Fisheries and Marine Mammals: Most Recent Developments -- 10/03/97 Page 2
fish logo
Fisheries and Marine Mammals: Most Recent Developments
10/03/97

bar

Continued from page 1

     Japanese Vessel Pursuit.  On Sept. 9, 1997, the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Storis began pursuit of a Japanese fishing vessel, Yoshimaru No. 038, reported to have been observed fishing about one-half mile inside the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone, about 340 miles northwest of St. Paul Island in the Bering Sea.  Upon approach, the Japanese vessel ceased fishing and began moving westward.  This was the 15th reported incursion into U.S. waters this year, compared to only one in 1996.  On Sept. 10, 1997, the Storis lost contact with and ceased pursuit of the Yoshimaru No. 038.  The U.S. Dept. of State will discuss this incident with the Japanese government. [Assoc Press]

     .
     Undersize Swordfish.  On Sept. 9, 1997, NMFS published an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking, requesting comments on options to prohibit the sale of undersize Atlantic swordfish.  This action would implement an International Convention for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) recommendation. [Fed. Register]      .

Cyanide Fishing Report Briefing.  On Sept. 9, 1997, the World Resources Institute held a briefing in Washington, DC, on its new report Sullied Seas:  Strategies for Combating Cyanide Fishing in Southeast Asia and Beyond, documenting efforts to launch a Cyanide Fishing Reform Program by the Philippines government. [WRI announcement]

     .
     Redfish Case.  In early September 1997, a federal jury began deliberations in a case against a Jackson, MS, seafood company wherein nearly 70,000 pounds of redfish were alleged to have been illegally sold in MS and LA between 1988 and 1993.  The defendant faces a maximum of 5 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on each count of a 15-count felony indictment under the Lacey Act.  On Sept. 12, 1997, a mistrial was declared. [Assoc Press]

     .
     American Seafoods Opens Anchorage Office.  In early September 1997, Norwegian-owned American Seafoods opened an office in Anchorage, AK, announcing that it is seeking to increase Alaskan employment on its Bering Sea factory trawler fleet of 16 vessels to at least 500 individuals or one-third of its workforce. [Assoc Press]

     .
     IFQ Meetings.  The National Research Council's Committee to Review Individual Fishing Quotas held public meetings in Anchorage, AK, to take public comment on its review of IFQs on Sept. 4-6, 1997.  A similar meeting is {scheduled for Seattle, WA, on Nov. 12-13, 1997.} [personal communication, Assoc Press]

     .
     {FL Shrimp Bycatch Reduction.  After a Sept. 4, 1997 hearing in Punta Gorda, FL, the FL Marine Fisheries Commission voted to propose a new regulation requiring FL shrimpers to employ either of two federally certified turtle excluder devices (TEDs) to reduce bycatch of fish in shrimp trawls by 50%.  Subsequently, some shrimpers contested this proposed rule, believing that other "soft" TEDs are more effective.  The Marine Fisheries Commission is expected to hold a hearing in October 1997 on the proposed new regulations to consider the shrimpers' criticisms.} [Assoc Press]

     .
     Mexican Oil Pollution Lawsuit.  On Sept. 4, 1997, officials of the Mexican Center for Environmental Law, Blue Tide, and Greenpeace of Mexico held a news conference to announce that they had filed a lawsuit against the government oil monopoly, Petroleos Mexicanos, for pollution damages to a mangrove swamp and estuary at Laguna del Pom, off Campeche Sound, arising from petroleum exploration and development.  The groups also seek to halt construction of a nitrogen compressing plant in Cuidad del Carmen that would inject gas underground to increase petroleum production. [Assoc Press, Dow Jones News]

     .
     NJ Horseshoe Crab Case.  On Sept. 4, 1997, the NJ Supreme Court announced that it would accept the case alleging that Governor Christie Whitman exceeded her authority by extending an emergency order limiting horseshoe crab harvesting in Delaware Bay.  In the process, the emergency order limiting crabbing was retained, but no date has yet been set for the Court hearing on the case.  On Sept. 25, 1997, the NJ Marine Fisheries Council voted 5-3 against the NJ Dept. of Environmental Protection's proposal to prohibit trawlers from fishing for horseshoe crab and to limit hand harvesting.  A compromise plan that would have only have banned trawling and dredging but not limited hand harvesting was also rejected.  Trawlers will be able to resume fishing on Sept. 28, 1997, after the temporary harvest ban expires. [Assoc Press]

     .
     Mercury in King Mackerel.  On Sept. 4, 1997, LA state health dept. officials renewed a warning to limit consumption of large king mackerel caught in the Gulf of Mexico due to elevated mercury levels. [Assoc Press]

     .
     Queen Conch Trial.  On Sept. 2, 1997, five Hialeah, FL, individuals were sentenced to 3 years probation and ordered to perform 100 hours of community service for the May  1997 slaughter of 458 queen conchs, destroying one of only three breeding aggregations in Biscayne National Park, FL. [Assoc Press]

     .
     Salmon Along the Pacific Coast

     .
     {Bristol Bay Sockeye Salmon.  On Sept. 30, 1997, AK Governor Tony Knowles formally requested that the Clinton Administration declare the 1997 Bristol Bay sockeye salmon run a disaster.  Gov. Knowles requested federal assistance (unemployment assistance and Small Business Administration loans) to ease economic dislocation in the Bristol Bay area.} [Assoc Press]

     .
     {WA Hatchery Closures.  On Sept. 30, 1997, WA Dept. of Fish and Game officials announced that three Columbia River salmon and steelhead hatcheries would be closed and the output of other hatcheries reduced if FY1998 federal funding under the Mitchell Act is reduced as suggested by NMFS officials.} [Assoc Press]

     .
     Cushman Project Lawsuit.  On Sept. 23, 1997, the Skokomish Indian Tribe filed suit against the City of Tacoma, WA, seeking $100 million for damages to salmon and steelhead trout by the Cushman hydroelectric project on the North Fork of the Skokomish River. [Assoc Press]

     .
     Snake River Sockeye.  As of Sept. 23, 1997, none of the 24 endangered sockeye salmon reported as having passed Lower Granite Dam in August 1997, had been detected arriving at Redfish Lake, ID. [Assoc Press]

     .
     NPPC Meetings.  At its Sept. 17, 1997, meeting in Helena, MT, the Northwest Power Planning Council (NPPC) announced its recommendations on how Bonneville Power Administration is to spend $127 million on fish and wildlife recovery efforts.  The NPPC approved $94 million in projects for 1998, and delayed or canceled another $40 million in projects pending additional review.  Nearly $20 million for new fish hatcheries was delayed until a comprehensive review of all hatcheries is completed, about $15 million in habitat improvements was delayed until high priority habitat areas could be identified, a $4 million law enforcement effort was terminated, and a $3.7 million squawfish predation program was reduced. [Assoc Press, NPPC Congressional Update, NPPC news release]

     .
     Salmon Spearing Penalty.  On Sept. 16, 1997, a Valley County, ID, magistrate sentenced a Boise man to 5 days in jail and a $845 fine for illegally spearing a spawning chinook salmon in the South Fork of the Salmon River. The fish was a hatchery-raised salmon, and NMFS declined to pursue federal charges against the man. [Assoc Press]

     .
     Salmon Recovery Lawsuit.  On Sept. 16, 1997, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a lawsuit (American Rivers v. NMFS), previously dismissed in April 1997 because a 60-day notice had not been given, could proceed based upon a Supreme Court ruling that allows environmental lawsuits challenging arbitrary government action without the 60-day notice. The Court of Appeals returned the case to U.S. District Judge Malcolm Marsh, who could rule that the salmon recovery plan complies with environmental law and then send the case back to the Court of Appeals for a ruling on the substance of the dispute.  The lawsuit by 8 environmental and fishing organizations alleged that recovery plan reliance on downstream transportation of juvenile salmon in barges was detrimental to salmon recovery. [Assoc Press]

     .
     Yakima Hatchery Dedication.  On Sept. 11, 1997, the Yakima Indian Nation dedicated a $15 million salmon hatchery on the Yakima River, that will concentrate on restoring salmon through supplementation and acclimation. [Assoc Press]

     .
     Salmon River Rafting Restrictions.  In early September 1997, the U.S. Forest Service closed an additional 6-mile stretch of the upper main Salmon River in the vicinity of Stanley, ID, to public and commercial use after spawning salmon were discovered using this area.  On Sept. 10, 1997, the U.S. Forest Service closed a 45-mile stretch of the Upper Main Salmon River to all floating trips, due to extensive salmon spawning activity.  On Sept. 16, 1997, an Upper Salmon River outfitter made a "protest" float of a 3-mile stretch of the river that had been closed; the outfitters license has been temporarily suspended.  The outfitter charges the Sept. 10 closure was illegal since the order was not signed by the Forest Supervisor. [Assoc Press]

     .
     USDA Salmon Purchases.  On Sept. 5, 1997, USDA officials announced that, due to lower AK salmon harvests, they were reducing purchases of pink and chum salmon for the national school lunch program to $7 million, down from the $12 million announced in June 1997.  As much as $2 million of the purchase would be spent on processed salmon in pouches and in nugget form, with the remainder used to purchase canned pink salmon.  In addition, USDA will purchase 220,000 pounds of canned pink salmon for shipment to the Ukraine, where proceeds from the sale of this product will fund humanitarian work. [Assoc Press, Reuters]

     .
     Umpqua Cutthroat Trout.  On Sept. 3, 1997, the Douglas County (OR) Board of Commissioners voted to sue the federal government for alleged failure to use the best scientific information available in its listing of Umpqua River searun cutthroat trout as endangered.  The Commissioners believe the Umpqua fish are a viable population and seek to have them removed from the List of Endangered and Threatened Species. [Assoc Press]

     .
     Pacific Salmon Treaty.  In early September 1997, Canadian officials indicated the "Canada First" fishing strategy had been successful so far, with Canadian commercial fishing harvesting more than 7 million Fraser River sockeye salmon while U.S. commercial fishermen caught less than 1 million. Rather than the 21% of the Fraser River sockeye desired by the United States, U.S. fishermen have taken about 13%.  In early September 1997, the BC government release a legal opinion, commissioned by the province, that concluded the United States was violating international law with respect to salmon management.  In early September 1997, the deadline for posting security bond by BC fishing vessel owners named in Alaska's lawsuit was extended from Sept. 15 to Sept. 30.  On Sept. 8, 1997, the BC government, various Canadian worker unions, and BC individuals representing various aspects of the province's fishing industry filed suit in U.S. District Court against the United States and the States of WA and AK, attempting to force the United States to resume negotiations by seeking about $234 million in damages from the alleged illegal management of and overfishing by U.S. fisheries.  Canada claims the disproportionate U.S. salmon harvest violates the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act and U.S. legislation implementing the Pacific Salmon Treaty.  On Sept. 10, 1997, the deadline for posting C$10,000 security bonds by BC fishing vessel owners named in Alaska's lawsuit was extended for a second time from Sept. 30 to mid-October 1997.  On Sept. 10, 1997, the BC government filed court papers accusing the Canadian federal government of trespassing on provincial territory at the Nanoose Bay weapons testing range since the federal lease for the facility has expired.  On Sept. 11, 1997, the AK Marine Highway System announced its fall and winter schedule, with no ferry stops scheduled for Prince Rupert, BC.  The summer 1998 schedule is due at the printers on Oct. 7, 1997.  On Sept. 11, 1997, President Clinton and Canadian Prime Minister Chretien spoke briefly about salmon.  In mid-September 1997, President Clinton wrote a letter to AK's U.S. Senate delegation, stating that the United States would take appropriate countermeasures if alleged illegal activities by Canadians reoccurred.  On Sept. 17, 1997, the House International Relations Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere held a hearing on Canadian policy issues that included the Pacific Salmon Treaty.  On Sept. 18, 1997, the House Resources Subcommittee on Fisheries Conservation, Wildlife, and Oceans held an oversight hearing on U.S.-Canada Pacific Salmon Treaty negotiations.  {{On Oct. 1, 1997, a British Columbian member of the Canadian Parliament was removed from the House of Commons after accusing Fisheries Minister David Anderson of treason.  On Oct. 2, 1997, Canadian Foreign Minister Lloyd Axworthy met with Secretary of State Madeleine Albright to affirm a commitment to make the discussions between envoys productive.}} [Assoc Press, Reuters, Dow Jones News]      . Aquaculture and Aquaria

     .
     AK Oyster Theft.  On Sept. 24, 1997, AK State Troopers reported that, between Sept. 17 and 22, thieves stole as many as 45,000 oysters contaminated with paralytic shellfish poison from a Prince of Wales Island shellfish farm. [Assoc Press]

     .
     Coastal America Ecosystem Learning Center.  On Sept. 23, 1997, the National Aquarium in Baltimore was designated as a Coastal American Ecosystem Learning Center.  Coastal America is a partnership among federal, state, and local governments and private entities to address coastal ecology problems. [National Aquarium in Baltimore press release]

     .
     Escaped Blue Shrimp.  In mid-September 1997, SC Natural Resources Dept. biologists reported that nearly two dozen Venezuelan blue shrimp had been caught in Charleston County, SC, waters in the past week. These shrimp were thought to have escaped from shrimp farms, and raise concern that they may carry non-native virus that could infect native shrimp. [Assoc Press]

     .
     NPS Pharmaceuticals and AquaBio Agreement.  On Sept. 10, 1997, NPS Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Salt Lake City, UT) and AquaBio Products Sciences LLC (Bar Harbor, ME) announced an agreement to cross-license their technologies.  AquaBio will use NPS drug technology to improve aquaculture products while NPS will use AquaBio compounds that may have human therapeutic value. [Dow Jones News, Assoc Press]

     .
     Norwegian Salmon.  On Sept. 9, 1997, the European Commission announced plans to propose that the European Council establish a "residual" anti-dumping duty of 0.32 ECU per kilogram on farmed Norwegian salmon to protect the EU farmed salmon industry from risk that any Norwegian exporters do not observe a May 1997 agreement on salmon exports.  This residual duty would not be applied unless Norwegian exporters violated the May 1997 agreement.  {On Sept. 29, 1997, the EU Council approved regulations establishing "residual" antidumping and countervailing duties on imports of farmed salmon from Norway from companies not adhering to the agreed minimum price; these regulations entered into force on Oct. 1, 1997, and will continue for five years.} [Agence Europe via Reuters, Dow Jones News]

     .
     Salmon Loss to Algal Blooms.  In early September 1997, International Aqua Foods Ltd. announced that it had lost some of its salmon inventory at 4 Vancouver Island, BC, salmon farm sites near Tofino and Coal Harbor due to severe algal blooms.  Six additional BC farm sites were unaffected. [Dow Jones News, International Aqua Foods press release]      .

TopBackNext

bar

netpets logo
NetPets® Main Page
contact information

Legislation

fish
The Fish Center