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Subject: CRS Summary - Part 4/4
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 20:23:49 GMT

text/plain (80 lines)

Marine Mammals

{{Porpoise Entanglement.  In the Aug.  6, 1997 issue of Nature, U.S.
scientists reported the successful results of 1994 tests of acoustic
alarms on sink gillnets  in  the  Gulf  of Maine.  While 2 porpoises
became entangled in nets  fitted  with  alarms,  25  porpoises  were
caught in nets carrying similar but silent devices.  Cod and pollock
catch  was  unaffected  by the alarms, but herring appeared to avoid
nets with the alarms.}} [Reuters]

Norwegian  Whaling.   On  July  25,  1997,  Norway's  whaling season
concluded with Norwegian whalers in  31  vessels  reported  to  have
taken  503  whales  of  their  580-whale  quota.   This  harvest  is
estimated  to  have  produced  730 tons of meat valued at about $2.9
million.  [Assoc Press, Reuters]

Manatees.  On July 22, 1997,  U.S.   Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS)
officials  announced  increased  patrolling  of  Brevard  Co.,  FL's
manatee protection zone.  Along with the FL Marine Patrol,  the  FWS
will    enforce    boating   and   recreation   regulations,   since
watercraft-related injuries (many of  which were reported in Brevard
Co.) have contributed to 27 of FL's more than 110 manatee deaths  so
far  in 1997.  On July 23, 1997, Univ.  of Miami scientists reported
that a papillomavirus had  been  {identified}  for the first time in
two FL manatees from  different  locations;  this  virus  can  cause
benign skin tumors.  [Assoc Press, Reuters]

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]

Atlantic  Large  Whale  Protection Measures.  On July 15, 1997, NMFS
announced details of a  substantially  revised 4-year Atlantic Large
Whale Take Reduction Plan to  reduce  large  whale  entanglement  in
lobster   and   gillnet  fishing  gear  along  the  Atlantic  coast.
Fishermen will be permitted to  choose  among  a list of options for
modifying fishing gear to address entanglement concerns by Jan.   1,
1998.  Comments on the plan will be accepted through Oct.  15, 1997,
with  the  rule  taking  effect  on  Nov.  15, 1997.  Critical whale
habitat would  be  closed  to  certain  gear  during  times of whale
concentration, but gear modifications would not be required for gear
fished in inshore coves and harbors.   [NOAA  press  release,  Assoc

Tuna-Dolphin  Legislation.   On  July  14, 1997, the Senate Commerce
Committee reported S.  39  with  an  amendment  in  the  nature of a
substitute, without a written report; S. 39 was placed on the Senate
Calendar under  General  Orders.   On  July  25,  1997,  the  Senate
vitiated  a  call  for  a  cloture  vote  on  S. 39, and announced a
compromise agreement providing  for  lifting  of import sanctions on
tuna, and modification of the dolphin-safe labeling  if  studies  of
dolphin  health  and  biology, to be completed by March 1999, cannot
prove that long-term harm is  being  done to dolphins by surrounding
them with tuna seines.  On July 30, 1997,  the  U.S.   Senate  voted
99-0  to  pass  S.  39,  incorporating  compromise amendments to the
International Dolphin Conservation Program.   This measure would end
import sanctions on non-dolphin-safe  tuna,  and  could  allow  tuna
caught  in  purse  seines  where no dolphins are killed or seriously
injured to be  labeled  "dolphin-safe"  if  research cannot prove by
March 1999 that dolphins suffer long-term adverse effects from being
chased, herded, and surrounded by purse seines.  On July  31,  1997,
the  U.S.   House unanimously agreed to accept the Senate amended S.
39, and this measure  was  sent  to the President.  [Reuters, Congr.
Record, Assoc Press, Dow Jones News, Center for Marine  Conservation
press release, Defenders of Wildlife press release]

Items  in  this  summary are excerpted from a variety of information
sources.   The   Congressional   Research   Service   (CRS)  is  not
responsible for  the  accuracy  of  the  various  news  items.   For
additional  information  on  items in this summary or their sources,
congressional staff may call Gene Buck (CRS-ENR) at 7-7262 or send a
fax to 7-7289.   This  summary  is  available  daily or weekly (each
Friday)  via  e-mail   to   congressional   staff;   requests   from
congressional  staff to be added to the daily or weekly distribution
lists may be sent to "[log in to unmask]".
End of Part 4/4

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