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CRS Summary - Part 2/3


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


Academic forum on fisheries ecology and related topics <[log in to unmask]>


Fri, 25 Apr 1997 19:50:50 GMT





text/plain (1 lines)

Date: Fri, 25 Apr 1997 12:12:34 -0400
From: Kate Wing <[log in to unmask]>

Seagrass Restoration Agreement. On Apr. 4, 1997, city officials
of Tampa, St. Petersburg, and Clearwater, FL, will join
officials from Hillsborough, Pinellas, and Manatee counties in a
ceremony at the Florida Aquarium to announce an agreement to
restore 12,000 acres of seagrass and to protect 25,000 additional
acres of seagrass habitat. This agreement is part of the Tampa
Bay National Estuary Program. [Assoc Press]

Kodiak Seafood Plant Fire. On Apr. 3-4, 1997, a Tyson Seafood
Group Inc. seafood plant and adjacent permanently docked cargo
ship were significantly damaged by fire in Kodiak, AK. At its
peak processing, about 750 employees work at the Tyson facility.
Damage is likely in the million dollar range. Alternative
markets are being sought for the catch of the 15 vessels that
previously supplied the plant with cod, pollock, and flatfish.
{In mid-April 1997, Tyson Seafoods Group asked the Secretary of
Commerce for permission to relocate the floating processor vessel
Arctic Enterprise, to Kodiak for the early June pollock season to
replace processing capacity lost in the Apr. 3 fire.} [Assoc

Korean Oil Spill. On Apr. 3, 1997, the oil carrier Osong-Ho
sank off Tongyong, near Koje Island, South Kyongsang Province,
South Korea, spilling about 189 tons of bunker C oil from one
tank. Seven other tanks appear not to have leaked. There was no
immediate damage to fish farms along the coast. On Apr. 11,
1997, officials of the Japanese Maritime Safety Agency confirmed
that fuel oil had reached the coast of Tsushima Island. Japanese
fishermen indicated they would file claims with the International
Oil Pollution Compensation Fund. [Tokyo Kyodo via Foreign
Broadcast Information Service, Seoul Yonhap via Foreign Broadcast
Information Service]

Shrimp Embargo. On Apr. 3, 1997, the Office of the U.S. Trade
Representative will hold a briefing at its Washington, DC office
on the status of World Trade Organization dispute settlement
proceedings regarding U.S. sanctions on shrimp for the purposes
of sea turtle protection. [personal communication]

New England Groundfish. On Apr. 3, 1997, U.S. Administrative
Law Judge Peter A. Fitzpatrick fined two Cape Cod, MA, fishermen
and corporations owned by them a record $4.33 million for more
than 300 violations of federal fishery laws and regulations for
New England scallop and groundfish fisheries between March 1994
and February 1995. In addition, the two individuals were banned
from fishing in federal waters and had their 5 fishing-vessel and
one fish-dealer permits permanently revoked. Violations included
catching more fish than allowed, spending more days at sea than
allowed, using too many crew on vessels, buying or selling
illegal fish, using illegal gear, and making false statements to
federal agents. Twelve captains who worked for the two fishermen
also paid fines or were grounded for significant time periods.
The 2 fishermen indicate they will appeal the fine. [Assoc
Press, NOAA press release]

Sharks. On Apr. 2, 1997, NMFS filed a final rule, effective
immediately, reducing the annual commercial quota for large
coastal sharks in the Atlantic by 50% (from 2,570 metric tons to
1,285 metric tons), establishing a commercial quota of 1,760
metric tons for small coastal sharks, reducing the recreational
bag limits for all Atlantic sharks to 2 sharks per vessel per
trip, prohibiting all directed fishing for 5 shark species
(whale, basking, white, sand tiger, and bigeye sand tiger),
establishing a catch and release only recreational fishery for
white sharks, prohibiting filleting of sharks at sea, and
requiring species-specific identification of all sharks landed.
{On Apr. 22, 1997, the VA Marine Resources Commission voted to
prohibit the commercial landing of sharks less than 58 inches in
length.} [CMC press release, NOAA press releases, personal
communication, Assoc Press, Federal Register]

Gloucester Herring Plant? During April 1997, state and local
officials will review a proposal by the Dutch fishing
conglomerate Parevliet & Van Der Plas to construct and operate a
50,000 sq. foot processing plant for herring and some mackerel
at a state-managed pier in Gloucester, MA. About 20,000 tons of
herring would be packed, frozen, and shipped to European markets
annually, providing an estimated $10 million in economic benefits
to the community. The Dutch company is offering to fund the
conversion of Gloucester vessels for herring fishing. [Assoc

Japan-PRC Fishery Treaty. On Mar. 29, 1997, Japanese and
Chinese officials agreed to sign a new fisheries treaty without
defining their respective 200-mile economic zones, due to
territorial disputes. Talks on remaining issues will begin on
Apr. 21, 1997, in Tokyo. [Tokyo Kyodo via Foreign Broadcast
Information Service, Dow Jones News]

IFQ Advisory Panel. On Mar. 28, 1997, NMFS announced that it
was extending the deadline for nominations for two 15-member
advisory panels on individual fishing quotas (IFQs) until Apr.
14, 1997. The two panels, one for East Coast fisheries and one
for West Coast fisheries, will advise NMFS on the future use of
IFQs as a management tool and provide input for an IFQ study by
the National Research Council as directed by Congress. [NOAA
press release]

Saltwater Fish Consumption Advisory. On Mar. 28, 1997, ME
Bureau of Health officials, for the first time, recommended
limits on consumption of bluefish and striped bass due to
concerns about mercury contamination. [Assoc Press]

Salmon Along the Pacific Coast

Salmon Habitat Restoration. The May 1997 issue of Fisheries is
reported to be publishing the results of a study by three Pacific
Northwest fishery scientists concluding that few in-stream
habitat enhancement projects have resulted in any long-term
success for the fish. To succeed, such efforts must be combined
with restoration of ecological processes within the entire
watershed. [Assoc Press]


{Clinton Administration Western Land Management Strategy. On
Apr. 23, 1997, officials of the Clinton Administration announced
details of a draft $125 million-per-year land management
strategy, prepared by the Forest Service and Bureau of Land
Management, to increase logging, create jobs, and better protect
fish in 7 western states. Land use restrictions near streams
inhabited by fish on MORE THAN 72 million acres of national
forest and other public lands would be broadened. This strategy
was the preferred alternative in a draft environmental impact
statement for the Interior Columbia Basin Ecosystem Management
Project. The draft strategy now begins a 120-day public comment
period.} [Assoc Press, Reuters]

{OR Spill Special Permit. On Apr. 18, 1997, the OR
Environmental Quality Commission granted a special permit
allowing water to be spilled at Columbia River hydroelectric
dams, as long as dissolved nitrogen levels do not exceed 120%.}
[Assoc Press]

Salmon Hatchery Criticism. On Apr. 17, 1997, officials of the
Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission held a news
conference coincident with testimony before a House
Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, State, and the
Judiciary hearing, expressing concerns that Mitchell Act hatchery
funding in the Columbia River Basin has been discriminatory to
Indian fishing. [Assoc Press]

OR Coho Salmon Recovery Plan. On Apr. 17, 1997, The Oregonian
(Portland, OR) reported that it had obtained a copy of a draft
agreement between OR and the federal government wherein OR would
have the lead in salmon recovery efforts, with NMFS closely
watching OR's efforts to improve logging, grazing, and other
activities affecting water quality. NMFS would propose changes
in OR forestry regulations by Nov. 1, 1997, to achieve larger
streamside buffers and better landslide prevention measures. ESA
listing of coho salmon would be pursued if statutory changes to
OR law are not made by June 1, 1999. {On Apr. 18, 1997, OR
officials presented an alternative plan that would have an
independent scientific panel review logging rule changes proposed
by NMFS. NMFS has tentatively scheduled an announcement of its
listing decision on coho salmon for Apr. 25, 1997, in Portland,
OR. OR AND NMFS SIGNED a memorandum of agreement on Apr. 24,
1997.} [Assoc Press]

Salmon Recovery Appropriations Hearing. On Apr. 15, 1997, the
Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water
Development heard testimony from the U.S. Army Corps of
Engineers, Bureau of Reclamation, and Bonneville Power
Administration on plans and costs for salmon recovery in the
Columbia and Snake River basins. The Corps presented an estimate
that drawing down the 4 Lower Snake River dams would cost more
than $500 million and would require a specific authorization from
Congress. [Assoc Press, Congressional Record]

Canadian Salmon Fishery. On Apr. 15, 1997, British Columbia
Premier Glen Clark reported that an agreement had been reached
between the provincial BC government and the Canadian federal
government on shared management of salmon fisheries. Management
of the salmon fishery had been a federal responsibility; BC
desired a larger role. Details of the agreement were released on
Apr. 16. The agreement provides that both BC provincial and the
federal government will provide C$15 million for salmon habitat
restoration. In addition, a Canada-British Columbia Council of
Ministers will coordinate major salmon resource and habitat
issues, and a fisheries renewal advisory board will include
fishermen, industry groups, and communities to improve habitat.
[Assoc Press]

1997 Pacific Salmon Fishery. The Pacific Fishery Management
Council was scheduled to decide among 4 options for managing the
1997 salmon season, including one providing no non-Indian salmon
fishing off the coast of WA and northern OR, at meetings to be
held Apr. 7-11, 1997, in Millbrae, CA. Other options would
allow limited commercial and sport fishing for coho and chinook
salmon. For the 3rd consecutive year, no coho salmon fishing
would be allowed off most of OR and all of CA. On Apr. 11,
1997, the Pacific Fishery Management Council approved the
shortest salmon fishing season with the most severe restrictions
ever. Restrictions include no commercial fishing for coho salmon
anywhere along the coast, month-long closures including no
commercial salmon fishing along the CA coast between June 1 and
June 23 and along the OR coast between June 27 and August 1, no
tribal fishing for coho salmon in rivers, and severe limits on
catch quotas. [Assoc Press]

Umpqua River Cutthroat Trout. In early April 1997, NMFS released
a draft biological assessment concluding that, if built, the
Milltown Hill Dam, on Elk Creek near Yoncalla, OR, would
jeopardize the survival of endangered Umpqua River searun
cutthroat trout by blocking fish migration to spawning areas and
by releasing toxic mercury from an old mine. After review, a
final biological assessment is scheduled to be issued by May 10,
1997. [Assoc Press]

Nez Perce - Idaho Power Lawsuit. In early April 1997, U.S.
District Judge Edward Lodge approved a $16.r million settlement
in a lawsuit brought by the Nez Perce Tribe against Idaho Power
Co. in 1991, seeking $150 million in damages for building 3 dams
that destroyed a run of fall chinook salmon and fishery
guaranteed by a 1855 treaty. As part of the agreement, the Nez
Perce agreed to support relicensing of the 3 dams in 2003.
[Assoc Press]

Juvenile Salmon Barging. On Apr. 4, 1997, the Salmon Executive
Committee, meeting in Portland, OR, rejected a proposal from ID
and Columbia River Tribes to barge no more than 42% of downstream
migrating juvenile salmon and 54% of juvenile steelhead trout.
As a result, at least half of the downstream migrating juvenile
salmon are likely to be collected at dams and transported
downstream by barge, and as much as 80-85% of juvenile steelhead
trout may be transported by barge. In mid-April 1997, MT
Governor Marc Racicot informed NMFS that MT was withdrawing from
the Salmon Executive Committee, in the belief that upstream
interests are not receiving sufficient attention. MT will
continue to work through the Northwest Power Planning Council.
[Assoc Press]

Hatchery Coho Salmon Lawsuit. On Apr. 2, 1997, Tribal officials
announced an agreement with state and federal officials for the
release of 8.5 million juvenile coho salmon above Bonneville Dam
this spring in compliance with the 1988 Columbia River Fish
Management Plan. [Assoc Press]

Bristol Bay Salmon Price-Fixing Lawsuit. On Apr. 1, 1997,
letters were mailed to 6,000 Bristol Bay salmon fishermen who had
driftnet and setnet permit holders between 1989 and 1995,
explaining the pending $1 billion lawsuit in Alaska Superior
Court charging more than 60 seafood processors and Japanese
trading companies of conspiring to pay fishermen unfair low
prices. [Assoc Press]

Alleged NAFTA Violation by BC Hydro. On Apr. 1, 1997, a
coalition of U.S. and Canadian conservation, fishing, and
aboriginal groups announced their intention of filing a complaint
on Apr. 2, 1997, asking that the North American Commission on
Environmental Cooperation (an oversight panel under the North
American Free Trade Agreement) investigate allegations that
Canada has failed to enforce federal regulations on BC Hydro to
benefit salmon and other fish. The coalition claims that, while
U.S. power producers have been forced to alter operations to
protect salmon, Canadian dam operation has not been similarly
modified to benefit salmon. Groups in the coalition include the
Aboriginal Fisheries Commission of British Columbia, the British
Columbia Wildlife Federation, the Columbia River Inter-Tribal
Fisheries Commission, the Sierra Club, the Pacific Coast
Federation of Fishermen's Associations, and Trout Unlimited's
Spokane, WA Chapter. Specific concerns relate to how BC Hydro
stores and releases water -- critics contend that BC Hydro spills
water at times when it should be stored for fish rearing and
stores water when it should be released to assist salmon
migration. [Assoc Press, Dow Jones News]

1995 Biological Opinion Lawsuit. On Mar. 31, 1997, Judge
Malcolm Marsh questioned attorneys at a hearing in U.S. District
Court in Portland, OR, on the 1995 lawsuit by American Rivers,
the Sierra Club, and 8 other groups against NMFS challenging
implementation of NMFS's 1995 biological opinion on operation of
the Columbia and Snake River hydropower system. The groups are
seeking to have Judge Marsh order the drawdown of reservoirs
closer to the natural pre-dam state of the river to assist
juvenile salmon migration. On Apr. 3, 1997, Judge Marsh issued
a 33-page opinion upholding NMFS' biological opinion and ruling
that the federal salmon recovery plan was legal, and that he
could not interfere with the professional judgment of NMFS. [NW
Fishletter No. 30, Assoc Press]

Aquaculture and Aquaria

FL Aquarium Cuts. On Apr. 14, 1997, the president of the FL
Aquarium (Tampa, FL) announced the elimination of four top
managers, including himself, to save $260,000 in an effort to
further reduce operating costs. A new general manager will
oversee operations. [Reuters]

Norwegian Salmon Anti-Dumping. On Apr. 14, 1997, the European
Union's Anti-Dumping Committee met in Brussels to continue
consideration of a 13.7% anti-dumping duty proposed by the
European Commission for farmed Norwegian salmon. After
investigation, the Commission concluded that Norwegian salmon had
been sold below production costs and had received unlawful
subsidies, causing injury to EU producers. [Agence Europe via
end of Part 2/3

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