[acn-l] FISHLINK NEWS - 7/22/97(2)

FISH1IFR at aol.com
Tue, 22 Jul 1997 19:16:56 -0400 (EDT)

>>>> FISHLINK NEWS - 7/22/97(2) <<<<
(Vol. 3, No 3)
PART TWO OF TWO PARTS
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Fisheries and Conservation News
from the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Associations
and the Insititute for Fisheries Resources
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IN THIS ISSUE:

CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE WEEKLY SUMMARY OF
FISHERIES AND MARINE MAMMALS NEWS ITEMS FOR MEMBERS

OF CONGRESS
-- The Week of 7/18/97 (Continued)--
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AK Salmon Strike. On June 22, 1997, the United Seiners Assoc.
accepted an offer guaranteeing a base price for delivered salmon, including a
percentage of the wholesale price that processors receive for the fish.
[Assoc
Press]
.
Pacific Salmon Treaty. On June 20, 1997, negotiations were reported
to have again broken off after negotiations bogged down on issues of U.S.
desire for a reduced Canadian coho salmon catch and Canadian desire for a
smaller U.S. share of Fraser River sockeye salmon. On June 21, 1997,
Canadian negotiator Yves Fortier and associates flew to the G-7 Summit in
Denver, Co, for emergency consultations with Canadian Prime Minister Jean
Chretien and Foreign Minister Lloyd Axworthy on salmon. Chretien and
President Clinton were reported to have briefly discussed salmon while
attending the G-7 Summit. On June 23, 1997, Canadian negotiators were
reported to have contacted U.S. negotiators responding to a U.S. offer, with
a
significant and substantial change in the Canadian position. On June 23,
1997, the AK Dept. of Fish and Game set a quota of 277,182 chinook for this
year's southeast AK troll fishery. If caught, this quota would nearly double
last year's harvest of 140,000 fish. On June 25, 1997, United States
negotiators informed their Canadian counterparts that Canada's proposed
division of the 1997 salmon harvest was unacceptable. Canada had proposed
a U.S. share of 17% for Fraser River sockeye for the next four years with a
decreased U.S. share of 15% for the subsequent four years; the United States
desired a 20% share. In addition, Canada would reduce its coho catch off
Vancouver Island to 560,000 fish this year, and 1 million next year; the
United
States wanted a limit of no more than 900,000 coho. U.S. negotiators had
proposed creating a regime to rebuild depleted coho salmon, restructuring of
the U.S. fishing fleet to reduce Fraser River sockeye catch, establishing a
fund to conserve west coast salmon stocks, and reducing the AK interception
harvest. On June 26, 1997, Canadian officials proposed binding arbitration
to
address Pacific Salmon Treaty issues, which the United States believes would
require amendment of the treaty and consent by the U.S. Senate. The
southeast AK salmon troll fishery is scheduled to begin on July 1, 1997.
Despite the lack of a treaty agreement, U.S. And Canadian fishery managers
plan to coordinate fishing activity. On June 27, 1997, Canadian Fisheries
Minister David Anderson announced the 1997 unilateral Canadian salmon
quota of 23.8 million salmon, including 12 million sockeye, 8 million pink,
and
3 million chum, and 85,000 chinook salmon. No commercial fishery for coho
salmon is scheduled. The United States requested that the Fraser River panel
meet on June 30, 1997, to coordinate management. The first portion of the
Fraser River sockeye, the early Stuart River fish), is projected to be a week
late in arriving, with no clear indication of whether the fish are less than
forecast or merely late. U.S. fishermen agreed to postpone harvest of
100,000
early Stuart sockeye due to the apparent initial weakness of the returning
run,
until the Fraser River panel meets again on July 3, 1997. On July 3, 1997,
U.S. officials announced that WA state fishermen would be allowed to begin
fishing for early Stuart sockeye bound for the Fraser River on July 5.
Additional U.S. fishing periods were scheduled daily for July 7-9, 1997. The
total early Stuart run is estimated to amount to about 1.1 million sockeye,
with a spawning escapement of 500,000 desired. Of the 600,000 available for
harvest, WA fishermen are anticipated to be able to harvest about 86,000
fish.
However, Canadians urge restraint until the size of the actual return can be
determined. From 1990-1996, Canada has asked that the United States not
harvest from the early Stuart run, and the United States has agreed. On July
6, 1997, Canadian officials opened a fishery restricted to certain Native
fishermen, with additional broader commercial openings scheduled through the
week. At midnight on July 7, 1997, the AK Dept. of Fish and Game closed
the southeast AK chinook salmon troll fishery after about 120,000 chinook
were estimated to have been caught. This closure was earlier than
anticipated
due to high catch rates. On July 8, 1997, U.S. managers announced that the
WA state fishery for early Stuart sockeye would close a day earlier than
originally scheduled, due to high catches by U.S. fishermen. After catches
are tabulated, a decision will be made on July 10 or 11 whether to allow
additional fishing. On July 9, 1997, Canadian officials raised concerns that
AK
seiners were targeting Canadian sockeye salmon under the guise of fishing for
AK pink salmon, which usually do not return to spawn until late summer. On
July 9, 1997, Canadian Trade Minister Sergio Marchi discussed aspects of
salmon negotiations with U.S. Trade Representative Charlene Barshefsky. BC
Premier Glen Clark appealED to WA residents for more attention to
conservation via an open letter published in major WA newspapers on July 10,
1997. On July 10, 1997, a BC fishing company filed suit against the Canadian
government in Vancouver, BC, court, alleging a conspiracy in allowing Treaty
negotiations to stall and in allocating harvest quota so as to benefit
seiners
and large processors and discriminate against small salmon trollers. {On
July
16, 1997, U.S. and tribal managers decided, jointly with Canadian managers,
not to reopen the fishery for early Stuart sockeye from the Fraser River due
to
concerns that high siltation in the River may prevent significant numbers of
salmon from reaching their spawning areas. In earlier fisheries, U.S.
fisherman caught about 108,000 early Stuart fish while Canadians harvested
about 276,000. On July 16, 1997, BC Premier Glen Clark was reported to
have written to Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien calling for a joint
strategy to counter alleged targeting of BC sockeye by southeast AK purse
seiners off Noyes Island.} {{Canadian officials claim AK fishermen have
caught 400,000 Canadian sockeye in this fishery, rather than the 120,000
agreed to. AK officials contend the sockeye catch has been much smaller.}}
[Assoc Press, Reuters, Dow Jones News, Wall Street Journal, personal
communication]
.
AQUACULTURE AND AQUARIA
.
Fish as Pollutants. Beginning July 24, 1997, the WA state Pollution
Control Hearings Board has scheduled a 5-day hearing in Olympia, to
consider whether escaped salmon harm native fish and, if so, what options
might be considered. [Assoc Press]
.
{{South Carolina Aquarium Lawsuit. In mid-July 1997, the City of
Charleston, SC, filed suit against the company building the $62 million SC
Aquarium for $1.56 million in disputed construction claims involving
installation of a pollution-control system.}} [Assoc Press]
.
{AK Salmon Hatchery Roe Stripping Lawsuit. On July 14, 1997, AK
Superior Court released a ruling by Judge Dan Hensley that the AK Dept. of
Fish and Game did nothing illegal by issuing temporary roe-stripping
regulations allowing pink and chum salmon hatcheries to discard salmon
carcasses in 1996.} [Assoc Press]
.
{Catfish and Dioxin. On July 7, 1997, EPA issued a nationwide dioxin
order based on June 1997 concerns that certain animal feeds were
contaminated with trace amounts of dioxin after 2 feed mills in Arkansas
reportedly used some dioxin-contaminated anti-caking agent in formulating
soybean-based catfish food. As much as 40% of all catfish feed may have
been contaminated. Under the order, shipment of catfish products was to
have been banned after July 13 unless the products could be certified as not
being tainted. However, suspended this order for catfish as FDA officials
and
catfish farmers began negotiating on an appropriate testing program for
catfish
and catfish products. A nationwide FDA survey found dioxin levels ranging
from 1.32 to 3.48 parts per trillion in six of 19 catfish fillets tested; the
maximum FDA limit for dioxin is one part per trillion.} {{On July 11, 1997,
the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the catfish farming industry
concluded an agreement for an industry-wide catfish sampling and dioxin level
testing program. On July 15, 1997, a multi-state testing program for catfish
began, with funding provided by an association of catfish farmers,
processors,
and feed manufacturers. On July 16, 1997, FDA issued a 4-page order
limiting catfish shipments from MS and other states where these fish may
have been fed the contaminated feed, effective midnight July 20. On July 17,
1997, FDA officials announced that they would change the sampling and
testing program for catfish, effective July 20, to determine when feed should
be
halted for catfish to assure acceptable dioxin levels.}} [Assoc Press,
Reuters,
Dow Jones News, The Catfish Institute press release]
.
Shrimp Virus. In early July 1997, the state of SC ordered Edisto
Seafarms to kill a shipment of 4.1 million blue shrimp from Venezuela testing
positive for the taura syndrome virus, chlorinate three ponds, discharge no
water from the farm, and import no additional blue shrimp. Between July 15
and July 23, 1997, four public hearings will be held on the NMFS/Joint
Subcommittee on Aquaculture report entitled "An Evaluation of Shrimp Virus
Impacts on Cultured Shrimp and on Wild Shrimp Populations in the Gulf of
Mexico and Southeastern U.S. Atlantic Coastal Waters," and public comment
will be received to help in the development of plans for an ecological risk
assessment on shrimp viruses. [Assoc Press, Federal Register]
.
Chilean Salmon Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Petitions.
On July 1, 1997, attorneys for the Assoc. of Chilean Salmon Farmers asked
the Dept. of Commerce to reject petitions against farmed Chilean salmon,
alleging illegal subsidization of salmon exporters and undercutting of U.S.
prices, claiming that the petitioners do not represent the industry they seek
to
protect, that Norwegian and Canadian salmon farmers would benefit most if
the duties were granted, and that Chilean boneless salmon fillets do not
compete with the petitioners' product. On July 2, 1997, the Dept. of
Commerce decided to formally open an investigation on charges that Chilean
salmon is being unfairly subsidized and dumped on the U.S. market. A
preliminary International Trade Commission (ITC) hearing on the petitions and
determination of injury was held on July 3, 1997. A preliminary decision by
the ITC is due by July 28, 1997. If the preliminary ruling on injury to U.S.
producers is positive, a Dept. of Commerce decision on subsidies is due by
Sept. 5, 1997, and on dumping by Nov. 19, 1997. On July 8, 1997, Chilean
trade representatives announced that they will seek formal negotiations with
the U.S. Dept. of Commerce to resolve salmon trade concerns. [Assoc. of
Chilean Salmon Farmers press release, Dow Jones News, Assoc Press]
.
BC Salmon Aquaculture. On June 30, 1997, the BC Salmon Farmers
Assoc. petitioned the Advertising Standards Council of BC to consider
whether an ad place by the David Suzuki Foundation in the June 24, 1997,
issue of the Times Colonist might contravene the Canadian Code of
Advertising Standards. The ad, headlined "Is Your Fish Dinner Laced With
Drugs?", alleges that antibiotics used in BC salmon farming lead to the
development of antibiotic-resistent microbes. An independent 8-month study,
the BC Salmon Aquaculture Review, is scheduled to be presented to the
provincial Cabinet in July 1997. [Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund press
release, BC Salmon Farmers Assoc. press release]
.
Cormorant Predation Control. On June 23, 1997, the U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service published proposed regulations that would allow the
harassment and killing of double-crested cormorants to protect aquaculture
stocks. [Federal Register]
.
FRESHWATER FISHERIES
.
{FWS Director Nomination Hearing. On July 16, 1997, the Senate
Committee on Environment and Public Works has tentatively scheduled a
hearing on the nomination of Jamie Rappaport Clark to be Director of the U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Service, Dept. of the Interior.} [personal communication]
.
{{Walden Pond Fishing? In mid-July 1997, representatives of People
for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) submitted a petition to MA
Governor William F. Weld, calling for a ban on fishing at Walden Pond,
northwest of Boston, as part of a PETA nationwide campaign that will ask
parks to ban fishing.}} [Assoc Press]
.
Whirling Disease. On July 10, 1997, MT's Whirling Disease Task
Force received a report that whirling disease had been detected in an
additional MT river drainage (Yellowstone River) and recommended that MT
ban or place more stringent limits on rainbow trout fishing in waters
infected
by whirling disease. Mt's Fish, Wildlife, and Parks Commission will
{{receive
a detailed report from the Task Force on Aug. 8, 1997, and will}} consider
Task Force recommendations. [Assoc Press]
.
Native Yellowstone Fish. On July 8, 1997, the National Park Service
released an assessment of obstacles to restoration of westslope cutthroat
trout and fluvial arctic graying to Yellowstone National Park habitat. Major
obstacles, particularly competition from introduced rainbow, brown, and brook
trout, preclude immediate progress, with gradual replacement of exotic fish
in
selected park waters proposed. The preferred alternative for action is to
undertake suppression of non-native fish. [Assoc Press]
.
Russell Dam Pumpback. On July 1, 1997, the Army Corps of
Engineers released a report concluding that, at most, about 8 million fish or
0.5% of the fish in Lake Thurmond could be killed each year by nighttime
operation of the pumpback turbines at the Russell Dam hydroelectric plant on
the Savannah River, SC. The report concludes that threadfin shad would be
the species experiencing the greatest mortality, with possibly 7.6 million
killed. The SC Dept. of Natural Resources has 45 days to study the Corps
report. The State of SC and the National Wildlife Federation have sued the
Corps over proposed pumpback operations; U.S. District Judge Falcon
Hawkins will determine whether, and if so, how the pumpback program can
operate. [Assoc Press]
.
AK Subsistence Fishing. On June 26, 1997, the House Committee on
Appropriations approved and ordered reported a bill appropriating funds for
the Dept. of the Interior for fiscal year 1998, including a one-year
moratorium on federal assumption of subsistence fishery management in Alaska.
[Assoc Press]
.
Bull Trout. In late June 1997, the governors of MT and ID,
representatives of Native American tribes, and officials of Washington Water
Power signed an agreement to coordinate the development of a unified bull
trout recovery effort with WA Water Power's hydropower project relicensing on
the Lower Clark Fork River. Between July 1 and July 17, 1997, five public
hearings are scheduled on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's proposed
listing Klamath River bull trout as endangered and Columbia River bull trout
as
threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Public comments will be
taken until Aug. 12, 1997. In early July 1997, the Alliance for the Wild
Rockies and Friends of the Wild Swan filed a motion for summary judgment in
U.S. District Court, Portland, OR, asking Judge Robert Jones to rule that
there
was not enough evidence to separate bull trout into five distinct
populations.
The groups hope to protect all bull trout rather than two specific
populations
proposed for endangered species act listing. [Assoc Press, Washington
Water Power press release]
.
Greenback Cutthroat Trout Restoration. On June 24, 1997, Interior
Secretary Bruce Babbitt announced a $97,000 grant under the "Bring Back
the Natives" program to the Uncompaghre-Gunnison National Forest, CO, for
fish passage work on Beaver Creek to aid recovery of native greenback
cutthroat trout. [Assoc Press]
.
Flaming Gorge Dam Spill. On June 21, 1997, the spillway at Flaming
Gorge Dam on the UT-WY border was used for the first time in more than a
decade after an outlet tube failed and the power plant flooded. Biologists
expressed concern that the warmer surface water discharge could harm
coldwater fish such as trout in the Green River below the Dam. [Assoc Press]
.

MARINE MAMMALS
.
CITES Hearing. On July 17, 1997, the House Resources
Subcommittee on Fisheries Conservation, Wildlife, and Oceans has tentatively
scheduled an oversight hearing on the results of the recent meeting of CITES
(Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and
Flora) Parties in Zimbabwe. [personal communication]
.
{Atlantic Large Whale Protection Measures. On July 15, 1997,
NMFS announced details of a substantially revised 4-year Atlantic Large
Whale Take Reduction Plan to reduce large whale entanglement in lobster and
gillnet fishing gear along the Atlantic coast. Fishermen will be permitted
to
choose among a list of options for modifying fishing gear to address
entanglement concerns by Jan. 1, 1998. Comments on the plan will be
accepted through Oct. 15, 1997, with the rule taking effect on Nov. 15, 1997.

Critical whale habitat would be closed to certain gear during times of whale
concentration, but gear modifications would not be required for gear fished
in
inshore coves and harbors.} [NOAA press release, Assoc Press]
.
Walrus Lawsuit. On June 27, 1997, the AK Supreme Court ruled
against a Native Alaskan couple charged with walrus hunting in the Walrus
Islands state game sanctuary during 1993. The Court ruled that state
property
regulations could not be preempted by the federal Marine Mammal Protection
Act; it was unconstitutional to supersede the state's right to regulate
access and
ban the discharge of firearms, because it would amount to a government taking

without compensation. [Assoc Press]
.
Tuna-Dolphin Legislation. On June 26, 1997, the U.S. Senate
Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation marked-up and
ordered S. 39 reported as amended to allow the use of the 'dolphin-safe'
label
if no dolphins are observed to have been killed or seriously injured during
tuna
harvest. [Reuters]
.
Japanese Research Whaling. On June 25, 1997, officials of Japan's
Institute of Cetacean Research announced the terms of sale for 1,995 tons of
meat from 440 minke whales taken in the Southern Ocean between November
1996 and March 1997. This meat is to be sold primarily to processor of
canned foods, with projected revenue of 3.5 billion yen. Prime-quality meant

for general consumption would be sold wholesale for 3,840 yen per kilogram,
with the retail price to be three times the wholesale price. [Dow Jones News]
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