[acn-l] ~~>FISHLINK SUBLEGALS 12/8/00<~~ (fwd)

PETER.UNMACK at asu.edu
Tue, 12 Dec 2000 16:37:58 -0700 (MST)

From: FISH1IFR at aol.com
Date: Tue, 12 Dec 2000 15:54:19 EST
Subject: ~~>FISHLINK SUBLEGALS 12/8/00<~~
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,
salmon at riverdale.k12.or.us


VOL 2, NO. 23 8 DECEMBER 2000

NEEDED TO PROTECT SALMON: On 20 November, the Washington
DC law firm of Perkins Coie filed suit on behalf of the National
Association of Home Builders, the Oregon Building Industry Association
and other land developers against the Secretary of Commerce, the
National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and the Pacific Fishery
Management Council (PFMC), National Association of Home Builders
et al. v. Mineta, Case No. 1:00CV02799, challenging the designation of
habitat for the protection of Pacific salmon. The suit, filed in Federal
Court in the District of Columbia, challenges: 1) the designation of
critical habitat for 19 evolutionary significant units (ESUs) of salmon and
steelhead listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), made by NMFS
on 16 February; and 2) the designation of essential fish habitat (EFH) for
marine and fresh waters by the PFMC in its Amendment 14 to its salmon
fishery management plan (FMP) as approved by NMFS on 27 September,
pursuant to the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation & Management

"This suit if it were to succeed, would effectively destroy the most
effective law we have for protecting and restoring the salmon stocks that
supported so many fishermen, small businesses and coastal communities.
Without the ESA to protect river and stream habitat, the government
would simply shut down fishing under the Magnuson Act, and wash their
hands of fishermen and salmon - letting both go extinct, " said PCFFA
Northwest Director Glen Spain. "It is obvious from NMFS reticence to
enforce the ESA or defend fish and fishermen, that our industry must
intervene to protect our salmon from the wanton destruction of any more
habitat by the likes of Perkins Coie's clients."

The PFMC received a copy of the complaint on 27 November; no date
has been set yet for a hearing. The matter is before Judge Colleen Kollar-
Kotelly. Under Magnuson-Stevens, NMFS must answer the complaint
within 45 days, and file the administrative record at the same time; under
the ESA, the answer is due in the standard 60 days. For more information,
contact the Pacific Fishery Management Council at: (503) 326-6352 or
visit the Council's website at: http://www,pcouncil.org .

FISHERY OPENS: On Tuesday, 5 December, the Dungeness crab
fishery opened for northern California (Mendocino County to the Oregon
Border) and most of Oregon (north to Cape Lookout) when market orders
of $1.60 per pound ex-vessel were agreed on (see Sublegals, 2:22/01).
The fleet had been tied up since 1 December in price discussions; the
marketing associations had submitted orders for $1.75 per pound. The
fishery for central California (Sonoma County south) had opened on 15
November. The opening for the fishery north of Cape Lookout and the
Washington coast, meanwhile, has been delayed because of soft-shell
crab. For more information, contact the Humboldt Fishermen's Marketing
Association at: (707) 443-0537 or hlbtfish at tidepool.com .

10 November issue of Science (p.1068) reports that rotenone, the pesticide
widely used in lakes and other water bodies to rid them of non-native and
pest fish appears to cause "a syndrome in rats that looks, both behaviorally
and neurologically, very much like Parkinson's disease. This new finding
supports tentative epidemiological data suggesting that pesticide exposure
increases a person's risk of developing the disease, which afflicts about
one million people in the United States and is characterized by tremors,
slowness, and a loss of balance." If the study results are borne out, this
could mean the end to the use of the commonly used poison in fisheries
management. To view the article, go to: www.sciencemag.org .

FISHERIES TO RECREATIONAL USERS: Forget science, forget the
law, the California Fish & Game Commission today, 8 December, voted
to reallocate a substantial portion of the available harvest of three
nearshore fish stocks - capezon, kelp and rock greenling, and sheepshead -
from commercial fishermen to recreational anglers and divers. At its
Friday meeting in Eureka, the Commission, along with its advisors from
the Department of Fish & Game (CDFG), based this "interim management
decision" largely on information gathered from an internet chat-room set
up originally by sport fishermen for the nearshore fishery. At no point in
the deliberations, except for the presentation by PCFFA, was there any
discussion of the requirements of law - the Marine Life Management Act
(MLMA) and its neashore provisions that gave the Commission authority
over this fishery. And, there was almost no discussion on what science
existed for managing the stocks or what was even needed. Instead, the
Commission and Department choose to act on self-serving statements and
hysteria generated from the chat-room.

The Commission voted to go with a 50 percent of optimum yield (OY)
and had even considered going with a lower percentage of OY. The
cutback to half of the OY (based for now on past landing data, with no
fishery-independent information) was not disputed by commercial
fishermen, since there is little information presently on the status of these
stocks. The dispute, rather, came about from Fish & Game's Marine
Region's staff method of getting to 50 percent OY. Under that method,
rather than cutting each fishery equally, staff arbitrarily decided to
reallocate the catch reducing the commercial share of capezon, for
example, by 80 percent while increasing the sport allocation of that same
stock. The Commission, also acting on the CDFG staff recommendation,
voted to increase the recreational take of greenling. Thus, the commercial
take under the 50 percent OY, was reduced substantially while the sport
take will actually be increased for two of the three species of concern.
This is in direct violation of the MLMA.

"When we [PCFFA] drafted the Nearshore Fisheries Act and then
supported its inclusion in the MLMA and worked hard for passage of that
legislation, we naively thought we could get fair treatment by the
Commission - that both it and the Department would follow the law. Boy,
were we wrong," said an angry and exasperated Zeke Grader following
the meeting. The PCFFA Executive Director, went on to say, "it was no
accident the Legislature has kept most commercial fishing regulation
away from the Commission for the past 60 years out of a justified fear that
hunting and fishing cronies of an incumbent governor, given the chance,
would screw any commercial fishery where there was also a sport take.
And that's what happened today, the Commission and Department just
cloaked this blatant reallocation in conservation clothes."

Under the MLMA, CDFG and the Commission must develop a fishery
management plan by 2002 for this fishery. To date, no advisory committee
has been put together, as required by the law, to assist CDFG and the
Commission in developing the plan. Instead, they have relied simply on
the nearshore chat-room. In other actions today, the Commission, acting
again on advice from CDFG's Marine Region staff, voted to require
landings of 5,000 pounds of pink shrimp in each of three years between
1994-99 to qualify for a pink shrimp permit and have had 90,000 pounds
of pink shrimp landings during that same period to be eligible to transfer
the permit. These recommendations were contrary to those developed by
CDFG's Pink Shrimp Advisory Committee, and apparently came from the
agency's Restricted Access Policy Team (RAPT) without discussing it
with the advisory committee. For more information on the above and
other issues taken up by the California Fish & Game Commission go to:
http://www.dfg.ca.gov/fg_comm .

Network reported on 7 December that University of Rhode Island (URI)
researchers are teaming with members of the Rhode Island Lobstermen's
Association, undertaking studies to better understand lobster biology and
ensure that harvest levels are sustainable. According to URI researcher
Kathleen Castro, three separate collaborative studies are under way to
assess the growth rates, egg production, movement and survival of
lobsters in Narragansett Bay and offshore. Funded by the National Marine
Fisheries Service (NMFS), the first study aims to learn more about the
biological characteristics of the state s lobster population. A second, tag,
release and recapture study looks at lobster survival. The third study is an
evaluation of the impact of shell disease on Rhode Island lobsters. For
more information, go to:

Following on the collaboration between URI researchers and Rhode
Island lobstermen and the proposed joint research effort by University of
California scientists and California fishermen in the California Coastal
Ocean Observation System (CalCOOS)(see Sublegals, 2:18/02), the
University of British Columbia's Fisheries Centre has announced it will
sponsor a conference, 27-30 August 2001, about utilizing fishermen's
knowledge to improve the management of fisheries. Titled "Putting
Fishers'[sic] Knowledge to Work," the conference is aimed at fishermen,
fishery managers, marine environmental researchers and social scientists.
For more information, go to:
http://www.fisheries.ubc.ca/Announce/FKnowledge.htm .

Congress, which came back into a "lame-duck" session this past week to
finish up its work for this year, is expected to pass a two-year extension
on the moratorium on individual fishing quotas (ITQs). This is an action
supported by many fishing and environmental groups who either oppose
ITQs altogether or are insisting national standards be adopted first for this
fishery management system prior to it being implemented in anymore
fisheries (see Sublegals, 2:17/02). Some National Marine Fisheries
Service (NMFS) officials, however, seem convinced that ITQ programs
would ameliorate the adverse economic impacts of many fishery
management plans, despite evidence that the programs could turn
fishermen into "seafaring sharecroppers," and the agency may seek to
develop some ITQ programs during the hiatus between the expiration of
the current moratorium and a Congressional two-year extension.

Meanwhile, NMFS announced in the 7 December Federal Register
(Vol. 65, No. 236, pp.76578-76581), its notice of standard prices and fee
percentage for the North Pacific halibut and blackcod (sablefish) ITQ cost
recovery program. The notification is intended to provide holders of
halibut and blackcod ITQs with information to calculate the payments
required for IFQ cost recovery fees due by 31 January 2001. For further
information, contact: Kristie Balovich, Fee Coordinator at (907)

PERCENTAGES LOW: At the end of its second week, the California
roe herring fishery, open in December in San Francisco Bay only, catch
remained low. Early in the week, a mere 21tons of the 771 ton December
quota had been taken with recovery ranging from roe counts of 8 to 10.5
percent. Only 16 boats are participating in the early fishery this year, as
quotas were trimmed back after a decline in last season's biomass.
California Department of Fish & Game (CDFG) uses a precautionary
approach managing this fishery and the 2000-2001 quotas are based on a
harvest of 10 percent of the biomass (in years of higher abundance the
percentage rises to 12-15 percent). The odd and even gillnet platoons
begin in January in the Bay for their quota of 864 tons each. For more
information, contact CDFG's Herring Hotline at: (650) 688-6355.

MAMMAL PROTECTION: Australia's Fisheries Research &
Development Corporation (FRDC) reports that the nation's South East
Trawl (SET) fishery has begun working on two voluntary codes of
conduct for that fishery - one for responsible fishing and a second for the
protection of marine mammals. The responsible fishing code applies to
both fishery managers and operators (fishermen), while the second code
is intended to minimize incidental bycatch of marine mammals and
follows recent seal kills off the Tasmanian west coast. For more
information, contact: trawline at tassie.net.au

In the December issue of Fisheries, the monthly magazine of the
American Fisheries Society (AFS) is an article and an editorial related to
responsible fishing. The article, "Uncertainty and Precautionary
Management of Marine Fisheries: Can the Old Methods Fit the New
Mandates?" by Hal Weeks and Steve Berkeley, is a synopsis of a 1999
AFS symposium on implementation of the U.S. Sustainable Fisheries Act.
The editorial, which also should be of interest to those concerned with
responsible fishing and precautionary fisheries management, by Eric
Knudsen and Don MacDonald is titled: "Sustainable Fisheries: Are We
Up to the Challenge?" For more information, go to: www.fisheries.org .

Also in the latest issue of the Calypso Log, the newsletter of the
Cousteau Society, is an article titled "Responsibly Fishing" written by
former IFR Administrator Molly Thomas and PCFFA Executive Director
Zeke Grader. For information on that article, go to: www.cousteau.org .

CHOP NMFS BUDGET: U.S. Federal District Court Judge Thomas
Zilly has lifted the trawl ban he imposed on 20 July (see Sublegals,
2:03/06) within the designated critical habitat of Steller sea lions to
the Endangered Species Act (ESA) -listed animals. In January, Zilly had
ruled that the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) was in violation
of the ESA for failing to prepare a comprehensive biological opinion
(BiOp) examining the cumulative impacts of fishing activities on the
declining sea lion population. Finally, on 30 November, NMFS released
its new BiOp for Stellers (see Sublegals, 2:21/02). The BiOp, although it
opens up about one-third of the area to fishing that had been closed,
impacts the small-boat and fixed gear fisheries hardest as NMFS
apparently leaked its plans to some of the larger trawl operators some two-
months prior to its release to get their input.

U.S. Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK), angered over the impact the Steller
closures were having on his constituents, had earlier threatened to seek an
exemption from the ESA for the fishery. This was met with opposition
from PCFFA and some other fishing groups worried that an ESA
exemption would set a dangerous precedent, opening the way for dam
operators, diverters, timber companies and others to seek exemptions as
well, thereby undercutting salmon recovery efforts along the Pacific
Coast. Stevens now, in light of NMFS handling of the BiOp and placing
the conservation burden on the small boat and fixed gear fleets, is
threatening to cut the agency's budget over its latest bungling, the
Anchorage Daily News reported on 6 December.

"We could not support an ESA exemption, as Senator Stevens
originally proposed to help his beleaguered fishermen, because it would
hurt our ability to protect and restore salmon," said PCFFA President
Pietro Parravano. "However, we share the anger of Senator Stevens and
Governor Knowles about the way the BiOp was handled by NMFS giving
preference to the large trawlers at the expense of the smaller boats. And,
we feel the pain of Alaskan fishermen; we know what it's like to be
unjustly shut down."

TO PRESIDENT: On 7 December, the U.S. Senate passed legislation to
prohibit shark finning; a similar bill had been passed by the House of
Representatives in November. The bill was sent to the President for his
signature. The legislation's main sponsor in the House was Congressman
Duke Cunningham (R-CA), with John Kerry (D-MA), Olympia Snowe
(R-ME) and Ernest Hollings (D-SC) pushing it in the Senate. The
legislation was in response to concerns about the health of shark
populations worldwide as well as the waste that occurs when only the fins
are taken and the rest of the animal is discarded. The bill, which is
expected to be signed by President Clinton, would make it illegal "to enter
an American port or operate in the 200-mile U.S. federal" waters while
"carrying shark fins without the carcass" and is primarily targeted toward
Pacific fishing boats that supply the fins to the Asian market. The bill also
would study ways to "minimize incidental catches of sharks." For more
information, contact Carrie Collins at: (202) 537-9166.

Second International Conference on Marine Bioinvasions has been
scheduled for 9-11 April in New Orleans. Because of the impact or
potential impacts of non-native invasive species on commercially
important fish stocks, the conference is expected to be of great interests
to fishermen. It is being convened by the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology and the Louisiana Sea Grant College Program; and is
sponsored by the University of New Orleans. Abstracts for papers are due
by 15 December; they should be sent to: Dr. Judith Pederson, MIT Sea
Grant College Program, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 292 Main
Street, E38-300, Cambridge, MA 02139, or e-mail at: Jpederso at mit.edu
. Registration information is available at: http://conferences.uno.edu .

Channel Islands Marine Sanctuary Foundation has announced it is
accepting proposals for a Collaborative Marine Research Program
involving commercial fishermen. The full announcement can be viewed
on the Sanctuary's website at: www.cinms.noaa.gov/cinmsRFP.stm At this
time, the Foundation is soliciting project proposals that relate to nearshore
fisheries and can involve commercial fishermen in cooperative research
and resource assessment. Applications are available on the Channel
Islands National Marine Sanctuary website at: www.cinms.noaa.gov.
The deadline for completed applications is 15 January.

WORLD'S CORAL REEFS: At a National Press Club event planned for
Monday, 11 December, in Washington, U.S. Commerce Secretary
Norman Mineta, along with Dr. Clive Wilkinson, Global Coordinator for
the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network, will release a new report
detailing the magnitude of the world's coral reef crisis. The Secretary and
other participants in the press briefing Monday are expected to outline the
potential human and economic impacts of the crisis and initiatives planned
for the next year to address the problem. Those initiatives include a
recently passed measure creating the first international no-anchoring area
to protect the world's coral reefs, which are an integral part of the U.S.'s
$20 billion fishing industry. Among other actions, a global campaign to
put the dive industry directly at the forefront of coral reef protection will
be introduced. For more information, contact: Robert.C.Hasen at noaa.gov.

The release of the coral reef report comes on the heels of U.S.
President Bill Clinton's action on 4 December to establish the nation's
largest protected area, an 84-million-acre ecosystem reserve around the
northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Clinton issued an executive order creating
the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve. The
area contains nearly 70 percent of the United States'' coral reefs, as well
as remote islands, atolls and submerged lagoons. Approximately 1,200
nautical miles long and 100 wide, the new reserve is the second-largest
marine protected area on earth, the first being the Great Barrier Reef in
Australia. A largely uninhabited archipelago, the new reserve is larger
than the states of Florida and Georgia combined. It is nearly 100,000
square nautical miles (131,800 square statute miles) and will be off-limits
to oil, gas and mineral production, discharge or disposal of materials and
removal of coral. Furthermore, the designation caps commercial and
recreational fishing at current levels, but allows continued subsistence and
cultural harvests by native Hawaiians.

The Associated Press reported the President also announced
designation of 15 "reserve preservation areas" encompassing some 4
million acres, or roughly five percent of the reserve, where commercial
and recreational fishing, anchoring and collecting or touching coral are
prohibited. These areas include critical habitat for the endangered
Hawaiian monk seal. The seals, along with endangered leatherback and
hawksbill sea turtles, and threatened green sea turtles, are among more
than 7,000 marine species living in the entire reserve. The Hawaiian coral
reef reserve and upcoming Commerce report parallel new initiatives from
the administration and Congress to research and protect the world's
oceans. Recent coral reef studies indicate that "pollution, damage from
dynamite fishing, coral poachers, unwise coastal development and global
warming already have killed over 25 percent of the world's reefs. In some
areas, such as the Central Indian Ocean, 90 percent of the coral reefs have
died, bleached as white as dead bone," said Clinton in his announcement.

For more information on the coral reef crisis also see the 17 November
issue of Science (pp.1282-1283), "Reef Migrations, Bleaching Effects Stir
the Air in Bali," at: www.sciencemag.org .

PROPOSAL: The U.S. Navy has withdrawn its application for a
consistency determination, by the California Coastal Commission, of its
proposed operation of a Surveillance Towed Array Sensor System Low
Frequency Active (SURTASS LFA) for offshore the State. The proposal
was expected to generate opposition from both conservation and fishing
groups concerned with the impacts of this sound system, used for
detecting submarines, on the marine environment. It had been scheduled
for hearing on Tuesday, 12 December, by the Coastal Commission at its
meeting in San Francisco. For more information, contact Mark Delaplane
at: (415) 904-5400.

The proceedings of this year's Salmon Summit 2000 have been released.
The issues covered in the summit included: 1) Who is going to consume
salmon in 2010: Will there be enough? 2) The global supply and demand
of salmon; 3) The future market for farmed salmon in France; 4) The
realities of the Russian salmon market; 5) The future of the wild salmon
industry; 6) Wild Alaska salmon: redefining itself in the new marketplace;
7) Fish meal and oil supply: can supply keep pace with the demand from
a growing aquaculture industry? 8) Biotechnology in aquaculture; 9)
Organic salmon production in Ireland: A producer viewpoint; and 10)
What and who drives retail buying behavior? The proceedings are
available at a cost of US$150 from EASTFISH. To order a copy, contact
EASTFISH at: fao at eastfish.org

DECEMBER: The Humboldt Times-Standard reported today, 8
December, that U.S. Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt will announce his
"Record of Decision" (ROD) on flows for the Trinity River in northern
California at a ceremony on the Hoopa Valley Reservation Tuesday
morning, 19 December. The Secretary is expected to release his agency
's selection of the preferred alternative from its Final Environmental
Impact Statement (FEIS) (see Sublegals, 2:20/02, 2:18/09), to provide the
river with 48 percent of its historic flow. PCFFA and Friends of the
Trinity have argued for the maximum flow alternative that would restore
approximately 70 percent of the river's water. The Trinity, once the
major salmon producing tributary of the Klamath River system, has had
as much as 86 percent of its annual flow diverted to the Central Valley
Project since the Trinity Unit began operation in the 1960's. For more
information, contact Friends of the Trinity River at: http://www.fotr.org.

In a major ruling issued 7 December, Judge Barbara Rothstein of the
Western Washington U.S. Federal District Court issued an order
invalidating twenty National Marine Fisheries Service Biological
Opinions (BiOps) covering 178 federal timber sales in coastal national
forests from Northern California to Washington, and halted those sales by
injunction. Whenever there are species listed under the federal
Endangered Species Act (ESA), i.e., salmon and steelhead, federal
agencies cannot proceed with land management actions until the ESA
trustee agency , i.e., NMFS, issues such a BiOp to assure that listed
species are not jeopardized with extinction as a result of those actions.
PCFFA, the lead plaintiff in this lawsuit, along with other plaintiffs, had
long claimed that NMFS was failing to adequately protect salmon-bearing
streams in signing off on federal timber sales, and also failing to take into
account cumulative effects. This case, known as 'PCFFA III,' follows a
similar ruling in two other PCFFA-led cases concerning a more limited
selection of timber sales in Umpqua Basin in southwestern Oregon. The
same procedures ruled invalid in the Umpqua have been widely used by
NMFS with the end result that destructive logging and road building
practices have not been curtailed as required under the ESA for coho and
steelhead. The prior cases have been appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court
of Appeals and a hearing is pending. NMFS is expected to appeal this
ruling as well, but the injunction will stay in place in the meantime to
prevent harm to salmonids. This case was brought by PCFFA and co-
plaintiffs as part of efforts to make the Northwest Forest Plan actually
work on the ground. For more information, see the 9 December editions
of The Columbian
(http://www.columbian.com/12092000/clark_co/166515.html) and The
Oregonian (http://www.oregonlive.com/printer2.ssf?/news/

STATUTE: In a victory for a coalition led by the Washington
Environmental Council, in which PCFFA was a co-plaintiff, a Thurston
County Superior Court Judge on 6 December ordered the Washington
Department of Ecology to fully implement a seven year-old statute
requiring that all water diversions in salmon bearing streams in
Washington be metered. Water metering has long been on the books, but
Ecology has refused to implement it, citing numerous diversions, its own
poor record keeping and lack of Legislative funding as reasons. The
Court, however, did not accept these excuses and ordered the Department
to come up with an implementation plan within three months. The Court
also ruled that metering will provide both immediate and long-term
benefits for restoring salmon runs, and that further delay in implementing
the statute may cause further salmon declines. Much of the testimony at
trial focused on the Washington Legislature's consistent failure over the
past seven years to fund Ecology's legal responsibilities, starting with
massive cuts to its water resources program in 1994. The end result has
been increased state liability under the federal Clean Water Act (CWA)
and now the Endangered Species Act (ESA). "Washington's fishing
families and their jobs depend on Ecology's ability to implement laws
protecting fish and water," noted PCFFA's Northwest Regional Director
Glen Spain. "If the Legislature wants the hundreds of millions of dollars
that commercial and recreational fishing bring to this state every year,
they have to be willing to protect the state's rivers from overuse and
abuse." For more information, contact the Washington Environmental
Council, Michael Rosotto at (206)622-8103 or Center for Environmental
Law & Policy, Rob Caldwell at (206)223-8454.

conservation organizations, including PCFFA, filed suit on 8 December
in U.S. Federal District Court in Southern California against the National
Marine Fisheries Service over NMFS' failure to adequately identify and
protect southern California steelhead runs. The suit is supported by the
Southern California Steelhead Coalition, an association of 33 groups
working to restore this species to its original habitat in southern
California, where it once roamed widely. The groups object to the narrow
boundaries drawn by NMFS in which they believe steelhead still exist,
and to the exclusion from 'critical habitat' designation areas many
biologists believe are potentially usable or which can potentially be
restored. Tens of thousands of steelhead once occupied southern
California rivers, but a combination of urban development, dams and
pollution have pushed populations down to a few hundred, triggering an
'endangered' listing under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) in
1997. Additionally, it is believed that these streams that have most
recently supported steelhead, were also used by coho salmon for which
there was once a commercial fishery. For more information contact the
attorneys for the group, Environmental Defense Center, Tanya
Gulessarian, at (805) 963-1622.

NEWS, COMMENTS, CORRECTIONS: Submit your news items,
comments or any corrections to Natasha Benjamin, 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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