LISTSERV mailing list manager LISTSERV 15.5

Help for FISH-SCI Archives

FISH-SCI Archives

FISH-SCI Archives


Next Message | Previous Message
Next in Topic | Previous in Topic
Next by Same Author | Previous by Same Author
Chronologically | Most Recent First
Proportional Font | Monospaced Font


Join or Leave FISH-SCI
Reply | Post New Message
Search Archives

Subject: Rule: CRS Summary - 1/16/98 - Part 1 of 2
From: Kate Wing <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Scientific forum on fish and fisheries <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Fri, 16 Jan 1998 15:22:09 -0500

text/plain (241 lines)

Fisheries and Marine Mammals: Most Recent Developments -- 1/16/98

 Environment and Natural Resources Policy Division
Congressional Research Service

     New info and changes since 1/09/98 are bracketed {...}
     New info and changes since 1/15/98 are double bracketed {{...}}

Marine Fisheries
     IFQ Meetings.  On Jan. 26-27, 1998, the National Research Council's
Committee to Review Individual Fishing Quotas will be taking public comment
at meetings in New Orleans, LA. [National Research Council press release]
     {{Summer Flounder Catch Reporting Problem.  On Jan. 15, 1998,
NMFS announced that it is seeking a 5-year suspension of a NC seafood
company's dealer permit, after that company failed to report large quantities of
summer flounder deliveries in January 1997 and reported other deliveries
months later than required.  NMFS is also seeking $483,000 in fines for the
incidents.}} [Assoc Press, NOAA press release]
     {{Longliner Violations.  In mid-January 1998, NMFS announced two
notices of violation against FL west coast commercial longline vessels, for
violating area closures, taking and retaining reef fish, and taking protected
corals.  Penalties include fines and permit sanctions.  Investigations of other
longline vessels engaging in similar illegal activities are continuing.}} [NOAA
press release]
     {Dogfish Overfished.  On Jan. 14, 1998, NMFS reported to the New
England Fishery Management Council that, although spiny dogfish are
currently one the most abundant fish on Georges Bank, they are being
seriously overfished for a growing export market.} [Assoc Press]
     {Chemical Fishing Arrest.  On Jan. 12, 1998, HI Dept. of Land and
Natural Resources officers arrested two individuals for chemical fishing in
waters off East Oahu.  Officers confiscated chemical packets, believed to
contain chlorine compounds.  Under a 1955 state law, the state could levy
fines of as much as $2,000 and a year in jail, and could seek forfeiture of 100
pounds of fish caught as well as the boat used and all fishing and diving
equipment used in committing the offense.} [Assoc Press]
     {Bycatch Concerns.  On Jan. 12, 1998, a coalition of environmental and
sport fishing groups held a press conference in Washington, DC, to urge the
commercial fishing industry and government managers to do more to reduce
incidental bycatch of marine life.} [Assoc Press, Reuters]
     Bluefin Tuna/Billfish Advisory Panel Meetings.  On Jan 11-12, 1998
(Atlantic bluefin tuna) and Jan. 12-13, 1998 (billfish), advisory panels will
in Baltimore, MD, to assist NMFS in evaluating options for management of
these fisheries.  The bluefin tuna panel will discuss quota allocation and
control issues, while the billfish panel will discuss implementation of the 1997
ICCAT (International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas)
recommendations on blue and white marlin. [NOAA press release]
     {Revised CDQ Agreement.  On Jan. 9, 1997, a revised agreement was
signed among AK's Coastal Villages Fishing Cooperative (a group of 17
Kuskokwim Delta villages with harvesting rights to 47 million pounds of pollock
as part of a federal CDQ, community development quota, program), Golden
Age Fisheries (a Seattle company who had contracted to harvest the group's
CDQ quota), and the partnership's two lenders, Christiania Bank of Norway
and the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority.  The new
agreement, subject to AK state approval, would allow Tyson Seafoods of
Seattle to harvest this CDQ quota, in an effort to forestall foreclosure by
lenders and seizure of the quota.} [Assoc Press]
     FL Fisheries Management Consolidation.  On Jan. 8, 1998, the FL
Supreme Court ruled by a 4-3 vote that an inadequate ballot summary
disqualified a citizen petition to merge the Game and Freshwater Fish
Commission with the Marine Fisheries Commission to form a new Fish and Wildlife
Conservation Commission from appearing on the November 1998 state ballot.  The
summary was viewed as not sufficiently informing the public that the merger
transfer power by placing marine fishery management in an independent agency,
differing from the current situation where Marine Fisheries Commission actions
can be vetoed by the Governor and Cabinet and the Legislature can exercise
exclusive power to regulate marine fisheries.  {On Jan. 12, 1998, the FL
Constitution Revision Commission voted 24-0 to place
this issue on the November ballot, which can occur without state Supreme
Court concurrence.} [Assoc Press]
     {UAE Oil Spill.  On Jan. 7, 1998, a barge ran aground and sank off the
coast of the United Arab Emirates, spilling about 4,000 metric tons of heavy
oil.  Fishing has been disrupted, with crabs and sea snakes reported killed, as
limited effort has been reported on spill containment and cleanup.} [Reuters]
     RI Oil Spill Damage.  On Jan. 7, 1998, RI Dept. of Environmental
Management officials announced preliminary estimates of mortalities when the
barge North Cape spilled about 828,000 gallons of fuel oil after grounding on
Jan. 19, 1996, on Moonstone Beach, RI.  Total kills included more than 12
million lobsters, 82 million crabs, 679 million mussels, and 81 million clams.
However, marine life began returning to affected waters soon after the oil
dissipated.  A total of 53 contractual studies costing more than $2 million
were funded by Eklof Marine Corp., the company responsible for the spill.  On
Jan. 8, 1998, a plea agreement was announced between Eklof Marine Corp.
and the state and federal governments, with Eklof paying $9.5 million in fines
and damages.  {However, a Superior Court judge ruled that a $9 million claim
for restitution by RI lobstermen would not be made part of the plea agreement;
lobstermen petitioned the Superior Court for a delay in the imposition of fines
but lost.  The plea agreement was approved by U.S. District Judge Mary Lisi
and Providence County (RI) Superior Court Judge Joseph Rodgers on Jan. 9,
1998.} [Assoc Press]
     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]
     Red Snapper Report.  On Dec. 22, 1997, NMFS released a
"Consolidated Report on the Peer Review of Red Snapper Research and
Management in the Gulf of Mexico."  The combined report of 3 peer review
panels concludes that this red snapper stock is severely overfished and that
fishing effort and bycatch of juvenile red snapper by the shrimp fishery must be
reduced.  In addition to reductions in the directed catch of red snapper, the
peer review panel recommendations included the use of bycatch reduction
devices, time-area closures, and bycatch quotas or other effort/capacity
reductions in the shrimp fishery. [NOAA press release]
     Pacific Halibut Projections.  On Dec. 20, 1997, International Pacific
Halibut Commission (IPHC) biologists announced their recommended 1998
harvest quotas.  If recommended quotas are adopted, the 1998 Pacific halibut
catch could set a record, with the total harvest rising by as much as 30% to
86 million pounds.  The previous record harvest was about 75 million pounds in
1987.  The increased quotas are attributed to use of a new population model
by the IPHC, indicating more halibut are available that previously thought.
Final quotas will be decided at IPHC meetings on Jan. 27-30, 1998, in
Anchorage, AK. [Assoc Press]
     Soft TEDs Enforcement.  On Dec. 19, 1997, NMFS began enforcing its
prohibition against use of certain "soft" turtle excluder devices (TEDs) in
shrimp trawls and a companion requirement that large try nets be equipped
with rigid TEDs.  This enforcement commenced one-year after the regulations
were promulgated. [Assoc Press]
     Coral Reef Damage.  On Dec. 19, 1997, Mexico's Attorney General for
Environmental Protection filed charges against the Norway Cruise Line after its
vessel Leeward allegedly severely damaged more than 400 square meters of
the Great Maya Reef near Cancun on Dec. 16.  The damaged site had
recently been declared to be an internationally protected area. [Reuters,
Assoc Press]
     Essential Fish Habitat.  On Dec. 19, 1997, NMFS published interim
final regulations to assist Regional Fishery Management Councils in identifying
and protecting essential fish habitat (EFH).  Additional public comment will be
accepted for 60 days.  Four areas of focus include: 1) all fishery management
plans must identify habitat used by all life history stages of each managed
species; 2) potential adverse effects of all fishing-equipment-types on EFH
must be assessed; 3) non-fishing sources of adverse impacts that could affect
the quantity or quality of EFH must be identified; and 4) EFH conservation and
enhancement measures should be identified.  Regional Councils have until Oct.
11, 1998, to recommend modifications of federal or state actions that may
adversely affect fish habitat.
[Assoc Press, NOAA press release, Fed. Register]
     Mercury Contamination.  On Dec. 19, 1997, the Environmental
Protection Agency released the results of a nationwide study on mercury
pollution, concluding that most Americans face little danger from mercury
poisoning.  However, caution was advised for pregnant women living in
communities where subsistence fishing is practiced.  EPA offered no new
policy recommendations, and did not act to limit sources of mercury
emissions. [Assoc Press]
     1998 EU TACs.  On Dec. 19, 1997, the Fisheries Council agreed, by
qualified majority, to 1998 fishery catch quotas.  Generally, some higher
quotas were provided for North Sea stocks, while lower quotas were more
common in the lower Atlantic and Bay of Biscay.  A quota on horse mackerel
was imposed for the first time. [Reuters, Agence Europe via Reuters]
     New England Groundfish.  On Dec. 19, 1997, a MA fisherman was
arrested and charged with making a false distress call, allegedly to distract
the Coast Guard from pursuing two vessels discovered fishing illegally in a
closed area.  On Jan. 7, 1998, the National Academy of Sciences' National
Research Council announced the results of an independent scientific panel's
review of federal groundfish regulations off New England (Review of Northeast
Fishery Stock Assessments), finding no evidence to support assertions that
current restrictions are too severe from a biological perspective.  They further
concluded that any relaxation of management measures may jeopardize the
sustained recovery of these commercial fisheries.  However, the panel
recommended more frequent stock assessments involving fishermen in the
process.  {{On Jan. 15, 1998, the New England Fishery Management Council
recommended to NMFS that more stringent measures restricting cod harvests
in the Gulf of Maine be implemented, including reduced vessel trip limits, a
series of rotating month-long closures of certain waters, and a year-round
closure of an area between Jeffrey's Ledge and Stellwagen Bank.}} [Assoc
Press, Reuters]

Back to: Top of Message | Previous Page | Main FISH-SCI Page



CataList Email List Search Powered by the LISTSERV Email List Manager