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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, 8 Aug 1997 20:21:47 GMT

text/plain (228 lines)

Hatchery Impacts.   On  July  15,  1997,  the Independent Scientific
Review Panel reported 35  recommendations  to  the  Northwest  Power
Planning  Council  (NPPC) after reviewing fish and wildlife projects
proposed for FY1998 funding,  including  one recommendation that the
Council not approve funding for new fish hatcheries in the  Columbia
River  basin  until  the  impact of such facilities on wild fish and
river ecology is better understood.  Other recommendations concerned
measures addressing  juvenile  salmon  migration  and resident fish.
Public comment on  the  Panel's  recommendations  will  be  received
through Aug.  26, 1997.  [NPPC Congressional Update]

Wild  Coho  Salmon.   On  July  14,  1997,  NMFS  published  interim
regulations  for  protecting  wild  coho  salmon  in northern CA and
southwestern OR.   Prohibitions  against  incidental  take  would be
waived in OR for salmon hatcheries,  ocean  harvest  and  freshwater
sport  fishing  for other species, habitat improvement projects, and
research as long as  they  comply  with  the provisions of OR's coho
salmon  restoration  plan.   However,  cattle  grazing  and  logging
activities that harm salmon could be punished with fines as high  as
$100,000  plus  a  year in jail.  In CA, the waiver from regulations
would  apply  only  to  ocean  fishing  and  some  research.   These
regulations take effect on  Aug.   15,  1997, with comments accepted
through Sept.  15, 1997.  On July 29,  1997,  U.S.   District  Judge
Susan  Illston  ruled the NMFS acted properly in accepting OR's coho
salmon recovery program, and not  immediately listing OR coho salmon
as endangered or threatened.  In addition, Judge Illston ordered the
case moved from San Francisco to Portland, where the Portland  court
will decide whether OR's recovery plan is sufficient to restore coho
salmon populations.  [Assoc Press, NMFS press release]

Bristol  Bay  Salmon  Fishery.   On  July  13, 1997, the Bristol Bay
Borough Assembly declared a local  emergency in light of weak salmon
returns.  On July 14, 1997, AK Dept.  of  Fish  and  Game  officials
reported  that  this  year's  Bristol Bay sockeye harvest may be the
smallest since 1988.  The sockeye  harvest estimate has been reduced
from 25 million to 15 million fish.  Although  the  reason  for  the
weak returns is not clear, decreased marine survival is suspect.  On
July  16,  1997,  the  sockeye  harvest  estimate  was lowered to 13
million fish, which would be the  lowest catch in 19 years.  On July
18, 1997, AK governor Tony Knowles declared the Bristol Bay area  an
economic  disaster  due  to  the  poor salmon harvest, providing for
state aid.  As of  July  18,  slightly  less than 12 million sockeye
salmon had been harvested.  The estimated lost  income  totals  more
than  $80  million, reflecting the poor catch and low salmon prices.
In late July, 1997, fishermen were reported to have caught just 7.5%
of the forecast harvest for  the  third worst harvest of the century
for this fishery.  [Assoc Press]

Aquaculture and Aquaria

{Salmon Pigment Lawsuit.  In early August 1997, Igene  Biotechnology
Inc.  (Columbia, MD) filed a lawsuit in U.S.  District Court against
Archer-Daniels-Midland  Co.   (ADM,  Decatur, IL), alleging that ADM
stole secrets, valued at $100  million, about a unique Igene process
for producing astaxanthin, a natural  pigment  additive  that  gives
farm-raised  salmon  pinker flesh.} {{An Igene employee was arrested
on July 16,  1997,  and  charged  with  theft  of trade secrets.  In
mid-July 1997, ADM filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Igene
over the same technology.}} [Dow Jones News,  Wall  Street  Journal,

Fish as Pollutants.  Beginning July 24, 1997, the WA state Pollution
Control  Hearings Board has scheduled a 5-day hearing in Olympia, to
consider whether escaped salmon  harm  native  fish and, if so, what
options might be considered.  [Assoc Press]

Chilean Salmon Antidumping and Countervailing  Duty  Petitions.   On
July  24,  1997,  the U.S.  International Trade Commission concluded
its preliminary investigation and voted 3-0 that there is sufficient
evidence to indicate injury to U.S.  industry from alleged subsidies
and dumping of  Chilean  salmon  on  the  U.S.  market.  The Chilean
government has indicated that it might  file  a  petition  with  the
World  Trade  Organization  if U.S.  penalties are imposed.  [Assoc.
of Chilean  Salmon  Farmers  press  release,  Dow  Jones News, Assoc

Shrimp Virus.  On July 23, 1997, the SC  Supreme  Court  unanimously
overturned  a lower court decision, clearing the way for destruction
of 5 million Venezuelan blue  shrimp imported by Edisto Seafarms and
testing positive for the taura syndrome virus.  Destruction of the 5
million shrimp was completed in late July 1997.  Between July 15 and
July 23, 1997, four public hearings will be held on  the  NMFS/Joint
Subcommittee on Aquaculture report entitled "An Evaluation of Shrimp
Virus  Impacts  on Cultured Shrimp and on Wild Shrimp Populations in
the Gulf of Mexico and  Southeastern U.S.  Atlantic Coastal Waters,"
and public comment will be received to help in  the  development  of
plans  for  an ecological risk assessment on shrimp viruses.  [Assoc
Press, Federal Register]

{Fish-Eating Birds.   On  July  22,  1997,  the  Senate Committee on
Appropriations reported H.R.  2107, FY1998  appropriations  for  the
Dept.  of the Interior, containing language direction the U.S.  Fish
and  Wildlife  Service  to  complete  all action on a double-crested
cormorant depredation order by fall  1997, and to join USDA's Animal
and Plant Health Inspection Service in evaluating  and  implementing
population  management  strategies  for  fish-eating  bird species.}
[S.Rept.  105-56]

Farmed Salmon Escape.  On July 18,  1997, 5 or 6 Atlantic salmon net
pens  became  caught  and  tore  open  during  a  move  to  avoid  a
Heterosigma algae bloom, releasing  an  estimated  300,000  Atlantic
salmon into Puget Sound, near Manchester, WA.  [Assoc Press]

SC Aquarium Lawsuits.  In mid-July 1997, the City of Charleston, SC,
filed  suit against the company building the $62 million SC Aquarium
for  $1.56  million   in   disputed  construction  claims  involving
installation  of  a  pollution-control  system.   In  response,  the
construction company filed a lawsuit in  federal  court  alleging  5
counts  for  breach  of  trust  and  negligence, and seeking from $3
million to $4 million per count plus attorney fees.  [Assoc Press]

AK Salmon Hatchery  Roe  Stripping  Lawsuit.   On  July 14, 1997, AK
Superior Court released a ruling by Judge Dan Hensley  that  the  AK
Dept.   of  Fish  and  Game did nothing illegal by issuing temporary
roe-stripping regulations allowing  pink  and chum salmon hatcheries
to discard salmon carcasses in 1996.  [Assoc Press]

Catfish and Dioxin.  On July 11,  1997,  the  FDA  and  the  catfish
farming industry concluded an agreement for an industry-wide catfish
sampling  and  dioxin  level  testing  program.  On July 15, 1997, a
multi-state testing program for catfish began, with funding provided
by  an  association  of   catfish   farmers,  processors,  and  feed
manufacturers.  On July 16, 1997, FDA issued a 4-page order limiting
catfish shipments from MS, AR, and LA where these fish may have been
fed the contaminated feed, effective midnight July 20.  On July  17,
1997,  FDA  officials  announced that they would change the sampling
and testing program  for  catfish,  effective  July 20, to determine
catfish feed regimes necessary to assure acceptable  dioxin  levels.
On July 21, 1997, major catfish farms and processing plants remained
open,  processing fish that have passed FDA requirements, while they
awaited the results of tests  for  dioxin in additional catfish.  On
July 22, 1997, test results on hundreds of catfish  from  more  than
100  farms  were  reported to show that no catfish tested exceeded 1
part per trillion in dioxin.  [Assoc Press, Reuters, Dow Jones News,
The Catfish Institute press release]

Freshwater Fisheries

Whirling  Disease.   MT's  Fish,   Wildlife,  and  Parks  Commission
anticipates receiving a detailed report from their Whirling  Disease
Task   Force  on  Aug.   8,  1997,  and  will  consider  Task  Force
recommendations.  [Assoc Press]

{BASS Inc.  Lawsuit.  On  Aug.   5,  1997,  U.S.  District Judge Ira
DeMent refused to dismiss a 1992 lawsuit,  alleging  that  the  Bass
Angler  Sportsman  Society  Inc.  and its founder illegally profited
from member payments after incorporating the entity in 1969.} [Assoc

{Pfiesteria?  On Aug.  1-3, 1997, about 70 scientists and government
officials met at Salisbury  State  Univ.,  Salisbury, MD, to discuss
how the State of MD was addressing concerns about fish  lesions  and
possible  human  health  implications  from Pfiesteria toxins in the
Pocomoke River area.  On  Aug.   6,  1997,  between 2,000 and 10,000
fish (menhaden, spot, croaker, and rockfish)  and  blue  crabs  were
observed  to  have  been killed in the lower Pocomoke River, MD.  In
response, MD  Gov.   Paris  Glendening  issued  an  advisory warning
individuals to avoid contact with water in a 3-mile stretch  of  the
River  until Aug.  8, 1997.  Somerset Co.  health officials reported
that 10 people have reported  health problems including lesions they
believe came from contact with Pocomoke River water.} {{On Aug.   7,
1997,  Somerset  Co.  officials expanded the closed area to a 5-mile
stretch of the lower  River  for  an  indefinite period, as the fish
kill continued.}} [Assoc Press]

{{Hay Creek Fish Kill.  On July 31, 1997, anglers reported dozens of
dead brown trout and white suckers in Hay Creek, a tributary of  the
Mississippi  River  near  Red  Wing,  MN.  Upon investigation, state
managers determined that more than  6,000 fish had been killed along
a 2-mile stretch of the intensively  managed  and  restored  stream.
Cause  of  the  fish  kill  is  unknown,  but  a  chemical  spill is
suspected.}} [Assoc Press]

Sacramento Delta Striped Bass.  On  July  29, 1997, the CA Dept.  of
Fish and Game reported that this year's  abundance  index  of  young
striped  bass  in the Sacramento Delta and Suisun Bay was the lowest
recorded since  the  index  was  first  calculated  in 1959.  [Assoc

Sacramento Delta Striped Bass.  On July 29, 1997, the CA  Dept.   of
Fish  and  Game  reported  that this year's abundance index of young
striped bass in the Sacramento  Delta  and Suisun Bay was the lowest
recorded since the index  was  first  calculated  in  1959.   [Assoc

Edwards   Dam  Removal.   On  July  28,  1997,  the  Federal  Energy
Regulatory  Commission   released   a   final  environmental  impact
statement, recommending complete  removal  of  Edwards  Dam  on  the
Kennebec   River,  ME.   This  is  the  first  time  that  FERC  has
recommended removal of an  operating dam.  Edwards Manufacturing Co.
and the City of Augusta, ME, sought a 40-year operating license from
FERC for the dam.  Installation of a fish passage system at the  dam
would  be  1.7  times  more expensive than retiring and removing the
dam.  [American Rivers press release, Assoc Press]

Fish Advisory  Data.   On  July  23,  1997,  the U.S.  Environmental
Protection Agency released its 1996  summary  of  state-issued  fish
consumption advisories, reporting that official advisories increased
26%  over  1995,  due  largely  to  better monitoring and reporting.
Advisories were in effect for  about  5% of the nation's total river
miles and 15% of the nation's total lake area.  Five contaminants --
mercury, polychlorinated biphenyls, chlordane, dioxins, and  DDT  --
were  responsible  for  almost  95%  of  the  1996  fish consumption
advisories.  [EPA press release]

FWS Director  Nomination  Hearing.   On  July  16,  1997, the Senate
Committee on Environment and Public Works  held  a  hearing  on  the
nomination of Jamie Rappaport Clark to be Director of the U.S.  Fish
and Wildlife Service, Dept.  of the Interior.  [Congr.  Record]

Walden  Pond  Fishing?   In mid-July 1997, representatives of People
for the Ethical Treatment of  Animals (PETA) submitted a petition to
MA Governor William F. Weld, calling for a ban on fishing at  Walden
Pond,  northwest  of  Boston,  as part of a PETA nationwide campaign
that will ask parks to ban fishing.  [Assoc Press]

Bull Trout.  Between July 1 and  July 17, 1997, five public hearings
were scheduled on the U.S.  Fish  and  Wildlife  Service's  proposed
listing  Klamath  River  bull trout as endangered and Columbia River
bull trout as threatened  under  the Endangered Species Act.  Public
comments will be taken until Aug.  12, 1997.  On July 22, 1997,  EPA
officials  approved  modifications of ID's water quality guidelines,
including maximum water  temperature,  aimed  at protecting spawning
and rearing habitat for bull trout.  [Assoc Press, Washington  Water
Power press release]
End of Part 3/4

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