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Rule: CRS Summary - 1/23/98 - Part 2 of 3


Kate Wing <[log in to unmask]>


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


Fri, 23 Jan 1998 17:00:06 -0500





text/plain (1 lines)

     Radioactive Waste. On Jan. 7, 1998, the Norwegian paper
Aftenposten reported that Norway's Radiation Protection Board had detected
an 8-fold increase in the radioactive element technetium in the past year in
ocean waters off western Norway. Norwegian officials attributed this change
to increased emissions from the Sellafield nuclear reprocessing plant in
northwestern England. [Dow Jones News, Assoc Press]
     Year of the Ocean. On Jan. 6, 1998, a news conference was held at
the U.S. Capitol to heighten attention to 1998 as the "Year of the Ocean." At
the news conference, a petition signed by more than 1,600 scientists from 65
countries endorsed increased attention to ocean issues, such as overfishing,
pollution, and coastal development. [Assoc Press]
     Coral Grounding. In early January 1998, the 50-foot commercial
fishing vessel, Italian Stallion, went hard aground in the Rock Key sanctuary
preservation area, about 5 miles south of Key West, FL. The vessel was
pulled from the reef on Jan. 6, with considerable damage to coral and reef
structure. [Assoc Press]
     NC Bluefin Tuna Tags. On Jan. 2, 1998, NMFS announced a pilot
program requiring that a catch report card be completed for all bluefin tuna
caught by NC recreational anglers in 1998, that these fish be tagged before
they leave the fishing vessel, and that anglers participate in a dockside survey
conducted by the NC Dept. of Marine Fisheries. [Assoc Press, NOAA press
     Fishmeal Plant Auction. On Dec. 30, 1997, the Peruvian government
will auction four fishmeal plants, representing the final phase in privatization
Pescaperu (one of the largest state-owned entities). [Dow Jones News]
     Russia-Japan Fishery Accord. On Dec. 30, 1997, Russian and
Japanese negotiators concluded 33 months of negotiations by agreeing in
principle to fishing quotas totaling 2,252 metric tons and other conditions to
govern Japanese fishing in waters near Russian-held South Kurile Islands,
north of Hokkaido, Japan. Official documents are likely to be signed in late
January 1998, with fishing by 45 vessels to begin in February 1998. Japan will
compensate Russia with 20 million yen in cash along with fishing equipment
valued at 15 million yen. Japan will also be able to buy an annual quota to
harvest 20,000 to 30,000 metric tons of fish, including Alaska pollock. No
Kamchatka crab can be harvested until stock conditions improve. Harvest
quotas and compensation will be adjusted annually. In addition, Japan is
providing several hundred million yen in financial assistance to the disputed
islands in 1998. A Hokkaido fisheries association will oversee Japanese
fishing operations, with the Russian coast guard acting if unlicensed fishing
vessels fish in the area illegally. [Dow Jones News, Interfax]
     Aboriginal Maritime Claims. On Dec. 29, 1997, Australia's Native
Title Tribunal reported that the first of about 120 aboriginal claims to
and coastal areas have been referred to federal court, with some initial
decisions anticipated as early as January 1998. Claims, many seeking
exclusive access for aboriginal peoples, included rich fishing waters and
portions of the Great Barrier Reef. [Reuters]
     Illegal Tuna Sale. In late December 1997, 3 NC fishermen agreed to
pay fines totaling about $20,000 for illegal possession and planned sale of
Atlantic bluefin tuna. The tuna had been mutilated to conceal that they were
bluefin rather than a less-regulated species. [Assoc Press]
     Salmon Along the Pacific Coast
     {{Corps Study of Dam Breaching. On Jan. 21, 1998, Army Corps of
Engineers officials reported their feasibility study of lower Snake River dam
breaching is about 80% complete, with projected costs ranging between $500
million and $850 million to remove the earthen sections of the four lower
Snake River dams. This estimate does not include the economic effects on
barge traffic and hydroelectric sales. Breaching could be accomplished over a
4-month period, but could be done over 2 years to minimize the disruptive
effect on salmon.}} [Assoc Press]
     {{Hatchery Salmon Mortality. On the night of Jan. 20, 1998, an
equipment failure interrupted the water supply to incubation trays and caused
the death of approximately 3.7 million juvenile salmon at the Little White
Salmon National Fish Hatchery in Cook, WA. This loss represents 95% of
the hatchery's stock of upriver bright fall chinook salmon; spring chinook
salmon fry in the same building were not affected. The loss may affect tribal,
sport, and commercial harvests.}} [Assoc Press]
     {{Forest Service Regulation of Salmon River Use. In mid-January
1998, managers of the Salmon-Challis National Forests released a new draft
management plan for the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness that
proposes to reduce public use on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River by half,
possibly as early as 1999. Float trip outfitters expressed concern at
proposals to cut the maximum size of floating parties from 30 to 15 for
outfitters, and from 24 to 10 for private boaters, with a limit of no more than
parties launched per day.}} [Assoc Press]
     Stream Buffers. On Jan. 14, 1998, the AK Board of Forestry came to
a consensus agreement on a package of increased protection measures for
fish streams on state and private land, including requiring no-cut buffers on
private lands along smaller streams that are not main channels for spawning
or rearing fish and increasing the width of no-cut buffers on major salmon
streams. These measures will be sent to the AK Legislature for
consideration. [Assoc Press]
     Pacific Salmon Treaty. On Jan. 12, 1998, Canadian and U.S. special
envoys released their report, providing advice on renewal of Pacific salmon
treaty negotiations. Although the report suggested that Canadian fishermen
should receive more salmon, it strongly urged compromise advantageous to
recovery of salmon populations. In addition, the special envoys recommended
that authorities adopt interim fishing provisions for all salmon species for as
long as 2 years to allow time for negotiating a longer-term agreement, that
stakeholder discussions not be continued, and that the authority of and
funding for the Pacific Salmon Commission be increased. {{On Jan. 21, 1998,
Canadian Minister of Fisheries David Anderson indicated that treaty
negotiations might resume in late February or early March 1998. On Jan. 22,
1998, AK, Canada, and Prince Rupert parties announced a tentative
settlement had been reached in AK's lawsuit against 200 BC fishermen who
blockaded an AK state ferry in July 1997. BC fishermen were scheduled to
meet on Jan. 23, 1998, to consider whether to accept the settlement, which
would have the Canadian government pay AK about $1.9 million to fund
tourism marketing, including promotion of ferry travel through Prince Rupert,
and to cover about half the ferry terminal lease fees in Prince Rupert for 9
years. BC fishermen would not pay any compensation, but would agree to
abide by an injunction banning any future ferry blockades and drop their C$15
million counterclaim against AK.}} [Assoc Press, Reuters, Dow Jones News,
Canadian Dept. of Fisheries and Oceans press release]
     Elk Creek Dam. On Jan. 8, 1998, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
officials announced a finding of "no significant impact" for breaching the
partially constructed Elk Creek Dam in the Rogue River drainage, OR, to allow
salmon to pass upstream to spawn. Thus, no environmental impact
statement will need to be prepared on the action, and the Corps may award a
contract for blasting a notch in the dam as early as March 1998, with work to
be completed by October 1998. The project is anticipated to cost about $7
million. [Assoc Press]
     Bristol Bay Salmon Disaster. In early January 1998, the Federal
Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) notified AK officials that it did not
consider the impact of the low 1997 Bristol Bay salmon harvest of sufficient
severity and magnitude to warrant a major disaster declaration, and denied
AK's request for unemployment assistance for the Bristol Bay region. AK has
30 days to appeal the FEMA decision. [Assoc Press, Dow Jones News]
     WA Steelhead Initiative. In late December 1997, WA Dept. of Fish
and Wildlife officials released a first draft of the state's "Lower Columbia
Steelhead Conservation Initiative," focusing on hundreds of options for possible
state activities to restore steelhead trout, and setting priorities for action.
second draft is anticipated in early February, incorporating local government
and private efforts to complement state actions. [Assoc Press]

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