[acn-l] ~~>FISHLINK SUBLEGALS 7/20/01<~~

Dean Staff (dean at staff.ca)
Sat, 28 Jul 2001 00:07:39 -0400


VOL 4, NO. 3 20 JULY 2001


Farr Introduces New Bill For Magnuson Reauthorization. See 4:03/01.
Columbia River Salmon Recovery Planning Bill Introduced. See 4:03/02.
Council Holds Groundfish Conference Call, Meetings. See 4:03/04.
Washington State Water Measuring Rules. See 4:03/07.
Invasive Jellyfish Utilize Oil Rig Reefs. See 4:03/10


REAUTHORIZATION: On 19 July, Representative Sam Farr (D-CA)
introduced the "Fisheries Recovery Act of 2001" (H.R. 2570) to
reauthorize and improve the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation &
Management Act of 1996. In 2000, Representative Gilchrest had
introduced similar legislation but the Farr bill is an improvement on earlier
efforts and remedies several flaws in the earlier bill that were of serious
concern to commercial fishermen. The Farr bill would close loopholes in
the current law, favor stronger protections for fish habitat, and help
reduce bycatch. The Fisheries Recovery Act of 2001 would also change
fish management laws and policies to: reform the regional Fishery
Management Councils; better conserve Atlantic Highly Migratory Species;
establish a mandatory observer program; establish cooperative research
programs between fishermen and scientists; help eliminate overfishing;
help rebuild overfished populations; and fund the development and
introduction of less damaging fishing gear and practices.

The bill has a number of provisions that would help commercial
fishermen, including more realistic language on bycatch reduction which
would establishes an intent to reduce bycatch, as opposed to zero
tolerance language in prior bills which would have been an impossible
standard to meet. The Farr bill, if passed, would for the first time also
makes it federal policy to promote fishermen's active involvement in
fishery research. The bill would also change the Saltonstall-Kennedy Act
(authored by Massachusetts Republican Leverett Saltonstall and Democrat
John Kennedy in 1954 to help fishermen by setting aside funds for fishery
development) and direct some of that money to help fishermen develop
more selective and less habitat destructive gear. Barbara Stickel, a
California hook-and-line fisherman, explained to a recent Congressional
committee how fishing communities are being hurt by the present system:
"Fishermen and their families are suffering, unable to exist on the meager
quotas now allowed, following years of government mismanagement. We
can't do our jobs unless fish managers do theirs. The future of fishing and
fishing communities is on the line." A copy of H.R. 2570 can also be
obtained from: http://thomas.loc.gov

In support of Farr's legislation, the Marine Fish Conservation Network
released a new analysis showing 31 U.S.-managed commercially fished
species to now be at risk of extinction. The significance of this revelation
is amplified by the recent Commerce Department finding that nearly half
of all U.S.-managed and assessed fish stocks are overfished, experiencing
overfishing, or both. The dusky shark, barndoor skate, bocaccio,
shortspine thornyhead and Warsaw grouper are among the species at risk
of becoming extinct in US coastal waters. Several runs of five species of
salmon plus steelhead already are listed under the federal Endangered
Species Act (ESA) and receive federal protection by the National Marine
Fisheries Service (NMFS), though many of the problems for these species
are habitat related. Seven others, such as the bocaccio, are being reviewed
by NMFS under the ESA as potentially listable as either endangered or
threatened. The main reasons cited for the dwindling populations are
overfishing, low population growth and habitat destruction from industrial
pollution and sewage. The Conservation Network's list of 31 near-extinct
U.S. species is culled from the American Fisheries Society's list of 82
species or populations of marine fish stocks and species that it considers
vulnerable, threatened, or endangered in North American waters. A
summary of the report and complete text of the Farr bill and related
documents are at: www.conservefish.org.

BILL INTRODUCED: On July 19, US Congressional Representatives
McDermott (D-WA) and Petri (R-WI) introduced the bi-partisan Salmon
Planning Act (H.R. 2573) to ensure proper planning to recover the Pacific
Northwest's endangered Columbia and Snake River salmon runs. The bill
would also begin a much needed scientific peer review of the National
Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Biological Opinion that is the basis of
the current Columbia River Salmon Recovery Plan, and authorize a full
feasibility study of various options, including dam removal, as well as a
study of ways to mitigate any adverse economic effects of dam removal
should it become necessary. The Bush Administration, while theoretically
committed to the current recovery plan, has thus far not included funding
in its Budget for any of the studies nor most of the preliminary steps
necessary to implement that plan. The bill also contains a mechanism for
authorizing partial dam removal of the four lower Snake River dams under
certain conditions if the current recovery plan fails, and with joint findings
to that effect by the Secretaries of Commerce and Interior as well as the
Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. The bill currently
has over 31 co-sponsors and has been assigned to the House Resources
Committee and the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee for
later hearings. For more information on the bill and to obtain a copy go
to: http://thomas.loc.gov.

POWER: On 16-17 August a conference titled "Water & Power" will be
held in Seattle, Washington dealing with issues and challenges of
simultaneously meeting US Northwest power needs and protecting
in-river salmon. The issue is an explosive one, particularly during the
current drought. Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), the federal
agency managing the Columbia River federal power dams, has been
severely criticized for sacrificing salmon protections on several occasions
in the name of power production and financial expediency, and several
lawsuits on the issue are pending (See Sublegals 4:01/02; 3:24/02;
3:18/01; 3:15/10; 3:14/04). For more information or to register contact:
Law Seminars International, 800 Fifth Ave., Suite 101, Seattle, WA
98104, (800)854-8009 or registrar at lawseminars.com or go to their web
site at: www.lawseminars.com.

MEETINGS: The subcommittee of the Pacific Fishery Management
Council's Ad Hoc Groundfish Strategic Plan Implementation Oversight
Committee (SPOC) will hold a business telephone conference, which is
open to the public. The telephone conference will be held Tuesday 31 July
2001, from 1400 TO 1600 hrs Four listening stations will be available at
the following locations:

1. National Marine Fisheries Service, Northwest Region Director's
Conference Room 7600 Sand Point Way NE, Building 1 Seattle, WA
98115. Contact: Mr. Bill Robinson, (206) 526-6267.

2. Pacific Fishery Management Council 7700 NE Ambassador Place, Suite
200 Portland, OR 97220-1384. Contact: Mr. John DeVore, (503)

3. California Department of Fish and Game Conference Room, Room
1320 1416 Ninth Street Sacramento, CA 95814. Contact: Mr. LB
Boydstun, (916) 653-6281.

4. Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Natural Resource
Building, Room 677 1111 Washington Street SE Olympia, WA 98501.
Contact: (360) 902-2819.

The Subcommittee will also hold a working meeting to further discuss
full retention measures for groundfish in West Coast groundfish fisheries.
Additionally, the Council's Groundfish Management Team (GMT) will
hold a working meeting. Both meetings are open to the public. The
SPOC subcommittee meeting will convene Monday, 6 August 2001, from
1000 HRS until 1300 HRS. The GMT working meeting will begin
Monday, August 6, 2001 at 1300 HRS and may go into the evening until
business for the day is completed. The GMT meeting will reconvene from
0800 HRS to 1700 HRS, Tuesday, 7 August through Friday, 10 August.
Both meetings will be held at the Pacific Fishery Management Council
office, Conference Room, 7700 NE Ambassador Place, Suite 200,
Portland, OR 97220. For further information contact: John DeVore, Staff
Officer, Groundfish, (503)326-6352. Notice was posted at pages
37167-37193 in the 17 July 2001 Federal Register.

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT: A group of farmers from the Klamath Basin
has proposed selling farmland to the federal government in response to the
drought that has left them without a source of water for irrigation. The
group of farmer/landowners are working to find enduring solutions that
will benefit everyone dependant on the limited natural water resources of
the Klamath River system, which have been badly over-appropriated. The
plan calls for 22,000 acres in two wildlife refuges currently commercially
farmed under leases to be withdrawn from agriculture and a similar
amount of land to be sold elsewhere to reduce overall water demand and
increase wetland water storage. Over-commitment of limited water by the
Bureau of Reclamation has seriously jeopardized downriver salmon
fisheries as well as other wildlife, and also the whole national wildlife
refuges system in the Upper Klamath Basin (see Sublegals 4:02/01;
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). For more information see: http://www.basinsolutions.org.

2001, National Marine Fisheries Service announced a comprehensive,
public-private partnership with Restore America's Estuaries (RAE), a
grassroots coalition of coastal community-based organizations dedicated
to restoring and protecting America's estuary habitats. The partnership
with RAE is the largest single-year award made under the
Community-Based Restoration Program by the National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Restoration Center. The three-year
partnership agreement starts with a commitment this year of $ 3.4 million
from NOAA and RAE member organizations with similar levels of
funding expected over the next two years. The Bush Administration and
the U.S. Dept. of Commerce have requested an additional $2 million in
funding to expand community-based restoration projects, bringing the
total for FY 2002 to $10 million. The new partnership will focus on
restoring the nation's most productive marine ecosystems - its estuaries.
Estuaries are the bays and sounds where rivers meet salt water, creating
the ideal living environment for countless fish, shellfish, birds, and other
wildlife. For more information on the NOAA Restoration Center, go to:

December 2000 court ruling in a suit brought by the Center for
Environmental Law and Policy (CELP) in which both IFR and PCFFA
were co-plaintiffs, the Washington State Department of Ecology is
preparing a set of rules to implement a long- standing but never
implemented statute requiring water meters to measure actual water
diversion usage from fish-bearing streams around the state. At present
the State of Washington has no way to determine how much water is
actually being taken from fish-bearing streams nor whether illegal
diversions are occurring. Formal rule-making will begin in September of
this year, but the Department of Ecology is soliciting comments on its
work plan, implementation strategy and preliminary draft rules. Their
proposed implementation priority is to require water measurement by the
biggest water users in each of the 16 watersheds where fish stocks have
already been classified as critical or depressed by the Washington State
Department of Fish & Wildlife. An initial draft of the rules is available on
their web site for informal review, with the formal comment period
scheduled 15 August to 15 September. For more documents, or more on
the policy and rule-making schedule contact Jeff Marti at (360)407-6636
or go to the Department's web site at:

The Living Ocean Society of British Columbia has announced an MPA
training conference to be held 19-21 October, 2001 in White Rock, British
Columbia, geared to those actively working to develop marine protected
areas (MPAs). The conference, "MPA Power Tools: Building the
Movement from the Grassroots Up," is intended to include all
stakeholders currently involved in the process of designing and
implementing marine protected areas (MPAs). Commercial fishermen in
particular might find this conference interesting. Marine protected areas
are controversial within the fishing industry, with many fearing that the
concept is a pretext for the elimination of traditional commercial fisheries,
while others believe they can be a useful management tool to protect key
nursery and habitat areas to the benefit of fishermen. For PCFFA's
position on MPAs see: http://www.pcffa.org/mpa3.htm. For more
information on the conference or to register, see: www.livingoceans.org
or call (250)973-6580.

AVAILABLE: A draft review of California's salmon and steelhead
hatcheries operated by the California Department of Fish and Game is
available for public review and comment prior to its submission to the
CDFG Director, Bob Hight, and National Marine Fisheries Service
(NMFS) Southwest Regional Director, Rebecca Lent. The review is
written jointly by the two agencies and discusses salmon and steelhead
hatchery policies and practices in light of the listing of many of the state's
salmonid species. A copy of the paper is available at
http://swr.nmfs.noaa.gov/jhr.htm. Comments are due by 17 August and
should be sent to Chuck Knutson, State Hatchery Coordinator, CDFG,
Lands and Facilities Branch, 1416 Ninth Street, Sacramento, CA 95814.

July issue of Science magazine reported that in several bodies of water of
significant importance to commercial fisheries there have been blooms of
jellyfish, posing problems for both the ecosystems and fishermen. In the
Bering Sea, the jellyfish population of one species has experienced a
10-fold increase over the last 10 years. Biologists from the National
Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) believe that long-term climate change
could be the reason behind the increase. Jellyfish pose a double threat in
the Bering Sea to fish like pollock. First, they compete for food resources
with the finfish and secondly the jellyfish prey upon them directly.
Additionally, large numbers of jellyfish in their nets have forced some
fishermen away from previously productive areas. The Northern Gulf of
Mexico and Black and Caspian seas have also recently been the new home
for several invasive species of jellyfish. Scientists believe that jellyfish
the legs of offshore oil-drilling platforms to attach during their polyp life
stage. This behavior might be encouraged by the recent California
"rigs-to-reef" legislation (SB 1) proposed to utilize former oil rigs as
artificial offshore reefs (see Sublegals 3:09/14). The bill, introduced by
Senator Dede Alpert, has successfully passed through the Senate and on
Tuesday 10 July, the Assembly Water, Parks, & Wildlife Committee also
passed the bill. It now awaits a vote in the Committee on Appropriations
and a final vote on the Assembly floor. For more information on SB 1 go
to www.senate.ca.gov.

CALENDAR: The Cape Cod Fishermen 2002 Calendar is produced by
the Nereid Network, a Cape Cod Women's Marine Alliance, not the Cape
Cod Commercial Hook Fishermen's Association. The Nereid Network is a
small volunteer women's non-profit organization dedicated to creating
bridges between different segments of the fishing industry, research,
management and the community at large. The purpose of the calendar is
to raise awareness and visibility of the fishing community, and to help fund
scholarships for fishermen's children, as well as create a directory of
resources for fishermen using Cape Cod ports. The best way to obtain a
copy of the calendar, which features elegant black and white photographs
of real fishermen relaxing in their natural environment, is to go directly to
the Nereid's website: www.nereidnetwork.org.

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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