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Subject: CRS: Daily Summary - 4/2/98 - Longer Friday Version - Part 1 of 4
From: "Field, John" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Scientific forum on fish and fisheries <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Thu, 2 Apr 1998 16:58:57 -0500

text/plain (271 lines)

>NOTE:  CRS will be taking a break from daily summaries during the recess.
> This will be the last summary for a week; I will resume providing daily
>summaries on Monday, April 13.
>Fisheries and Marine Mammals: Most Recent Developments -- 4/2/98
>(updated daily)
>New info and changes since 3/27/98 are bracketed {...}
>New info and changes since 4/1/98 double bracketed {{...}}
>Marine Fisheries
>       .
>       Coral Protection Workshop.  On June 9-11, 1998, a federal-state
>workshop is tentatively scheduled at the Univ. of Hawaii, Honolulu, on
>management and protection of HI coral reefs. [Assoc Press]
>       .
>       Ocean Summit.  A {National Ocean Conference} on ocean and coastal
>issues has been scheduled for {June 11-12, 1998,} at the Naval Postgraduate
>School in Monterey, CA.  The event is being jointly organized by the Dept. of
>Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the U.S.
>Navy. [Assoc Press, NOAA press release]
>       .
>       {West Coast Groundfish.  The House Resources Subcommittee on
>Fisheries Conservation, Wildlife, and Oceans has tentatively scheduled a
>hearing on west coast groundfish issues for Apr. 30, 1998.} [personal
>       .
>       {Forum on Ecological Surveys of ANS.  A Forum on Ecological
>Surveys of Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS) is scheduled to be held on Apr.
>21, 1998, in Edgewater, MD.  This workshop will discuss surveys required by
>1996 amendments to the Nonindigenous Aquatic Nuisance Prevention and
>Control Act in nationally significant estuaries to determine what
>species are present and to estimate the effectiveness of ballast water
>guidelines and regulations.} [Fed. Register]
>       .
>       {U.S. International Trade Commission Meeting.  The U.S.
>International Trade Commission has scheduled a public hearing for Apr. 21,
>1998, in Washington, DC, on international trade in fish and fish products.
>hearing will focus on trade and investment liberalization between the United
>States and other members of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)
>forum, particularly on the competitiveness of U.S. firms compared to firms in
>other APEC member economies, tariffs and non-tariff barriers currently
>affecting trade, and market opportunities resulting from APEC trade
>liberalization.} [personal communication]
>       .
>       ICCAT Advisory Committee Meeting.  The Advisory Committee to the
>U.S. Section to the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic
>Tunas (ICCAT) is scheduled to meet Apr. 6-8, 1998, in Silver Spring, MD, to
>discuss implementation of ICCAT recommendations, research and monitoring
>activities, and other matters related to ICCAT species. [Fed. Register]
>       .
>       {{1998 Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Quotas.  On Apr. 1, 1998, NMFS
>announced the total 1998 U.S. harvest quota of Atlantic bluefin tuna will be
>1,403 metric tons (MT), an increase from the 1997 quota of 1,344 MT due to
>carryover of unharvested 1997 quota.  1998 subquotas are 657 MT (general),
>53 MT (harpoon), 114 MT (incidental), 250 MT (purse seine), 277 MT (angling),
>and 52 MT (reserve).}} [NOAA press release]
>       .
>       {Investigation of NMFS.  On Mar. 31, 1998, the AK Marine
>Conservation Council wrote a letter asking the U.S. Dept. of Commerce's
>Inspector General to investigate NMFS for alleged mismanagement of
>fisheries.  The Council accuses NMFS of emphasizing short-term harvest
>goals in the North Pacific ahead of long-term conservation goals.  The
>is particularly concerned with possible interactions between fishery harvest
>and Steller sea lions.} [Assoc Press]
>       .
>       {Coral Reef Damage Payment.  On Mar. 30, 1998, Mexican officials
>announced that Norwegian Cruise Line has agreed to pay compensation for
>damage to part of the Maya coral barrier reef near Cancun, by a Dec. 16,
>1998, grounding by the cruise ship Leeward.  A committee of four Mexican
>scientists, two appointed by the cruise line, will study the damage and
>determine appropriate compensation.} [Assoc Press]
>       .
>       {Scallop Closures.  On Mar. 30, 1998, NMFS announced the
>emergency closure of two areas off the mid-Atlantic coast to scallop harvest
>beginning Apr. 3, 1998, due to low sea scallop populations.  These closures,
>one area offshore of VA while the second is offshore of NJ, were requested by
>the New England and Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Councils.} [NOAA
>press release]
>       .
>       {Horseshoe Crab Fishery.  On Mar. 30, 1998, MD Governor Parris
>Glendening proposed emergency regulations to limit the harvest of horseshoe
>crabs.  A proposed annual quota of 750,000 pounds would restrict the harvest
>to about 28% of the 1996 catch of 2.6 million pounds.} [Assoc Press]
>       .
>       {Shark Cartilage and Lung Cancer.  On Mar. 30, 1998, at the 89th
>Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research in New
>Orleans, LA, the Canadian biotechnology company AEterna Laboratories
>announced encouraging results from a three-month clinical trial using liquid
>shark cartilage extract to treat lung cancer tumors in humans.  The shark
>cartilage product, AE-941, was reported to show a trend of efficacy without
>serious side effects related to its oral administration in treating patients
>refractory metastatic lung cancer.} [AEterna Laboratories press release]
>       .
>       {Cuban Oil Spill.  On Mar. 26, 1998, two foreign-registered oil tankers
>collided in Matanzas Bay, 60 miles east of Havana, on Cuba's north coast.  A
>spill of heavy crude oil of undetermined severity reportedly has affected
>resources.} [Reuters]
>       .
>       American Fisheries Act Hearing.  On Mar. 26, 1998, the Senate
>Commerce Subcommittee on Oceans and Fisheries held a hearing on S.
>1221, the American Fisheries Act, proposing to alter the foreign ownership
>requirements for U.S.-flag fishing vessels. [personal communication]
>       .
>       Underwater Obstruction Removal.  On Mar. 26, 1998, LA Dept. of
>Natural Resources personnel were scheduled to meet with commercial and
>sport fishermen in Grand Isle, LA, to initiate a program to identify and
>underwater obstructions.  While some compensation for damage from
>underwater obstructions has been paid regularly, this is the first LA program
>remove obstructions, with one-year funding of $1.6 million from federal
>Hurricane Andrew disaster relief.  If an owner can be identified, the owner
>be required to remove the obstruction.  Obstructions too large to remove will
>be marked. [Assoc Press]
>       .
>       El Nino and Fishmeal Production.  On Mar. 26, 1998, Peruvian
>officials announced that, due to El Nino conditions, fishmeal production for
>first two months of 1998 was almost 81% lower than for the same period in
>1997 (72,400 metric tons vs. 376,200 metric tons), while fish oil production
>had fallen more than 87% for the same period of comparison (6,200 metric
>tons vs. 48,700 metric tons). [Dow Jones News]
>       .
>       Protection of Whale Sharks and Manta Rays.  On Mar. 25, 1998,
>Philippine government officials signed a directive ordering a prohibition on
>killing and sale of whale sharks and manta rays, with moderate fines and up
>four years imprisonment for violators.  This action was taken to prevent
>decline in stocks.  Both species are considered delicacies, with demand
>especially strong for export to Taiwan. [Assoc Press]
>       .
>       Geoduck Clam Indictment.  On Mar. 25, 1998, a federal grand jury
>indicted 6 individuals for conspiracy to violate the Lacey Act by purchasing
>and selling geoduck clams harvested in violation of WA state law.  The trial
>this case in U.S. District Court is scheduled for June 1, 1998.  Illegally
>harvested clams are alleged to have been shipped to markets throughout the
>United States. [Assoc Press]
>       .
>       Fisheries Disaster Request.  In late March 1998, the Pacific Coast
>Federation of Fishermen's Associations wrote CA Governor Pete Wilson and
>OR Governor John Kitzhaber requesting that they declare a state of disaster
>west coast fisheries as a basis for requesting federal disaster relief.  The
>requests cite the effects of El Nino reducing the availability of many
>more stringent limits on groundfish harvest, and increased protection of
>salmon under the Endangered Species Act as combining to leave no
>alternatives for fishermen. [Assoc Press]
>       .
>       {Atlantic Billfish Minimum Sizes.  On Mar. 24, 1998, NMFS published
>an interim rule in the Federal Register increasing the minimum size for
>Atlantic blue marlin and Atlantic white marlin, effective Mar. 27, 1998.
>action fulfills the U.S. commitment to ICCAT to reduce marlin landings by at
>least 25%.  Minimum size (length) for blue marlin was set at 96 inches, while
>the minimum size (length) for white marlin was set at 66 inches.  Both
>species were identified in September 1997 by NMFS as overfished.} [NOAA
>press release, Fed. Register]
>       .
>       FL Net Ban.  On Mar. 24, 1998, FL Governor Chiles and his Cabinet
>approved regulations prohibiting small (less than 500 square feet) seine nets
>with mesh larger than 2 inches, in an attempt to settle confusion over what
>gear is legal under FL's July 1995 net ban law. [Assoc Press]
>       .
>       Sand Disposal Lawsuit.  On Mar. 23, 1998, two Pacific northwest
>fishermen's groups filed suit in U.S. District Court, seeking an injunction
>force the Army Corps of Engineers to dump several million cubic yards of sand
>dredged from the lower Columbia River further offshore than currently
>The fishermen's groups contend the proposed dumping will damage productive
>crab habitat and fisheries. [Assoc Press]
>       .
>       ME Lobster Regulation Challenge.  On Mar. 23, 1998, the U.S.
>Supreme Court declined to review an appeal by a group of ME lobstermen
>challenging 1995 state legislation that established new regulations to limit
>lobster fishery, including trap limits, license limits, and an extension of
>authority to regulate lobstering in offshore federal waters. [Assoc Press]
>       .
>       Shark Fishery Closure.  On Mar. 23, 1998, NMFS announced that the
>commercial fishery for Atlantic large coastal sharks will close on Mar. 31,
>1998, when it is estimated that this year's first semiannual quota of 642
>tons will have been harvested. [NMFS notice]
>       .
>       Canada's Atlantic Groundfish.  On Mar. 23, 1998, the Canadian
>Parliament's Commons Fisheries Committee released a report blaming the
>government for the collapse of Atlantic cod fisheries.  The Committee
>recommended that the federal government remove all senior officials in the
>Dept. of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) deemed responsible for the
>mismanagement of Atlantic groundfish stocks, that foreign fishing in Canadian
>waters be eliminated, that the DFO be decentralized, that subsidies be
>continued for unemployed fishermen in Maritime Canada, and that an
>expanded seal hunt be considered. [Assoc Press]
>       .
>       Icelandic Fishery Strike?  After Icelandic fishermen resumed an
>industry-wide strike on Mar. 15, 1998, votes from major fishing union members
>and fishing vessel owners were to be counted on Mar. 19, 1998, on the
>question of whether to accept an Arbitration Committee report or resume the
>strike.  The Arbitration Committee has proposed the creation of a
>government-regulated market for the transfer of fish quotas between vessels,
>with buyers and sellers remaining anonymous to eliminate concerns that
>quota transfer deals are detrimental to fishing industry employees.  Initial
>reports indicated that the Arbitration Committee's compromise was accepted
>by the fishermen's unions but rejected by an overwhelming majority of vessel
>owners. [Dow Jones News, personal communication]
>       .
>       IPHC Appointment.  On Mar. 19, 1998, President Clinton announced
>his intent to appoint Steven Pennoyer of Juneau, AK, as U.S. Commissioner
>of the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC).  Mr. Pennoyer is
>currently Regional Administrator in Alaska for NMFS. [White House press
>       .
>       Essential Fish Habitat.  Mar. 19, 1998 is the deadline for public
>comment on NMFS final regulations concerning essential fish habitat,
>published in the Federal Register on Dec. 19, 1998. [Fed. Register]
>       .
>       Oceans Legislation Hearing.  On Mar. 19, 1998, the House
>Committee on Resources Subcommittee on Fisheries Conservation, Wildlife,
>and Oceans held a hearing on S. 1213 (establishing a National Ocean Council
>and a Commission on Ocean Policy), H.R. 2547 (developing a comprehensive
>long-range national ocean policy), and H.R. 3445 (Oceans Act of 1998).
>[personal communication, Center for Marine Conservation press release]
>       .
>       IFQ Meetings.  On Mar. 18-20, 1998, the National Research Council's
>Committee to Review Individual Fishing Quotas took public comment at
>meetings in Washington, DC.  {On May 6-7, 1998, the National Research
>Council's Committee to Review Individual Fishing Quotas is scheduled to
>conduct its fifth and final public meeting in Boston, MA.} [National Research
>Council press release, personal communication]
>       .
>       BC Herring Opening Canceled.  On Mar. 18, 1998, the Canadian
>Dept. of Fisheries and Oceans canceled a scheduled herring fishery along the
>west coast of Vancouver Island after the aboriginal community protested that
>herring were scarce and the Native community had not yet taken herring for
>personal use. [Assoc Press]
>       .
>       TX Sea Turtle Stranding Report.  On Mar. 18, 1998, a U.S.
>Geological Survey biologist released a report on 1997 sea turtle strandings
>TX beaches.  Of 523 sea turtle strandings on TX beaches in 1997, 180 were
>Kemp's ridley turtles -- the second highest recorded number of sea turtle
>deaths since 1980 (527 were reported to have died in 1994).  The report
>concluded there was a connection between shrimping and the number of turtle
>deaths, with a 90% decline in strandings recorded when shrimp trawling was
>prohibited. [Assoc Press]
>       .

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