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Subject: CRS Summary - Part 1/4
From: Aldo-Pier Solari <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Academic forum on fisheries ecology and related topics <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Fri, 8 Aug 1997 20:19:54 GMT

text/plain (241 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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