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CRS Summary - Part 3/4


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


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


Fri, 8 Aug 1997 20:21:47 GMT





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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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