[acn-l] ~~>FISHLINK SUBLEGALS 4/20/01<~~ (fwd)

PETER.UNMACK at asu.edu
Fri, 27 Apr 2001 00:24:42 -0700 (MST)

From: FISH1IFR at aol.com
Date: Thu, 26 Apr 2001 00:51:05 EDT
Subject: ~~>FISHLINK SUBLEGALS 4/20/01<~~
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,
salmon at riverdale.k12.or.us


VOL 3, NO. 16 20 APRIL 2001

a hearing of the U.S. House of Representatives' Subcommittee on
Energy Policy, Natural Resources & Regulatory Affairs, Friends of the
Trinity River, California Trout and PCFFA called upon the
subcommittee searching for solutions to California's energy shortages to
halt all water deliveries to the selenium-laden lands of the heavily
subsidized Westlands Water District, located on the west side of
California's Central Valley. The water district, one of the most junior of
the state's water rights holders, is made up of large agribusiness firms
formed after the formation of California's State Water Project to take
heavily taxpayer subsidized water from both the federal Central Valley
Project (CVP) and state water projects to convert arid low-value lands
into growing cotton and a number of federally-subsidized crops. Among
its sources of water have been flows from the Trinity River diverted
through the CVP to Westlands, even though diversions of Trinity water
under the law are restricted to that which is surplus to the needs of the
basin (i.e.,after fish and wildlife needs) and for delivery only to
agriculture in the Sacramento Valley.

The call to halt deliveries to Westlands was made during the House
Subcommittee's third hearing in California this past week. The three
groups, representing sport and commercial fishermen, also asked the
House Committee on Government Reform to eliminate two provisions
of a draft bill, the proposed "Electricity Emergency Act," that would
stop implementation of the Trinity River Restoration Program and could
wipe out basic, minimum river flows necessary to protect the fish and
wildlife resources of the Trinity basin as the law now requires. Late last
year, former Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt finally signed his Record
of Decision (ROD) for the Trinity to restore the river to 48 percent of its
historic flows, an improvement but far less than PCFFA and others had
called for in restoring the river to 70 percent of its historic flow (see
Sublegals, 3:13/01; 3:12/02; 2:25/02). The ocean salmon fishery
offshore northern California and southern Oregon has been severely
restricted in part due to the depletion of Trinity River (the main tributary
of the Klamath) salmon as a result of the diversions of Klamath Basin
water to the Trinity Unit of the CVP.

"Continued delivery to Westlands is lunatic public policy," said
Byron Leydecker, chairman of Friends of the Trinity. "We're using
subsidized power to pump subsidized water so wealthy corporate farms
can grow uneconomical crops in the desert, in an arrangement that
poisons the environment, kills fish, and ruins other farmland. We can't
afford any of these things." For more information or a copy of the letter
sent to the House Subcommittee, e-mail: bwl at home.com .

FOR WESTLANDS WITH COURT: While fishing groups were
calling for a cessation of water deliveries to the Westlands Water
District, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) on 18 April filed with
the U.S. District Court in Fresno a plan to provide taxpayer subsidized
drainage to the San Luis Unit of the Central Valley Project which serves
Westlands. BOR is under an order by U.S. District Court Judge Oliver
Wanger to provide drainage to Westlands. Selenium laden irrigation
waste waters from Westlands are responsible for major bird kills and
deformities at the Kesterson National Wildlife Refuge. The agency
expects to complete the evaluation and environmental documentation,
including a record of decision (ROD) by 2005.

Fishing groups are concerned that if the San Luis Drain is extended
to dump into the Delta its polluted waste waters with high levels of
selenium and pesticides could affect Central Valley chinook salmon
populations, including the abundant Sacramento fall-run kings that
support the ocean salmon fishery offshore California, Oregon and
Washington. The drainage waters could also have an adverse impact as
well as Dungeness crab, herring and oysters in San Francisco Bay.

In its effort to find solutions for Westlands' drainage problem, other
than cutting off irrigation water to and retiring that land, BOR has found
only two technologies for disposal of the irrigated waste waters. One is
to dispose of the salts outside of the San Joaquin Valley (i.e., a San Luis
Drain connected to the Delta to run the waste waters into San Francisco
Bay). The second is to dispose of the polluted water in evaporation
ponds. The two solutions, it is believed, would provide drainage and
achieve sustainable salt balance for all the irrigated lands in Westlands
Water District that currently are affected. For more information, contact
BOR's Jeff McCracken at (916) 978-5101, or go to the BOR website at:

OVER FISHERIES: The State of Washington's recent declaration of a
water emergency (Sublegals 3:11/06) allows that state to reallocate
water from those water permits that under their own terms are deemed
"interruptable," if necessary to protect fish and wildlife in the current
drought. However, instead of curtailing irrigation water on 5 April the
Washington Department of Ecology simply reduced its minimum
instream flows to be maintained to protect fish in the Columbia and
Snake Rivers by 23 percent so that farmers could have nearer normal
irrigation seasons. Using a little known provision of its rules allowing it
to reduce instream flows based on a determination of "overriding public
interest," the Department cited potentially severe economic damage to
some 300 irrigators that hold interruptable water permits as its rationale
for instream flow reductions for the fish.

According to the Center for Environmental Law & Policy (CELP) the
agency failed to consider any other economic interests that might be
damaged by flow reductions, including economic damages to downriver
fishing-dependent communities, loss of recreational and commercial
fishing jobs, or impaired Tribal treaty rights as part of its public interest
analysis, all of which should have been considered by law. Nor did the
agency, according to CELP, consider potential irreparable damage to
Endangered Species Act (ESA) listed salmon and steelhead runs that
may be forced closer to extinction. Nor were any additional recovery
costs considered that continued fish declines would cost in the long run.
Under the rationale used to grant the waiver, CELP noted, no reduction
of irrigation water would ever occur, since the very concern cited stems
directly from the Department's own issuance of too many water permits
in the past. The wavier was also criticized as largely the result of
political pressure brought by irrigation lobbyists and State Senators in
closed door negotiations. The Department of Ecology press release on
the deal worked out with the irrigators is at:
http://www.ecy.wa.gov/news/2001news/2001-053.html. For a critical
analysis of the waiver, contact: Center for Environmental Law & Policy
(CELP), Kristie Carevich, (206)223-8454. For more information on
CELP see: www.celp.org .

COLUMBIA FLOWS: On 19 April, a coalition of conservation,
commercial and sport fishing groups including PCFFA filed a formal
notice of intent to sue the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
(FERC) and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) under the
Endangered Species Act (ESA) for failure to provide sufficient water
to the Columbia and Snake Rivers from the Hell's Canyon Dam.
Additional water flows from Hell's Canyon Reservoir were called for in
the recently adopted Columbia River salmon and steelhead recovery
plan, but both these agencies have failed to complete the consultations
required under the ESA to ascertain what additional water should be
provided to protect the fish. In a related letter, the groups also wrote to
the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) complaining of the
unreasonable delay of more than two years in completing the
consultation over the Hells Canyon complex, and noting that "if NMFS
does not remedy this situation by April 30, 2001, the signatories hereto
will be forced to consider their legal options." Joining the letters are
Trout Unlimited, Idaho Rivers United, and the Institute for Fisheries
Resources. For more information or copies of these three letters contact
Pacific Environmental Advocacy Center, 10015 S.W. Terwilliger Blvd.,
Portland, Oregon 97219, (503)768-6727.

Northwest Water Law & Policy Project of Lewis & Clark Law School is
hosting it's Sixth Annual Water Law Conference, "Local Waters:
Restoring Community Rivers and Watersheds" on 3-4 May on the
college's campus in Portland, Oregon. According to conference
materials, "communities throughout the Pacific Northwest are beginning
to recognize the full potential of their rivers and watersheds --
economically, environmentally, and socially....... The transformation is
driven in part by the listing of salmon and steelhead under the
Endangered Species Act and the Clean Water Act's call to rein in
pollution from often allusive non-point sources." To view the
conference agenda visit the Northwest Water Law & Policy Project
website at: www.lclark.edu/dept/water. Register by calling the Oregon
Law Institute at (800) 222-8213. Direct further questions to Jack
McDonald at 503-768-6763 or water at lclark.edu.

Management Council has scheduled a workshop for 14-17 May at
NMFS Southwest Fisheries Center in LaJolla, California to review
market squid stock assessment methods. A principal goal of the stock
assessment review (STAR) at the workshop will be to consider
integrating ongoing squid research into the PFMC's Coastal Pelagic
Species (CPS) fishery management plan. Since the passage of the 1997
Sher bill in the California Legislature, California embarked on a squid
research and management program for its largest fishery. Subsequently
squid was included as one of the species in the PFMC's federal Fishery
Management Plan for coastal pelagics. The STAR panel includes
representatives of the PFMC's Scientific & Statistical Committee, the
CPS Management Tearm, the CPS Advisory Subpanel, the California
Department of Fish & Game (CDFG) and the National Marine Fisheries
Service (NMFS). For more information on this public workshop, go to
the PFMC website at: www.pcouncil.org .

In the California Legislature, three bills dealing with market squid
will be heard on Tuesday, 24 April. SB 209 by State Senator Byron
Sher, authorizing CDFG to implement the squid management plan it is
now preparing, is scheduled to be heard in the Senate Natural Resources
& Wildlife Committee. On the Assembly side, AB 1389 by
Assemblyman Alan Lowenthal, also authorizing implementation of the
squid plan, along with AB 1296 by Assemblyman Lou Papan, setting a
fixed number of permits in the squid fishery, will both be heard in the
Water, Parks & Wildlife Committee, also on 24 April. The Sher and
Lowenthal bills are supported by the California Squid Association,
while the Papan bill is sponsored by fish processors and a group of purse
seiners from Puget Sound.

Citizen's Russian-American Conference on Problems in Protecting
Biological Resources of the Bering Sea" concluded on 6 April with
numerous recommendations for the protection of this ocean body's
biological resources and fisheries. The three-day meeting held in
Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, jointly sponsored by non-governmental and
governmental organizations, focused on the numerous threats to the
Bering Sea, including poaching, habitat destruction, offshore oil drilling,
overfishing and threats to the resources from global climate change.
The meeting included, as well, discussions on: empowering indigenous
peoples of the region to give them greater access and control over fish
they depend on; developing a small-boat coastal fishery; and joint
management of the Bering Sea that would include input from fishing
men and women. A working group was formed out of the meeting and
annual meetings are under consideration, with the next possibly in
Anchorage. U.S. fishing industry representatives at the meeting
included three Unalaska fishermen - Bob Storrs, Pete Hendricksen and
Gordon Blue, all members of the Alaska Marine Conservation Council,
and PCFFA's Zeke Grader. A report on the meeting will be appearing in
the May issue of The Fishermen's News, www.fishermensnews.com , or
for more information on the meeting and a copy of the
recommendations, contact Sibyl Diver, Pacific Environment, at:
siblyldiver at mindspring.com .

BOAT: In its efforts to control poaching in its waters of the Sea of
Okhotsk and the Bering Sea, a Russian border patrol plane fired
warning shots at the South Korean fishing boat Citrus to make it stop for
inspection, WorldCatch News Network reported on 19 April. The
incident occurred late in the evening of 18 April near the southern
Kurilles in the Sea of Okhotsk. The press center of the North-Eastern
Regional Board of the Federal Borderguard Service of Russia reported
Thursday that Russian borderguards spotted six fishing boats, flying
South Korean flags, near the southern Kurilles in the morning of 18

While one of the Korean fishing vessels, the Ing Sung Master, was
being inspected, the other ships tried to escape in the southern direction.
Several hours of radio conversations were needed to persuade the
skippers of most of the South Korean boats to return for examination. It
is worth noting that several violations of fishing rules were recorded on
board the Ing Sung Master. However, two boats - the Citrus and Jung
Sung-3 - refused to obey orders and continued to flee. The patrol boats
Kamchatka and Pagella had to pursue them. The Citrus stopped after
several warning shots were fired and was compelled to establish contact
with the Pagella. The Jung Sung-3 was also forced to return and proceed
to the place indicated by Russian borderguards. At present, Russian
inspectors are working on the arrested ships to determine the motives of
the fishing boats to avoid inspection. For more information go to

REVIEW PANEL: The U.S. Secretary of Commerce is soliciting
nominations, pursuant to the National Sea Grant College Program for
membership on the National Sea Grant Review Panel. This advisory
committee provides advice on the implementation of the National Sea
Grant College Program. Resumes of interested fishermen and other
individuals should be sent to: Dr. Ronald C. Baird, Director, National
Sea Grant College Program, 1315 East-West Highway, Room 11716,
Silver Spring, Maryland 20910. The deadline for applications for the
review panel is 20 May. For further information contact: Dr. Ronald
Baird of the National Sea Grant College Program at (301) 713-2448 or
fax to: (301) 713-1031.

WorldCatch News Network reported Tri-Marine International, Inc.
announced it has formed Cape Fisheries Holdings, LP, to acquire and
operate tuna fishing vessels affiliated with the Tri-Marine Group of
companies. "The projected expansion of our tuna fishing activities
follows our recent divestiture of our ownership interest in Chicken of the
Sea," said Renato Curto, president of Tri-Marine. Kenny Alameda has
been appointed as president and CEO of the new company. Tri-Marine,
formed in Singapore in 1972, has grown to be one of the largest tuna
trading companies in the world. Its activities include fishing, trading,
processing and marketing primarily of tuna and tuna products. In
January the company sold its interest in Chicken of the Sea to Thai
Union International (see Sublegals, 2:26/04). For the full article see

Meanwhile the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) published
in the 19 April Federal Register, (Vol. 66, No.76, p. 20129) notice of a
proposed rule issued 30 March, pursuant to its authority under the Tuna
Conventions Act of 1949 (Act) affecting the U.S. high seas tuna fishery.
NMFS indicated in the proposed rule that a public hearing would be
held to obtain comment on its proposed rule. Written comments are also
being accepted on the proposed rule through 30 April. The public
hearing will be held 27 April at the Embassy Suites Hotel, 601 Pacific
Highway, San Diego, California. Written comments should be sent to
Svein Fougner, Southwest Region, NMFS, 501 W. Ocean Boulevard,
Suite 4200, Long Beach, CA 90802, or faxed to 562-980-4047. For
more information, call Svein Fougner at: (562) 980-4040.

MAGAZINE: Fish & Wildlife Science, an electronic magazine devoted
to natural resource issues, was launched 20 April by the Washington
Department of Fish & Wildlife (WDFW). Written by the state agency's
scientists, the magazine is expected to provide a forum for WDFW and its
partners to inform the public on fish and wildlife issues with reports on
research projects and the individuals performing the work. The magazine
can be accessed directly at: http://www.wa.gov/wdfw/science
or though WDFW's main homepage at:
http://www.wa.gov/wdfw/home.htm . Fish & Wildlife Science will also
serve as a library for scientific and technical papers written by the agency's
personnel, making it an easy-access, on-line source for natural resource
professionals, policymakers, scientists, fishermen, teachers, students and
others. The magazine has an interactive feature which allows readers to
communicate directly with the Department and obtain answers to fish and
wildlife science questions. Mail should be sent to: webmaster at dfw.wa.gov

Fishery Management Council's (PFMC) Coastal Pelagic Species
Management Team (CPSMT) and Coastal Pelagic Species Advisory
Subpanel (CPSAS) will hold a public meeting on Friday, 11 May,
beginning at 1000 HRS at the offices of NMFS Southwest Region, 501 W
Ocean Blvd., Long Beach, California. For more information:
www.pcouncil.org .

IN FISH: As WorldCatch News Network reported 20 April, California
researchers have developed a simple way to test fish for the presence of
mercury that is found at levels of concern in some fish. A recent study
found that 10 percent of women and children surveyed had unhealthy
amounts of mercury in their systems, believed from eating certain types of
fish or fish that was contaminated. Currently, fish processors test only a
percentage of the fish they handle, according to Kim D. Janda, a chemistry
professor at the Scripps Research Institute who helped develop the test.
"The methods are fairly complicated and require expensive equipment and
skilled people to run it," said Janda. Scientists at Scripps, who were
working on ways to detect heavy metals like lead, developed a dye that
detects mercury. But at least one expert isn't sure typical consumers would
be willing to spend the money and time -- up to four hours a test -- to see
if their seafood is stomach-worthy. First, a tester removes a scale from the
fish, about a fifth the size of a fingernail. Then, an enzyme is added to the
scale, which consumes much of it. The dye is added to the remaining
solution, and it instantly turns purple if a certain level of mercury is
present. Otherwise, it stays clear.

In addition to its use in homes, fishermen might use the test to
determine whether fish should be thrown back while they're still alive, says
Janda. "Now, the fish has to be caught and basically sacrificed," he said.
The test can be adjusted to detect different levels of mercury, but it does
take three to four hours because of the time needed for the enzyme to
"digest" the fish, said Janda, who estimates that the kit shouldn't cost more
than a dollar or two a test, and he expects that a company will come
forward to develop the product. For more information, go to
www.worldcatch.com .

18 April, the Baltimore Sun reported that University of Maryland
researchers are working growing blue crabs with hopes of re-stocking the
Chesapeake Bay with hatchery grown juvenile crabs to supplement the
native crab population. At UM's Center for Marine Biotechnology,
research is ongoing on the blue crab life cycle in order to produce the crabs
necessary to put in the Chesapeake to study. The project is based on one in
Japan where scientists annually release 50 million to 60 million juvenile
swimming crabs, close relatives of the Atlantic blue crab, into the Seto
Inland Sea. The crab population in the Seto had crashed in the 1950s but
has since rebounded. The University of Maryland project could lead to a
string of crab hatcheries around the bay. Combined with the restoration of
the bay's vast grass beds, which once served as nurseries and hiding places
for vulnerable juvenile crabs, that could be "our only salvation," said Larry
Simns, president of the Maryland Watermen's Association. The association
has lent its support to the project in hopes of restoring the multimillion-
dollar industry.

This University of Maryland research has implications for use in other
bays around the world. The Chesapeake crab restocking effort, for
example, could also provide important research useful in rebuilding
Dungeness crab populations in San Francsico Bay. The San Francisco Bay
estuary was once the Pacific coast's largest nursery area for the famed
Dungeness crab prior to the impacts of pollution, dredging and diversion
of fresh water inflows. The Institute for Fisheries Resources has initiated
its "Herring & Oysters & Crabs, Oh My" project in an effort to rebuild
those three species that sustain, or once sustained, important commercial
fisheries in San Francisco Bay. To view the Baltimore Sun article on the
Chesapeake Bay blue crab restocking effort, go to:

TRAWLS: A new study by three Woods Hole-based NOAA Fisheries
scientists - Drs. Jon Brodziak, William Overholtz, and Paul Rago is being
hailed by the National Marine Fisheries Service as offering scientific
support for management plans being used to rebuild depleted New England
groundfish stocks. The team, all scientists from the National Oceanic &
Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Northeast Fisheries Science
Center, analyzed nearly 40 years of fisheries data and found strong
evidence of a link between the size of the spawning stock and subsequent
numbers of juvenile fish two or three years later. Based on this relationship,
the scientists are providing fishery managers with odds for success in
rebuilding groundfish stocks under a variety of management plans. A
description of the study is available on the NOAA Fisheries Northeast
website at: http://www.nefsc.nmfs.gov/press_release/news01.11.html .

In other groundfish news, the National Research Council (NRC)
committee studying the impacts of bottom trawling on seafloor habitats is
meeting 1 June (1300 HRS to 1730 HRS), and 2 June (830 HRS to 1230
HRS), at the West Coast International Inn, Anchorage, Alaska. For specific
information on the study go to: www.nationalacademies.org/osb. Click on
activities, then click on the hotlink for the Effects of Bottom Trawling on
Seafloor Habitats. An agenda for the meeting will be posted the first week
in May. This study is the first in a series that will evaluate available data
related to the physical and biological effects of fishing on marine habitats
and ecosystems.

The Pacific Fishery Management Council has also announced the
availability of its groundfish stock assessments. Draft stock assessment
documents are available for "Remaining Rockfish," "Dover Sole,"
"Sablefish" [blackcod], and "Shortspine Thornyhead." Final stock
assessment documents, including "2001 STAR Terms of Reference" and
others will be available later this year. For more information, call Dan
Waldeck at the PFMC office: (503) 326-6352 or go to the PFMC website
at: www.pcouncil.org .

CALIFORNIA WATERS: California's inter-agency Cruise Ship
Environmental Task Force, charged with evaluating the environmental
impacts of cruise ships in state waters, is holding public hearings in Los
Angeles on 24 April and San Francisco on 3 May. For more details, go to
the California State Water Resources Control Board's (SWRCB) notice at:

In 2000, the California Legislature enacted AB 2746, by Assemblyman
George Nakano, mandating better monitoring of the cruise industry's
impact on California's environment. Nakano's measure, sponsored by the
Bluewater Network, called for the creation of an inter-agency Cruise Ship
Environmental Task Force, which was subsequently formed in January
2001 and is composed of representatives from the California State Water
Resources Control Board, Department of Fish & Game, Department of
Toxic Substances Control, Integrated Waste Management Board, State
Lands Commission, and Air Resources Board. The U.S. Coast Guard will
also participate in the Task Force

The scope of the Task Force work includes: 1) monitoring discharges
and offloads of all wastes from cruise ships that operate in California, as
well as air emissions from cruise ship smoke stacks; 2) analyzing the
potential impacts of these waste discharges on California's environment
and public health; 3) reviewing current regulations and reporting
requirements to which cruise ships are subject; and 4) publishing a report
in June 2003 which makes recommendations to the California Legislature
on how to improve regulations that apply to cruise ship waste management
practices. The recent problems of pollution from cruise ships in Glacier
Bay, where the National Park Service closed the historic troll salmon and
other fisheries to promote cruise ship traffic, has brought to light the
growing marine and air pollution problems associated with these vessels.
For more information on the cruise ship pollution issue go to Bluewater's
website at: http://www.earthisland.org/bw .

CORRECTION: The article in Sublegals (3:15/03) had incorrect
information on how to order a copy of the Guide to California's Marine
Life Management Act, by Michael Weber and Burr Heneman, which is
intended to provide fishermen, marine scientists, policy makers and the
public a guide to the 1998 legislation by California State Assemblyman
Fred Keeley for managing California's marine fish resources. Please
write to: Common Knowledge Press, Box 316, Bolinas, CA 94924 for a

NEWS, COMMENTS, CORRECTIONS: Submit your news items,
comments or any corrections to Natasha Benjamin, Editor at:
ifrfish at pacbell.com or call the IFR office with the news and a source at
either: (415) 561-FISH (Southwest Office) or (541) 689-2000
(Northwest Office).

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