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Rule: CRS Summary - 1/9/98 - Part 3 of 3


Kate Wing <[log in to unmask]>


Scientific forum on fish and fisheries <[log in to unmask]>


Fri, 9 Jan 1998 13:12:26 -0500





text/plain (1 lines)

Aquaculture and Aquaria
     {Shrimp Virus Workshop. On Jan. 7-8, 1998, the Environmental
Protection Agency in cooperation with the Office of Science and Technology
Policy's Joint Subcommittee on Aquaculture will hold a workshop on shrimp
virus in Arlington, VA. The workshop's objective is to develop a preliminary
ecological risk assessment of the potential effects of exotic shrimp viruses on
cultured and wild shrimp in the southeastern United States.} [Fed. Register]
     {Ripley Aquarium Plans in Tennessee. On Jan. 7, 1998, Ripley
Entertainment announced plans to build a $40 million, 1 million gallon
saltwater aquarium in Sevier County, TN, with opening planned for Christmas
1998.} [Assoc Press]
     {Quahog Contract. On Jan. 7, 1998, officials of Ecology and
Environment, Inc. (EEI; Lancaster, NY) announced that EEI had been awarded
a $400,000 contract by Narragansett Bay Marine Resources, Inc. to manage a
quahog (little neck/ cherrystone clam) culture test facility in Warwick, RI,
designed to produce about 40 million juvenile quahogs annually for
transplanting into Narragansett Bay.} [EEI press release, Dow Jones News]
     {FL Red Tide. On Dec. 26, 1997, the FL Dept. of Environmental
Protection issued an order to temporarily halt shellfish harvesting at clam
farms in the Charlotte Harbor area of southwest FL because of high red tide
organism cell counts.} [Assoc Press]
     Norwegian Salmon. On Dec. 18, 1997, the European Commission
imposed a 4-month provisional antidumping duty of 0.32 ECUs per kilogram
plus a provisional 3.8% ad valorem countervailing duty on salmon imported
from 29 Norwegian salmon exporters that had previously been exempted from
penalties. These companies had failed to maintain minimum prices for farmed
Atlantic salmon agreed to in June 1997. [Dow Jones News, Reuters, Agence
Europe via Reuters]
     WA Salmon Farming. In mid-December 1997, Global Aqua USA was
ordered by the WA Dept. of Ecology to report on the July 18, 1997, accidental
release of 300,000 Atlantic salmon when a towed net pen ripped, how it will
prevent any more releases, and how the impact of this accidental release
might be minimized. On Dec. 15, 1997, the WA Pollution Control Hearing
Board was scheduled to begin hearings on proposals by environmental groups
that net pen operations be more restrictively regulated. [Assoc Press]
     Infectious Salmon Anemia. On Dec. 11, 1997, New Brunswick's
Fisheries Minister ordered the destruction of all farmed Atlantic salmon in
affected cages in the Bay of Fundy, due to the discovery of infectious salmon
anemia. At least 200,000 fish would have to be killed. At the same time, the
Province offered interest-free loans and loan guarantees to affected operators.
Of 80 licensed marine sites for salmon farming, 21 are in virus-infected bays.
[Assoc Press]
     JSA Meeting. On Dec. 5, 1997, the federal Joint Subcommittee on
Aquaculture (JSA) met in Washington, DC, to hear reports on the status of
revising the National Aquaculture Development Plan, activities of a Shrimp
Virus Task Force, aquaculture implications of NOAA's Fisheries Strategic
Plan, aquaculture issues in seafood HACCP regulations, a working group on
quality assurance in aquaculture production, and other topics. [personal
Freshwater Fisheries
     {Hog Waste Spill. On Jan. 3, 1997, between 10,000 and 20,000
gallons of hog waste flowed into wetlands along the Neuse River, NC, after an
equipment malfunction allowed too much waste to spray on nearby fields. A
Neuse River Foundation pilot spotted the spill from the air and reported it.}
[Assoc Press]
     Fishing Licenses via the Internet. On Dec. 18, 1997, GA officials
announced that an Internet web site ( had been created
by iXL Holdings, Inc. (Atlanta, GA) and opened to allow individuals to purchase
GA fishing licenses and boat registration renewals over the Internet. Payment
is accepted by credit card and the purchaser prints a paper license on their
computer's printer. [iXL press release]
     Quaker Neck Dam Removal. On Dec. 17, 1997, Carolina Power and
Light (CP&L) officials and invited federal officials held a ceremony to
the voluntary demolition of CP&L's Quaker Neck Dam on the Neuse River.
Dam removal will allow anadromous fish (e.g., striped bass, American shad) to
use an additional 75 miles of historical spawning habitat in the Neuse River
and 925 miles of tributary spawning areas. This projects is a joint effort
initiated by the Coastal America partnership of federal, stat, and local
agencies, and non-governmental organizations. [CP&L press release, NOAA
press release]
     Mercury Contamination. On Dec. 16, 1997, Citizens for a Better
Environment (CBE) and the Environmental Law and Policy Center (ELPC)
released two reports: 1) "Gone Fishing: How the Failure to Reduce Mercury
Emissions Threatens Americans' Health" by California Communities Against
Toxics, and 2) "Catching the Limit: Mercury Contamination of America's
Food" by the Environmental Working Group (EWG). These reports allege that
federal and state officials have failed to protect the public from the dangers
mercury in the environment. Nationwide, more than 1,660 waterbodies
(including 693 in MN and 389 in WI) are reported to be affected by fish
consumption advisories relating to mercury, nine states have statewide
advisories against consumption of certain fish due to mercury, and FDA is
reported to have listing the top five foods containing mercury as canned tuna,
haddock, tuna-noodle casserole, shrimp, and fish sticks. [CBE/ELPC press
release, EWG press release]
     OMC Manufacturing Realignment. On Dec. 16, 1997, Outboard
Marine Corporation (OMC) announced that it will begin to realign its fiberglass
fishing boat manufacturing operations on Jan. 1, 1998, by moving its
freshwater fishing boat manufacturing operations from its Old Hickory, TN,
facility to its Murfreesboro, TN, facility. The Old Hickory, TN, facility will
closed following this move. [OMC press release, Dow Jones News]
     Atlantic Salmon Recovery. On Dec. 15, 1997, Secretary of the
Interior Bruce Babbitt endorsed the state of ME's 400-page conservation
management plan for Atlantic salmon restoration in 7 watersheds and
withdrew a petition to place the species on the federal list of endangered
species. This endorsement was shared by NMFS. However, RESTORE: The
North Woods, the group that had filed the petition, criticized the state's plan,
and is considering legal challenge. ME's Dept. of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife
reportedly will require $3 million to $4 million to implement the state plan,
while the total federal, state, and private costs over 6 years is projected to
exceed $15 million. Both the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and NMFS will
annually review the state plan's effectiveness. [Dept. of the Interior press
release, NOAA press release, Assoc Press]
     Lake Huron Perch. On Dec. 12, 1997, the Lake Huron Citizens
Fishery Advisory Committee will meet in Saginaw, MI, to discuss the declining
perch harvest, its possible causes, and management options. While sport
fishermen blame excessive commercial harvesting, state management
biologists suggest near-record lamprey abundance and/or alewife predation
are more likely at fault. Citizens are suggesting a one-month closure of all
fishing when perch spawn should be imposed. [Assoc Press]
     Colorado Trout Stocking Critique. On Dec. 11, 1997, Trout Unlimited
released a study of the CO Div. of Wildlife's trout stocking program, "Fishing
for Answers: Status and Trends for Coldwater Fisheries Management in
Colorado," highlighting concerns for threats to native and wild trout
populations. The report includes recommendations for improving the
stewardship of CO fisheries. [Trout Unlimited press release]
     Bull Trout. On Dec. 8, 1997, federal District Court Judge Robert Jones
ordered the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to once again consider
Endangered Species Act listing for bull trout throughout its range. Judge
Jones found FWS arbitrary and capricious on 5 different issues, and declared
FWS had acted improperly by using 1996 policy on the 1994 administrative
record. [NW Fishletter No. 49]
     Paddlefish and Sturgeon Meetings. On Dec. 5, 1997, the U.S. Fish
and Wildlife Service announced 2 public meetings (New York City on Jan. 17,
1998, and Los Angeles on Jan. 27, 1998) to discuss the implementation of the
listing of all sturgeon and paddlefish in the Convention on International Trade
Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), which becomes
effective on Apr. 1, 1998. The meetings will focus on aspects of importation of
caviar and other sturgeon products into the United States. [Fed. Register]
     Freshwater Mussels. On Dec. 3, 1997, the WI Natural Resources
Board approved a prohibition on the harvesting of washboard mussels, subject
to review by the WI Assembly's Natural Resources Committee. [Assoc Press]
     Pfiesteria? On Dec. 3, 1997, an official of MD's Dept. of Health and
Mental Hygiene reported that 13 of 15 individuals identified as suffering from
the more severe learning and memory problems after exposure to possible
Pfiesteria-complex toxins appear to have completely recovered. The two
remaining individuals were reported to be "nearly normal." On Dec. 10, 1997,
the American Assoc. for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) announced that
Dr. JoAnn Burkholder, who brought Pfiesteria to public and scientific attention,
has been named a recipient of the 1998 AAAS Scientific Freedom and
Responsibility Award, to be presented on Feb. 16, 1998, at the AAAS annual
meeting in Philadelphia. On Dec. 17, 1997, a coalition of 10 environmental
groups presented recommendations to MD Governor Parris Glendening,
including taxing chicken producers at 1 cent per pound to fund pollution
control measures in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, such as transporting
chicken manure out of the watershed. On Dec. 18, 1997, VA Governor
announced that he would propose $4.2 million in his state budget for the VA
Institute of Marine Science to study Pfiesteria and related organisms linked to
fish kills. In mid-December 1997, officials of the VA Marine Resources
Commission announced that a VA task force developing a comprehensive plan
for Pfiesteria research and monitoring should complete their work by late
December 1997. {On Dec. 19, 1997, a VA medical team studying possible
human health effects of exposure to toxins released by Pfiesteria or related
organisms reported that they had been unable to establish a connection
between symptoms reported by two individuals and contact with dinoflagellate
toxins along the Pocomoke River. On Jan. 5, 1998, MD legislators held a
hearing in Salisbury, MD, to hear reports from various cabinet secretaries on
progress in dealing with Pfiesteria and to discuss options to be considered by
the General Assembly; more than 700 attended this hearing.} [Dow Jones
News, Assoc Press, Reuters]
     Wallop-Breaux Extension. On Dec. 1, 1997, President Clinton signed
P.L. 105-130, the Surface Transportation Extension Act of 1997, containing
language that continues making a portion of motorboat fuel and small-engine
gasoline taxes available to fund the Wallop-Breaux Sport Fish Restoration
Program through the end of FY1998. This legislation also provides for
retroactive transfer of these funds from Oct. 1, 1997. [U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service press release]
Marine Mammals
     {Manatee Mortality. In early January 1998, FL Dept. of Environmental
Protection officials announced that 240 manatees were known to have died in
1997 -- the second highest annual death count since recordkeeping began in
1974.} [Assoc Press]
     Keiko. As of Dec. 15, 1997, all the tests on Keiko had not been
completed, and the release of the results of the evaluation was postponed until
mid-January 1998. {On Jan. 7, 1998, the Oregon Coast Aquarium and the
Free Willy-Keiko Foundation issued a joint statement announcing that an
arbitrator had ruled that the Aquarium should provide day-to-day care for Keiko
under the direction of the Foundation's medical and rehabilitation plan.} [Assoc
Press, Oregon Coast Aquarium/Free Willy-Keiko Foundation press release]
     Walrus Waste. In mid-December 1997, a federal grand jury indicted 6
walrus hunters from Little Diomede Island, AK, on allegations of wasteful
taking of a marine mammal -- the hunters were accused of taking only the
heads and tusks of about 10 walrus. Arraignment has not been scheduled.
[Assoc Press]
     Whalemeat for Lunch? In mid-December 1997, officials of
Shimonoseki, Japan, announced that whalemeat would be placed on the local
school lunch menu for a single day in early 1998 for 25,000 students, to
stimulate pride in the port's historical role in Antarctic whaling. Shimonoseki
would be the second Japanese community to place whalemeat on the school
lunch menu. [Assoc Press]
     Manatees and Red Tide. On Dec. 10, 1997, FL Dept. of
Environmental Protection officials announced that 16 dead manatees found
from Nov. 6-26, 1997, mostly in Lee and Collier Counties, were victims of red
tide toxins. [Assoc Press]
     Norwegian Whaling. On Dec. 6, 1997, the Norwegian Minister of
Fisheries announced that the 1998 quota for minke whales would be 671
animals. The 1998 quota includes an annual harvest of 621 minke whales
plus 50 unharvested minke whales carried over from previous years. However,
Norwegian whalers were disappointed when the Norwegian government
announced that it would continue to prohibit the exporting of whale products.
[Assoc Press, High North Alliance News, Reuters]
     IWC Intersessional Meeting. On Dec. 5, 1997, the Norwegian News
Agency reported that newly elected International Whaling Commission (IWC)
chairman, Michael Canny, will convene an intersessional meeting of the IWC
in early February 1998 to discuss a compromise proposal to allow a limited
resumption of commercial whaling in coastal waters. {{This meeting has
tentatively been scheduled for Feb. 3-5, 1998, in Antigua.}} [High North
Alliance News, personal communication]
     Dutch Harbor Oil Spill. By Dec. 3, 1997, an estimated 41,000 gallons
of heavy (bunker) fuel oil had been spilled from damaged fuel tanks of the
Japanese bulk freighter Kuroshima that had run aground near Dutch Harbor,
AK. Damage to wildlife and fisheries appears minimal, with 9 oiled birds
reported dead. Sea otters and seals in the area appear not to be oiled.
[Assoc Press]
     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.

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