metric tons.
The 1997 quota for north Atlantic swordfish is 11,300 metric
tons, with declining quotas for 1998 and 1999. {On Dec. 3,
1996, the Japanese Fishery Agency announced that, if ICCAT
conditions are not met, Japan would ban imports of Atlantic
bluefin tuna from Belize, Honduras, and Panama. Tuna imports
from these 3 nations accounts for about 10% of Japan's annual
consumption.} [Assoc Press, Reuters, NOAA press release, Kyodo
via Foreign Broadcast Information Service]

Canadian Shellfish Fees. On Nov. 15, 1996, WA Sen. Patty
Murray wrote to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative
requesting an investigation of new fees imposed by Canada on
shellfish imports from the United States. While Canada considers
these to be permitted as inspection fees, Sen. Murray believes
they may constitute an unfair trade practice in violation of
NAFTA. [Assoc Press]

Halibut and Sablefish IFQs. On Nov. 15, 1996, the 1996
southeast Alaska halibut/sablefish IFQ season ended; in the week
before the season closed, about 6% of the quota for each species
was not yet harvested, compared to 14% of the halibut quota and
11% of the sablefish quota unharvested in 1995. [Assoc Press]

Volusia County Sea Turtle Nesting. On Nov. 15, 1996, U.S. Fish
and Wildlife Service officials endorsed Volusia County, FL's
application for an incidental take permit under the Endangered
Species Act that would allow driving on selected Volusia County
beaches as long as the county takes steps outlined in a habitat
conservation plan to minimize the threat to turtles. [Assoc
Press, Orlando Sentinel via Greenwire]

NJ Shellfish Waters. On Nov. 14, 1996, the Commissioner of NJ's
Dept. of Environmental Protection announced the opening of 4,794
acres to shellfishing, due to decreased pollution in NJ bays and
ocean waters. This results in 87% of available state waters open
to shellfishing. Only 6 acres of new closures were announced.
[Assoc Press]

Shrimp Bycatch Reduction. On Nov. 14, 1996, the Gulf of Mexico
Fishery Management Council voted 11-1 (with 1 abstention) to
recommend that shrimpers be required to use bycatch reduction
devices (BRDs) when trawling in Gulf of Mexico waters west of
Cape San Blas, FL, between 10 and 100 fathoms deep. [Assoc

San Onofre Kelp Reef. On Nov. 13, 1996, the California Coastal
Commission was scheduled to consider a request by Southern
California Edison to approve a 16.8 acre experimental kelp reef
to mitigate the impact of its San Onofre nuclear power plant,
instead of a larger reef agreed to in 1991. The utility contends
the larger reef is not needed. [Greenwire]

Gulf of Mexico Red Tide. On Nov. 13, 1996, the LA state health
officials suspended oyster harvesting in LA waters east of the
Mississippi River Gulf Outlet after toxic red tide algae were
discovered for the first time in LA waters. Harvesting from MS
and AL oyster reefs has also been prohibited; Mississippi Sound
oyster reefs were closed on Nov. 7, 1996, while Mobile Bay and
adjacent AL waters were closed on Nov. 10. According to AL
Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources biologists, no
historical record is known of red tides in AL waters. {Waters
along about two-thirds of the Texas coast between Matagorda Bay
and the Rio Grande River have been closed since early November
1996.} [Assoc Press]

Invasive Species. On Nov. 13, 1996, NOAA will hold a national
Forum on Coastal and Marine Aquatic Nuisance Species as part of
the fall Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force meeting at the San
Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge. [The Nature Conservancy
press release via Greenwire, Congr. Record, NOAA press release]

NC Fisheries Moratorium. On Nov. 12, 1996, the NC Moratorium
Steering Committee submitted its 155-page final report
recommending changes to overhaul NC marine fisheries to the NC
Joint Legislative Commission on Seafood and Aquaculture. The
Commission will meet Dec. 9-10, 1996, to consider the
Committee's report. [Assoc Press]

Pfiesteria problems. On Nov. 11, 1996, USA Today reported that
Duke Univ. neurologists had found a link between the algae,
Pfiesteria piscida, and short-term memory loss in rats, and may
be responsible for painful illness and amnesia in humans. [USA
Today via Greenwire]

Essential Fish Habitat. On Nov. 8, 1996, NMFS published an
advanced notice of proposed rulemaking requesting comments by
Dec. 9, 1996, on proposed guidelines for implementing the
provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and
Management Act relating to identification and protection of
essential fish habitat. [Federal Register]

Shrimp Embargo. On Nov. 8, 1996, the United States lifted its
embargo on importation of shrimp from Thailand in recognition of
Thailand's enactment of turtle protection measures on Sept. 15,
1996. On Nov. 11, 1996, Thai officials announced that Thailand
would not retract its earlier complaint to the World Trade
Organization concerning the U.S. shrimp embargo. On Nov. 19,
1996, representatives of nations filing the WTO complaint against
the United States will meet with U.S. officials in Geneva for
discussions. [NFI press release, Dow Jones News]

Japan-South Korea Fisheries Talks. On Nov. 7-8, 1996, Japanese
and South Korean officials will meet in Tokyo for a third round
of discussions to review the bilateral fisheries agreement
between these nations. Japan is expected to seek adoption of a
new understanding that the authority to control illegal
operations by fishing vessels should be granted to the country in
whose waters the illegal operations occur. [Dow Jones News]

Florida Net Ban. On Nov. 7, 1996, Governor Chiles and his
Cabinet voted to adopt a recommendation by the FL Marine
Fisheries Commission for a 90-day emergency ban on the use of
tarp nets to harvest mullet. [Tampa Tribune and St. Petersburg
Times via Greenwire]

Commercial Fishing License Fraud. On Nov. 7, 1996, NC Marine
Patrol officers announced that they had recently arrested eight
commercial fishermen for fraud, after they were alleged to have
purchased resident NC commercial fishing licenses without being
state residents, and that more arrests on similar charges were
anticipated. [Assoc Press]

Hardhead Catfish Deaths. In early November 1996, a large number
of hardhead catfish were found dead near the border between
Cameron and Willacy Counties, TX. This appears to be related to
other instances of hardhead catfish mortality across the Gulf of
Mexico that cannot be directly attributed to red tide. The cause
of the mortalities is unknown. [Assoc Press]

Coast Guard Boarding Refusal. On Nov. 5, 1996, a federal jury
convicted a commercial salmon fisherman of 2 misdemeanors for
refusing to allow Coast Guard personnel to board his fishing
vessel off central California in May 1996 for a routine
inspection, but without a warrant; the fisherman was acquitted on
3 felony charges. Sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 3, 1996,
with as much as a year in jail and $100,000 fine possible.
[Assoc Press]

FL Keys Sanctuary Referendum. On Nov. 5, 1996, 52% of Monroe
County, Florida, voters voted against retaining the FL Keys
National Marine Sanctuary in a non-binding referendum; 42% of
voters favored the Sanctuary. [Assoc Press]

New England Groundfish. As of Nov. 1, 1996, the Dept. of
Commerce had received applications from 164 groundfish vessels
(109 from Massachusetts and 38 from Maine) for its $23 million
vessel buyout program, with bids totalling $58.25 million. In
early November 1996, NMFS managers announced that New England
fishermen had significantly exceeded the 1996 annual target quota
for cod -- 7.1 million pounds caught in the Gulf of Maine versus
a target of 6.1 million pounds (17% over) and more than 8 million
pounds caught on Georges Bank versus a target of 4.1 million
pounds (nearly double). Speculation is that the New England
Fishery Management Council may be forced to consider additional
options to limit groundfish harvest. Dec. 15, 1996 is the
deadline for receipt of applications from groundfish permit
holders to participate in a Jan. 2 to Mar. 31, 1997 NMFS test
of a new satellite system that will automatically report
days-at-sea. {On Dec. 1, 1996, the U.S. Coast Guard seized the
catch of a New Bedford, MA scallop vessel allegedly fishing
inside a closed area east of Cape Cod. The catch, valued at
$12,000, will be sold and the proceeds held in escrow until the
case is resolved. On Dec. 11, 1996, the New England Fishery
Management Council is scheduled to discuss its Multispecies
Monitoring Committee's report concluding that two years of
commercial fishery restrictions have been insufficient to restore
groundfish stocks, and that commercial vessels would have to be
limited to 14 days of fishing annually to eliminate overfishing.
The Committee report presents 4 options for addressing the
continuing problem; the most restrictive option would reduce
groundfish harvest by 74% to eliminate overfishing. The
Committee observes that, while haddock stocks are showing signs
of recovery, cod stocks remain near historic lows.} [Assoc Press,
Fed. Register]

Salmon Along the Pacific Coast

{March 1996 Salmon Suit. On Dec. 6, 1996, the ten fishermen's
and environmental groups that filed a Mar. 14, 1996 lawsuit in
federal court charging that NMFS, the Army Corps of Engineers,
and the Bureau of Reclamation were violating the Endangered
Species Act by developing salmon restoration measures that fell
short of what is required for operating 8 dams along the Columbia
and Snake Rivers to meet flow targets, and failing to follow even
their flawed restoration plan, were scheduled to file a motion
for summary judgment. These groups are claiming that there was
no scientific justification for "last minute" changes to the
federal biological opinion on measures of success in salmon
recovery, and that such changes were inappropriate. The groups
seek to open new consultation with states and tribes leading to
development of a modified salmon recovery plan. Judge Malcolm
Marsh is hearing this case and the motion.} [Assoc Press]

{Dworshak Dam Drawdown. On Dec. 4, 1996, Army Corps of
Engineers officials announced that they planned to lower Dworshak
Reservoir (Idaho) by 100 feet by mid-September 1997 to seal
bedrock cracks beneath the dam on the Clearwater River. Water
levels will start being lowered after the July 4 holiday, and be
lowered 70 feet by Aug. 15.} [Assoc Press]

{New Habitat Conservation Plan Guidelines. On Dec. 3, 1996,
NMFS and FWS officials jointly announced new guidelines to
streamline and expedite the habitat conservation plan (HCP)
permit process under the Endangered Species Act. A new HCP
handbook outlines a special "low-effect" HCP category for small
landowners and other minor- or negligible-impact projects. The
new guidelines aim for greater flexibility in procedural
decisions and target approval deadlines.} [FWS press release]

{Pacific Salmon Treaty. On Dec. 2, 1996, British Columbia
scientists reported that 1996 BC Fraser River sockeye salmon run
totalled 4.3 million fish, significantly higher than the 1.6
million initial forecast. An excellent run of 7 million sockeye
was reported for the Skeena River. However, coho salmon returns
along the south coast were near record lows.} [Assoc Press]

{Central CA Coho Salmon. Dec. 2, 1996 was the deadline for
comments on NMFS interim forestry guidelines to protect central
CA coho salmon habitat. The interim guidelines are developed to
assist landowners in complying with the Endangered Species Act
when the listing of central CA coho salmon becomes effective on
Dec. 30, 1996.} [NMFS news release]

{Gas Bubble Research Meeting. In late November 1996, researchers
met in Portland, OR, to review gas bubble research in the
Columbia-Snake River drainage over the past year.} [NW

Copper River Salmon. On Nov. 23-24, 1996, the Alaska Board of
Fisheries held hearings in Fairbanks to take public comment on
possible changes in salmon allocation between subsistence, sport,
and commercial users on the Copper River. [Assoc Press]

{Payette River Council. On Nov. 21, 1996, the Payette Watershed
Council met for its initial meeting. This new public-private
group seeks to resolve water release scheduling concerns in the
Payette watershed to provide water from Cascade Reservoir for
Snake River salmon migration in a manner that is sensitive to
other water use and quality concerns in the drainage.} [Assoc

WA Salmon Habitat Protection. In mid-November 1996, the WA
Forest Practices Board adopted a stream-protection rule developed
as a compromise by Timber, Fish and Wildlife, an association
formed to seek consensus on controversial habitat issues. The
new rule makes it a presumption that a stream with certain
physical characteristics supports fish, unless proven otherwise.
Such a rule could make it easier to protect fish habitat from
streamside logging. {Timber, Fish and Wildlife is coordinating a
long-term, comprehensive study of ways to better protect fish in
waterways on forested land, seeking to forestall additional
endangered and threatened species listings of fish.} [Assoc
Press, Tacoma News Tribune via Greenwire]

Alaska Salmon Waste. On Nov. 12-13, 1996, the AK Dept. of Fish
and Game coordinated an Anchorage meeting of fishing industry
representatives, salmon hatchery operators, state officials, and
charity managers to consider how to better deal with excess
salmon that cannot be marketed. AK Governor Tony Knowles
requested this meeting in a September 1996 letter to Earth
activists who protested waste during the 1996 salmon season. On
Nov. 13, 1996, an Earth activist filed suit in Alaska Superior
Court against the state of Alaska seeking to void regulations
permitting fish carcasses to be dumped after roe stripping.
[Assoc Press, Reuters]

Cook Inlet Salmon. On Nov. 11-18, 1996, the Alaska Board of
Fisheries was scheduled to meet to consider revisions to all 13
upper Cook Inlet salmon management plans. No oral public
testimony will be taken, but testimony is being sought from
various advisory committees. On Nov. 12, 1996, the Alaska Board
of Fisheries voted 6-1 to postpone discussion of controversial
Cook Inlet salmon management issues until March 1997. [Assoc
End of Part 1

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