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Subject: CRS Summary - Part 4/6
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 19:20:38 GMT
Content-Type:text/plain
Parts/Attachments:
Parts/Attachments

text/plain (286 lines)


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

Fisheries and Marine Mammals: Most Recent Developments -- 5/01/97
(available via e-mail; updated daily)

New info and changes since 4/25/97 are bracketed {...}.  New info
and changes since 4/30/97 are in CAPITAL LETTERS.

Marine Fisheries

{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]

{Coral  Reef  Hearing.   On  May  6,  1997,  the  House Resources
Subcommittee on Fisheries Conservation, Wildlife, and Oceans  has
tentatively  scheduled  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.} [personal communication]

{NONPROFIT  FISHERMEN'S  ASSOCIATIONS.  ON APR.  30, 1997, THE AK
HOUSE VOTED 36-3 TO  APPROVE  A  BILL  ALLOWING DIVE FISHERMEN TO
FORM NONPROFIT ASSOCIATIONS THAT COULD TAX THEMSELVES TO  PROVIDE
FUNDS FOR STATE MANAGEMENT OF THE FISHERY.} [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 VALUABLE SPECIES
FOR ASIAN AND AMERICAN MARKETS.   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, NORWAY,  AND  THE  UNITED
STATES  ARE  THOUGHT  TO  BE  AMONG VESSELS PARTICIPATING IN THIS
FISHERY.} [REUTERS, ASSOC PRESS]

{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]

{VA Oyster Lawsuit.  In late April 1997, a  group  of  Chesapeake
Bay  watermen filed suit in Richmond Circuit Court against the VA
Marine Resources Commission  (VMRC),  seeking  to  halt an oyster
growing experiment that would close  3  acres  of  public  oyster
beds.   The  group  charges  that  VMRC is using state funds from
oyster taxes to illegally benefit a few select individuals and is
closing public oyster  beds  without  a required public hearing.}
[Assoc Press]

{Russia Ratifies Straddling Stocks Agreement.  On Apr.  25, 1997,
the Russian press  reported  that  President  Boris  Yeltsin  had
signed  a  federal  law  on ratification of the Agreement for the
Implementation of the Provisions of the United Nations Convention
on the Law of the Sea Relating to the Conservation and Management
of Straddling  Fish  Stocks  and  Highly  Migratory Fish Stocks.}
[ITAR-TASS via Foreign Broadcast Information Service]

{Italian Driftnet Reconversion.  On Apr.  25, 1997, the  European
Parliament   approved,  with  amendments,  proposed  funding  for
reconversion  of  the   Italian   swordfish   driftnet  fleet  to
alternative  gear.   Italy  and   the   EU   will   co-fund   the
reconversion,  together  contributing as much as 100 million ECUs
during a 3-year period.  The Parliament stressed that the problem
is not resolved as certain  other countries continue to use drift
nets in the Mediterranean.} [Agence Europe via Reuters]

{Herring Roe Price Protest.  On Apr.  25, 1997, fishermen decided
not to harvest herring in a 30-minute sac roe fishery opening  in
Kachemak  Bay, AK, after Japanese buyers quoted prices of $300 or
less per  ton.   In  1996,  sac  roe  herring  from  this fishery
reportedly were sold for $1,800 to $2,000 per ton.} [Assoc Press]

{Essential Fish Habitat.   On  Apr.   23,  1997,  NMFS  published
proposed  regulations  for  describing  and identifying essential
fish habitat  in  fishery  management  plans,  adverse impacts on
essential fish habitat,  and  actions  to  conserve  and  enhance
essential  fish  habitat.   Proposed  regulations  also provide a
process for coordination and  consultation with federal and state
agencies on activities that may adversely affect  essential  fish
habitat.  Public comment is being accepted through May 23, 1997.}
[Federal Register]

{NC  Commercial  Fishery  Moratorium.   On Apr.  23, 1997, the NC
House Committee on  Environment  unanimously  passed a 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  measure
moves  next  to  the  House's  Judiciary and Finance Committees.}
[Assoc Press]

AK Halibut Charter Boat  Fishery.   On  Apr.  23, 1997, the North
Pacific Fishery Management Council voted to  release  for  public
review  a  condensed version of a 900-page report on proposals to
regulate the AK halibut charter boat fishery.  The proposals will
be discussed at the Council's Sept.  1997 meeting.  [Assoc Press]

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]

Sharks.   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]

French  Port Blockade.  On Apr.  22, 1997, French fishing vessels
blockaded the French ports of Calais, Boulogne, and Dunkirk, in a
protest of EU  regulations  increasing  mesh  size for fixed sole
nets from 80 mm to 120 mm {in Jan.  1998.} On Apr.  23,  1997,  a
French  court  ordered  the  fishermen to lift the blockade.  The
fishermen complied on Apr.   24,  after French officials promised
to raise fishermen's concerns at a June 17 EU ministers'  meeting
{and  negotiated  for  shipping  companies  to  drop  claims  for
compensation  from the fishermen for losses during the blockade.}
[Dow Jones News, Reuters]

Navy Pays for Coral Reef Damage.  On Apr.  22, 1997, the FL Dept.
of Environmental Protection  signed  a  settlement agreement with
the U.S.  Navy, whereby the Navy will pay FL $750,000 to settle a
$2 million lawsuit over coral reef damage by a nuclear  submarine
on Feb.  25, 1993, near Hollywood, FL.  [Assoc Press]

Japan-China  Fishery  Agreement.   On Apr.  21-22, 1997, Japanese
and Chinese negotiators conducted  working-level discussions on a
new provisional bilateral fishery agreement.  Negotiators  agreed
to  consider  a  fishery  agreement  separately  from territorial
disputes.  Negotiators will  resume  discussions  in  May 1997 in
Beijing, with the objective of concluding an agreement by  summer
1997.  [Dow Jones News]

Seafood   Fraud.    On  Apr.   21,  1997,  the  U.S.   Dept.   of
Commerce/NOAA charged 2 New  Bedford,  MA, seafood companies with
113 violations for illegally buying and  selling  groundfish  and
scallops  over  an  18-month  period.   NOAA  alleges  that false
reporting permitted vessels to  fish  longer  than allowed and to
land more fish than permitted.  NOAA is seeking $4.7  million  in
civil  penalties  and  revocation of dealer permits held by the 2
companies.  [Assoc Press, NOAA press release]

AK IFQ Case.  On Apr.  21, 1997, the U.S.  Supreme Court denied a
hearing on the lawsuit  of  the Alliance Against IFQs (individual
fishing quotas) against the U.S.   Dept.   of  Commerce  and  the
North  Pacific  Fishery  Management Council, wherein the Alliance
argued  that  the   federal   quota  system  unfairly  eliminated
fishermen from  AK's  halibut  and  blackcod  fisheries.   [Assoc
Press]

Japanese  Fisheries  White  Paper.   On  Apr.   18, 1997, 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]

CITES Proposal - Sharks.  On  Apr.   16, 1997, the U.S.  Fish and
Wildlife Service (FWS) announced  that  it  would  not  submit  a
proposal  to list western Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico populations
of requiem  sharks  and  spiny  dogfish  on  CITES (Convention on
International Trade in Endangered Species of Wildlife  Fauna  and
Flora)  Appendix II, although FWS believes these species meet the
requirements for inclusion on  this Appendix.  As an alternative,
the United States is  submitting  a  draft  resolution  proposing
establishment  of  a  Marine  Fishes  Working  Group  to  address
implementation  issues  associated  with  placing  marine fish on
Appendix  II.   The  United  States  anticipates  proposing shark
species for Appendix II at the 1999 CITES meeting.  {On Apr.  25,
1997, Japanese officials were reported  to  be  opposed  to  this
proposal  on  the  grounds  that it would cause undue pressure on
Japan's fishing industry,  and  that  CITES  was an inappropriate
forum for discussion of fishery management.}  [Federal  Register,
Tokyo Kyodo via Foreign Broadcast Information Service]

CITES  Proposal  -  Sawfishes.  On Apr.  16, 1997, the U.S.  Fish
and Wildlife Service announced  that  it had submitted a proposal
to list all sawfishes on CITES (Convention on International Trade
in Endangered Species of Wildlife Fauna and  Flora)  Appendix  I.
[Federal Register]

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]

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.  Van 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.  [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]
....
End of Part 4/6

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