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CRS Summary - Part 1/4


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


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


Fri, 8 Aug 1997 20:19:54 GMT





text/plain (1 lines)

From: <[log in to unmask]>

Fisheries and Marine Mammals: Most Recent Developments -- 8/08/97
(available via e-mail; updated daily)

Eugene H. Buck, Senior Analyst Environment and Natural Resources
Policy Division Congressional Research Service

New info and changes since 8/1/97 are bracketed {...}. New info and
changes since 8/7/97 are double bracketed {{...}}

Marine Fisheries

{IFQ Meetings. On Sept. 4-5, 1997, the National Research Council's
Committee to Review Individual Fishing Quotas has scheduled a public
meeting in Anchorage, AK, to take public comment on their review of
IFQs. A similar meeting is planned for Seattle, WA, in mid-November
1997.} [personal communication]

{Regional Council Guidelines. On Aug. 5, 1997, NMFS announced that
it is seeking public comment on proposed guidelines on how Regional
Fishery Management Councils are to implement 1996 Magnuson-Stevens
Fishery Conservation and Management Act amendments addressing
overfishing, stock rebuilding, and optimum yield. NMFS will receive
comments through Sept. 18, 1997.} [NMFS press release]

{Smoked Salmon Alert. In early August 1997, the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) issued a warning to consumers not to purchase
or eat Royal Line brand smoked salmon imported from Denmark because
it may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. According to
the FDA, the U.S. distributor of this product has refused to
cooperate in providing information or recalling the salmon.} [Dow
Jones News]

{Shellfish Illness. In early August 1997, an outbreak of Vibrio
parahaemolyticus bacteria in undercooked and raw shellfish sold by
Vancouver, BC, restaurants resulted in 20 illnesses with one
individual hospitalized.} [Assoc Press]

{{Korean Longliner Seized. On Aug. 4, 1997, the U.S. Magistrate's
Office in Honolulu issued a seizure warrant for the 137-foot Korean
longliner Shin Chang No. 502, docked in American Samoa for repairs.
A civil complaint for forfeiture of the vessel alleges this vessel
entered and fished in the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone around
Palmyra Island without a permit 5 times in May and June, 1997.}}
[Assoc Press]

{U.S. Seafood Consumption. On Aug. 1, 1997, NMFS officials
announced that U.S. seafood consumption declined modestly to 14.8
pounds per person during 1996 from 15.0 pounds per person in 1995.
The 0.2 pound per person decline was noted for canned seafood
products. Imported seafood comprised 57% of U.S. consumption
during 1996, a 3% increase from 1995.} [NOAA press release]

{WA Tribal Shellfish Harvest. On Aug. 1, 1997, Puyallup tribal
officials announced interest in subsistence and ceremonial
harvesting butter clams from beaches in the Titlow Beach marine
reserve area, near Tacoma, WA, because of the close proximity to the
tribal community and ease of access.} [Assoc Press]

Coral Reef Protection. On July 31, 1997, the House Resources
Subcommittee on Fisheries Conservation, Wildlife, and Oceans
{marked-up H.R. 2233, the Coral Reef Conservation Act of 1997, and
approved this measure for full Committee action.} [Congr. Record]

LA Oil Spill Lawsuit. On July 31, 1997, three LA commercial
fishermen filed a lawsuit in LA state district court against Texaco,
Texaco Pipeline, and 9 oil cleanup companies, seeking damages to
brown shrimp and oyster harvests and habitat from a May 16, 1997,
oil spill from a ruptured pipeline at Lake Barre. The lawsuit seeks
to have a class-action declaration and alleges negligent cleanup
activities. A hearing on the lawsuit was scheduled for Aug. 1,
1997, before Judge Timothy Ellender. On July 31, 1997, LA public
health officials announced that oyster beds closed since the May
1997 oil spill were scheduled to be reopened for harvesting on Aug.
1, 1997. [Assoc Press]

UK Quota Hopper Court Decision. On July 31, 1997, the British High
Court ruled that foreign trawlers illegally denied the right to fish
in British waters were entitled "in principle" to compensation from
the British government, but could not claim punitive damages. The
suit was filed by 97 vessel owners and managers, most of them from
Spain, after the 1988 Merchant Shipping Act outlawed quota hopping,
wherein foreign vessels registered for an allocation of the UK fish
harvest. The 1988 Merchant Shipping Act was subsequently overturned
in 1992 by the European Court of Justice -- the first law by the
British Parliament reversed by a EU court. [Dow Jones News]

EU Seafood Import Bans. On July 30, 1997, EU officials announced
that the {European Commission's Food and Veterinary Office} had
imposed a temporary import ban on shrimp from Bangladesh for
non-compliance with EU health standards; no shrimp from Bangladesh
will be accepted for 3 months after Aug. 15, 1997. After a review
before Nov. 30, 1997, by EU officials, the import ban will be
removed or extended. {On Aug. 4, 1997, the European Commission
announced temporary import bans on all fishery products from
Bangladesh, India, and Madagascar, for health and safety concerns
with serious deficiencies at processing facilities discovered by EU
inspectors; these prohibitions will be reviewed by Nov. 30, 1997.}
{{On Aug. 7, 1997, the proposed implementation date of Aug. 15 was
scheduled to be reviewed by EC veterinary experts.}} [Reuters]

AL Crab Processor Probe. On July 30, 1997, the Mobile Register
published a story reporting that business records of about a dozen
South AL crab processors had been subpoenaed in a federal probe of
alleged sales of undersize blue crabs. [Assoc Press]

Southern Bluefin Tuna. On July 30, 1997, TRAFFIC Oceania, a trade
monitoring program of the World Wide Fund for Nature, released a
report "The Review of the Southern Bluefin Tuna Fishery:
Implications for Ecologically Sustainable Management." The study
concluded that southern bluefin tuna are below a biologically safe
level (the population mature southern bluefin tuna is estimated to
be less than 9% of its 1960 abundance) and are at risk of commercial
extinction if fishing continues at the current high level.
Unregulated fishing by Taiwan, Indonesia, and South Korea was
identified as particularly problematic since it occurs outside the
guidelines of the Convention for the Conservation of Southern
Bluefin Tuna. In addition, the study called for quota reductions by
the Commission for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna.
[Assoc Press, Dow Jones News, Reuters]

Minimata Bay Declared Safe. At a press conference on July 29, 1997,
Kumamoto Governor Joji Fukushima declared fish in Japan's Minimata
Bay safe for human consumption. This declaration was necessary
before nets could be removed to allow fish to migrate beyond the
Bay; consumption of Bay fish was linked by a May 1973 report to
possible mercury poisoning and death of local residents. The net is
scheduled to be removed by the end of Sept. 1997. Results of a
fish survey were released earlier in July 1997, indicating that
mercury levels in fish were below safety standards for the third
year in a row. [Dow Jones News, Reuters]

Canadian Groundfish. On July 29, 1997, Canada's Fisheries Resource
Conservation Council released a report on efforts to save Atlantic
groundfish. [personal communication]

New England Groundfish. On July 29, 1997, the U.S. Coast Guard
intercepted, boarded, and seized the catch of an NC fishing vessel
found fishing in a closed area 133 miles southeast of Cape Cod. The
catch was to have been sold with the proceeds held in escrow while
the case is prosecuted. [Assoc Press]

Hurricane Danny Aftermath. In late July 1997, LA and AL commercial
shrimp trawlers requested that NMFS temporarily exempt them from
using turtle excluder devices (TEDs) in light of the debris from
Hurricane Danny. The shrimpers contend that abundant debris clogs
TEDs and allows shrimp to escape. [Assoc Press]

Swordfish Quotas. On July 25, 1997, NMFS published proposed
regulations outlining more stringent swordfish quotas to help
restore overfished stocks, with different regulations for fisheries
in the North and South Atlantic. While the 1997 North Atlantic
quota would be reduced to 2,458 metric tons from a 1996 quota of
2,625 metric tons, a separate South Atlantic quota for U.S.
fishermen would be set at 187.5 metric tons. North Atlantic quotas
would decline further in 1998 and 1999. Four public hearings will
be held on this proposal, with written comments due by Aug. 21,
1997. [Assoc Press, NMFS press release, Federal Register]

NJ Horseshoe Crab Regulations. On July 24, 1997, NJ officials were
reported to be considering new regulations to permit a restricted
horseshoe crab harvesting to better protect migratory shorebirds
that feed on horseshoe crab eggs. On July 29, 1997, Gov. Christie
Whitman imposed new {60-day emergency restrictions prohibiting
horseshoe crab trawling through September 1997, replacing a previous
60-day emergency ban on all horseshoe crab harvesting. The NJ Dept.
of Environmental Protection has proposed permanent restrictions on
horseshoe crab harvesting, with a limited 2-month season for
hand-harvesting, a complete ban on trawling for horseshoe crabs, and
no new horseshoe crab licenses to be issued in 1998.} [Assoc Press]

NMFS Oversight Hearing. On July 24 1997, the House Resources
Subcommittee on Fisheries Conservation, Wildlife, and Oceans held an
oversight hearing to review the authority and decision-making
processes of NMFS's Northwest Region. [Congr. Record]

NC Seafood Poisoning. On July 21, 1997, 7 new cases of possibly
ciguatera fish poisoning were reported to NC health officials
serving Orange and Wake Counties; the affected individuals reported
they had purchased grouper from a grocery market. Grouper was
immediately removed from grocery shelves. [Assoc Press]

CITES Hearing. On July 17, 1997, the House Resources Subcommittee
on Fisheries Conservation, Wildlife, and Oceans held an oversight
hearing on the results of the recent meeting of CITES (Convention on
International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora)
Parties in Zimbabwe. [Congr. Record]

{PRC GIFA. On July 16, 1997, President Clinton transmitted an
extension of a Governing International Fishery Agreement with the
People's Republic of China through July 1, 1998, to Congress.} [U.S.
House Doc. 105-106]

Atlantic Herring and Mackerel Fishery. On July 16, 1997, the House
Committee on Resources marked-up on H.R. 1855, proposing a
moratorium on the use of large fishing vessels in the Atlantic
herring and mackerel fisheries, and ordered this measure reported.
On July 28, 1997, the U.S. House approved H.R. 1855, proposing a
moratorium on the use of large fishing vessels in the Atlantic
herring and mackerel fisheries, by voice vote. [Federal Register,
Assoc Press]

PRC Fishery Agreement. On July 16, 1997, President Clinton
transmitted to Congress an agreement between the United States and
the People's Republic of China concerning fisheries off the coasts
of the United States, extending a 1985 governing international
fishery agreement until July 1, 1998. [White House press release]

Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle Nesting. On July 16, 1997, a U.S.
Geological Survey biologist reported that nine Kemp's ridley sea
turtle nests have been found along the TX coast between Corpus
Christi and South Padre Island so far this summer. This is an
increase over the 6 nests found in 1996, and the 4 discovered in
1995. [Assoc Press]

NMFS Candidate Species List Revisions. On July 15, 1997, NMFS
announced that it was updating and revising its list of species that
are candidates for possible addition to the List of Endangered and
Threatened Species. While the 1991 version of the List contained 44
candidate species under NMFS jurisdiction, 37 are being removed and
15 are being added, including 6 species of Pacific salmon and
anadromous trout, for a new total of 22 species. [NOAA press

NC Commercial Fisheries Moratorium. On July 15, 1997, the NC Senate
Committee on Agriculture, Environment, and Natural Resources began
consideration of the package of fishery reform measures recently
passed by the NC House. The Committee continued its consideration
on July 17. On July 22, 1997, the NC Senate Committee on
Agriculture, Environment, and Natural Resources approved the package
of fishery reform measures. The package next must be considered by
two additional Senate Committees. On July 29, 1997, the NC Senate
Finance Committee approved an amendment to the package of fishery
reform measures, reducing proposed license fees for out-of-state
fishermen. {On Aug. 6, 1997, the NC Senate Appropriations
Committee approved an amended package of fishery reform measures,
clearing this bill for consideration by the full Senate.} [Assoc
End of Part 1/4

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