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CRS: Daily Summary - 4/2/98 - Longer Friday Version - Part 2 of 4


"Field, John" <[log in to unmask]>


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


Thu, 2 Apr 1998 16:59:42 -0500





text/plain (1 lines)

> FY1999 Budget Hearings. On Mar. 18, 1998, the House Resources
>Subcommittee on Fisheries Conservation, Wildlife, and Oceans held an
>oversight hearing on the FY1999 budget requests of NOAA and NMFS. The
>House Committee on Appropriations' Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice,
>State, and Judiciary has scheduled a hearing for Mar. 19, 1998, on the
>proposed FY1999 budget for NOAA and NMFS. [personal communication]
> .
> Health Care for Fishermen. On Mar. 17, 1998, the Roman Catholic
>Archdiocese of Boston announced that the Dept. of Commerce had released
>about $2 million in funds to assist New England fishermen and fishing
>workers purchase health insurance at reduced rates. [Assoc Press]
> .
> Record ME Lobster Harvest. On Mar. 17, 1998, NMFS released
>preliminary figures indicating that the 1997 ME lobster harvest set a new
>record of 46.3 million pounds landed, with a value of $136.1 million. The
>previous record catch was 38.9 million pounds in 1994, with the previous
>record value being $107 million in 1996. [Assoc Press]
> .
> Cholera from Seafood? On Mar. 16, 1998, Hong Kong health officials
>announced increased monitoring of imported seafood to combat an outbreak of
>cholera. Imported seafood from Thailand was alleged to have caused some of
>the cases, while Thai health officials claimed the malady was severe
>not cholera. On Mar. 25, 1998, the United Nations Food and Agriculture
>Organization released a statement to the effect that banning fish imports
>nations affected by cholera is an inappropriate response, since the World
>Health Organization has not documented a significant outbreak of cholera
>resulting from commercially imported food. [Assoc Press, Dow Jones News,
>FAO press release]
> .
> Canadian Foreign Fishing Irregularities. In mid-March 1998, the
>Evening Telegram of St. John's, Newfoundland, reported that few foreign
>fishing vessels are ever prosecuted for violations, despite reports from
>Canadian observers aboard foreign vessels fishing within Canada's 200-mile
>limit of irregularities such as recording inaccurate logbook entries, fishing
>species for which no license is held, and exceeding incidental bycatch
>quotas. Some observers reported that Canadian Dept. of Fisheries and
>Oceans personnel had directed them to stop reporting infractions. [Assoc
> .
> Cryptosporidium in Oysters. The March 1998 issue of the Journal of
>Applied and Environmental Microbiology contained a report of a study of
>Chesapeake Bay oysters, wherein the parasite Cryptosporidium was found in
>oysters growing in areas close to sources of sewage or agricultural runoff
>(where harvest for human consumption is usually restricted). Although no
>human cases of cryptosporidiosis have yet been linked to consumption of raw
>shellfish, the discovery was considered to indicate a potential public health
>risk. [Assoc Press]
> .
> New England Groundfish. In mid-March 1998, the ME Dept. of
>Marine Resources has scheduled public hearings on a proposal to prohibit
>groundfish harvesting in all inshore state waters from Apr. 1 to June 30,
>[Assoc Press]
> .
> Shrimp Embargo and the WTO. On Mar. 13, 1998, a consumer
>group reported that a three-member dispute panel of the World Trade
>Organization (WTO) had issued a preliminary (draft) ruling that a U.S.
>measure protective of sea turtles is inconsistent with global trade policy.
>law imposes shrimp import sanctions against nations not requiring shrimp
>trawlers to use turtle excluder devices. U.S. officials are likely to
>the decision. [personal communication, Assoc Press]
> .
> Italian Driftnet Lawsuit. On Mar. 12, 1998, a coalition of three
>environmental and animal protection organizations filed suit in the U.S.
>of International Trade seeking to force the U.S. government to ban imports of
>Italian fish products based on alleged Italian violations of an international
>on the use of large-scale driftnets. [personal communication]
> .
> VTS Certification. On Mar. 12, 1998, BOATRACS Inc. (San Diego,
>CA) announced that it's OmniTRACS System had become the first vendor
>certified by NMFS as meeting the requirements for a operational vessel
>tracking system (VTS) required of all New England and Mid-Atlantic scallop
>permit holders by May 15, 1998. [BOATRACS Inc. press release]
> .
> Drug Patrols and Mexican Fishermen. On Mar. 12, 1998, Mexican
>media reported that Mazatlan fishermen were complaining of being stopped
>and searched about 40 times in recent months by U.S. drug patrol vessels
>operating in Mexican waters. [Assoc Press]
> .
> Coast Guard Hearing. The Senate Committee on Commerce,
>Science, and Transportation's Subcommittee on Oceans and Fisheries has
>scheduled a hearing for Mar. 12, 1998, on proposed legislation authorizing
>FY1999 funds for U.S. Coast Guard programs. [personal communication]
> .
> Ocean Stewardship Resolution. On Mar. 12, 1998, the Senate
>Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation approved a substitute
>amendment to H.Con.Res. 131, a sense of Congress resolution
>acknowledging the importance of the ocean and U.S. responsibility to
>exercise and promote stewardship of ocean resources. [personal
> .
> Atlantic Swordfish Closure. On Mar. 10, 1998, NMFS announced
>closure dates for the north and south Atlantic swordfish seasons, to assure
>that ICCAT (International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas)
>quotas are not exceeded. The north Atlantic swordfish fishery will close at
>pm on Mar. 31, 1998, while the south Atlantic swordfish fishery will close at
>pm on Apr. 15, 1998. A limited incidental harvest of swordfish will be
>in the north Atlantic only after the direct fishery closes. [NMFS
> .
> ASC-Frionor Consolidation. On Mar. 10, 1998, officials of the
>American Seafoods Company (Seattle, WA; a seafood harvesting and
>processing subsidiary of Norway Seafoods, owned by Aker RGI) announced
>the consolidation of marketing and sales efforts with Frionor USA (New
>Bedford, MA). Frionor will become ASC's value-added division supplying food
>service distributors, restaurant chains, and commercial and institutional
>[ASC press release]
> .
> GA Saltwater Fishing License. On Mar. 10, 1998, the GA Senate
>voted 44-10 to adopt a measure requiring saltwater sport anglers to purchase
>a state fishing license. [Assoc Press]
> .
> Bluefin Tuna Rebuilding Workshop. On Mar. 10, 1998, the Advisory
>Committee to the United States Section of the International Commission for
>the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas has scheduled a bluefin tuna rebuilding
>workshop in Charlotte, NC. [Fed. Register]
> .
> Long Island Sound Pollution. In early March 1998, the private
>watchdog group, Long Island Soundkeeper, filed suit in U.S. District Court,
>charging that New York City had not complied with conditions of its Clean
>Water Act permits relating to sewage treatment and discharge affecting Long
>Island Sound. [Assoc Press]
> .
> GA Crabbing License Moratorium. On Mar. 9, 1998, the GA Senate
>agreed unanimously to approve the House-passed legislation ending a
>moratorium on issuing new commercial crabbing licenses, while allowing new
>licenses to be issued only to replace current license holders who retire or
>otherwise elect not to be relicensed. [Assoc Press]
> .
> Southern Bluefin Tuna. During a Mar. 9, 1998 visit with Japanese
>Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto, New Zealand's Prime Minister Jenny
>Shipley agreed to solve the dispute over bluefin tuna at some future
>working-level discussions in the context of "mature and good bilateral
>relations." [Reuters, Tokyo Kyodo via Foreign Broadcast Information Service]
> .
> Japan-South Korea Fishery Agreement. On Mar. 9, 1998, South
>Korean officials announced that the foreign affairs and trade ministers of
>and South Korea were scheduled to meet in South Korea on Mar. 21, 1998, to
>pave the way for a resumption of talks on fishing rights. Private fishery
>from Japan and South Korea are tentatively scheduled to meet in Seoul on
>Mar. 27, 1998, as a first step toward reopening fishery negotiations. On
>21, 1998, South Korean and Japanese officials met and agreed to resume
>bilateral fishery negotiations, perhaps as early as April 1998. [Dow Jones
>News, Seoul Yonhap via Foreign Broadcast Information Service]
> .
> Iran-Venezuela Fishery Cooperation. On Mar. 6, 1998, Iranian and
>Venezuelan officials meeting in Caracas, Venezuela, signed a letter of
>understanding on joint cooperation in fisheries and fish farming, agreeing to
>exchange scientific and technical expertise. [Tehran IRNA via Foreign
>Broadcast Information Service]
> .
> Thai Fisheries Problems. On Mar. 5, 1998, Thai Fisheries PCL, a
>major producer and exporter of frozen and processed seafood, announced that
>its operation was no longer viable (negative net tangible assets) and
>delisting by the Stock Exchange of Thailand. Corporate officers said
>rehabilitation could not implemented due to factors beyond their control,
>including higher minimum wages, increased production costs, and continued
>rise in lending interest rates. [Dow Jones News]
> .
> Non-Trap Lobster Gear. On Mar. 2, 1998, NMFS published
>regulations in the Federal Register to limit the non-trap/pot harvest of
>American lobsters to no more than 100 lobsters per fishing-day and not more
>than 500 lobsters on trips lasting longer than 5 days. This rule is directed
>regulating the lobster catch by trawlers in federal offshore waters. [Assoc
>Press, Fed. Register]
> .
> Saltonstall-Kennedy Grant Announcement. On Mar. 2, 1998, NMFS
>published criteria for applications to receive 1999 Saltonstall-Kennedy Grant
>Program funds in the Federal Register. Project funding priorities include 1)
>minimizing interactions between fisheries and non-target species, 2)
>overfished fisheries, 3) maximizing social and economic benefits from
>fisheries, 4) promoting marine aquaculture development, and 5) conserving and
>enhancing essential fish habitat. [Fed. Register]
> .
> Narragansett Bay Development. On Mar. 1, 1998, RI Governor
>Lincoln Almond announced that a plan for port development at Quonset Point
>on Narragansett Bay would not be approved without holding more hearings to
>assure "full public input." On Mar. 10, 1998, the Corps of Engineers
>RI officials that, if submitted, it would reject the initial proposal to fill
>515 acres
>of Narragansett Bay, directing RI to first explore ways of developing the
>without filling any water. [Assoc Press]
> .
> Salmon Along the Pacific Coast
> .
> {{Savage Rapids Dam. On Mar. 31, 1998, the OR Water Resources
>Commission decided to cancel a 1994 additional water permit for the Grants
>Pass Irrigation District because the District had not acted as directed by
>Commission on removing the Dam, which prevents coho salmon from reaching
>upstream spawning habitat in the Rogue River drainage. The Commission's
>action sends this case to a hearings officer for review before a final
>commission decision, likely in November 1998.}} [Assoc Press]
> .
> {Three Sovereigns Briefings. In late March 1998, nine delegates from
>the Pacific northwest were scheduled to arrive in Washington, DC, to brief
>congressional staff on a regional plan for a "Three Sovereigns Fish and
>Governance Process" to oversee salmon recovery in the Columbia River basin.
> The three "sovereigns" include 1) four Pacific northwest states; 2) 13
>Columbia basin tribes; and 3) the federal government. Two versions of a
>agreement on this Process will be introduced at a series of public hearings
>the four Pacific northwest states, beginning Apr. 8, 1998.} [Assoc Press]
> .
> Hatchery Egg Agreement. On Mar. 26, 1998, OR state officials and
>the Nez Perce Tribe reached a court-ordered agreement allowing the tribal
>biologists to rear 800,000 eggs from returning hatchery steelhead trout for
>supplementing natural steelhead production in the Imnaha River drainage, OR.
> OR state biologists were concerned that such a hatchery program could harm
>natural steelhead stocks and wanted the returning hatchery steelhead trout
>destroyed. [Assoc Press]
> .
> Draft Biological Opinion for Steelhead Trout. On Mar. 20, 1998,
>NMFS released a draft biological opinion for steelhead trout to state and
>managers, calling for increased water spills at dams to assist downstream
>migration of juvenile fish and continuing a "spread the risk" approach by
>barging some juvenile fish downstream. A new flow regime for the
>Mid-Columbia Reach would be set at 135,000 cubic feet per second. On Mar.
>23, 1998, Bonneville Power Administration officials reported that the new
>would cost BPA $15 million per year in lost power generation and
>transmission revenues. [Assoc Press, Dow Jones News]
> .
> Bristol Bay Salmon Fishery. On Mar. 19, 1998, the U.S. Dept. of
>Commerce released $7 million in assistance for Bristol Bay and Kuskokwim
>River fishermen hurt by the low 1997 salmon harvest. The AK state
>has not yet approved the $2.3 million in matching funds agreed to. [Assoc
> .
> Flow Augmentation Study. On Mar. 16, 1998, a consortium of
>northwest water user groups reported that a white paper report completed for
>their group indicated that flow augmentation to benefit fish may have
>substantial consequences for non-fisheries water users, including inability
>maintain land in productive agriculture and increased costs for irrigated
>agriculture. In addition, the report found no statistical correlation
>between flow
>levels and spring chinook survival in the Snake River, and determined that
>NMFS target flows cannot be met in late summer even if no water is used for
>irrigation. The report also suggested an experimental use of about 500,000
>acre-feet of Snake River water from above Brownlee Reservoir supplemented
>by a maximum of 1 million acre-feet from Dworshak Reservoir to benefit fall
>chinook salmon migration and water temperature control. The report also
>suggested that implementation of efficiency measures, water transfers, and
>development of new water storage projects could benefit both fish and other
>interests. [Assoc Press]
> .

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