[acn-l] ~~>FISHLINK SUBLEGALS 7/13/01<~~

Dean Staff (dean at staff.ca)
Wed, 18 Jul 2001 22:57:00 -0400


VOL 4, NO. 2 13 JULY


Good Week For Klamath Salmon. See 4:02/01.
Amendment to Ban Approval of Genetically-Modified Salmon
Fails. See 4:02/06.
California Salmon Hit Big Finally, Markets Symied. See 4:02/07.
Labeling Legislation Introduced in Congress for Catfish. See 4:02/09.
Study Finds Stellar Sea Lions Like Herring, Not Pollock. See 4:02/13.

AND MORE .....
FAIL PASSAGE: 13 July marked the end of good week for Klamath
Basin fish resources - and fishermen - when the Bush Administration
ruled against a petition by the Pacific Legal Foundation to convene an
Endangered Species Committee (commonly known as a 'God Squad') to
formally exempt the federal irrigation project from the Endangered
Species Act (ESA). The petition had been filed on behalf of Upper
Klamath Basin's Klamath Irrigation Project irrigators and property rights
groups. The 'God Squad' petition was rejected because the petitioners do
not fit the narrow legal requirements of standing to make such a request
under 16 U.S.C. 1536(g)(1) of the Act. Such a committee would have had
the power to waive all ESA protections for any or all of the four species
now listed under the ESA in the upper river, including coho salmon,
essentially condemning them to extinction. A consequence of an
exemption for coho salmon would have been the loss of most of the
chinook and steelhead production in the lower Klamath, devastated coastal
fishing communities and abrogation of Tribal fishing rights for at least
three major Tribes. The farmers hoped to reverse ongoing water reforms
designed to more fairly allocated water in the basin among users during a
record-breaking drought (see Sublegals 4:01/01; 3:26/05; 3:25/05;
3:24/01; 3:20/01; 3:17/02; 3:15/07; 3:14/01; 3:13/02).

Even though most of the current cutbacks in water to the Klamath
Irrigation Project (down to about 20 percent of a normal year's allocation)
are directly related to a record drought that has brought only about 21
percent of normal inflow to Upper Klamath Lake, more than half the
farms in the Upper Klamath Basin are getting adequate water deliveries.
Only some of the farms dependent on federal water have suffered
cutbacks. The farmers in the Upper Basin, urged onward by outside
anti-ESA property rights group organizers, have been loudly blaming the
ESA for their woes rather than pointing to the Bureau of Reclamation's

long history of over-allocation, mismanagement and depletion.

Earlier in the week, on 10 July, the California Senate Natural
Resources & Wildlife Committee refused to pass AJR 14, a resolution that
earlier passed the California Assembly, calling for the convening of a
"God Squad" for the Klamath (see Sublegals, 3:26/05; 3:24/01). Then on
11 July, U.S. Senator Gordon Smith (R-OR) filed an amendment to the
U.S. Senate version of the Department of Interior appropriations bill (H.R.
2217) that would have rolled Klamath Project water allocations back to a
failed 1993 recovery plan, legislatively denied the very existence of the
current drought, and fixed all future water allocations at those levels until
a whole laundry list of actions, most of them without any funding and
some of them impossible or impractical, were completed. The amendment
would have required federal agencies to ignore the Endangered Species
Act, federal legal obligations to the Tribes, the Clean Water Act and
various other environmental laws, and also required the agencies to ignore
the best available science, all in order to continue unsustainable irrigation

Calling the amendment an effort to "institutionalize ignorance, denial
and delay," PCFFA led the opposition to the measure in a letter to the
Senate, and it went down to defeat on 12 July by a vote of 52 to 48.
"Eventually even federally subsidized farmers growing federally
subsidized crops must learn to live within the unforgiving biological limits
of available rainfall," said PCFFA's Glen Spain in the Senate letter. "This
year's rainfall is so poor that even if there were no ESA, no Tribal water
obligations and no Clean Water Act to constrain water flows, there would
still not have been enough water to get most crops to market. In addition
to probable extinction of downriver coho, the amendment would have
devastated all downriver salmon and steelhead fisheries and
fishing-dependent businesses for lack of water to support those
economically valuable runs." For more information and for a copy of the
PCFFA comment on the Smith amendment and its letter on AJR 14 see:


expanded version of the Klamath Resource Information System (KRIS)
database, containing data from the Klamath and Trinity River watersheds
of Northern California and Southern Oregon, is now available. This
system is a CD-ROM compilation of often hard to find watershed data in
an easily understandable GIS-type format that is useful for watershed
restoration and planning. To request a free copy please contact: Kelly D.
Sheen, Trinity Resource Conservation District, PO Box 1450,
Weaverville, CA 96093, (530)623-6004 or by email at:
tcrcd at snowcrest.net.

SALMON: The Idaho Statesman reported on 12 July that the Idaho Power
Company has reached an agreement with the National Marine Fisheries
Service (NMFS) to "operate its Hells Canyon hydroelectric dams at full
capacity" in order to increase flows in the Snake River to "aid the
migration of the ocean-going salmon." The deal avoids a "legal dispute

over water among the federal government, the state and private interests"
and how much is required to protect endangered fish. The announcement
came shortly after the head of the Bonneville Power Authority (BPA) said
that his agency is putting its power marketing and financial problems
ahead of salmon restoration on the Columbia River (see Sublegals,

Power Administration (BPA) has published its "Fish & Wildlife
Implementation Plan Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS)" and
put it out for public comment by 6 August. The plan will guide salmon
and watershed restoration activities in the Columbia and Snake River
Basins, including actions to implement the current Biological Opinion
(BiOp) and Federal Caucus "All-H" Recovery Strategy, and future
mitigation and recovery efforts as yet undetermined. Persons wanting a
copy of the DEIS should call (800)622-4520 with a message requesting
the document and their full mailing address. Specify either a CD-ROM
format or paper copy (limited number of paper copies available). Written
comments must be received by 6 August to: Communications, Bonneville
Power Administration-KC-7, PO Box 12999, Portland, OR, 97212 or
emailed to: comment at bpa.gov. The Draft EIS is also online at:


Fisheries Service (NMFS) published this past week in the Federal Register
its modification of the landing requirements for the commercial salmon
fishery (except coho) in the area from the United States/Canada border to
Cape Falcon, Oregon, in order to allow salmon caught in the area to be
landed in Oregon. The modified provision requires that vessels land and
deliver fish within the area (U.S./Canada border to Cape Falcon), or
within Oregon ports south of Cape Falcon, and within 24 hours of any
closure of this fishery. NMFS also describes the Oregon State reporting
and landing requirements for salmon caught in the area. According to the
federal agency, the action is necessary to provide flexibility to Oregon
trollers, while implementing the 2001 annual management measures for
ocean salmon fisheries. The inseason adjustment became effective 4 May.
Comments are being accepted by NMFS through 26 July. For more
information go to: www.nmfs.noaa.gov.

SALMON FAILS: An amendment to the FY 2002 Agriculture
appropriations bill to cut-off funding to the U.S. Food & Drug (FDA) to
prevent approval of genetically-modified salmon in fish farming
operations in the U.S. at this time was defeated on 12 July. 132
Democrats, including most from Washington, Oregon, and California and
13 Republicans, including Alaska Congressman Don Young and Maryland
Congressman Wayne Gilchrest, did vote for the language offered by
Representatives Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) and Peter DeFazio (D-OR).
The amendment to prevent approval of genetically modified salmon was
supported by many commercial fishing groups, including PCFFA and

Alaska Trollers Association, the Sierra Club, the Center for Food Safety
and a number of other organizations. In May, a coalition of some 60
organizations had petitioned the FDA to place a moratorium on any
approval of genetically modified salmon (see Sublegals, 3:19/03). For
more information, go to: www.gefish.org.

FISHERY FILLS JULY QUOTA: After abysmal landings in May and
June due to bad weather and a northward shift of fish into the closed
Klamath Zone, the salmon finally hit - and big time - off Bodega Bay.
With scores of 100 fish per day for some of the boats, the ability of the
markets to handle the fish quickly enough became a problem, and Bodega
Bay was tied-up much of this past week. The quality of the kings (mainly
Sacramento fall-run chinooks) have been excellent, large and fat from
their northward migration foraging on sardines. Prices for California troll
kings, that had been up to $2.85 per pound ex-vessel, dropped at about the
same time Chilean farmed Atlantics were dumped on the market at prices
ranging from $1.20 to $1.60 per pound.

"The abundance of the kings is a result of years of hard work by
PCFFA to protect and restore salmon; we've put the fish on the back
decks," said PCFFA President Pietro Parravano. "The marketing
problems now, after two months of small catches, indicates more than
ever the need for labeling of fish so consumers can tell the difference in
the market between high quality troll kings and inferior farmed fish.
Labeling would also allow consumers to discriminate between sustainably
caught wild salmon and the polluting and environmentally-degrading
aquacultured salmon."

Meanwhile, WorldCatch News Network reported 11 July that the
Southeast Alaska troll king fishery was close to its 72,500 fish July quota,
meaning there will be no further openers this month. A fleet of 622 boats
was involved in the July fishery. Another 30,000 kings will be available
for harvest in August. For more information go to: www.worldcatch.com.

REGIONAL RECOMMENDATIONS: The Monterey Bay Aquarium has
announced it will carry its "Seafood Watch" consumer awareness program
to a national audience and develop regional seafood recommendations
over the next three years. Wallet cards will be tailored to specific kinds of
seafood found regionally at restaurants and markets throughout the United
States. Currently, the aquarium produces a card oriented toward seafood
common on the West Coast (e.g., California troll salmon is on its
preferred list). The program will also offer an independent online database
available to resource managers, scientists, fishing associations and
environmental organizations that want a scientific basis for developing
their own seafood guidelines.

The program announced by the Aquarium was welcomed by the
Institute for Fisheries Resources (IFR), which has its own "GOOD FISH -
Seasonal, Healthful, Sustainable" program. Most of the current seafood
guides are conflicting and many were poorly researched and this caused,

as a result, needless harm to some sustainably conducted fisheries. It is
hoped the seafood database can help eliminate conflicting and, oftentimes
wrong, recommendations. IFR and PCFFA are also promoting truth in
labeling for seafood to foster consumer awareness.

Jennifer Dianto, who directed a sustainable seafood program for the
New England Aquarium, has been hired by the Aquarium to head the
expanded Seafood Watch program. The first regional wallet card,
covering a wider range of West Coast seafoods, will be completed by the
end of 2001, as will an expanded and user-friendly seafood information
center on the aquarium's website. The wallet cards are to be regularly
updated, and the latest recommendations will be available online at


WorldCatch News Network reported on 12 July that Farm-raised catfish
sold in the United States would have to carry country-of-origin labels
under legislation introduced Wednesday, in the U.S. House of
Representatives. The bill, proposed by five lawmakers from catfish
producing states, is intended to distinguish domestic catfish from those
imported from Vietnam. U.S. catfish farmers complain that imports are
now taking away about 10 percent of their business and that the
Vietnamese are packaging their fish to imitate U.S. brands and logos.
Representative Mike Ross (D-AR) said catfish imported from Vietnam are
hurting his state's economy. Arkansas is the third largest catfish-producing
state behind Mississippi and Alabama. Last year, catfish imports from
Vietnam totaled 7 million pounds, three times the amount imported in
1999, Ross said. Congressman Bennie Thompson (D-MS) meanwhile
claimed catfish harvested in the United States are under more stringent
requirements than in Vietnam and that consumers should be aware which
product they are buying. "By guaranteeing freshness and meeting strict
guidelines, U.S. farm-raised catfish ensures high health standards....
Vietnam cannot make this promise," Thompson said. The Vietnamese fish
wild catfish out of rivers and place them in pens. U.S. farmers raise the
whiskered bottom-feeders in man-made ponds. While domestic fish are
fed a grain-based feed, Vietnamese fish are fed dried juvenile fish from
nearby rivers mixed with rice bran but are often still labeled as
pond-raised, the lawmakers said. For more information, go to:


SEA TURTLE BYCATCH: On 13 July, the National Marine Fisheries
Service (NMFS) published in the Federal Register (Vol. 66, No. 135,
pp.36711-36714) its emergency rule to reduce sea turtle bycatch and
bycatch mortality in highly migratory species fisheries in the Atlantic,
Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico. The rule will be of interest to Pacific
Coast and Hawaiian Island highly pelagic species fishermen. The rule is
to implement the "reasonable and prudent alternative" identified in the 8
June 2001, Biological Opinion (BiOp) to reduce bycatch and bycatch
mortality of threatened loggerhead and endangered leatherback sea turtles.
The rule took effect as of Wednesday, 11 July, and will be in place

through 9 January 2002. The closure and gear modifications required by
the emergency rule affect all U.S. commercial fishermen who have been
issued Federal highly migratory species (HMS) permits and use pelagic
longline gear in the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea.
The emergency rule also requires all U.S. commercial and recreational
fishermen who have been issued HMS fishing permits to post sea turtle
handling and release guidelines in the wheelhouse.

The area closure announced under the emergency rule is for the
Northeast Distant Statistical Reporting Area (NED), which will be closed
effective 15 July through 9 January 2002, unless the rule is extended. For
the duration of the emergency rule, vessels issued Atlantic HMS permits
are prohibited from fishing with pelagic longline gear in the NED. The
gear modifications put in place under the rule are in effect beginning 1
August 2001 through 9 January 2002. Under the rule, all vessels issued
permits allowing pelagic longline fishing for HMS species will be
required to modify how their gear is deployed. To view the notice, go to:

http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/sfa/hmspg.html. For more information on the
rule, e-mail: Tyson.Kade at noaa.gov.

DEVELOPMENT TEAM MEETING: The Pacific Fishery Management
Council's (PFMC) Highly Migratory Species Plan Development Team
(HMSPDT) will hold a work session, open to the public, 23-27 July,
beginning at 0800 HRS each day. The session will be held in the large
conference room at NMFS' Southwest Fisheries Science Center, 8604 La
Jolla Shores Drive, Room D-203, La Jolla, California; Tel: (858)
546-7100. For more information, call: Dan Waldeck, Pacific Fishery
Management Council, at (503) 326-6352; or go to the PFMC website at:


AVAILABLE: The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has
announced the World Swordfish Fisheries research study is available from
its Division of International Science & Technology. Topics covered in the
study include fishing areas, catch, fishing companies, vessel construction
and imports, management, bycatch, research, international relations, joint
ventures, trade trends and enforcement. The study includes an executive
summary and five regional volumes, which contain overviews and
individual reports for Africa/Middle East, Asia, Colombia/Ecuador/Peru,
Chile, Venezuela/Guianas, Brazil, Uruguay/Argentina, North America and
Western Europe. The country/continent reports include statistical tables,
photographs, maps and graphics. Copies of the study are available from:
NMFS Fisheries Office of Science & Technology (F/ST3), 1315
East-West Hwy., Silver Spring, Md., 20910. An electronic version is
available at: http://www.st.nmfs.gov/st3/swordfish.html.

POLLOCK, TARGET HERRING INSTEAD: In the past year commercial
fishing for pollock in Alaska has been strictly regulated to protect the
endangered Stellar sea lions. However, a recent study published in the
journal Nature of 28 June reports that the sea lions feed exclusively on

Pacific herring, and that the importance of this prey food was drastically
underestimated in previous studies. The study is of great interest to
Alaska's $700 million pollock industry, which federal regulators have
restricted to protect sea lions. Some scientists theorize that the Stellars
might be losing to competition with fishing boats for food. The abundant,
white-fleshed fish targeted in Alaska's most valuable fishery are used to
produce fast-food fish portions and a versatile protein paste called surimi.
The study, by Gary L. Thomas and Richard E. Thorne of the Prince
William Sound Science Center in Cordova, Alaska, combined sonar
surveys of Pacific herring and walleye pollock with infrared scanning of
foraging sea lions. Scientists are not certain whether competition with
fishing boats or ocean climate shifts are to blame for the steep decline in
Stellars across Western Alaska, including in the Sound. Some suggest
pollock are not as nutritious for sea lions as more oily fish such as herring
and capelin. For more information see www.nature.com.

The WorldCatch News Network reported 12 July that Russia will stop
commercial fishing of Caspian Sea sturgeon as of 20 July, part of an
international effort to save the fish that produce black caviar from
extinction. The move, announced by the deputy head of the State Fisheries
Committee Anatoly Makoyedov, stems from an agreement reached last
month at the Paris meeting of the United Nations affiliated Convention on
International Trade in Endangered Species, or CITES. Azerbaijan and
Kazakstan also have supported a temporary freeze on sturgeon fishing
following a CITES threat to slap a total caviar export ban on the Caspian
countries if they did not act to curb illegal fishing. Turkmenistan has yet
to confirm that it, too, will halt sturgeon fishing. Iran, the fifth Caspian
nation, was not included in the agreement since its management of caviar
exports has been deemed fairly effective. Importers in Europe and the
United States expect caviar prices to increase significantly this fall. Stocks
of the Caspian's beluga sturgeon have dropped by about 90 percent over
the past two decades, due to destruction of spawning sites, pollution and
the end of Soviet-era caviar regulation. Poachers and organized crime
groups have quickly moved in on a trade that was once state-controlled.
For more information see: www.caviaremptor.org.

the U.S. Senate passed legislation by Senators John Kerry (D-MA) and
Barbara Boxer (D-CA) to strengthen protections against offshore drilling.
The legislation was approved by the Senate as part of the Interior
Appropriations bill currently working its way through Congress (see
Sublegals, 4:01/17; 3:25/01). Without the amendment, the appropriations
bill would have weakened the existing moratorium by allowing
pre-drilling activities to occur on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS),
including most of the California coast. The Kerry-Boxer language closes
this loophole and ensures that the existing ban against all drilling and

exploration activities continues.

The Interior Appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2002 will now go to
the Conference Committee for consideration before arriving back in the
House and Senate for a final vote. In May, Senator Barbara Boxer
reintroduced the Coastal States Protection Act, aimed at ensuring the
federal government does not undermine the efforts of states to protect
their coastlines and fisheries from environmental harm posed by offshore
drilling and mineral leasing. For more information, go to:


COMMITTEE: The California Assembly Water, Parks & Wildlife
Committee on 11 July passed SB 1, by State Senator Dede Alpert (D-San
Diego), to allow oil companies to get out from under lease conditions to
remove old oil platforms by simply cutting them off and leaving the debris
on the seabed as "artificial reefs." The measure, which would save the oil
companies million of dollars but expose the state to potential unknown
liability, is supported by Chevron USA and United Anglers of California.
It is opposed by PCFFA, the Environmental Defense Center and most
other commercial fishing and environmental organizations, as well as the
City and County of Santa Barbara. The bill next goes to the Senate
Appropriations Committee.

OF WFF: The French Branch of the World Forum of Fish-Harvesters &
Fishworkers (WFF) has a new address. It is:
branchefrancaise at caramail.com. The French Branch includes
professionals working in the fishery industry and fishermen's wives. The
Branch was established in 2000 before the Loctudy Constituent Assembly.
The President of the French Branch is Daniele Le Sauce, the vice
presidents are André Le Berre and Daniel Lefevre.

4:02/18. NEW TEXT ON FISHERIES POLICY: Island Press has a
new book, From Abundance to Scarcity: A History of U.S. Marine
Fisheries Policy, by Michael Weber. It examines the historical evolution
of U.S. fisheries policy and institutions from the late 19th century to the
present day, with an emphasis on changes since World War II. Based on
archival research and interviews with dozens of players in marine
policymaking, it traces the thinking, legislation, mandates, and people that
have shaped the various agencies governing fisheries in the United States.
Abundance to Scarcity describes the work of federal fisheries programs in
promoting the interests of the fishing industry and also considers the
response of agencies to factors such as dam-building and coastal
development that have led to increased pollution and habitat loss. The
book also examines the shifts in major legislation including the Marine
Mammal Protection Act, the Endangered Species Act, the
Magnuson-Stevens Act, and the Sustainable Fisheries Act. It also
examines the evolving relationship between federal agencies, the fishing
industry, communities, and nongovernmental conservation organizations,
with an eye toward future management practices. To buy the book, go to

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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------- End of forwarded message -------
Dean Staff Kanata On. Canada
dean at staff.ca
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