Dean Staff (dstaff at home.com)
Tue, 17 Jul 2001 07:05:50 -0400

<< ~~>FISHLINK SUBLEGALS 7/6/01<~~

VOL 4, NO. 1 6 JULY 2001


Agri-Terrorism in the Klamath Basin, Fish Survival
Threatened. See 4:/01/01. Factory Farm Runoff Causes Fish Kills.
See 4:01/08. Pesticides Used to Harvest Fish in Mexico. See
Congress Acts Against New Offshore Oil Drilling. See 4:01/17.
Cape Cod Hunks Strut Their Stuff in New Calendar. See 4:01/19.

On Wednesday, 4 July, a small group of Klamath Irrigation Project
contractors along with a support group of vandals broke into the irrigation
project property with cutting torches and saws and opened a water gate
releasing hundreds of thousands of gallons down an irrigation ditch. The
water they released had been held in reserve to prevent the extinction of
sucker fish in Klamath Lake and coho salmon in the Klamath River. Both
species are listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and both fish
at one time were important economically before the massive water
diversions of the federal water project decimated fish populations. The
suckers were a food fish for the Klamath tribe and the coho supported
ocean commercial and sport salmon fisheries (see Sublegals, 3:26/05;
3:25/05;3:24/01; 3:20/01; 3;17/02; 3:15/07; 3:14/01;3:13/02).

It was the third time in the past week the same group of agri-terrorists
have broken into the facility and unlawfully released water. Reminiscent
of local law enforcement's complicity with Klan activities in the Deep
South from the 20's through the 60's, the county sheriff in Klamath Falls
has refused so far to make a single arrest. The irrigation district itself
refused to shut the open gates and it has fallen on the Bureau of
Reclamation, which is considering bringing in federal marshals, to close
the gates attempting to save the remaining water critical to fish

The acts of agri-terrorism fell on the heels of the passage of tougher
laws against eco-terrorists accused of destroying genetically modified tree
experiments. It also brought an angry response from PCFFA. "If
fishermen had crossed into the closed Klamath Zone to fish you can bet
the Coast Guard, NMFS and state wardens would have swarmed down on
them. If fishermen had broken into a dam and released water into a
stream to save fish, you know the local sheriff, federal marshals and the
FBI would have been right there to arrest them," said PCFFA Executive
Director Zeke Grader. "But apparently Sheriff Bubba there would choke
on his chaw if he had to arrest any of his buddies for breaking the law. If
the law is not going to be enforced where does that leave fishermen? Do
we have to go to Northern Ireland to start recruiting, to get supplies? What
is the answer when officials look the other way at acts of terrorism?" For
more information on the agri-terrorist break-ins at the irrigation project
go to: http://www.sfgate.com/cgibin/article.cgi?file=/news/archive/

Coupled with the lawlessness in the Klamath Basin, the Pacific Legal
Foundation filed a petition on 3 July on behalf of the Klamath Irrigation
District, whose members were involved in the break-in and theft of water,
and the California-based Tulelake Irrigation District, calling on the
Department of Interior to convene a "God Squad" over the Bureau of
Reclamation's action to halt further deliveries of water to irrigators in
order to prevent the extinction of coho and sucker fish. The Endangered
Species Committee or "God Squad" has the power to overturn decisions
made pursuant to the ESA and allow species to go extinct. PCFFA has
likened the God Squad to the Gestapo in this instance, saying the
extinction of fish means the extermination of fishermen. A decision by
Interior on convening the committee is expected on Friday, 13 July.

SUMMER: On 30 June, the Oregonian reported the Bonneville Power
Administration (BPA) is putting its power marketing and financial
problems ahead of salmon restoration on the Columbia River. BPA
Administrator Al Wright the day before, 29 June, suspended all water spill
programs for salmon at the eight federally-owned Columbia and Snake
River power dams for this summer's juvenile migration. The Biological
Opinion (BiOP), adopted late in 2000 in order to meet Endangered
Species Act (ESA) requirements for the many ESA-listed salmon and
steelhead runs in the river system, required certain minimum flows to be
released as 'spill' to flush juvenile salmon around the turbines and out to
sea safer and faster. However, BPA was also given a loophole: the spill
program can be suspended in a 'power emergency,' but with almost
unlimited discretion on what constitutes such an emergency. Indian Tribal
biologists and salmon advocates have been highly critical of BPA for
repeatedly using this loophole for purely financial reasons unrelated to
real power supplies, while doing little to secure additional water or make
other system changes that would avoid pitting salmon against power users.
At risk this year is a whole year-class of several ESA listed salmon and
steelhead runs, which are already suffering serious losses due to drought
and low flows, and PCFFA among many other groups is challenging the
legality of this exemption in court (see Sublegals 3:24/02, 3:18/01,
3:15/10, 3:14/04).

WorldCatch News Network reported 3 July that an increase in the average
temperature of the sea this summer has cost the Australian salmon farming
industry around A$15m (US$7.75 million), according to estimates from the
Tasmanian Salmon Growers' Association. Salmon grow more slowly in
waters above 17C, temperatures at which rates of mortality, disease and
stress increase. During the 2000-2001 summer, sea temperatures reached
19C. Overall average temperatures in the region have been increasing in
recent decades, an effect consistent with global climate change. For more
information see: http://www.worldcatch.com.

SALMON: The Vancouver Sun reported on 5 July that starting this week
60 Native Indian researchers from across the province will begin training
for an unusual job: swimming through British Columbia's rivers to look
for Atlantic salmon that have escaped from coastal fish farms. The
Atlantic Salmon Watch Program is a joint federal and provincial program
to spot escaped Atlantic salmon and determine where they have colonized
Pacific salmon streams. Last year, a record 7,833 Atlantics were captured
in B.C. waters, beating the previous high of 4,543 in 1993. Many of those
were captured off northeastern Vancouver Island shortly after an escape
from a nearby fish farm. An estimated 13,500 to 17,000 Atlantic salmon
already have escaped in early June this year from Omega Salmon Group
Ltd.'s net pen at Marsh Bay near Port Hardy. Biologists have concerns
about the potential impacts of escaped Atlantic salmon on wild Pacific
stocks, both from disease and competition.

PROTECT WILD SALMON: WorldCatch News Network reported on 2
July that a 'green paper' produced by the Norwegian government says that
at least five major salmon farms must relocate to protect wild salmon
stocks. The green paper also proposes restrictions on salmon farming in 22
fjords and protective measures for 39 salmon rivers to prevent
transmission of disease to wild salmon runs. Minister of Fisheries Otto
Gregussen told Fiskaren that the salmon farms in question will be offered
new localities, but that there wouldn't be any compensation in the form of
additional salmon farming licenses. According to the report, however,
there is a possibility that the government will cover relocation expenses.
There are 60 salmon farms in restricted areas. Farms not relocating will be
further restricted for additional disease control and increased escape

The green paper is now being circulated for comment. It is far less
sweeping than the proposals from the government's Wild Salmon
Committee, which made its recommendations to the Norwegian
government one year ago. The Wild Salmon Committee said the eastern
part of the Northern Norwegian county of Finnmark should be closed
entirely to salmon farming, while 50 salmon rivers need protecting and
sea areas should also be closed. For more information go to:

SPECIES: The National Sea Grant College Program and the U.S. Fish &
Wildlife Service (USFWS) are now entertaining proposals to participate in
research, outreach, and demonstration projects that address the problems
of aquatic invasive species in U.S. waters. In 2001 only, Sea Grant expects
to make available about $800,000, and USFWS $300,000, to support
projects to improve ballast water treatment and management in the
Chesapeake Bay and the Great Lakes in particular (Sea Grant), and in U.S.
coastal and Great Lakes waters (USFWS). Details on the request for
proposals are at: http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgibin/
getdoc.cgi?dbname=2001_register&docid =01-15646-filed or at:

The deadline for receipt of proposals at the National Sea Grant Office
(NSGO) is 1700 HRS EST 24 July 2001. Funding decisions are expected
by 31 August 2001 for projects with an expected start date of
approximately 1 November 2001. For more information contact: Leon M.
Cammen, Invasive Species Coordinator, National Sea Grant College
Program, or Mary Robinson, Secretary, National Sea Grant Office,
(301)713-2435 or Sharon Gross, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, (703)

Further information on invasive species nationwide is available at the
Nonindigenous Aquatic Species site sponsored by the U.S Geological
Survey (USGS). The 1 June issue of Science magazine reports that the
site's database lists of introduced species found in any state or watershed
includes a summary of species habitat, impact, taxonomy and references
to the location of preserved specimens of the invaders. The address for the
website is: www.nas.er.usgs.gov

4:01/07. BASTILLE DAY IN BODEGA BAY: On 14 July, from 1300 -
1700 HRS, the University of California at Davis' Bodega Marine Lab will
open its doors to the fishing community and public for an opportunity to
"meet the scientists." The latest research in marine science will be
exhibited at the lab, including their groundbreaking work in salmon and
oyster genetics. Fishermen and the public are invited to visit research labs,
talk with scientists, and enjoy hands-on demonstrations. Admission and
parking are free. The lab is located at 2099 Westside Road in Bodega Bay,
along California's Sonoma Coast. For more information check out the
lab's website at: www.bml.ucdavis.edu.

Rural Updates reported on 5 July that 150,000 fish were killed in the
Neuse River in North Carolina in mid-June. The cause of death was low
oxygen content in the water. The likely culprit is the massive amount of
manure and other pollutants, including high levels of nitrogen and
phosphorus, produced by the factory-style hog farms that line the river. A
report by the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service of North
Carolina State University documents extensive fish kills in the Neuse in
1995 under similar conditions. For more information, read the report at

RESPONSE: River Network's Clean Water Project has collected U.S.
Clean Water Act (CWA) compliance and response information from each
state. This information includes state contacts for water quality standards,
NPDES permits, and TMDLs, the dates of the last and next triennial
review; designated uses of state waters, and much more. To access the
database see:

MEXICO: The Pesticide Action Network of North America (PANNA)
reported on 29 June on a study from the Mexican Environmental
Enforcement Agency (PROFEPA) that documents the harvesting of fish in
Mexico using pesticides. A four-month investigation showed that two
readily available pesticides, Deltamethrin and Asuntol, are being used in
Michoacan, a Pacific coastal state between Puerto Vallarta and Acapulco
to fish for "langostino," a lobster-like crustacean. These crustaceans are
considered a delicacy and are served in upscale restaurants. Locations of
these restaurants were not included in the investigation.

Deltamethrin is thought to bioaccumulate and be moderately toxic to
humans. Asuntol is rated as highly toxic by the U.S Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) and is a cholinesterase inhibitor. Evidence
suggests that this usage of pesticides may not be an isolated incident. In
March of 2001, two men were arrested and over 340 langostinos were
confiscated. In addition, reports of illness in both adults and children
stemming from fish killed using pesticides were documented in 2000 on
the Gulf side of the Mexican coast. PANNA is working together with a
Mexican environmental nongovernmental organization (DASSUR)
to increase education on the dangers of fishing with pesticides and have
created a video as part of their efforts. For more information or a copy of
the report or video contact Claudio Torres Nachen at DASSUR at:
dassur at prodigy.net.mx . To view toxicity and health effect data on the
pesticides visit: www.pesticideinfor.org.

Education Foundation is sponsoring their annual update on water law and
policy in San Diego from 19-20 July. Top policy makers and stakeholders
will speak on a variety of topics including chromium 6 pollution,
hydropower and its role in the energy crisis, California's use of the
Colorado River and water rights in the Bay-Delta. To register call the
Water Education Foundation at (916) 444-6240 or visit
www.watereducation.org . Early registration ends 10 July.

Fisheries Service (NMFS) scheduled a public hearing for 11 July on a
proposed rule that would implement provisions of the Shark Finning
Prohibition Act. The hearing is set for 1700 HRS in the National Oceanic
& Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Auditorium, at 1301 East-West
Highway, in Silver Spring, Maryland. The agency also is accepting
written comments on the act through 30 July.

Under the draft proposal, NMFS regulations would prohibit people
under U.S. jurisdiction from engaging in shark finning in international
waters or federal waters. It also prohibits people under U.S. jurisdiction
from possessing shark fins harvested in either international waters or
federal waters without corresponding shark carcasses, or landing shark
fins harvested in those areas without corresponding carcasses. Officials
are also seeking public input on whether the prohibition should extend to
state waters as well.

Written comments should be sent to: Dr. Rebecca Lent, Regional
Administrator, Southwest Region, NMFS, 501 W. Ocean Boulevard, Suite
4200, Long Beech, CA 90802; or via fax at: (562) 980-4047. For more
information, contact NMFS's Southwest Region's Svein Fougner at:
Svein.Fougner at noaa.gov. To view the proposed regulation, go to:

ATLANTIC SHARK FISHERIES: The second semiannual fishing season
for the commercial fishery for large coastal sharks and small coastal
sharks, pelagic sharks, blue sharks and porbeagle sharks in the western
north Atlantic Ocean - including the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean
Sea - opened on 1 July. The Ocean Wildlife Campaign (OWC) objected
to the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) announcement that
fishing for the sharks will reopen, putting what OWC called, the
"slow-growing, severely overfished predators in serious jeopardy." The
OWC, an alliance of six national environmental groups, called on NMFS
to protect the sharks by keeping the fishery closed until the results of a
new scientific review of their condition is completed. Sharks are
vulnerable to over-harvest because they grow slowly, mature late and
produce a small number of young. For more information, contact Karyl
Brewster-Geisz at: (301) 713-2347.

POPULATIONS: "The End of the Line? - Global Threats to Sharks" is the
title of a recently released report by the Shark Conservation Program of
WildAid. The 61-page report identifies a number of threats to numerous
shark species around the globe, including the shark-finning trade, bycatch,
lack of management, illegal fishing and environmental pressures. For
more information or to receive a copy of the report go to WildAid's
website at: www.wildaid.org.

BYCATCH STANDARDS: On 27 June the National Marine Fisheries
Service (NMFS) published in the Federal Register notice of release of its
Pacific halibut and red king crab bycatch standards for the second half of
2001. These standards will apply to Alaskan groundfish trawl vessels and
would reduce the prohibited species bycatch rates. The standards are in
effect beginning 1 July until 31 Dec 2001. Comments on the action are due
no later than 27 July to: Sue Salveson, Assistant Regional Administrator,
Sustainable Fisheries Division, Alaska Region, NMFS, P.O. Box 21668,
Juneau, AK 99802-1668, Attn: Lori Gravel. Comments also may be sent
via fax to (907) 586-7465. For more information contact: Mary Furuness at
(907) 586-7228 or mary.furuness at noaa.gov.

5 July, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) published in the
Federal Register (Vol.66, No. 129, pp. 35388-3394) trip limit adjustments
for the Pacific Coast groundfish fishery and a request for comments on the
new regulations. The federal fishery agency announced changes in the trip
limits for the following Pacific Coast groundfish fisheries: limited entry
trawl and fixed gear for minor slope rockfish north and south; limited
entry trawl and fixed gear for splitnose rockfish south; limited entry trawl
and fixed gear for Pacific Ocean perch (POP); limited entry trawl and
fixed gear for Dover sole north and south; limited entry trawl and fixed
gear for flatfish north; limited entry trawl for yellowtail rockfish north;
limited entry trawl for widow rockfish taken with mid-water trawl gear;
and limited entry fixed gear and open access for sablefish north. The
actions, authorized by the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management
Plan (FMP), are intended to help the fisheries achieve optimum yield
(OY) while protecting overfished and depleted stocks. The changes to the
current regulations took effect 0001 HRS (PDT) 1 July. Comments on
this rule will be accepted through 20 July; submit comments to: Donna
Darm, Acting Administrator, Northwest Region, NMFS, 7600 Sand Point
Way N.E., Bldg. 1, Seattle, WA 98115-0070; or Dr. Rebecca Lent,
Administrator, Southwest Region, NMFS, 501 West Ocean Blvd., Suite
4200, Long Beach, CA 90802-4213. For more information, contact either
Yvonne deReynier or Becky Renko at (206) 526-6140.

BURNER: On Thursday, 28 June, the U.S. House of Representatives
approved an amendment to the $23.7 million 2002 fiscal year energy and
water development appropriations bill (HR 2311) prohibiting oil and gas
drilling in the Great Lakes. The amendment, proposed by the House
minority whip, David Bonier (D-MI), had the support of the Florida
congressional delegation following a similar action taken last week (HR
2217) in prohibiting a lease sale off the coast of Florida for offshore
drilling. Also denied was the construction of a natural gas pipeline
designed to deliver gas from offshore wells off the coast of Alabama to
Tampa, Florida that was supported by the Florida legislators. House
majority whip, Tom DeLay (R-TX) declared that "Florida rivals
California as a prime example of the not-in-my-backyard syndrome" with
respect to supporting a pipeline to bring in the natural gas but refusing to
have offshore drilling off their coast. For more information:

Western Pacific Fishery Management Council agreed on 21 June to
establish a refuge for corals in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands
(NWHI). The new area will cover 250 miles adjacent to the current
Western Pacific Refugia. Within the boundaries of the refuge, the
harvesting of pink, red and gold precious coral would be banned.
Furthermore, the harvest of gold coral will be banned throughout the
NWHI and decreased harvest of pink and red corals to five percent of the
total harvest. The creation of the refuge is spurred by research that points
to endangered monk seals utilizing the coral beds. The coral jewelry
industry brings about $25 million to Hawaii per year.

The action by the Western Pacific Council followed by a month the
publication of an article in Science (25 May 2001, p.1493) by Nancy
Knowlton reporting that size matters when it comes to protecting coral
reef habitat biodiversity ("Coral Reef Biodiversity - Habitat Size Matters").
Knowlton, who is with the Marine Biology Research Division at Scripps
Institute of Oceanography at the University of California/San Diego, can
be reached at: nknowlton at ucsd.edu.

HOT OFF THE PRESSES: It's a sellout in Provincetown and it's likely to
be popular everywhere else as well. It's the latest calendar from the Cape
Cod Commercial Hook Fishermen's Association featuring twelve of the
Cape's fishing hunks in various poses. The calendar, which is fund-raiser
to help support the commercial fishermen's activities promoting
sustainable fisheries, is available now for sale from the association. For
more information, go to: www.bostonchannel.com/news.

APPOLOGIES: PCFFA and IFR express their regret for the lateness
in getting this edition of Sublegals to you. The crisis that erupted in the
Klamath Basin over the past week has taken an inordinate amount of staff
time away from putting together and getting out this issue.

NEWS, COMMENTS, CORRECTIONS: Submit your news items,
comments or any corrections to Natasha Benjamin, Editor at:
ifrfish at pacbell.net 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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