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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, 1 Aug 1997 20:39:36 GMT

text/plain (237 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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