[acn-l] FISHLINK NEWS - 4/21/97(2)

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Mon, 21 Apr 1997 18:02:13 -0400 (EDT)

>>>> FISHLINK NEWS - 4/21/97(2) <<<<
(Vol. 3, No 2)
Section Two -- Continued from Section One



Red Snapper Peer Review Panels. On Mar. 10, 1997, NMFS
announced that it is seeking nominations for 3 peer review panels
authorized under section 407(a) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery
Conservation and Management Act to review of red snapper stock
management in the Gulf of Mexico. [Federal Register]
Canadian Groundfish Enforcement. On Mar. 10, 1997, Canadian
Fisheries Minister Fred Mifflin reported that the Spanish trawler Hermanos
Gandon IV was fined and had its license revoked by Spanish authorities
after it was reported by Canadian inspectors on Feb. 27 and confirmed by
EU inspectors on Mar. 1 to have underlogged its catch of Greenland
halibut (turbot) in waters off Canada's east coast. [Reuters]
Russia Seizes Polish Trawler. On Mar. 9, 1997, Russian authorities
in Moscow announced that the Polish vessel seized in the Sea of Okhotsk
had been ordered released. However, Kamchatka regional authorities
ordered the Aquarius to Petropavlovsk, where the local prosecutor's office
was investigating the incident. On Mar. 20, 1997, Polish officials delivered
an official protest to Russia on detention of the Aquarius and demanding its
release. On Mar. 21, 1997, Kamchatka authorities released the Polish
fishing vessel Aquarius, after Poland agreed to pay $100,000 for its release.
[Warsaw PAP, Warsaw Polskie Radio First Program Network, and
Warsaw Third Program Radio Network via Foreign Broadcast Information
Service, Reuters, Interfax]
Tuna and Consumers. On Mar. 7, 1997, U.S. Food and Drug
Administration officials warned that consumers sensitive to sulfites should
temporarily avoid canned albacore (white) tuna, after the tuna industry
reported on Mar. 6 that, without its knowledge, sulfites had been added to
a vegetable protein raw material used in canning tuna. Tuna industry
officials announced that special labels would be immediately placed on
canned tuna to provide warning, but that tuna will again be sulfite-free
within a short time. On Mar. 19, 1997, British doctors wrote in the Journal
of Accident and Emergency Medicine that food poisoning (scombrotoxin
poisoning) from tuna and related fish is more common than formerly
believed because the condition is mis-diagnosed. [Reuters]
Fishing Gear Review. On Mar. 7, 1997, Canada's Fisheries Resource
Conservation Council released a report concluding that new fishing
technology and equipment should be reviewed by a special panel before
being allowed in the fishery, to assure that new gear is
conservation-friendly and does not adversely affect fishery resources or
their habitat. The report also recommends strategies for each gear type to
better protect groundfish stocks. [Assoc Press]
Illegal Scallop Labeling. On Mar. 7, 1997, a VA seafood company
agreed to pay a $54,272 fine in U.S. District Court for alleged mislabeling
of scallops, switching uninspected seafood into boxes marked as "FDA
approved" and not noting the use of sodium tripolyphosphate to increase
the moisture content in scallops on labels. U.S. Customs agents indicated
that other individuals and corporations may be charged for similar activities
within the next few months. [Assoc Press]
NC Shrimp Trawl Ban. On Mar. 7, 1997, NC officials announced that
a ban on shrimp trawling south of Cape Hatteras was no longer necessary,
and was being dropped. In response to this action, the NC Fisheries Assoc.
agreed to drop its lawsuit against the State. [Assoc Press]
SC Shrimping Moratorium? On Mar. 7, 1997, the SC Marine
Advisory Committee voted to support a resolution drafted by the SC
Shrimpers Assoc. calling for a 2-year moratorium on new shrimping
licenses. The proposal would be submitted to the State Legislature in an
effort to forestall an influx of out-of-state trawlers, make licensed
more profitable, and better protect sea turtles. [Assoc Press]

Fishing Access. On Apr. 4, 1997, the Madison County (MT) Board of
Commissioners has scheduled a hearing to consider the repeal of a 1995
ordinance prohibiting landowners from constructing fences designed to
hinder fisherman access on county rights-of-way easements near bridges.
After the ordinance was enacted, five landowners filed suit against the
County, claiming the ordinance condemned a portion of their property
without providing compensation. These landowners say they will drop
their lawsuit if the ordinance is repealed. [Assoc Press]
Fishing Access Purchase. On Mar. 31, 1997, NY Governor George
Pataki announced that NY will purchase $1 million worth of public fishing
access rights during the next fiscal year. The purchase would be funded by
money approved by voters in the 1996 Clean Water-Clean Air Bond Act.
[Assoc Press]
Barton Springs Salamander Protection. On Mar. 26, 1997, U.S.
District Judge Lucius Bunton ruled that Interior Secretary Babbitt violated
the Endangered Species Act in 1996 when he withdrew the proposed
listing of Texas' Barton Springs salamander after state agencies agreed with
the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on a cooperative conservation plan for
the species. [Assoc Press]
Eurasian Ruffe Symposium. On Mar. 21, 1997, the National Sea
Grant College Program is sponsoring an international symposium in Ann
Arbor, MI, on eurasian ruffe, an unintentionally introduced species in the
Great Lakes. [Sea Grant press release]
Uncollected Fishing License Fees. On Mar. 18, 1997, state
examiners released an audit of the WA Dept. of Fish and Wildlife indicating
as much as $730,000 is owed the Dept., mostly from 1994 hunting and
fishing license sales at retail outlets. At least 155 outlets failed to
license revenues. [Assoc Press]
Bull Trout. On Mar. 13, 1997, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
(FWS) announced that 2 populations of bull trout (in the Klamath and
Columbia River basins) qualify for listing under the Endangered Species
Act based on 1994 data, but requested a 5-month delay (until Aug. 15,
1997) to study 1997 data. FWS reported that listing was not warranted for
3 stable or increasing populations in the coastal/Puget Sound area, WA;
Jarbridge River, NV; and the Saskatchewan River, Alberta, Canada. On
Mar. 25, 1997, 2 MT conservation groups asked U.S. District Judge
Robert Jones to order the Fish and Wildlife Service to immediately list bull
trout as a threatened or endangered species. [Assoc Press, NW Fishletter
No. 30]
Chippewa Treaty Fishing. On Mar. 7, 1997, U.S. District Court Judge
Michael Davis rejected MN's request for a 4-month delay in the exercise of
newly granted fishing rights by the Mille Lacs band of Chippewa and 7
other bands, holding that the bands have been deprived of their treaty right
to fish for too many years. MN officials reported plans to file an appeal.
On Mar. 27, 1997, MN Governor Arne Carlson requested time during
television evening news broadcasts on Apr. 7, 1997, for a public address to
stress the importance of avoiding tension and preventing violence in
implementing treaty fishing rights. On Apr. 2, 1997, the MN Dept. of
Natural Resources held the first of 7 public information meetings scheduled
to explain Treaty fishing rights before the 8 Chippewa bands begin
spearfishing and gillnetting on Lake Mille Lacs and 30 other central MN
lakes. [Assoc Press]
Kokanee Salmon in Dworshak Reservoir. On Mar. 7, 1997, ID
biologists reported to the ID Fish and Game Commission that they plan to
use strobe lights and noise to scare kokanee salmon away from Dworshak
Dam to preclude repeating the extensive loss experienced in 1996 when
more than 1 million kokanee were lost in spills to discharge high runoff.
[Assoc Press]
Whirling Disease. On Mar. 6-8, 1997, a national symposium on
whirling disease was scheduled to convene in Logan, UT. [Assoc Press]
Polar Bear Hearing. On Apr. 30, 1997, the House Resources
Committee has tentatively scheduled a hearing on H.J.Res. 59, a joint
resolution to disapprove a rule affecting polar bear trophies from Canada
issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. [personal communication]
Tuna-Dolphin Hearing. On Apr. 9, 1997, the House Resources
Subcommittee on Fisheries Conservation, Wildlife, and Oceans has
tentatively scheduled a hearing on H.R. 408, amendments to the Marine
Mammal Protection Act to support the International Dolphin Conservation
Program. [personal communication]
Northern Right Whale Protection. On Apr. 2, 1997, NMFS proposed
to restrict fishing times in northern right whale habitat off New England in
Cape Cod Bay, the Great South Channel, and several other areas. In
addition, fishing gear modification would be required to allow whales to
break free of gear in case of incidental entanglement, and response and
assistance for entangled whales would be improved. Public comments will
be received until May 15, 1997. [Assoc Press]
Canadian Sealing. On Mar. 29, 1997, the International Fund for
Animal Welfare released a video claiming to show illegal hunting of young,
whitecoat seals by sealers in the Gulf of St. Lawrence in mid-March 1997.
Federal authorities reported that some white-looking seals can be older and
technically not the younger, whitecoat seals. [Assoc Press]
West Coast Pinniped Draft Report. On Mar. 27, 1997, NMFS
released a 17-page draft report to Congress on west coast pinnipeds (seals
and sea lions). The report recommends, under certain situations, killing
some particularly voracious Pacific harbor seals and California sea lions to
protect endangered salmon. In addition, the report suggests that fishermen
be allowed to kill sea lions and seals as a last resort to protect gear and
catch. West coast seal and sea lion populations are reported to consume
217,000 metric tons of fish and shellfish annually. [Assoc Press]
NZ Sea Lion Protection. On Mar. 25, 1997, New Zealand officials
closed a squid fishery in the Southern Ocean for the remainder of 1997 to
protect a population of Hooker's sea lions. In balancing economic interests
against ecological damage, fishing industry representatives claimed early
closure of the fishery would result in a $13.9 million loss in export income
to protect the rare sea lions after an estimated 100 animals were drowned
in squid nets. [Reuters]
Japanese Coastal Whaling. On Mar. 19-21, 1997, an international
workshop convened in Sendai, Japan, to consider Japan's request to the
International Whaling Commission (IWC) for permission to conduct a
limited coastal hunt to kill 50 minke whales. Recommendations from the
workshop will be presented at the annual IWC meeting in October 1997 in
Monaco. [Dow Jones News]
Gully Protection. On Mar. 19, 1997, World Wildlife Fund Canada
launched a campaign to obtain federal government commitment to protect
The Gully, an underwater canyon near Sable Island off Nova Scotia, said to
be deeper and wider than the Grand Canyon. The Gully is habitat for a
population of northern bottlenose whales, a species added to Canada's List
of Species at Risk in 1996. Concerns include petroleum exploration and
development near The Gully. [World Wildlife Fund Canada press release
via Dow Jones News]
Ballard Locks Sea Lions. On Mar. 17, 1997, NMFS officials reported
a dramatic decline in the amount of time sea lions have spent around
Ballard Locks, WA, feeding on migrating steelhead trout and salmon --
from 91 hours in the first 2 months of 1996 to only 16 minutes during the
same period in 1997. NMFS believes that capturing and retaining 3 sea
lions in captivity in May 1996 is responsible for the difference. [Assoc
Greenland Minke Whale Quota. On Mar. 14, 1997, the Greenland
newspaper Sermitsiak reported that Greenland officials had announced the
1997 aboriginal minke whale quota, with 148 minke whales for western
Greenland communities (99 of which are to be taken by fishing boats
equipped with harpoon guns) and 12 whales for eastern Greenland
communities. Since 1997 is the final year of Greenland's 3-year aboriginal
quota from the International Whaling Commission (IWC), the IWC will
consider new quotas at its October 1997 meeting. [High North Alliance
Iceland Will Not Go Whaling. On Mar. 11, 1997, Icelandic Prime
Minister David Oddson announced on television that Iceland will not
harvest minke whales in the near future, since there currently appears to be
no legal avenue for marketing whalemeat. [personal communication]
NAMMCO Scientific Committee Meeting. On Mar. 10-14, 1997, the
Scientific Committee of the North Atlantic Marine Mammal Commission
(NAMMCO) met in Tromso, Norway. Discussion focused on the role of
whales and seals in the marine ecosystem. New information on the
abundance of several whale stocks was reviewed -- 72,000 for the central
North Atlantic stock of minke whales; 22,800 for fin whales in the North
Atlantic east of Greenland; and 9,250 for sei whales in the North Atlantic
east of Greenland. New survey data were reported to have confirmed
earlier estimates of northeast Atlantic pilot whale abundance as stable at
778,000. In reviewing ecological studies, the Scientific Committee
concluded that minke whales, harp seals, and hooded seals may have
substantial direct and/or indirect effects on commercial fish stocks, but
recommended that knowledge be improved. The annual meeting of
NAMMCO's Council will be held on May 27-30, 1997, in the Faroe
Islands. [High North Alliance News]

Gulf of Maine Aquarium. On Apr. 2, 1997, plans are reportedly
scheduled to be announced to the effect that the $42 million Gulf of Maine
Aquarium will be constructed at the site of the U.S. Naval Reserve Pier in
Portland, ME. [Assoc Press]
Chinese Crawfish Antidumping Decision. On Mar. 20, 1997, the
U.S. Dept. of Commerce preliminarily ruled that Chinese crawfish tails are
being illegally dumped on the U.S. market for less than their fair market

A preliminary tariff adjustment to raise the price of imported crawfish on
the U.S. market would remain in effect until a final determination is issued
on June 2, 1997. [Assoc Press]
AL Oyster Farmer Assistance. On Mar. 11, 1997, about 380 AL
oyster farmers participated in a waterway trash cleanup program,
developed to provide assistance to oyster farmers whose livelihood has
been disrupted by state harvesting bans. Funds to pay oyster farmers were
provided by a grant from the AL Dept. of Economic and Community
Affairs. [Assoc Press]
Clayoquot Sound Salmon Farm Vandalism. On Mar. 9, 1997,
vandals cuts nets at a Clayoquot Sound salmon farm near Tofino, BC,
owned and operated by Pacific National Group, releasing as many as
50,000 juvenile chinook salmon, which are unlikely to survive in the wild.
The harvest value of these fish was projected at more than C$1.2 million.
Recent protests focused on the salmon farm company's license extension
and fears that salmon farming could harm wild salmon, but an agreement
had been reached in early March for relocation of the salmon farm. [Dow
Jones News, Assoc Press]

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