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Subject: Part 3 - Info Summary for U.S. Congress and Staff
From: Aldo-Pier Solari <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:[log in to unmask]
Date:Sun, 8 Dec 1996 05:42:24 GMT

text/plain (219 lines)

Date: Fri, 06 Dec 1996 10:58:02 -0500
From: Gene Buck <[log in to unmask]>

Info Summary for U.S. Congress and Staff - Part 3.

Tilapia Imports.   In  early  November  1996,  the Seafood Market
Analyst reported that U.S.  imports of fresh or  chilled  tilapia
fillets  were almost 50% higher for Jan.-Aug.  1996 than the same
8 months in 1995.  Costa Rica  (647 metric tons) and Ecuador (320
metric tons) are the major suppliers  for  the  U.S.   market  --
together  accounting for more than 70% of the import volume.  The
value of these imports  has  increased  58%  from a year earlier.
About 97% of  these  tilapia  imports  enter  the  United  States
through Miami.  [Seafood Market Analyst]

Farm  Fresh  Catfish  Sale.  In early November 1996, Hormel Foods
Corp.  (Austin, MN) announced  that  it  has an agreement to sell
its  Farm  Fresh  Catfish  Co.   unit  (Hollandale,  MS)  to   an
undisclosed  buyer.   The  sale is anticipated to be final by the
late December 1996.  [Wall Street Journal]

Freshwater Fisheries

{Lower Talarik Creek Protection.   On  Dec.   5, 1996, The Nature
Conservancy of Alaska completed a 155-acre  land  purchase  along
lower Talarik Creek, a well-known rainbow trout steam in Alaska's
Lake Iliamna watershed.} [Reuters]

{Corps  Wetlands  Permitting.   In  early December 1996, the Army
Corps of Engineers  anticipates  publishing  modifications of its
wetlands permitting regulations to reduce the minimum tract  size
that would have to be reviewed by NMFS, FWS, and EPA.  Currently,
developers can fill wetlands of less than an acre without review;
the  new regulations would require review of all wetland projects
exceeding one-third of an  acre.   More extensive review has been
required for modifying wetlands exceeding 10 acres, but  the  new
regulations  will  lower this threshold to 3 acres.} [Los Angeles
Times via Greenwire]

{WI Panfish Limit.  On Dec.   4,  1996,  the WI Dept.  of Natural
Resources' Natural Resources Board approved a  reduction  in  the
daily   limit   for  panfish  (bluegills,  crappies,  perch,  and
pumpkinseeds) from 50 fish to  25  fish, effective in 1998.  This
action was taken in response to concerns about  diminishing  fish
populations in WI lakes.} [Assoc Press]

{Elk  River  Settlement.   On  Dec.   2,  1996,  the U.S.  Forest
Service and environmental groups  announced settlement related to
a lawsuit filed in September 1996 by the Sierra Club,  Heartwood,
and  Trout  Unlimited  seeking  to  stop  a  timber  sale  in the
Monongahela National Forest,  WV,  with  concern for the possible
effects of sedimentation in streams feeding into  the  Upper  Elk
River.   The Forest Service agreed to reduce the timber sale size
by 1,000 acres and decrease the  harvest by about 3 million board
feet, streams would be monitored during timber harvesting, and  a
buffer  would  be  maintained  between  the  harvested  lands and
private property.} [Assoc Press]

{TX Fishing  License  System  Problems.   On  Dec.   2,  1996, an
official of the Texas Parks and Wildlife  Dept.   announced  that
the  contractor  working  on  a  new  hunting and fishing license
system for the state has not been paid yet because the contractor
has not met minimum requirements  of  the contract and the system
is not yet operating.  The new system  is  supposed  to  generate
hunting  and  fishing  licenses  electronically,  saving time and
money for the state  and  retailers.   In addition, the system is
supposed to allow the state to suspend licenses of persons behind
in child-support payments.} [Assoc Press]

{VA Coal Waste Spills.  On Nov.  27, 1996, the third  coal  waste
spill  in  less than 4 months sent water and fine coal to blacken
about 20 miles of streams in  southwest VA.  Although a fish kill
was not reported, the VA Dept.  of Mines,  Minerals,  and  Energy
anticipated  disciplinary  action.}  [Richmond  Time-Dispatch via

{Brine Shrimp Harvest Halted.  On  Nov.   23, 1996, the Utah Div.
of Wildlife Resources halted the  annual  brine  shrimp  (Artemia
sp.)  egg  harvest  in  the  Great  Salt  Lake  after  monitoring
indicated  almost as many eggs had been gathered as in the entire
season last year.  The season was  to remain open until Jan.  31,
1997 but, after 14,679,498 pounds of brine shrimp eggs  had  been
harvested,  regulators  stopped the harvest to avoid overfishing.
Until the 1995-1996 season, the average annual harvest was around
10 million pounds.  Brine  shrimp  eggs are exported to southeast
Asian prawn farmers.} [Assoc Press]

Lake Mead Pollutants.  On Nov.  19, 1996, U.S.  Geological Survey
scientists released a report at the annual meeting of the Society
of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry indicating that  common
chemical pollutants, acting as hormone disrupters, may be harming
the  reproductive  success  of  fish  in  Lake  Mead and 20 other
locations across the United States.  [Greenwire]

Menominee  Treaty  Fishing  Rights.   On  Nov.   15,  1996,  U.S.
District Court Judge Barbara Crabb has declined to reconsider her
September 1996 decision  that  the  tribes  had surrendered their
fishing and hunting privileges on public  lands  in  eastern  and
central Wisconsin.  The tribes have filed a notice of appeal with
the 7th U.S.  Circuit Court of Appeals.  [Assoc Press]

Grazing  Lawsuit.   In  mid-November  1996,  U.S.  District Court
Judge James Parker approved  an  agreement  between the Bureau of
Land Management and the environmental group Forest  Guardians  in
partial  settlement  of  a May 1996 lawsuit charging that BLM was
not timely in preparing  a  biological  opinion on the effects of
cattle grazing on riparian-dependent species in New  Mexico.   As
part of the agreement, BLM will complete a study by March 1997 on
how cattle grazing along NM streams may affect several species of
fish and birds listed as threatened or endangered.  [Santa Fe New
Mexican via Greenwire]

Fish  Creek  Restoration.   On  Nov.  14, 1996, state and federal
agencies were to hold a public informational meeting in Edgerton,
OH, to discuss the recently  released draft plan's 3 alternatives
for restoring Fish Creek.  This drainage was extensively  damaged
in  1993  when about 30,000 gallons of diesel fuel spilled from a
broken underground pipeline into  the  Creek.  Under a negotiated
settlement with pipeline owners and operators, about $2.5 million
is available to restore  and  rehabilitate  Fish  Creek  and  its
resources.  [U.S.  Fish and Wildlife Service press release]

St.   Croix  Mussels.  On Nov.  13, 1996, the Sierra Club's North
Star Chapter held a news  conference in Prescott, WI, asking that
the MN and WI Depts.  of Natural Resources and  the  U.S.   Coast
Guard  take  action  to restrict the spread of zebra mussels from
the Mississippi River into the  lower St.  Croix River to protect
rare native mussels species in the St.  Croix.  [Assoc Press]

Oregon ESA Suit.  On Nov.  13,  1996,  the  U.S.   Supreme  Court
heard  oral  arguments  in  a case wherein 2 OR ranchers and 2 OR
irrigation  districts  sought  the   right  to  sue  the  federal
government to limit protection for the Lost River sucker and  the
shortnose   sucker   under   "citizen  suit"  provisions  of  the
Endangered Species Act.  The  Court's  ruling should be available
in July 1997.  [Greenwire, NY Times via Greenwire]

Wastewater  Hormones.   On  Nov.    12,   1996,   UK   government
researchers  reportedly published results wherein they found that
very minute levels of natural human female hormones in wastewater
were causing the sex of fish to be altered.  [London Guardian and
London Independent via Greenwire]

Neuse River Hearings.  On  Nov.   12,  1996, the NC Environmental
Management Commission is scheduled to hold the first of 4  public
hearings  on  its plan for reducing pollution in the Neuse River.
Under the plan, cities would  be required to reduce the dissolved
nitrogen content in sewage discharges by 30%  and  farmers  would
have  to  plant  vegetation  buffers  along  streams or use other
methods to reduce  fertilizer  and  animal  waste runoff.  [Assoc

Sturgeons and Caviar.  On Nov.  11, 1996, the World Wildlife Fund
released a report discussing increasing threats to sturgeons that
are likely to reduce the availability  of  high  quality  caviar.
The  report  recommends  stronger  U.S.  import controls to limit
illegal trade, bans on trawling  for sturgeon and more protective
laws in Russia, Iran, and countries around the Caspian Sea, and a
labeling system  to  identify  the  products  of  legal  sturgeon
fisheries.   On  Nov.  14, 1996, fishing industry representatives
from  Russia,  Azerbaijan,  Iran,  Kazakhstan,  and Turkmenistan,
meeting as an international committee on Caspian  Sea  biological
resources,  signed a protocol banning fishing for sturgeon in the
Caspian  Sea  beginning  in   1997.   Sturgeon  fishing  will  be
permitted in the lower reaches of  the  Volga  and  Ural  Rivers.
[Assoc Press, Interfax]

Whirling Disease.  On Nov.  8, 1996, WA state officials announced
the first detection of whirling disease parasites in the state --
in  the  Grand  Ronde  River  drainage  in SW Washington.  [Assoc

Yellowstone Lake Trout.  In  November 1996, National Park Service
biologists reported conclusion of a successful year in  beginning
to   eradicate   lake  trout  from  Yellowstone  Lake.   A  major
accomplishment was discovery of a spawning ground near Carrington
Island in the West Thumb of the Lake.  A total of 180 mature lake
trout were netted from this  spawning ground and removed.  [Assoc

Illegal Mussel Harvesting.  In early November 1996,  an  Illinois
man  was sentenced to 27 months in prison and fined almost $8,300
for illegally taking  Mississippi  River  mussels in Illinois and
transporting them to Iowa.  [Assoc Press]

Sandtrap Mitigation.  In early November 1996, the Michigan  Dept.
of  Natural  Resources  announced an agreement with an excavating
company for construction of  a  180-foot  long, 5- to 6-foot deep
sandtrap in a streambed to catch silt  in  a  popular  trout  and
salmon  stream entering Lake Superior.  The excavating company is
installing the trap as  compensation  for  allowing sand to enter
the stream from an upstream sandpit; the  sandtrap  will  require
regular cleaning to maintain its efficiency.  [Assoc Press]

Bull  Trout.  On Nov.  1, 1996, U.S.  District Judge Robert Jones
released a draft opinion in  response  to  a lawsuit filed by the
Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Inc.   and  Friends  of  the  Wild
Swan,  that  would  require  the  U.S.  Fish and Wildlife Service
(USFWS) to reconsider its decision  not  to  list bull trout as a
threatened or endangered species.  The draft opinion finds  USFWS
in violation of its procedures by failing to explain why requests
for  emergency  listing  of  bull  trout were rejected.  If after
reconsideration, the USFWS  does  not  change  its  1994 and 1995
findings, the agency would be  required  to  issue  an  emergency
listing  for  the  fish.  On Nov.  13, 1996, U.S.  District Judge
Robert Jones released his  32-page  ruling  citing the U.S.  Fish
and  Wildlife  Service  for  failure  to  provide   an   adequate
explanation  of  its  denial  of  an  application  for  emergency
protection  of  bull trout and ordering the Service to reconsider
its refusal to list  this  species  as a threatened or endangered
species.  {Judge Jones gave the USFWS 4 months  to  act  on  this
ruling.} [Assoc Press, Greenwire]

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.
End of Part 3.

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