[acn-l] ~~> FISHLINK SUBLEGALS 4/14/00 <~~ (fwd)

peter.unmack at asu.edu
Tue, 18 Apr 2000 00:20:28 -0700 (MST)

From: FISH1IFR at aol.com
Date: Tue, 18 Apr 2000 01:28:40 EDT
Subject: ~~> FISHLINK SUBLEGALS 4/14/00 <~~
To: AFS at wyoming.com, ACN-L at pinetree.org, crab-l at ios.bc.ca,
FishingForum at onelist.com, fishhabitat at mail.orst.edu,
oceancoalition at onelist.com, salmon at nw1.riverdale.k12.or.us

~~> FISHLINK SUBLEGALS 4/14/00 <~~

VOL 1, NO.15 14 April

FOR SALMON DOUBLING: Late today, 14 April, PCFFA, IFR, the Bay
Institute, Save San Francisco Bay Association and United Anglers filed
suit in Superior Court in San Francisco to force California's State Water
Resources Control Board (SWRCB) to implement protective measures for
Central Valley chinook salmon as required under federal and state law. At
issue is the SWRCB's 1995 Basin Plan which requires flows sufficient to
support a doubling of Central Valley chinook salmon populations as
mandated by the federal Central Valley Project Improvement Act
(CVPIA) and California Fish & Game Code 6900 et seq. According to
the plaintiff groups, the 15 March 2000 water allotment made by the
SWRCB for the San Joaquin River portion of the Central Valley will not
enable a doubling, but instead would actually allow many salmon runs to
continue in decline (San Joaquin spring-run are believed extinct because
of flow decisions for that river and the operation of Friant Dam, and San
Joaquin fall-run have been under consideration for listing under the
Endangered Species Act).

"The 1995 Basin Plan was clear," said PCFFA Executive Director Zeke
Grader, referring to the decades- old struggle over how to apportion the
annual runoff from the Sierra Nevada. "Recovery of salmon and other
disappearing fish in the San Joaquin River must be a priority when making
allotments. The Water Board's decision is a major step backward for the
environment and we don't believe it will stand up in court."

PCFFA, along with the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Bay
Institute and the Friant Water Users Association are currently in the
second year of a program, including water releases from Friant, intended
to restore a 150-mile stretch of the San Joaquin below the dam. The
lawsuit filed Friday affects downstream salmon runs in the San Joaquin
tributaries and flows needed for them to get to and through the
Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to San Francisco Bay. Representing the
plaintiffs is the Earthjustice Legal Defense Fund. For more information,
contact Earthjustice at (415) 627-6700.

RULES: On Wednesday, 19 April, the Washington Forest Practices Board
will take public testimony on its draft Environmental Impact Statement
on new rules that are supposed to protect salmon and water quality from
the impacts of logging, road-building, and other forestry activities on over
8 million acres of state and private lands in Washington State. The rules
are expected to form the basis for a 50-year Habitat Conservation Plan for
non-federal forest lands. Written comments are due by 21 April; they
should be sent to: Charlene Rodgers, EIS Project Manager, DNR-Forest
Practices Division, P.O. Box 47012, Olympia, WA 98504-7012, or e-mail
to: forest.practicesboard at wadnr.gov. For more information on the
proposed rules, visit the Washington Environmental Council website:

AND DATA COLLECTION: The General Accounting Office (GAO), the
watchdog arm of the federal government, on 6 April released a report
titled Fishery Management: Problems Remain With NMFS's
Implementation of the Magnuson-Stevens Act (GAO/RCED-00-69)
criticizing NMFS lack of current and complete data in many of its
management programs. The GAO particularly criticizes NMFS poor
economic data collection, particularly lack of analysis of ways to mitigate
adverse economic impacts on fishing communities, and noted that the
agencies had almost no current economic data on fishing communities to
work with and little staff commitment to obtain it, even though these kinds
of impact assessments are required under the Magnuson Act. The report
also cited two recent court cases to the effect that NMFS has not always
complied with the Act's requirements to minimize the adverse impacts of
conservation and management measures on fishing communities.
Likewise the GAO was critical of NMFS inability to assess secondary and
cumulative economic stresses resulting from its many separate decisions,
all of which together can devastate fishing communities and effectively
dismantle industry infrastructure.

Likewise, though according to the GAO NMFS has "technically met
the act's requirements by identifying essential fish habitat," the report was
critical of the lack of specificity of many of its extremely broad
designations, most put together hastily and with little supporting data,
which essentially include most of the US continental shelf but without
identifying any priority areas. They also noted that at least one regional
Council - the Pacific Council - has not yet complied with the law because
of its failure to submit its salmon EFH designations, and that little effort
as yet has been made to reduce impacts on that habitat. In fact, problems
with EFH designation and lack of implementation have already resulted in
a lawsuit in which IFR, PCFFA and the Cape Cod Commercial Hook
Fishermen's Association are co-plaintiffs with several marine conservation
groups (American Oceans Campaign, et. al. v. Daley, US Dist. Ct. DC
(Case 1:99CV00982GK)).

The GAO report recommended increased involvement of the fishing
industry, its expertise and its vessels in fishery research; better data
collection for both commercial and recreational fisheries; better economic
data collection and impact assessments, including efforts to minimize
adverse impacts on fishing dependent communities, and; better
implementation of the EFH provisions of the Act, including identifying
how to better protect EFH from both fishing and nonfishing threats. The
report may be obtained from the GAO website at:
http://www.gao.gov by title, date or number.

FEDERAL COURT: On Tuesday, 11 April, in San Francisco U.S. District
Court Judge Thelton Henderson blocked the National Marine Fisheries
Service's (NMFS) implementation of more relaxed standards on what tuna
would qualify to be labeled as "Dolphin-Safe." In response to a lawsuit
filed by Earth Island Institute and others, Henderson ruled NMFS
had failed to assess whether the proposed labeling change would cause
harm to dolphin populations and that the agency failed to completed
critical stress research testing of dolphins that were repeatedly captured
and released. The Commerce Department labels, prior to Henderson's
decision, had been set to go into effect on 11 April. The ruling does not
affect the U.S. lifting of an import ban on tuna caught using purse
seines. The following day, on 12 April, in New York, the U.S. Court of
International Trade heard oral arguments on a separate lawsuit seeking to
continue the embargo on purse seine-caught tuna from Mexico, claiming
that nation's fishing fleet had not fully complied with U.S. regulations
intended to reduce dolphin mortality.

RELIEF: U.S. Representative Sam Farr (D-Monterey) will hold a hearing
on 18 April in Moss Landing, CA to discuss with fishing representatives
the elements needed for a relief program for the Pacific Coast groundfish
fishery. That fishery has been declared a disaster by the Secretary of
Commerce (see Sublegals 21 January 2000). The Oregon Coastal Zone
Management Association (OCZMA) has been working to develop a
three-state package for federal relief to the Congress. IFR Administrator
Molly Thomas has invited OCZMA's director to California for meetings
to assure the package is broad enough to cover the entire spectrum of the
groundfish fishery; California's fishery is more diverse than Washington
and Oregon's, and includes, in addition to a trawl and longline fleet,
gillnetters, a nearshore livefish fishery, and a blackcod dory fleet. For
more information on the Moss Landing meeting, contact Congressman
Farr's District Aide, Donna Blitzer, at (408) 224-2229 or visit his website
at: http://www.house.gov/farr. For more information on the three-state
disaster relief proposal, contact OCZMA at: (541) 265-8918.

NOAA Assistant Administrator for fisheries, Penelope Dalton, has
announced a number of changes at the top levels of the National Marine
Fisheries Service. The most significant was the reassignment of Dr. Gary
Matlock, who had been NMFS Director of the Office of Sustainable
Fisheries, to the National Ocean Service (NOS) as Deputy Director of
the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science. Matlock was picked up
by NMFS after being dismissed by the State of Texas and served briefly
as Deputy Director of NMFS Southwest Region until being reassigned.

Bruce Morehead will be the acting director of the Office of Sustainable
Fisheries until a new director is found. On the west coast, Steve
Pennoyer, NMFS Alaska Regional Director, has announced his retirement
effective the end of May. Dr. James Balsiger, Director of the Alaska
Science Center, has been named as Pennoyer's replacement. For more
information, contact the National Marine Fisheries Service at (301) 713-

the U.S.-owned and Canadian-based (Prince Edward Island), Aqua Bounty
Farms, Inc. confirmed it is applying to the U.S. Food & Drug
Administration (FDA) for approval of their genetically modified (GMO)
transgenic farmed salmon, which grow to market size in about two-thirds
the time of regular, farmed Atlantic salmon, reports The Globe & Mail.
The company has yet to prove whether the GMO salmon are safe to eat
and will not contaminate wild populations if they escape their pens. Nor
has the company decided whether it will label its fish as genetically
modified. However, Aqua bounty may not farm the fish themselves, but
sell fertilized eggs or broodstock to other growers, leaving it up to these
fish farmers or the distributors to label the fish (see Sublegals, 3 March

The GMO fish pose more than a concern for consumers. Since most
salmon farming occurs in net pens in rivers, bays, estuaries and fjords,
where farmed fish can not only spread disease to wild stocks, but get
loose and compete with or breed with wild fish, GMO-salmon may pose
an even more significant environmental risk than health risk. Recent
studies have shown that Atlantic salmon are escaping from cages on the
west coast of Vancouver Island and colonizing some B.C. rivers. At a
March symposium at Simon Fraser University, according to an article by
Paul Marriner in All Outdoors Today, there were reports that escaped
Atlantics along the west coast utilize habitat differently from Pacific
salmon and steelhead, making their presence, utilizing normal assessment
techniques, hard to detect and indicating "the extent of their colonization
has been severely underestimated."

In the California Legislature, State Senator Tom Hayden, chairman of
the Natural Resources & Wildlife Committee, has introduced SCR 71,
requesting the state Department of Fish & Game to "evaluate and report
to the Legislature the full range of environmental impacts of salmon
farming, including, but not limited to, changes in local habitat, increased
concentration of disease-causing organisms, and potential damage to the
genetic diversity of targeted organisms." Although salmon farming is
prohibited in California, as it is in Alaska, the concern is that Atlantic or
other farm salmon escapees from B.C. or Washington State could begin
colonizing California streams. Hayden's office has also issued its report:
"Labeling Genetically Engineered Foods: The Public Right to Know," by
Dr. Marc Lappe. For a copy of the report, call the Senator's office at (916)
445-1353. Two recent articles on GMO's to note are:

"Pandora's Pantry," by Jon R. Luoma in the January/February issue of
Mother Jones (pp.53-59). For information, e-mail the magazine at:
query at motherjones.com.

"The Pharmaggeddon Riddle," by Michael Specter in the 10 April issue
of The New Yorker (pp.58-71). For information, visit the magazine's
website at http://www.newyorker.com.

Anchorage, salmon fishermen testified at a U.S. Department of
Agriculture (USDA) meeting that an "organic" certification could be
detrimental to the wild salmon fishery unless wild salmon were also
accorded the organic label. Alaska salmon are currently the first U.S.
fishery under consideration for certification by the Marine Stewardship
Council as a sustainable fishery (see Sublegals, 11 February 2000).
Alaska fishermen had met the week before with Senator Ted Stevens and
Governor Terry Knowles pressing their case for an organic label for their
fish. Some environmental groups opposed, claiming nearly all fish could
be said to be organic, even if stocks were depleted, and the label might
confuse consumers into thinking organic therefore meant sustainable. The
USDA is currently in the process of rewriting its regulations for organic

meetings begin this week in Washington by the World Bank and the
International Monetary Fund, the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) and
the U.S. Department of Commerce have announced "a joint initiative to
enhance opportunities for non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to
provide their views to the Administration on key trade issues." 19 USC
2155 establishes a three-tier trade policy advisory committee system, with
one committee addressing overall policy advice, several committees
providing advice on more specific policy issues, and a larger number of
committees covering sectoral, technical, or functional issues.

Prior to last year's Seattle meeting of the World Trade Organization
(WTO), PCFFA had objected to the fact that only one fishery group, the
National Fisheries Institute (NFI) representing importers, exporters and
shoreside processors, was included as advisors to the U.S. Trade
Representative (see the November 1999 The Fishermen's News, "WTO:
Flying Under Fishermen's Radar?" or visit PCFFA's website:
http://www.pond.net/~pcffa/fn-nov99.htm. U.S. Representative Nancy
Pelosi (D-CA) subsequently wrote U.S. Trade Representative Charlene
Barshefsky requesting representation from the fishing fleet on the
advisory panel on fisheries (see Sublegals 7 January 2000). Barshefsky
responded saying it was up to the Department of Commerce and that is
currently where matters stand. In the meantime, NFI, in a letter to the
editor in the April issue of National Fisherman claimed to represent all
U.S. fishing interests and there was no need for a fisherman/woman
representative on fishery matters.

For more information, contact Pate Felts, Assistant USTR for
Intergovernmental Affairs & Public Liaison at (202) 395-6120; or Patrick
Morris, Director of the Office of Export Promotion Coordination,
Department of Commerce (202) 482-4501. Written comments on ways to
strengthen channels of communication between NGOs (which may
include fishing organizations) and the Administration are due by 10 July.
They should be sent to: Gloria Blue, Office of the U.S. Trade
Representative, Room 122, 600 17th Street NW, Washington, DC 20508.

April, PCFFA issued a policy paper blasting the CalFed proposal for the
restoration of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and its fish. The paper
criticized the preferred alternative developed by CalFed for: 1) promoting
a peripheral canal (placing Sacramento fall-run salmon at risk); 2)
promoting additional surface water storage; 3) not mandating groundwater
management; 4) not mandating growth planning around water availability;
and 5) not planning for new water (e.g., desalinization). A copy of the
terse two-page statement is available on PCFFA's website at:

DAMS BREACHED ON BABBIT'S WATCH?: At a 12 April hearing of
the U.S. Senate Natural Resources Committee's Water & Power
Subcommittee, NMFS Northwest Regional Director Will Stelle said
salmon in the upper Columbia River are more likely to go extinct that
those on the Snake River where four dams are under consideration for
breaching (see Sublegals, 14 January 2000). There are no plans to breach
the Columbia River dams. Stelle testified there is a 67 percent risk Snake
River spring and summer chinook will go extinct in the next 100 years and
a 56 percent chance Snake River fall-run chinook will disappear. On the
Columbia, he said there is a 90 percent chance chinook will become
extinct and a 100 percent chance steelhead will go extinct.

Meanwhile, Secretary of Interior Bruce Babbitt, famous for wielding
his green sledgehammer to dams, told a Senate panel that the decision on
breaching four lower Snake River dams, "will not and should not be
made on my watch." The Clinton Administration ducking of the
breaching, recommended by fishery scientists, puts it over to the next
administration, with George W. Bush taking the side of the dam and tug
and barge operators in opposing and Al Gore yet to announce a position.

FISHERIES CO-MANAGEMENT: In the April 2000 issue of The
Fishermen's News (pp.13-15) is an article on Fisheries Co-Management,
looking at current Canadian proposals in that direction. The article,
prepared by PCFFA President Pietro Parravano and PCFFA Northwest
Regional Director Glen Spain can be viewed on PCFFA's website at:

GOT NEWS?: Submit news items to Molly Thomas, editor at:
ifrfish at aol.com or call the IFR office with the news and a source at
either: (415) 561-FISH (Southwest Office) or (541) 689-2000 (Northwest
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