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Subject: CRS Summary - Part 1/3
From: Aldo-Pier Solari <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Academic forum on fisheries ecology and related topics <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sat, 19 Apr 1997 02:49:31 GMT
Content-Type:text/plain
Parts/Attachments:
Parts/Attachments

text/plain (294 lines)


Date: Fri, 18 Apr 1997 12:12:57 -0400
From: Kate Wing <[log in to unmask]>

Fisheries and Marine Mammals: Most Recent Developments -- 4/18/97
Environment and Natural Resources Policy  Division  Congressional
Research Service

New info and changes since 4/11/97 are bracketed {...}.  New info
and changes since 4/17/97 are in CAPITAL LETTERS.

Marine Fisheries

ICCAT  Advisory  Meeting.   On  Apr.   22-24,  1997, the advisory
committee to the  U.S.   section  to the International Convention
for the Conservation of  Atlantic  Tunas  (ICCAT)  will  meet  in
Silver  Spring,  MD,  to discuss 1996 ICCAT accomplishments, 1997
management and research activities,  trade and compliance issues,
implementation  of  Sustainable  Fisheries  Act  provisions,  and
results of species working group meetings.  [Federal Register]

{JAPANESE FISHERIES WHITE PAPER.  ON APR.  18, 1997, THE  JAPAN'S
MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY, AND FISHERIES RELEASED A WHITE
PAPER  ON  FISHERIES,  CALLING  FOR  INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION IN
FISHERY MANAGEMENT  AND  ENHANCED  MEASURES  TO PROTECT FISHERIES
FROM OIL SPILL DAMAGE.} [DOW JONES NEWS]

{TRI-TECH FISHING  SERVICES  SALE.   ON  APR.   17,  1997,  SMITH
INTERNATIONAL,  INC.  ANNOUNCED THAT IT HAD COMPLETED ACQUISITION
OF TRI-TECH FISHING SERVICES, LLC (LAFAYETTE, LA).  TRI-TECH IS A
SUPPLIER OF FISHING SERVICES IN  THE  GULF OF MEXICO, TX, AND LA,
AND HAD 1996 REVENUES OF ABOUT $13 MILLION.} [DOW JONES NEWS]

{SERVAC SALE.  ON APR.  17, 1997, DOW  JONES  REPORTED  THAT  IRA
FOOD  BROKERS INC.  HAD AGREED TO ACQUIRE SERVAC INC.  AND SERVAC
INTERNATIONAL INC.; SERVAC IS  A COMMERCIAL FISHING BUSINESS WITH
ASSETS OF  ABOUT  $14  MILLION  AND  1996  SALES  OF  ABOUT  $2.2
MILLION.} [DOW JONES NEWS]

{Mississippi Floodwaters.  On Apr.  17, 1997, the last 18 bays of
the   Bonnet   Carre   Spillway  were  scheduled  to  be  closed,
terminating a one-month  release  of Mississippi River floodwater
into Lake Pontchartrain, LA.} [Assoc Press]

{SUBSISTENCE HALIBUT FISHERY.  ON APR.  16, 1997,  THE  AK  HOUSE
VOTED  24-13 TO APPROVE A RESOLUTION CALLING ON THE NORTH PACIFIC
FISHERY MANAGEMENT  COUNCIL  TO  REJECT  A  PROPOSAL  TO CREATE A
SUBSISTENCE FISHERY FOR HALIBUT IN STATE AND FEDERAL  WATERS  OFF
AK.} [ASSOC PRESS]

{Canadian  Atlantic  Groundfish.  On Apr.  16, 1997, the Canadian
government  announced  that  selected  Atlantic  cod  stocks have
recovered sufficiently that a limited commercial fishing will  be
allowed  to  resume.  Details of this reopening were presented by
Fisheries Minister Fred Mifflin on Apr.  17, with limited fishing
TO BE allowed  off  the  southern  coast  of Newfoundland (10,000
METRIC TONS) and in the NORTHERN Gulf  of  St.   Lawrence  (6,000
METRIC TONS).} [Assoc Press, DOW JONES NEWS, REUTERS]

{Atlantic  Bluefin  Tuna.   On  Apr.   16, 1997, NMFS proposed to
increase general commercial category  (from  531 metric tons (mt)
to 633 mt) and angling recreational category (from 222 mt to  265
mt)  quotas  for Atlantic bluefin tuna for the 1997 season.  This
increase  responds  to  a   slight   (33   mt)  increase  in  the
international quota granted to  the  United  States  (unallocated
quota  held  in  reserve  by the U.S.  was reduced to provide the
remainder of the harvest  quota  increases), and seeks to reflect
scientific monitoring requirements  and  recent  changes  in  the
fishery.   A  series  of 9 public hearings is scheduled along the
Atlantic and Gulf  Coasts  between  Apr.   22  and  May 8, 1997.}
[Assoc Press, NMFS press release]

{Van Camp Sale.  On Apr.  15, 1997, Van Camp  Seafood  Co.   Inc.
announced  that  it  had  entered  into  an agreement to sell its
assets to Tri-Union Seafoods LLC,  and  that Van Camp had filed a
voluntary petition under Chapter 11 of the U.S.  Bankruptcy  Code
in  the  U.S.  Bankruptcy Court to facilitate the sale.  Van Camp
markets "Chicken of the  Sea"  brand  seafood.} [Van Camp Seafood
press release via Dow Jones News]

{National Undersea Research Center Proposals.  In mid-April 1997,
the National Undersea Research Center (Univ.  of NC,  Wilmington)
announced  a  search  for  research  proposals  to  fund in 1998.
Research   priorities   include    fisheries   oceanography   and
recruitment processes, evaluation of ichthyofauna in the  Florida
Keys   National   Marine  Sanctuary  (FKNMS),  factors  affecting
recruitment of conch and  lobster within FKNMS, hardbottom reefs,
reef fish communities in Gray's Reef National  Marine  Sanctuary,
and  coral  habitat  in  the  Oculina  Banks  Research  Reserve.}
[National Undersea Research Center announcement]

{Italian  Driftnets.   On  Apr.   14-15,  1997,  the EU Fisheries
Council was scheduled to consider  a co-financing plan to convert
the Italian swordfish fishery away from driftnet use  during  the
1997-1999  period.   The  proposed  plan  would provide financial
incentives for fishermen and  vessel  owners to encourage them to
cease or modify  their  driftnet  fishing.}  [Agence  Europe  via
Reuters]

{Chesapeake Bay.  On Apr.  14, 1997, Virginia Institute of Marine
Science  researchers  reported  that  the  1997  aerial survey of
Chesapeake Bay indicated a 6% increase (3,500 more acres) in area
covered by sea  grasses,  reversing  a  2-year trend of declining
acreage.} [Assoc Press]

Galilee Redevelopment.  On Apr.  10, 1997,  RI  Governor  Lincoln
Almond  announced  plans for redevelopment of the fishing port of
Galilee and selection of a planning firm to develop a master plan
within 6 months.  [Assoc Press]

Herring Spotter Accident.   On  Apr.   9, 1997, two single-engine
planes  carrying  spotters  of  spawning  herring  for  fishermen
collided over Prince William Sound, AK, killing  two  individuals
in one of the planes.  [Assoc Press, Reuters]

Glacier  Bay  Commercial  Fishing.  On Apr.  8, 1997, Glacier Bay
National Park (AK) officials  announced that proposed regulations
would be published  in  late  April  1997  gradually  eliminating
commercial  fishing in wilderness waters of the Park.  Commercial
fishing would still be allowed  in  outer coastal areas.  A March
1997 federal appeal court decision upheld a  lower  court  ruling
that  federal  law  prohibits  commercial  fishing  in the park's
wilderness waters.  {Proposed  regulations  were published in the
Federal Register on Apr.  16, 1997, and a 6-month public  comment
period  is  provided.   The  proposal  would phase-out commercial
fishing over a 15-year period  in Glacier Bay proper with fishing
prohibited annually from May  through  September,  but  authorize
commercial   fishing   in   outer  marine  waters  of  the  Park.
Commercial  fishing  in  wilderness  waters  would  be prohibited
immediately upon publication of final regulations.} [Assoc Press,
National Park Service press release, Reuters]

AK Seafood Tax Lawsuit.  On Apr.  8, 1997, the  American  Factory
Trawler  Assoc.   (AFTA)  announced that it was dropping its 1994
lawsuit in AK  Superior  Court  challenging  Alaska's 3.3% tax on
at-sea processors of seafood as unconstitutional,  after  the  AK
Legislature  changed  the  tax law in 1996 to address most of the
perceived inequities that concerned  the AFTA.  The AFTA decision
will release more than $13 million in taxes held in escrow  while
the case was pending.  [Assoc Press, Reuters]

Beach  Renourishment  and  Sea  Turtles.   On Apr.  7, 1997, NMFS
halted hopper dredging in  FL,  SC,  and  NC after U.S.  Corps of
Engineers projects to replenish beach sand killed 19 sea turtles.
NMFS allowed a $54 million Myrtle Beach, SC, project to resume on
Apr.  8 after the hopper  dredge  was  replaced  by  a  hydraulic
dredge.   NMFS had agreed that the Corps could kill as many as 20
turtles  during  these   projects;   the   Corps   is  seeking  a
modification to allow as many as 30 turtles to be killed.  [Assoc
Press]

Humane Society TEDs Survey.  On Apr.  7, 1997, the Humane Society
of  the  United  States  reported  that  a   July-November   1996
undercover  survey of 32 shrimp trawlers in ports along the Texas
coast found 13 with TEDs  tied  shut.  Shrimpers were reported to
have admitted tracking the Coast Guard by radio to determine when
enforcement could be anticipated.  The Humane  Society  submitted
names  and  vessel  identifications  of  alleged TED violators to
federal officials.  [Assoc Press]

NCRI Research Proposals.   Apr.   7,  1997  was  the deadline for
preliminary proposals for new project  funding  by  the  National
Coastal  Resources  Research  and Development Institute (NCRI) in
Portland, OR,  in  4  program  areas:  aquaculture and fisheries,
coastal   business   and    community    economic    development,
environmental  and  marine technology, and seafood technology and
production.   Projects  can  be  anywhere  in  the  coastal U.S.,
including the Great Lakes and U.S.  Territories.   [NCRI  program
announcement]

Sea Turtle Protection.  On Apr.  7, 1997, Fiji banned the killing
and  molesting of sea turtles for 3 years, except for traditional
ceremonial purposes.  [Assoc Press]

{Seabird Protection.  In early April 1997, the Commission for the
Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna adopted a program to reduce
the incidental mortality of  seabirds in longline fisheries under
the Commission's jurisdiction.} [personal communication]

1996 U.S.  Seafood Trade.   In  early  April  1997,  the  Seafood
Market  Analyst  reported  that  the  value of 1996 U.S.  seafood
imports decreased more than  1%  from  the  previous year to $6.6
billion, while U.S.  seafood export value decreased nearly 8%  to
$2.9  billion.  This resulted in a U.S.  seafood trade deficit of
about $3.7 billion,  an  increase  of  about  3% from 1995.  U.S.
imports declined for shrimp and prawns (-5%); and  increased  for
farmed Atlantic salmon (+84% for fresh fillets and +10% for fresh
whole),  tilapia  (+41%  for  fresh  fillets  and +27% for frozen
whole), mussels (+34%), and  oysters  (+8%).  Although the volume
of U.S.  seafood exports increased  nearly  5%  in  1996,  salmon
contributed  significantly  to  the decline in export value.  The
leading U.S.   import  was  shrimp  at  $2.5  billion,  while the
leading export was  salmon  at  $620  million.   [Seafood  Market
Analyst, Assoc Press]

Combined  HMS  Plan.  On Apr.  4, 1997, NMFS published a proposal
in the Federal Register  soliciting  comments  on the benefits of
preparing one highly migratory species (HMS)  fishery  management
plan  with  one  advisory  panel.  Such a consolidated plan would
combine management  of  Atlantic  sharks,  swordfish,  and tunas.
Public comment will be accepted through May 15,  1997.   [Federal
Register]

Summer  Flounder Lawsuit.  On Apr.  4, 1997, a group representing
NC  commercial  fishermen  filed  suit  in  U.S.   District Court
(Norfolk, VA)  against  the  federal  government,  claiming  NMFS
summer   flounder   quotas   determinations  were  arbitrary  and
capricious.  The group claims  that  NC  is  the only state where
NMFS uses the state catch in calculating the federal quota.   The
group  is asking the Court to order the Secretary of Commerce not
to reduce annual quotas  to  adjust  for  catch overages from the
previous year.  [Assoc Press]

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.
[Assoc Press]

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]

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
Press]

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]

EU  Fishery  Aid  Guidelines.   On  March  27, 1997, the European
Commission published new guidelines  for examining aid granted by
Member States  for  all  fisheries  (except  sport  fishing)  and
aquaculture  to  assure  that such aid is justified in respect to
the basic objectives  of  the  Common  Fisheries Policy.  [Agence
Europe via Reuters]

Gulf Drug Smuggling.  On Mar.  27, 1997, U.S.   and  Texas  state
officials  announced  a  new  anti-drug  effort,  Operation  Gulf
Shield,  focusing on small, swift fishing vessels (shark boats or
lanchas) smuggling drugs  across  the  Gulf  of  Mexico to remote
Texas beaches.  About 700 federal, state, and local employees are
scheduled to participate in this effort.  [Assoc Press]
....
end of Part 1/3

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