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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, 1 Aug 1997 20:39:36 GMT





text/plain (1 lines)

Russian Salmon Poaching. On July 3, 1997, investigators raided a
Hokkaido company on suspicion that it was sending Japanese fishermen
to Russia to catch salmon under Russian quotas for sale in Japan.
[Dow Jones News]

Pacific Salmon Treaty. On July 3, 1997, U.S. officials announced
that WA state fishermen would be allowed to begin fishing for early
Stuart sockeye bound for the Fraser River on July 5. Additional U.S.
fishing periods were scheduled daily for July 7-9, 1997. The total
early Stuart run is estimated to amount to about 1.1 million
sockeye, with a spawning escapement of 500,000 desired. Of the
600,000 available for harvest, WA fishermen are anticipated to be
able to harvest about 86,000 fish. However, Canadians urge
restraint until the size of the actual return can be determined.
From 1990-1996, Canada has asked that the United States not harvest
from the early Stuart run, and the United States has agreed. On
July 6, 1997, Canadian officials opened a fishery restricted to
certain Native fishermen, with additional broader commercial
openings scheduled through the week. At midnight on July 7, 1997,
the AK Dept. of Fish and Game closed the southeast AK chinook
salmon troll fishery after about 120,000 chinook were estimated to
have been caught. This closure was earlier than anticipated due to
high catch rates. On July 8, 1997, U.S. managers announced that
the WA state fishery for early Stuart sockeye would close a day
earlier than originally scheduled, due to high catches by U.S.
fishermen. After catches are tabulated, a decision will be made on
July 10 or 11 whether to allow additional fishing. On July 9, 1997,
Canadian officials raised concerns that AK seiners were targeting
Canadian sockeye salmon under the guise of fishing for AK pink
salmon, which usually do not return to spawn until late summer. On
July 9, 1997, Canadian Trade Minister Sergio Marchi discussed
aspects of salmon negotiations with U.S. Trade Representative
Charlene Barshefsky. BC Premier Glen Clark appealED to WA residents
for more attention to conservation via an open letter published in
major WA newspapers on July 10, 1997. On July 10, 1997, a BC
fishing company filed suit against the Canadian government in
Vancouver, BC, court, alleging a conspiracy in allowing Treaty
negotiations to stall and in allocating harvest quota so as to
benefit seiners and large processors and discriminate against small
salmon trollers. On July 16, 1997, U.S. and tribal managers
decided, jointly with Canadian managers, not to reopen the fishery
for early Stuart sockeye from the Fraser River due to concerns that
high siltation in the River may prevent significant numbers of
salmon from reaching their spawning areas. In earlier fisheries,
U.S. fisherman caught about 108,000 early Stuart fish while
Canadians harvested about 276,000. On July 16, 1997, BC Premier
Glen Clark was reported to have written to Canadian Prime Minister
Jean Chretien calling for a joint strategy to counter alleged
targeting of BC sockeye by southeast AK purse seiners near Noyes
Island. Canadian officials claim AK fishermen have caught 350,000
Canadian sockeye in this fishery, rather than the 120,000 agreed to.
AK officials contend the sockeye catch has been much smaller. On
July 18, 1997, U.S. officials admitted that southeast AK fishermen
had incidently caught a substantial number of sockeye salmon when
fishing for pink salmon, despite a limit of 120,000 sockeye, but
stated that they believe the United States is not in violation of
the Treaty. Canadian officials are concerned with the possibility
that southeast AK fishermen could catch as many as 1 million sockeye
caught by Aug. 1. On July 18, 1997, Canadian Foreign Minister Lloyd
Axworthy sent a diplomatic letter to the United States, demanding
that AK fishermen immediately stop intercepting Canadian sockeye
salmon. On July 18, 1997, after dozens of BC fishing boats blocked
the AK fish tender Polar Lady carrying 100 tons of salmon to a fish
processing plant in Prince Rupert, BC, the tender returned to U.S.
waters. On July 19, 1997, several hundred Canadian fishing boats
surrounded the AK ferry Malaspina in Prince Rupert, BC, blocking its
departure for Ketchikan, AK. The blockade continued through July
21, despite a July 20 court order from a Montreal judge that the
fishing boats move and allow the ferry to depart; about 300 ferry
passengers were stranded. U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine
Albright sent a diplomatic letter to Canada, protesting the ferry
blockade; the Canadian fishermen demand that Canadian Fisheries
Minister David Anderson intercede and resume Treaty negotiations.
On July 20, 1997, a second ferry bound for Prince Rupert was
diverted to Bellingham, WA. On July 20, 1997, four U.S. fishermen
aboard two salmon gillnetters, the Lynde E and the Wanda Mae, were
arrested and their boats and catch seized for allegedly fishing
inside Canadian waters in the Juan de Fuca Strait near the mouth of
the Jordan River off the southern tip of Vancouver Island; in
addition, their gillnets reportedly were of a type that was illegal
in Canada. On July 21, 1997, the captains of the two U.S. fishing
vessels arrested were fined $4,000 each, with charges against their
two deckhands stayed. Late on July 21, 1997 and after Canadian
Fisheries Minister David Anderson assured fishermen that he would
make a renewed effort to resolve the dispute, Canadian protesters
allowed the AK ferry Malaspina to continue its journey north from
Prince Rupert, BC. AK has suspended ferry service to Prince Rupert
indefinitely, and AK's Attorney General is reported to have said
that AK intends to sue BC fishermen and the Canadian government in
Vancouver,BC, Federal Court for damages. On July 22, 1997, Prince
Rupert's mayor sent a letter of apology to AK Governor Tony Knowles,
including assurances that efforts are being made to compensate AK
for losses. On July 23, 1997, Canadian and U.S. officials agreed
to appoint special envoys to renew Pacific salmon negotiations;
these envoys will maintain daily contact and report directly to
Prime Minister Jean Chretien and President Bill Clinton. On July
23, 1997, U.S. and Canadian officials were reported to have held an
hour-long meeting characterized as a "good discussion." On July 23,
1997, the U.S. Senate voted 81-19 to pass S.Res. 109, expressing
the sense of Congress with respect to the AK ferry blockade in
Prince Rupert, BC, and urging President Clinton to impose economic
sanctions if other ferries are blocked. On July 23, 1997, WA
officials announced that they were reopening the fishery for early
Stuart sockeye for one day on July 24, after the Pacific Salmon
Commission increased its estimate of the run size from 1.4 million
fish to 1.8 million fish. Thus far the U.S. has harvested 121,000
fish while Canadians have harvested 322,000; U.S. managers agreed
to Canada's revised request that 687,000 fish (rather than the
earlier 500,000 fish) be allowed to escape for spawning. On July
24, 1997, AK managers did not reopen the southeast AK purse seine
salmon fishery in Management District 4 to allow sockeye salmon
bound for Canada's Nass River to pass. {On July 25, 1997, White
House announced that former EPA Administrator William Ruckelshaus
had been appointed by President Clinton to serve as the U.S.
special envoy. The Canadian government appointed Dr. David W.
Strangway, President and Vice Chancellor of the Univ. of BC, as
their special envoy. On July 28, 1997, AK Attorney General Bruce
Botelho was tentatively scheduled to personally file AK's lawsuit
against the Canadian government and BC fishermen for AK ferry
blockade costs in Vancouver, BC, Federal Court. AK is seeking $2
million in damages. BC Premier Glen Clark assured BC fishermen that
the Province will pay their legal expenses. On July 28, 1997, the
Vancouver, BC, Federal Court Justice Barbara Reed granted AK a
permanent injunction against further blockades of AK state ferries
and approved the transport of AK commercial salmon through BC
waters. On July 28, 1997, the U.S. House approved H.Con.Res. 124
by voice vote, condemning the blockade of the AK ferry by BC
fishermen and calling on the Administration to protect U.S.
interests. In late July 1997, the Union of National Defense
Employees asked the BC Supreme Court for an injunction to block the
closure of the Nanoose testing range, as threatened by BC Premier
Glen Clark, claiming BC has no authority to cancel a federal lease.
On July 29, 1997, Canadian Fisheries Minister David Anderson met in
Washington, DC, with Pacific Northwest Senators and Commerce
Secretary William Daley. On July 29, 1997, WA announced a 3-day
fishery for early sockeye salmon bound for the Fraser River after
the Pacific Salmon Commission increased the estimated run size from
351,000 fish to 500,000 fish. On July 29, 1997, the AK ferry
Aurora, escorted by U.S. Coast Guard and Royal Canadian Mounted
Police vessels, made an uneventful trip to Hyder/Stewart, BC. On
July 30, 1997, WA Gov. Gary Locke announced that former WA wildlife
chief Curt Smitch was being appointed as Gov. Locke's chief advisor
on salmon and natural resource issues. In addition, Smitch was
reported likely to be nominated to represent WA and OR on the
Pacific Salmon Commission, replacing Bob Turner. On July 30, 1997,
Canadian Fisheries Minister David Anderson met in Seattle with the
governors of WA and AK. In a joint announcement on July 30, 1997,
the governors of AK and WA and Canadian Fisheries Minister David
Anderson announced that an expanded "Salmon Summit" would be
convened in fall 1997, and that stakeholder discussions may resume
in early fall 1997. Fisheries Minister Anderson also announced that
Canada would schedule no directed fishery for coho salmon off
Vancouver Island, reducing the harvest to 20% of the run, rather
than the 60% harvested in 1996.} {{On July 30, 1997, BC Premier Glen
Clark urged Fisheries Minister David Anderson to adopt a "Canada
First" plan developed by a joint federal-provincial working group,

Aquaculture and Aquaria

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]

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 7, 1997, the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) issued a nationwide dioxin order based on June
1997 concerns that certain animal feeds were contaminated with trace
amounts of dioxin after 2 feed mills in Arkansas reportedly used
some dioxin-contaminated anti-caking agent in formulating
soybean-based catfish food. As much as 40% of all catfish feed may
have been contaminated. Under the order, shipment of catfish
products was to have been banned after July 13 unless the products
could be certified as not being tainted. However, FDA suspended
this order for catfish as FDA officials and catfish farmers began
negotiating on an appropriate testing program for catfish and
catfish products. A nationwide FDA survey found dioxin levels
ranging from 1.32 to 3.48 parts per trillion in six of 19 catfish
fillets tested; FDA holds that the natural background level for
dioxin is one part per trillion. 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]

Shrimp Virus. In early July 1997, the state of SC ordered Edisto
Seafarms to kill a shipment of 4.1 million blue shrimp from
Venezuela testing positive for the taura syndrome virus, chlorinate
three ponds, discharge no water from the farm, and import no
additional blue shrimp. Subsequently, Edisto Seafarms filed suit
against the state of SC seeking to limit the demand for shrimp
destruction and won a Circuit Court ruling. On July 23, 1997,
however, the SC Supreme Court unanimously overturned the lower court
decision, clearing the way for destruction of 5 million Venezuelan
blue shrimp.

{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]
End of Part 3/4

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