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Subject: CRS Summary - Part 2/6
From: Aldo-Pier Solari <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Academic forum on fisheries ecology and related topics <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Thu, 1 May 1997 19:15:33 GMT

text/plain (310 lines)

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]

ez 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 2/6

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