[acn-l] ~~>FISHLINK SUBLEGALS 7/28/00<~~ (fwd)

PETER.UNMACK at asu.edu
Tue, 01 Aug 2000 18:26:15 -0700 (MST)

From: FISH1IFR at aol.com
Date: Tue, 1 Aug 2000 21:17:42 EDT
Subject: ~~>FISHLINK SUBLEGALS 7/28/00<~~
To: AFS at wyoming.com, ACN-L at pinetree.org, crab-l at ios.bc.ca,
fishhabitat at mail.orst.edu, oceancoalition at onelist.com,
salmon at riverdale.k12.or.us


VOL 2, NO. 4 28 JULY 2000

2:04/01. CALFED EIS/EIR RELEASED: On 21 July, CALFED, the
joint State of California, US. Government project aimed at "fixing" the
Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta (where the state draws much of its water)
and providing California with a "reliable water supply" released its Final
Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report. The
Delta is the gateway for the Central Valley salmon between the
Sacramento/San Joaquin River system and San Francisco Bay and the
ocean. The EIS/EIR release launches the final 30-day comment period
before the Record of Decision (ROD) can be made final which is due out
on 25 August. To view the report go to the CALFED website at:
http://calfed.ca.gov -- click the bubble "EIR/EIS". To view the copy of
PCFFA's comments on the proposed CALFED solution, go to PCFFA's
website at: http://www.pond.net/~pcffa.

the U.S. Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee passed
the Conservation & Reinvestment Act (CARA) (see Sublegals,
2:02/01). The Senate bill is similar to the Miller-Young House
measure that passed on 11 May to require Congress to provide
nearly $3 billion every year for a variety of natural resource
conservation measures, including acquiring and restoring lands for
state and national parks and national forests, restoring deteriorated
coastlines, protecting wildlife and endangered species, preserving
historic buildings and protecting open space and farmland. If
passed by the full Senate, differences between the two bills would
be settled in a House-Senate conference committee. CARA was
supported by a broad coalition of fishing groups.

"This legislation redeems the promise of Congress to the
American people to dedicate reliable funding for the protection and
preservation of our resources: parks, marine and coastal areas,
recreation, wildlife, and more. We are clearing each hurdle
decisively, with thousands of organizations, newspapers, public
officials, and grassroots activists enthusiastically cheering this bill
on," said House sponsor, Representative George Miller (D-CA).
For more information, go to: http://www.house.gov/resources.

OF SEA LIONS: The Associated Press reported on 23 July that thousands
of seals and sea lions have ended up dead around Vancouver Island after
getting into fish farms, where they were shot to protect penned
aquacultured Atlantic salmon. Until recently, the shootings attracted little
attention. That changed this spring when pits full of dead California sea
lions, shot at a fish farm, were discovered in Clayoquot Sound.

The Canadian Department of Fisheries & Oceans (DFO) has notified
salmon farmers they must reduce the number of seals and sea lions killed,
Last year, nearly 700 mammals were reported killed at fish farms around
Vancouver Island. Off Alaska, much of the trawl fishery is being
restricted in an effort to protect the endangered Steller sea lion (see
Sublegals, 2:03/06). The fishery closures in Alaska, however, did not
involve direct fish kills by the fleets, unlike the shootings by the BC fish
farmers. Rather, the restrictions were put in place to protect the animal's
rookeries and food sources.

Jim Fulton, of the David Suzuki Foundation, a fishery conservation
organization, said the solution to the marine mammal problems around the
salmon net pens was simple. "There should be a closed system. Obviously,
as soon as the predators can't see through the wall, there's no reason to
stick around. If salmon farmers want to stay with open-net cages, I think
on this issue alone, public opinion will see them closed down."

PLAN. On 27 July, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and
the White House Office of Environmental Quality (CEQ) formally
released a multi-agency, joint salmon-recovery plan for the Columbia and
Snake River Basins. Called an "extinction plan" by Tribes, commercial
fishermen and conservationists, the draft plan is comprehensive but very
short on specifics -- failings acknowledged by its authors, who are hoping
details can be worked in through public comments. The draft plan
(including two Draft Biological Opinions and an updated "All-H Paper")
unfortunately postpones a definitive decision on bypassing the four lower
Snake River dams for at least another 5 years, even though CEQ's
Chairman, George Frampton publicly acknowledged at the release press
conference that: "Science shows that breaching the four Snake River dams
is the single most beneficial thing we could do to recover those runs, and
may in fact ultimately be necessary." Instead of dealing with the Snake
River dams themselves, however, the Plan substitutes what it calls an
"aggressive" program of habitat restoration, hatchery reform, and
continuing harvest restrictions in the hopes that these actions all combined
will still bring survival numbers above biological thresholds necessary to
rebuild ESA listed runs, including those runs in the mainstem of the
Columbia also now listed. The proposed actions to improve the
hydropower system itself amount only to desired improvements on already
existing programs, including artificial smolt collection and transportation.
The hydropower system accounts for about 88% of all human induced
salmon mortality, with all commercial, recreational and Tribal fishing
accounting for about 5%, with much less for some species.

The costs of non-breaching options are unspecified, but will be "in the
hundreds of millions of dollars each year," just in federal and ratepayer
dollars alone, according to NMFS Regional Director Will Stelle. As part
of this Plan, salmon mitigation spending authority of the Bonneville
Power Administration would be increased from its current level of $430
million/year to $720 million/year and in addition, several hundred million
dollars per year would also be requested from Congress. Additionally, the
commercial fishing industry would have to bear the continuing burden of
lost harvests due to continuing or increased harvest restrictions -- an
annual economic loss that so far has never been considered. By
comparison, the annual cost to the region of removing the Snake River
dams is, according to the recent Army Corps Draft Environmental Impact
Statement DEIS, only about $250 million/year, although many of the
measures proposed (such as estuary habitat improvements) would benefit
both Columbia and Snake River runs.

Nevertheless, the plan itself does not eliminate Snake River dam
breaching as an eventual option. Should the plan fail -- for instance, if
Congress fails to appropriate the funds necessary for its full
implementation, or if biological targets cannot be met -- then the dam
breaching option becomes the only option remaining.

U.S.Senator Slade Gorton (R-WA) has already vowed, however, to
block Congressional funding for major components of the Plan he
disagrees with through "riders" slipped into various upcoming
Congressional appropriations bills. Ironically, these efforts could instead
bring about the demise of the very plan touted by pro-dam forces as their
alternative to dam bypass. "This is really a time to put up or shut up,"
said PCFFA's Northwest Regional Director Glen Spain. "If Senator
Gorton and others who want to retain the Snake River dams at all costs are
serious, they have to put the money on the table. Otherwise, they
themselves will be making dam breaching inevitable."

The Columbia and Snake River Draft Biological Opinion will remain
open for comments for 60 days and can be found at:
http://www.nwr.noaa.gov. Removing the lower four Snake River dams
has broad public and scientific support. For instance, see:

POPULATION: On 20 July, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS)
released its biological opinion (B.O.) pursuant to the Endangered Species
OTTERS: A biological opinion from the removal of sea otters from the
Southern California "otter free management zone" would jeopardize their
"continued existence" and is "essential to the species' survival and
recovery. Containment of the otter population to north of Point
Conception offshore California was part of the USFWS plan to create a
second colony of the animals at San Nicolas Island by "translocating" the
animals one of the Channel Islands.

The rationale for the second colony and translocation, which ended up
killing scores of the ESA-listed otters at the hands of the very agency
charged with their protection, was fear of a major oil spill that could wipe
out the existing colony centered in the Monterey Bay area. However,
Rather than work to prohibit new oil development along the central
California coast and move tanker traffic further offshore (both of which
were subsequently done), USFWS under pressure from their sister agency
the Minerals Management Service (MMS) which was promoting offshore
oil, proposed the second colony at San Nicolas. Part of the compromise to
mitigate for shellfish losses at the islands from a new population of otters
was an agreement to contain the southern migration of the otters at Point
Conception. Now , however, with some otters established at San Nicolas
Island, USFWS is seeking to renege on the containment agreement
allowing the southern migration of the animals threatening southern
California's shellfish fisheries. The biological opinion can be viewed at:

RIVER. Oregon State's Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ)
recently released a draft pollution discharge permit that would allow the
Blue Heron Paper Company to discharge more than 4 billion gallons per
year of high temperature, turbid and highly toxic industrial wastewater
directly into the Willamette River near Willamette Falls. Under pressure
from the company, DEQ has taken the unusual step of claiming that
industrial dischargers will no longer have to comply with state water
quality standards for turbidity. The draft permit also would allow the
dumping of more than 12 million gallons per day of 94 Fø wastewater by
redefining plans to manage the lower Willamette only for "cool water fish
species," thus allowing much higher water temperatures, rather than for
cold water species such as salmon and steelhead. Opponents point out
that this permit flies in the face of the Oregon Salmon Plan and may
jeopardize ESA listed salmon and steelhead in the Willamette River. It
would also be a serious set back for salmonid recovery and cleanup efforts
on the Willamette generally, portions of which are so polluted that they
are about to be designated as "Superfund sites." Public comment on the
permit ends on 17 August. To receive a copy of the permit or comment on
the proposal to DEQ, email Annie Hill at: hill.annie at deq.state.or.us.
Comments should also be sent to Governor Kitzhaber's Salmon Advisor,
Roy Hemmingway at: roy.hemmingway at state.or.us, and to DEQ Director
Langdon Marsh at: marsh.langdon at deq.state.or.us. Contact: Brent Foster
(503) 238-1241 with the Northwest Environmental Defense Center for
more information.

RETURN FROM SUMMER RECESS: Legislation to reauthorize
California's commercial salmon stamp program and the State's
Dungeness crab limited entry system, along with banning any fishery on
krill, will be taken up for final committee action when the Legislature
returns from its July recess. The measure, AB 2482, by Assemblywoman
Virginia Strom-Martin, chair of the Joint Committee on Fisheries &
Aquaculture, will be heard Monday, 7 August by the California Senate's
Committee on Appropriations. The bill is sponsored by the Pacific Coast
Federation of Fishermen's Associations. To view this legislation, go to
the Assembly website at: http://www.assembly.ca.gov.

PESTICIDE IMPACTS ON SALMON. On 25 July, the Northwest
Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides (NCAP) and the Washington
Toxics Coalition issued a joint "60-Day Notice to Sue" to the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for failure to consult with NMFS
on the impacts of pesticides on ESA-listed salmon. Agricultural
chemicals and pesticides have long been identified as factors that can
contribute to salmon declines even at sublethal levels by affecting
development, reproduction and survival behavior (see Diminishing
Returns: Salmon Decline and Pesticides, at:
http://www.pond.net/~fish1ifr/salpest.htm). EPA must register and
approve all uses of pesticides, but does not specifically take into account
the impacts of these chemicals on salmon. The organizations are being
represented by Earthjustice Legal Defense Fund and a copy of their 60-
Day Notice can be obtained at:
http://www.earthjustice.org/news/pr072699_60day.htm. For more
information contact NCAP at (541)344-5044.

PROTECT STELLER SEA LIONS: In reaction to the article in the last
issue of Sublegals (2:03/06), David Fraser, owner of a vessel fishing
pollock in Alaska responded:

"The facts are that under regulations all ready in place before Zilly's
ruling, Fts [factory trawlers] take: 0% of the Gulf of Alaska pollock TAC
inside OR outside CH [stellar sea lion critical habitat]; 0% of the Aleutian
Island pollock ABC inside OR outside CH (it has been closed to all
pollock fishing for sea lion reasons for 2 years); 0% of the Bering Sea
pollock TAC inside CH during the C/D season (June to the end of the
year, when 60% of the annual quota is available); FTs are limited to 40%
of the Bering Sea annual quota, of that amount they can take 40% (of
40%) in the A/B seasons, and of that (40% of 40%) they take a smaller
proportion of their allocation inside CH than shorebased, mothership, or
CDQ operations.

"So who is impacted by Judge Zilly's ruling? Ask the 58 foot
combination limit seiner/trawlers out of Sand Point in the WGOA how
they are impacted and how they like being "collateral damage" in
Greenpeace's campaign against FTs. Ask the catcher boat fleet in the
Bering Sea who harvest 60% of the pollock but who are now totally
closed out of a several thousand square mile area around their only
delivery port just who Greenpeace is after. Ask the Pribolof Island CDQ
group. Bering Sea pollock fishers [sic] (of all vessel sizes) want a
sustainably managed pollock fishery, they have made sacrifices and
worked with the Council and
NMFS to design sea lion protection measures. There are websites
maintained by those who fish for pollock. Try http://www.atsea.org where
there is a link to: http://www.atsea.org/press/stellers_July_00.htm."

reported on 21 July, that a proposal to protect a Gulf of Maine ocean area
covering 10 miles on either side of the U.S. Canadian border will be
presented to the President and Congress as "the first underwater protected
area" in the nation. The proposed area would begin 12 miles offshore and
extend to Georges bank and offer protection from bottom trawling and
resource extraction. For more information go to: www.atlantisforce.org

UNREPORTED FISHING: The National Marine Fisheries Service has
scheduled a public hearing for Thursday, 3 August, in Silver Spring, MD
to receive comments on the U.S. position relative to the draft United
Nations' Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO) international plan of
action to address illegal, unregulated, and unreported (IUU) fishing.
Comments will be accepted through 5 August. The objective of the plan
is voluntary implementation of comprehensive, effective, and transparent
actions by FAO member countries to prevent, deter, and eliminate IUU
fishing within two years of its adoption. The draft plan is scheduled for
technical review in Rome in October 2000. For more information, contact
the National Marine Fisheries Service, 1335 East-West Highway, Silver
Spring, MD 20910, Tel: (301) 713-2239.

Washington Post reported on 22 July that a Maryland company and
three of its employees have received a $10.4 million fine and up to
41 months in jail for a variety of crimes including violations of the
federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) and illegally importing
"several endangered species of fish eggs." The ESA charges result
from "falsely labeling eggs" from the protected American paddlefish
and shovelnose sturgeon and selling them as Russian caviar. On
the west coast, the San Francisco Chronicle reported on 19 July that a San
Francisco Bay Area seafood importer who was part of a scheme to
smuggle salmonella-ridden fish through the Port of Oakland by bribing
port inspectors was sentenced to seven years in federal prison. Kevin
Choy, the owner of Pacific Rim Seafood, Inc. was caught in 1977 offering
$10,000 bribes to a U.S. Customs agent and a U.S. Food & Drug
Administration (FDA) employee in an effort to bring in three 40-foot
containers of fish from Asia into the port without inspection. For more on
the latter case, e-mail the Chronicle's Mark Martin at:
martinm at sfgate.com.

The two cases brought a cynical response from PCFFA, asking whether
those convicted might now consider an appeal to the World Trade
Organization (WTO) because U.S. ESA and health and safety codes, as
well as prohibitions on bribing governmental officials, may be deemed a
non-tariff barrier to free trade. To date, the US. Trade Representative and
a NMFS official have been in negotiations with other nations on lifting so-
called non-tariff measures to trade in fish and seafood, but have failed to
include any representatives of fish harvesting associations, only
representatives of importers and the shoreside sector (see Sublegals,

2:04/13. OF SUNKEN RIGS AND SHIPS: When the California
Legislature returns from its July recess on 7 August one of the bills
it will be taking up is SB 241, by Senator Dede Alpert, that will allow
oil companies to get around their legal requirement to remove
offshore oil rigs and clean-up the seafloor at the end of the drilling
platforms' useful life. The oil companies, led by Chevron, are trying
to claim the rigs as artificial fishing reefs and are seeking to leave
them dismantled on the seafloor where they pose a threat to fishing
once the surface portion of the platforms are removed. The
companies will save millions in clean-up costs; under the terms of
the Alpert bill a small portion of the savings would go into a trust
account for "marine research." The bill has been opposed by the
Environmental Defense Center, Sierra Club, Cal PIRG the
Commercial Fishermen of Santa Barbara, the Southern California
Trawlers Association and PCFFA. It is supported by United Anglers
of Southern California and by Chevron, which is not testifying on the
bill but actively working for it behind the scenes. SB 241 is headed for
its last hearing, before the Assembly Appropriations Committee. To
view the measure go to: http://www.senate. For more information on
the bill, e-mail the Environmental Defense Center at:
edclda at rain.org.

In the meantime, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported on 15
July the sinking of a retired warship off the San Diego coast to
create an artificial reef. Critics of the action, however, see the ship
as one more piece of multiplying junk on the ocean floor with little
true benefit to the marine ecosystem. "To me, it's like littering the
landscape with rusted-out cars," said Susan Jordan of the California
Coastal Protection Network in Santa Barbara. "There's no solid
evidence that these types of structures provide productive

Dr. Sylvia Earle, speaking to at an artificial reef conference
sponsored by the Marine Technology Society and the San Diego
Oceans Foundation, said "It's a question that hasn't been answered
by science: Do large underwater structures merely act as magnets
for mature fish, where they can be eaten by predators, or do they
also foster populations of younger fish? In some cases, shipwrecks
may eventually provide protective cover for juvenile fish and even
host some spawning activity. But are the little fish quickly devoured
by the abundant predator fish?" Earle urged the scientific
community to use the sunken ship as an underwater laboratory to
expand its knowledge about the growth of marine life at artificial
reefs. Dave Parker, a senior biologist with the California Fish &
Game, said the Department has concluded that ship hulls are less
productive than low-lying mounds of concrete rubble.

PCFFA Executive Director, Zeke Grader, said "sunken ships are
less invasive and problematic than oil rigs but still needed to be
studied to determine if there is any overall benefit in modifying
natural habitats." Warner Chabot, of the Center for Marine
Conservation's (CMC) office in San Francisco, said his organization
opposes giving carte blanche to those who want to dispose of the
surplus ships as artificial reefs.

PROGRAM: The Boston Globe reported on 24 July, that the State of
Massachusetts is beginning to consider which of its 3,000 dams should be
breached. The news comes after successful efforts in California at
removing dams on Butte Creek and the planned removal of five plus dams
on Battle Creek in the Upper Sacramento Watershed. The Massachusetts
proposal also comes a year after the removal of a dam on Maine's
Kennebec River demonstrated the ecological benefits of returning rivers
to their natural state. One dam on the Housatonic River is scheduled to be
removed this year and another near Plymouth "will follow next year."
Many of the dams are in disrepair but in deciding exactly which ones to
remove the state will try to balance aesthetic, recreational and ecological
concerns for the protection and recovery of fish species such as blueblack
herring and American shad.

California's Coastal Conservancy at its 2 August meeting in
San Diego, will consider providing $50,000 to the Institute for
Fisheries Resources to evaluate alternatives for modifying the San
Clemente Dam on the Carmel River. This may include removing all
or a portion of the dam to improve fish passage and wildlife habitat.
For more information, contact the Coastal Conservancy at (510)

Save Our Wild Salmon, a coalition of commercial fishing associations,
recreational fishing groups, fishing businesses and conservation
organizations from across the Northwest is looking for a Washington, DC
representative. This is a full-time staff position responsible for
coordinating the Washington, DC-based component of SOS' Columbia &
Snake Rivers Campaign. Please contact LeeAnne Tryon,
LeeAnne at wildsalmon.org for more information. Also visit their web
page at http://www.removedams.org

STEVENS ACT: On Thursday, 27 July, Senators John Kerry (D-MA) and
Ernest Hollings (D-SC) introduced their bill to reauthorize the Magnuson-
Stevens Fishery Conservation & Management Act. The bill is considered
an improvement on the current law addressing issues of bycatch,
observers, essential fish habitat, regional fishery management council
reform, ecosystem management and standards for individual fishing quota
(ITQ) programs. The bill does not go as far as a House version introduced
by Congressman Wayne Gilchrest and 18 other co-sponsors but does not
retreat either from existing standards as is the case with another Senate
bill introduced earlier by Senator Olympia Snowe, S. 2832, at the urging
of the National Fisheries Institute (see Sublegals, 16 June 2000). That bill
is expected to be taken up in September after the Congressional recess.
For more information, visit the Senate Commerce, Science &
Transportation Committee website at: http://www.senate.gov/~commerce.

July, the Fishmonger News Network reported that the current
Congressionally-imposed moratorium on Individual Fishing, or
Transferable, Quotas (ITQs) that is due to expire in October may get
extended for an additional year. Opposition to the ITQs from senators,
including Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), who chairs the Senate Oceans &
Fisheries Subcommittee, and Ted Stevens (R-Ak), who chairs the Senate
Appropriations Committee, is expected to result in a one-year extension of
the current moratorium in the form of a rider to the FY2001 Commerce,
Justice, State Appropriations bill. The Appropriations bill (H.R. 4690)
was placed on the Senate legislative calendar last Friday. The Congress
begins its summer recess next week, so any changes will take place once
lawmakers reconvene in September. For more information, go to:

HOUSE PASSES OCEANS BILL: On 27 July, the House of
Representatives passed the Oceans Act of 2000 following action earlier by
the Senate. The legislation would establish an oceans commission
charged with making recommendations to the Congress on the
coordinated protection of U.S. coastal and ocean waters. This would be
the first such body of its kind addressing oceans since the Stratton
Commission of the late 1960's. The action this time by the Congress has
been criticized since it did not act until the Pew Trust, which had tired of
waiting for Congress to act, went ahead and formed its own Pew Oceans
Commission in May, headed by New Jersey Governor Christy Todd-
Whitman and former California Congressman Leon Panetta. PCFFA
President Pietro Parravano, along with Maine Lobsterman's Association
Executive Director, Pat White, are the two fishing representatives on the
Pew commission. The Congressionally-created commission, if the bill is
signed by the President, will be appointed by the next President, with 12
of the 16 members nominated by the House and Senate leadership.

ADVOCATES: On 21 July, a coaliton of British sport fishing groups
began meeting to discuss ways to counter the expanding and more direct
anti-angling campaign by animal protection advocates. Officials of the
Campaign for the Abolition of Angling said they believed angling would
disappear within 20 years. For more information on what the Abolition of
Angling is up to, visit their website at: http://www.anti-angling.com/

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 Office).

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