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Subject:

CRS Summary - Part 3/4

From:

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

Reply-To:

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

Date:

Fri, 23 May 1997 20:52:52 GMT

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (1 lines)


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

Fisheries and Marine Mammals: Most Recent Developments
Environment and Natural Resources Policy Division Congressional
Research Service

New info and changes since 5/15/97 are bracketed {...}. New info
and changes since 5/21/97 are in CAPITAL LETTERS.

Marine Fisheries

{Van Camp Seafood Sale. A June 25, 1997, hearing on the proposed
sale of Van Camp Seafood Co., Inc. to Tri-Union Seafoods LLC for
approx. $90 million has been set by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court,
San Diego, CA. The Van Camp sale motion states that Tri-Union
will pay $8.5 million if, within 3 years of sale closing,
Tri-Union merges with more than 50% of the securities or assets
of Bumble Bee Seafoods Inc.} [Dow Jones News]

AK Tax Loan Program Terminating. On May 25, 1997, AK's state
loan program to assist commercial fishermen in paying off debts
to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service will terminate, having not
been extended by the State Legislature. Under this 3-year
program, about 220 fishermen obtained loans for IRS debts.
[Assoc Press]

{PANELISTS NAMED FOR NAS ITQ STUDY. ON MAY 22, 1997, NOAA
ANNOUNCED THE NAMES OF APPOINTEES TO TWO 15-MEMBER PANELS (EAST
COAST AND WEST COAST) TO PROVIDE GUIDANCE TO NMFS ON PUBLIC INPUT
FOR THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES (NAS) STUDY ON INDIVIDUAL
FISHING QUOTAS (ITQs). THE PANELS WILL ASSIST NMFS IN EVALUATING
THE NAS STUDY AND IN PREPARING AN NMFS RESPONSE TO THAT STUDY.}
[NOAA PRESS RELEASE]

{Striped Bass. On May 22, 1997, the House Resources Subcommittee
on Fisheries Conservation, Wildlife, and Oceans has tentatively
scheduled a markup on H.R. 1658, reauthorization and amendment
of the Atlantic Striped Bass Conservation Act.} [personal
communication]

{ALASKA SEAFOOD CENTER. ON MAY 20, 1997, THE AK INDUSTRIAL
DEVELOPMENT AND EXPORT AUTHORITY APPROVED $10 MILLION IN INITIAL
FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE FOR TAIWANESE DEVELOPMENT OF A $120 MILLION,
184,000 SQ. FOOT AK SEAFOOD CENTER IN ANCHORAGE, TO PRODUCE 100
MILLION POUNDS OF PREPARED SEAFOOD PRODUCT ANNUALLY FROM RAW
POLLOCK, COD, SALMON, HALIBUT, AND FLATFISH.} [REUTERS]

{Whiting Harvest Agreement. On May 20, 1997, the U.S. Dept. of
Justice announced its approval for the Whiting Conservation
Cooperative (Alaska Ocean Seafood, American Seafoods, Glacier
Fish Co., and Tyson Seafood Group) to divide among themselves the
34% of the annual Pacific whiting harvest allocated to the
catcher-processor fleet as a group rather than compete in
harvesting this quota.} [Assoc Press]

{Quota Hopping. On May 20, 1997, British and EU officials began
discussions on how to address concerns for controlling "quota
hopping" wherein Spanish, Dutch, and other foreign fishermen have
legally obtained British commercial fishing licenses and thus
gained shares of British fish quotas.} [Reuters]

{SHARK CARTILAGE INEFFECTIVE AS CANCER TREATMENT. ON MAY 19,
1997, RESULTS OF A STUDY PRESENTED AT THE ANNUAL MEETING OF THE
AMERICAN SOCIETY OF CLINICAL ONCOLOGY IN DENVER, CO, CONCLUDED
THAT SHARK CARTILAGE WAS INACTIVE IN PATIENTS WITH ADVANCED
STAGES OF BREAST, COLON, LUNG, AND PROSTATE CANCER.} [MIDWESTERN
REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER PRESS RELEASE]

{Chilean Trawler Denial. On May 19, 1997, a Chilean court
revoked the license of the $65 million, 311-foot, Norwegian
supertrawler, American Monarch, that had sought access to hoki
and blue whiting stocks in waters off Chile. The vessel remains
idle in Seattle, WA.} [Dow Jones News, Assoc Press]

{Carbon Monoxide in Tuna? On May 19, 1997, Japanese Health and
Welfare Ministry officials announced that they had begun an
inquiry into the alleged injection of carbon monoxide into frozen
imported raw tuna to redden its flesh, thus potentially deceiving
consumers as to its freshness.} [Dow Jones News]

{Canadian Atlantic Groundfish. On May 19, 1997, Canada opened
the season for a limited cod fishery off Newfoundland. This is
the first commercial cod fishery in 4 years in this region.
About 5,500 fishermen will harvest a 16,000 ton quota.} [Assoc
Press]

{LA Oil Pipeline Spill. On May 16, 1997, an oil pipeline
ruptured near Lake Barre southwest of New Orleans, LA, spilling
between 10,500 gallons and 16,800 gallons of medium-weight oil.
LA authorities will decide whether or not to permit shrimp
trawling in the area, depend upon how spill cleanup progresses.
On May 19, 1997, Texaco officials increased the estimate of oil
spilled to as much as 210,000 gallons. Although no areas have
been closed to shrimp trawling, shrimpers were advised to avoid
the area near the spill. On May 19, 1997, LA health officials
closed the area to oyster harvesting. Consumers have been warned
by LA health officials not to eat seafood with a noticeable
petroleum odor or flavor.} [Dow Jones News, Reuters, Assoc Press]

Developing El Nino. On May 15, 1997, NOAA announced that early
indications had been detected of, and models appeared to confirm,
a developing el nino condition in the tropical Pacific Ocean.
[NOAA press release]

NC Commercial Fishery Moratorium. On May 15, 1997, the NC House
Judiciary Committee approved the package of fishery reform
measures, including a cap on the number of commercial fishing
licenses, increased commercial fishing license fees, a reduction
in membership of the Marine Fisheries Commission from 17 to 9,
strengthened fishery law enforcement, restrictions on the type of
net that could be fished, and a mechanism for involving various
environmental commissions in drafting plans to improve fish
habitat. The proposal does not include license fees for
saltwater sport anglers. This package moves next to the House's
Finance Committee. [Assoc Press]

{RUSSIAN FISHERY ENFORCEMENT. IN MID-MAY 1997, RUSSIAN INTERIOR
MINISTER ANATOLY KULIKOV ANNOUNCED HIS INTENTION TO CREATE A
REGIONAL COORDINATION CENTER FOR FISHERIES ENFORCEMENT IN THE
RUSSIAN FAR EAST, UNITING EFFORTS OF LAW ENFORCEMENT BODIES,
BORDER GUARDS, FISHERY PROTECTION SERVICES, REGULAR ARMY UNITS,
AND VARIOUS INFORMATION AND INTELLIGENCE SERVICES.} [INTERFAX]

NOAA Environmental Valuation Workshop. On May 14-15, 1997, the
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has
scheduled a free workshop on environmental valuation for coastal
and marine resource managers, planners, and decision makers, to
be held in Orlando, FL. The workshop will focus on modern
economic methods and tools to address problems of valuing
environmental amenities, such as wetlands, beaches, and
recreational activities. [NOAA announcement]

Menhaden Restrictions. On May 14, 1997, the NY State Assembly
and Senate approved legislation to restrict menhaden harvesting
in Long Island Sound, due to increasing conflicts with sport
fishing. The measure postpones the annual opening of menhaden
season from May to July 4, and prohibits menhaden fishing on
weekends and holidays. [Assoc Press]

U.S.-Russia Maritime Boundary. In mid-May 1997, U.S. and
Russian negotiators decided to postpone further talks until late
summer or early fall on resolving continuing questions that are
stalling Russian ratification of a 1990 Treaty between the United
States and the former Soviet Union establishing a maritime
boundary in the Arctic Ocean and Bering and Chukchi Seas. [Assoc
Press]

Fine for Untreated Sewage. On May 12, 1997, AK Superior Court
Judge Fred Torrisi fined a Seattle-based seafood processing
company for discharging untreated sewage into Bristol Bay, AK,
waters, and using unsanitary water to process fish. [Assoc
Press]

EU Fishing Fleet Restructuring. On May 12, 1997, new British
Agriculture Minister Jack Cunningham announced that, while
Britain will continue work to eliminate "quota hoppers," it will
not veto a June 1997 review of the EU treaty by an
inter-governmental conference in Amsterdam. [Reuters]

Rotten Shrimp Fine. On May 12, 1997, U.S. District Judge Susan
C. Bucklew fined a St. Petersburg, FL, company $1 million and
sentenced two of its executives to prison sentences for treating
imported rotting shrimp with chemicals and distributing it to
U.S. markets. [Assoc Press, Reuters]

Seafood Inspection. On May 12, 1997, officials of the Clinton
Administration proposed that more seafood inspectors be hired, as
part of a broad plan to increase surveillance of imported foods
and improve U.S. food safety. [Reuters]

Oil Terminal Blockade. On May 12, 1997, fourteen fishing vessels
began a blockade of the Sullom Voe loading port for Brent crude
oil in the UK's Shetland Islands in protest of a dispute with the
International Oil Pollution Compensation Fund over suspension of
compensation payments for the 1993 Braer tanker spill.
Compensation payments ceased in October 1995 when the
compensation limit for a single claim was reached. Late on May
12, the Shetland Islands Council issued a special directive
ordering the protesters to leave the harbor or be charged with a
criminal offense. On May 13, 1997, the 14 protesting fishing
vessels dispersed after being informed that they would be charged
by police and could be liable for demurrage costs. [Dow Jones
News, Reuters]

EU Troops Clash with Puerto Rican Fishermen. On May 11, 1997,
about 35 Puerto Rican fishermen from the island of Vieques were
reported to have clashed with troops aboard 6 naval vessels from
Belgium and the Netherlands anchored in a popular fishing area
which the fishermen claimed was reserved for civilian activities.
The U.S. Navy owns portions of Vieques and allows other nations
to conduct exercises there. [Dow Jones News]

Subsistence Halibut Fishery. On May 8, 1997, 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 was approved by the AK Senate. [Assoc
Press]

ME Herring. In early May 1997, ME Governor Angus King announced
that 6,000 metric tons of herring could be caught by ME fishermen
in the Gulf of Maine and delivered to offshore foreign
"internal-waters" processors, beginning in July 1997. [Assoc
Press]

Abalone Harvesting Ban. On May 6, 1997, the CA Fish and Game
Commission approved a four-month moratorium on sport and
commercial harvesting of red abalone from San Francisco to the
Mexican border. Biologists report the population has declined
75% in the last two decades. Red abalone retail for as much as
$85 per pound in southern CA. On May 15, 1997, the CA State
Senate voted 25-6 to approve a bill imposing an indefinite
moratorium on harvesting red abalone south of San Francisco.
[Assoc Press]

Coral Reefs. On May 6, 1997, the House Resources Subcommittee on
Fisheries Conservation, Wildlife, and Oceans held a hearing on
H.Res. 87, expressing the sense of Congress that the United
States and the United Nations condemn harmful coral reef
fisheries and promote sustainable coral reef fishery practices.
{The Subcommittee has tentatively scheduled a markup on this
measure for May 22, 1997.} [Federal Register, personal
communication]

Chesapeake Bay. 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. On May 7, 1997, VA Institute of
Marine Science biologists began an experiment transplanting
sterile Japanese oysters at 9 sites (600 oysters per site) to
test their ability to survive and grow in Chesapeake Bay. [Assoc
Press, NOAA press release]

Shells Seafood Restaurant Expansion. On May 5, 1997, Shells
Seafood Restaurants, Inc. opened its first Shells restaurant
outside FL, in Florence, KY, a Cincinnati, OH, suburb. [Shells
Seafood Restaurants press release]

Tribal Shellfish Harvesting. On May 5, 1997, three U.S. Circuit
Court of Appeals judges heard 3 1/2 hours of arguments wherein
the state of WA, coastal property owners, and shellfish growers
are challenging Tribes and the U.S. government, in hopes of
modifying portions of a 1994 ruling by U.S. District Judge
Edward Rafeedie giving 16 Tribes the right to harvest half the
shellfish on Puget Sound, WA, beaches. [Assoc Press]

Vibrio Vulnificus. On May 5, 1997, LA State Univ. researchers
reported, at a meeting of the American Society of Microbiology in
Miami Beach, FL, the discovery of a new cold and low salinity
treatment that kills Vibrio vulnificus bacteria. [Assoc Press]

{Glacier Bay Commercial Fishing. In early May 1997, the AK State
Legislature appropriated $100,000 to the AK Dept. of Fish and
Game for assisting AK commercial fishermen faced with proposed
regulations by the National Park Service that would phase-out
commercial fishing from Glacier Bay National Park waters.} [Assoc
Press]

Kodiak Seafood Plant 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]

Summer Flounder. In early May 1997, the state of CT filed notice
of intent to sue with the Dept. of Commerce over perceived
inequities in the state-by-state commercial harvest quotas for
summer flounder (fluke). [Assoc Press]

New England Groundfish. On May 3, 1997, the U.S. Coast Guard
seized the catch from 2 vessels found fishing in closed waters
off Cape Cod, MA. [Assoc Press, NOAA press release]

Sharks. On May 2, 1997, a coalition of commercial fishermen
filed suit against the U.S. Dept. of Commerce in federal
District Court, arguing that catch limits for Atlantic sharks are
arbitrary and capricious and contending that NMFS violated its
regulatory procedures. On May 14, 1997, NMFS announced that the
commercial quota for large coastal Atlantic sharks for the season
beginning July 1, 1997, was being reduced from 642 metric tons to
326 metric tons to compensate for overharvesting by 316 metric
tons during the first six months of the year. [NMFS press
release, Assoc Press]

Italian Driftnet Reconversion. On May 2, 1997, the EU Council
approved financing of the Italian plan to reconvert their
swordfish fleet to eliminate driftnet use. However, Greenpeace
is concerned that Italy may simply sell driftnets to other
Mediterranean countries where they would still be used. [Agence
Europe via Reuters]

Bumble Bee Seafoods Sale. On May 2, 1997, officials of Bumble
Bee Seafoods Inc. announced that the firm had been purchased
from its parent Thai corporation, Unicord PLC, by Hicks, Muse,
Tate & Furst Inc. (Dallas, TX) through its subsidiary,
International Home Foods Inc. for $163 million plus assumption
of {certain liabilities and contracts.} Bumble Bee filed for
Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection to allow operation while the
transaction is completed. {A June 19, 1997, hearing on the
proposed sale has been set by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, San
Diego, CA.} [Assoc Press, Reuters, Dow Jones News]

Non-Profit Fishermen's Associations. On Apr. 30, 1997, the AK
House voted 36-3 to approve a bill allowing dive fishermen to
form non-profit associations that could tax themselves to provide
funds for state management of the fishery. This measure was
approved by the AK Senate on May 11, 1997. [Assoc Press]

Toothfish Overfishing. On Apr. 29, 1997, S. African officials
reported that enforcement would be increased to better control
the Patagonia toothfish fishery around Prince Edward Islands,
between S. Africa and the Antarctic. The fishery, initiated in
1995, is thought to be rapidly overfishing this species for Asian
and American markets. This species is reported to sell in Japan
as "mero" for $7,000 per metric ton. In April 1997, French naval
forces intercepted 3 vessels suspected of poaching toothfish in
the vicinity of Crozet Island. Britain was reported to have sent
naval ships to the Antarctic to control overfishing for this
species, and New Zealand has increased aerial surveillance
flights. Reflagged vessels from Spain, {ARGENTINA, Norway,
PORTUGAL,} and the United States, based in Madagascar, Mauritius,
and Namibia, are thought to be among THE 70 vessels participating
in this fishery, {ALLEGED TO BE CONTRARY TO THE 1982 CONVENTION
ON THE CONSERVATION OF ANTARCTIC MARINE LIVING RESOURCES.} On May
8, 1997, New Zealand officials announced that they would query
Chinese officials on a report by the conservation group TRAFFIC
that China was preparing a 200-vessel fleet to harvest toothfish
in the Southern Ocean. Toothfish overfishing was scheduled to be
discussed at an Antarctic Treaty consultative meeting in
Christchurch, NZ, in late May 1997. {IN MID-MAY 1997, JOINT
ACTION TO HALT TOOTHFISH OVERFISHING WAS ANNOUNCED BY FRANCE,
SOUTH AFRICA, NORWAY, AUSTRALIA, AND NEW ZEALAND AT THE
CONCLUSION OF INFORMAL TALKS IN CHRISTCHURCH, NZ.} [Reuters,
Assoc Press, DOW JONES NEWS]

Pfiesteria in NC. On Apr. 28, 1997, researchers at East
Carolina Univ. released preliminary findings in a study of more
than 250 crab fishermen and more than 490 coastal residents,
concluding that Pfiesteria piscicida poses no serious threat to
humans. On Apr. 30, 1997, the NC Dept. of Environment, Health,
and Natural Resources issued guidelines and instructions for
local health officials warning of possible dangers to swimmers
and fishermen associated with Pfiesteria piscicida, a toxic
dinoflagellate linked to heavy fish kills in eastern NC waters.
However, officials acknowledged the absence of scientific proof
that exposure to Pfiesteria poses any serious public health
threat. [Assoc Press]

Dump Site Cleanup. In late April and early May 1997, the U.S.
Army Corps of Engineers paid six shrimp trawlers to trawl near
Oak Island and Bald Head Island, NC, to recover and remove
underwater debris originating from a dump site for a Corps
dredging project after shrimpers complained that debris was
damaging their nets. In two weeks' work, the 6 trawlers removed
more than 600 tons of wood and debris. [Assoc Press]
....
End of Part 3/4


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