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Subject: CRS Summary - Part 2/3
From: Aldo-Pier Solari <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Academic forum on fisheries ecology and related topics <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 12 May 1997 12:22:10 GMT

text/plain (260 lines)

From: Kate Wing <[log in to unmask]>

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]

Glacier  Bay  Commercial Fishing.  On Apr.  16, 1997, Glacier Bay
National Park (AK)  officials  published  proposed regulations in
the Federal Register that would prohibit  commercial  fishing  in
wilderness waters of the Park.  Commercial fishing would still be
allowed  in outer coastal areas.  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]

EU Fleet Restructuring.  On Apr.  15, 1997,  the  EU's  Fisheries
Council  approved, by a 13-2 qualified majority vote (Britain and
France opposed),  a  new  5-year  program  to  reduce  catches of
endangered fish stocks by 30% while catches of overfished  stocks
would  be  reduced 20% by the end of 2001.  Individual EU Members
would retain flexibility  in  choosing  whether to remove fishing
vessels from the fleet, reduce fishing vessel time at sea,  or  a
combination  of  both.   Fishing  vessels  less than 12 meters in
length are exempt  from  the  new restrictions.  [Reuters, Agence
Europe via Reuters, Assoc Press, Dow Jones News]

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.  {THE
Camp markets  "Chicken  of  the  Sea"  brand  seafood.  [Van Camp
Seafood press release via Dow Jones News]

Kodiak Seafood Plant Fire.  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 an Apr.  3 fire.  {In early May 1997, Tyson Seafoods officials
canceled their plans to relocate a floating processor  vessel  to
Kodiak  for the June pollock season, saying their 15 Kodiak-based
vessels had found other temporary markets.} [Assoc Press]

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

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.  {On May 5, 1997, NOAA released the results of the first
Bay-wide blue  crab  stock  assessment  by  9  state  and federal
scientists, concluding that Chesapeake Bay's blue crab population
has remained stable since the 1950s, despite increasing  harvest.
While  the  blue crab stock is providing near maximum sustainable
yield, the fishery  is  severely  overcapitalized and operates at
extremely low levels of economic efficiency.  Since 1945, fishing
effort  has  increased  five-fold.}  [Assoc  Press,  NOAA   press

Salmon Along the Pacific Coast

{Umpqua  River  Cutthroat  Trout.  On May 7, 1997, a coalition of
fishing  and  environmental  groups   filed  a  lawsuit  in  U.S.
District Court (Portland, OR) against the U.S.   Forest  Service,
Bureau  of  Land Management, and NMFS, challenging NMFS's opinion
that the Northwest forest plan was adequate to protect endangered
Umpqua River  cutthroat  trout.   The  plaintiffs  are asking for
specific measures to better protect this species.} [Assoc Press]

{Bristol Bay Price-Fixing Suit.  On  May  2,  1997,  two  seafood
processors  agreed  to pay $2 million to settle a 1995 $1 billion
class-action lawsuit  alleging  price-fixing  in  the Bristol Bay
salmon fishery from  1989  through  1995.   Although  14  smaller
processors  previously  settled  for  about  $500,000,  about  40
defendants remain.} [Assoc Press]

Salmon  Habitat  Restoration.   The  May  1997 issue of Fisheries
published 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  an  entire  watershed
including  modification of upslope and riparian conditions, these
individuals suggest.  [Fisheries]

Pacific Salmon Treaty.  On  Apr.   25, 1997, talks among Canadian
and U.S.   fishermen  and  fishing  industry  representatives  in
Juneau,  AK,  ended with negotiators agreeing to consider setting
catch quotas for two southern  southeast AK salmon fisheries (one
seine and one gillnet) using "abundance-based management" wherein
harvest would reflect increases or decreases  in  pink,  sockeye,
and   chum   salmon   populations.   Additional  discussions  are
scheduled for May 5-9, 1997, in Vancouver, BC.  [Assoc Press]

Columbia  River  Spring  Chinook.   In  late  April  1997, state,
federal, and tribal biologists increased their projection of  the
1997  Columbia-Snake  River spring chinook salmon run from 68,000
to 90,000 fish, after  almost  55,000 spring chinook were counted
passing Bonneville Dam as of Apr.  25, 1997.  {ON  MAY  8,  1997,

Fishing  Community Diversification.  On Apr.  24, 1997, officials
of the Ford Foundation announced a $2 million grant to create the
nation's  first  bank  holding  company  dedicated  to  promoting
environmentally sound  economic  development,  including economic
diversification in  coastal  communities  suffering  from  salmon
season  closures.  The conservation group Ecotrust (Portland, OR)
will join with the Shore  Bank  Corp.   (Chicago, IL) to form the
new holding company.  The holding company will  offer  loans  for
conservation-based   development   in  coastal  communities  from
northern CA through Prince William Sound, AK.  [Assoc Press]

AK Fishing Guides.   On  Apr.   23,  1997,  the  Kenai River (AK)
Special Management Area Advisory Committee  held  a  hearing  and
received  testimony  on  whether  to  limit  the  number of sport
fishing guides on the  river,  charge guides higher license fees,
conduct a study of overcrowding in the river's sport fishery,  or
take  other  action.   On Apr.  30, 1997, the AK House approved a
bill that would authorize the state to regulate and license sport
fishing guides.  [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]

Nitrogen  Supersaturation.    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%.
{In  early  May 1997, nitrogen saturation levels were reported to
have reached 140% below John  Day  Dam  on the Columbia River and
128% below Ice Harbor Dam on the Snake River.} [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]

ESA Listing of Coho  Salmon.   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.  OR and NMFS signed a memorandum of  agreement  on  Apr.
24, 1997.  On Apr.  25, 1997, NMFS announced that northern CA and
southern  OR  coho  salmon  would be listed as "threatened" while
northern and central OR coastal  coho  salmon would not be listed
in response to the state of OR's negotiated  recovery  plan,  but
identified as a "candidate" species for future consideration.  On
Apr.    30,   1997,   a   coalition  {of  25  environmental}  and
sport/commercial  fishermen's  groups  notified  NMFS  that  they
intend to file suit on the  decision  not to list OR coastal coho
salmon under the Endangered Species Act.  [Assoc Press, Reuters]

Juvenile Salmon Barging.  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]

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.
{On May  2,  1997,  BC  Premier  Glen  Clark  released  a 38-page
discussion paper calling for renewed discussion with the  federal
government  to  reduce  duplication  of  government  services and
outlining a sport fishing proposal  with 3 goals for fisheries --
1) protection of fish stocks and habitat, 2) creating sustainable
fishery jobs and stable communities, and 3) enhancing  BC's  role
in  fisheries  solutions.   On May 5, 1997, BC Premier Glen Clark
announced  a  C$1.5  million   grant  to  a  Community  Fisheries
Development  Centre   to   select   and   manage   a   range   of
community-based  fisheries  initiatives  over  3 years to support
displaced fishery  workers  and  fund  salmon habitat restoration
work.} [Assoc Press]
End of Part 2/3

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