[acn-l] ~~>FISHLINK SUBLEGALS 5/19/00<~~ (fwd)

PETER.UNMACK at asu.edu
Sat, 20 May 2000 16:18:12 -0700 (MST)

From: FISH1IFR at aol.com
Date: Sat, 20 May 2000 18:37:13 EDT
Subject: ~~>FISHLINK SUBLEGALS 5/19/00<~~
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

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~~>FISHLINK SUBLEGALS 5/19/00<~~
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A WEEKLY QUOTA OF FISHERY SHORTS CAUGHT AND
LANDED BY THE INSTITUTE FOR FISHERIES RESOURCES
AND THE PACIFIC COAST FEDERATION OF FISHERMEN'S
ASSOCIATIONS

VOL 1, NO. 20 19 May 2000
<<>><<>><<>><<>><<>><<>><<>><<>><<>><<>><<>><<>>><<

GENETICALLY ENGINEERED SALMON COULD BE LOOSE IN
THE WILD IN TWO YEARS UNLESS ACTION TAKEN, CALIFORNIA
LEGISLATIVE PANEL WARNED: On Monday, 15 May, a California
Legislative panel was told that genetically engineered (transgenic) salmon
could be loose in the wild - in the North Pacific and other waters of the
world - within two years unless action is taken quickly to begin regulating
the use of GMO (genetically modified organism) salmon in private fish
farm (aquaculture) operations. The warning came from the Pacific Coast
Federation of Fishermen's Associations' (PCFFA) Executive Director Zeke
Grader testifying before a joint informational hearing of the Senate
Natural Resources & Wildlife Committee and the Senate Select
Committee on Higher Education. The Monday hearing was split into two
sessions: the first dealt with the scandal surrounding the Novartis
agreement with the University of California's College of Natural
Resources that came to light in a March 2000 article in The Atlantic
Monthly, "The Kept University"; the second focused on the danger to the
environment from genetic engineering.

Grader, invited to testify on fishery impacts, based his conclusions on
recent statements from Aqua Bounty Farms, a U.S.-owned and
Canadian-based (Prince Edward Island) firm, that sales of the company's
genetically altered Atlantic salmon broodstock, that grow much faster
than natural Atlantics, could begin this summer (e.g., see the New York
Times article, "Altered Salmon Lead the Way to the Dinner Plate, But
Rules Lag," at: http://www.nytimes.com/library/national/
science/050100sci-gm-animal.html ). Given the fact that many salmon
growers have already approached Aqua Bounty regarding the availability
of its GMO broodstock and the fact that farmed salmon regularly escape
their net pens and are now found in the wild (see Subegals, 12 May 2000),
Grader said transgenic salmon could be loose as early as 2002, unless
swift action is taken by governments to regulate GMO salmon. "More
than anywhere else in fisheries, this is where the precautionary approach
must be used," he told the hearing.

GMO salmon in the wild could interbreed with natural stocks, would
compete for forage, could spread disease and could disrupt native fish
spawning and rearing activities. Once in the wild it would also be
impossible to assure concerned consumers they were getting a
"GMO-Free" product when buying salmon in the marketplace. Grader
called for state laws requiring labeling of all GMO products and for the
state to pressure the U.S. and Canadian governments to push for tough
regulation of transgenic fish products. He suggested that transgenic
aquaculture facilities be restricted to onshore tank farms where there
would be no chance of the fish getting loose into the wild. For more
information on GMO salmon and other genetically engineered fish, e-mail
Transgenic Fish & Marine Life at: transgenicfish at iatp.org.

SALMON FARMS ACCUSED OF USING ILLEGAL TOXIC
CHEMICALS IN THEIR AQUACULTURE OPERATIONS: A 30 April
edition of The Observer, reports that some of the UK.'s most prestigious
salmon farms are being accused by a former employee of using illegal
toxic chemicals that destroy the marine environment and endanger human
health. According to the article, "Chemical Treatment at Salmon Farms
is Hazard to Health and Marine Life," by Antony Barnett, "despite
promotional literature on supermarket shelves showing leaping salmon in
idyllic Scottish lochs, critics say the reality of Scottish salmon is
thousands of fish stuffed into small pens, fed artificial colouring to make
their flesh pink and dosed with chemicals to stop rampant disease....
Although there has been anecdotal evidence of illegal chemicals, until
now no one involved in the industry has spoken out - because of fears of a
backlash from the local community." For more information e-mail:
fishfarmrev at onenw.org or e-mail the author of the article, Antony
Barnett of The Observer, at: Antony.Barnett at observer.co.uk.

GROUNDFISH DISASTER RELIEF AND RESEARCH MEETINGS:
Two series of meetings will be held on groundfish along the California
coast this coming week. The first, involves two meetings to discuss
federal groundfish disaster relief - specifically the development of a
three-state plan to propose to Congress. The meetings, sponsored by the
Institute for Fisheries Resources (IFR) will feature Onno Husing of the
Oregon Coastal Zone Management Association, who has been working to
develop a relief program in his state, to answer questions and provide
information about the groundfish disaster options. The topics will
include: community assistance, research, and fleet restructuring. The
meetings will be held on Thursday, 25 May, beginning at 1000 HRS, at
the Woodley Island Marina Conference Room in Eureka; and Friday, 26
May, beginning at 1130 HRS, at the Moss Landing Chamber of
Commerce in Moss Landing. The meetings are open to all groundfish
fishermen (trawl, hook-and-line, trap and gillnet), state and federal fishery
agency representatives, port and harbor officials, and marine conservation
organizations. For more information, contact IFR's Molly Thomas at:
ifrfish at aol.com.

The second series of meetings is being hosted by the National Marine
Fisheries Service (NMFS) to present the federal fishery agency's
"Comprehensive Research Plan" for the groundfish fishery. The
meetings are scheduled for Monday, 22 May, beginning at 1400 HRS, at
the Woodley Island Marina Conference Room in Eureka; Tuesday, 23
May, beginning at 1400 HRS, at the Moss Landing Harbormaster
Office Meeting Room in Moss Landing; and Wednesday, 24 May,
beginning at 1400 HRS, at the Sheraton Los Angeles, Harbor Hotel. For
more information, visit the Pacific Fishery Management Council website
at: http://www.pcouncil.org.

LAWSUIT ACTION FILED TO STOP UNAUTHORIZED USE OF
COLUMBIA AND SNAKE RIVER WATER: A motion was filed in
Federal District Court in Portland by PCFFA, IFR and other fishery and
conservation groups seeking to stop illegal irrigation from federal water
projects in the Columbia and Snake River basins. The groups have asked
the Court to order the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to immediately stop
delivering irrigation water from federal water projects to unauthorized
users, a practice known as "water spreading." This practice removes
water from rivers and tributaries in the basin already suffering from flows
that are inadequate for salmon and steelhead listed under the Endangered
Species Act (ESA). Federal agencies identified putting an end to water
spreading as a top priority for saving endangered salmon years ago, but
the practice continues. According to the Bureau of Reclamation's own
estimates, water spreading from just a handful of Columbia basin projects
removes almost 300,000 acre-feet annually from the river system, at a cost
of tens of million of dollars to the federal treasury. In the Snake River
basin, where flow augmentation to push migrating salmon past the four
lower Snake River dams remains highly controversial, an estimated
85,000 acre-feet was delivered to illegal users from just six of the eleven
Snake River projects.

In addition to PCFFA and IFR, plaintiffs include Trout Unlimited,
Northwest Environmental Defense Center, Oregon Natural Resources
Council and the Sierra Club. They are represented by Earthjustice Legal
Defense Fund in Seattle and the Pacific Environmental Advocacy Center
in Portland. The case, Trout Unlimite, et. al. v. Bureau of Reclamation,
has been assigned to Federal District Judge Malcom Marsh. For more
information, contact Earthjustice Legal Defense Fund at (206) 343-7340.

OFFSHORE OIL AND FISHERIES CONFERENCE: The U.S.
Department of Interior's Minerals Management Service (MMS),
responsible for offshore leasing of federal lands for oil and gas
development, will sponsor a conference on oil and gas impacts on
fisheries and fish resources. The conference "Gulf of
Mexico Fish and Fisheries: Bringing Together New and Recent Research"
will be held 24-26 October in New Orleans. Given the notice by MMS for
the meeting ("Now numbering in the neighborhood of 4,000 structures,
petroleum platforms play a role as artificial reefs and also directly impact
fisheries through enhancement of productivity, as attraction devices, and
as a mechanism allowing dispersal of species across the Gulf"), the
research and findings are expected to be pro-oil development and pro-oil
industry as has been MMS' record in the past. West coast fishing and
conservation groups, as well as the less-represented small family fishing
groups of the Gulf, may be interested in attending to "ground truth" the
meeting. For more information, visit: http://www.beak.com/info/
features/features.htm.

FISHERMEN'S MARCH CRUSHED IN CHILE: On Thursday, 18
May, a peaceful march by an estimated 1,000 artesenal fishermen in the
south of Chile was violently crushed by government police. This latest
incident follows a pattern of police brutality in that county toward the
small-boat independent fishermen who have protested government
promotion of multi-national fishing and aquaculture operations at the
expense of the nation's traditional fisheries. For more information contact
ECOCEANOS NEWS by visiting their website at:
http://www.geocities.com/ecoceanos.

REMOVE THE DAMS RALLY SLATED FOR 24 MAY: A rally is
planned for Wednesday, 24 May, in Seattle, calling for the removal of the
four lower Snake River dams that fishery scientists say are killing
salmon and preventing the recovery of endangered runs of chinook and
sockeye in that basin. The rally is in response to the Clinton
Administration's delay in making a decision on the fate of the dams. The
National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is due to release its draft
biological opinion (BO) on Monday, 22 May, on the removal of the dams.
Reportedly it will recommend the dams remain standing for another five
to ten years, despite the recommendations of scientists, and after that
time may recommend their removal if the recovery of the endangered runs
is deemed insufficient. For more information, contact Save Our Wild
Salmon by visiting their website at: http://www.removedams.org.

NOAA RECORDS HIGHEST JANUARY-MARCH
TEMPERATURES ON RECORD: The United States experienced its
warmest January-March period in106 years -- as far back as National
Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) records go -- the agency
said in April. The average U.S. temperature from January to March was
41.7 degrees Fahrenheit, one degree warmer than the previous record for
the same period, set in 1990, NOAA records show. Warmer than normal
temperatures during the first half of March brought the overall average up,
said NOAA. For more details: http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/
stories/s432.htm.

NOAA's temperature analysis comes on the heels of an early draft
report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), that
says global warming is unlikely to be "solely natural in origin." The
IPCC, an international group of hundreds of scientists sponsored by the
United Nations and the World Meteorological Organization, releases a
climate change assessment roughly every five years. The latest draft report
has been released for government and expert comment only. The
Washington Post reported on 18 April that IPCC's preliminary report says
human beings have "discernably" influenced Earth's climate and that
global surface temperatures are likely to increase between two and nine
degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the 21st century. For more information
on the IPCC, see: http://www.ipcc.ch.

CALIFORNIA FISH & GAME BLASTS KLAMATH PROJECT
WATER FLOWS: In a strongly worded letter written 14 April by the
California Department of Fish & Game (DFG) to the Klamath Basin Area
Office of the US Bureau of Reclamation (USBR), California authorities
blasted planned water releases set forth in the Bureau's current 2000
Operations Plan for the upper basin's Klamath Irrigation Project. Water
quality and fisheries downstream both depend on the amount of water
released by the Bureau from the Project through Iron Gate Dam, which is
just across the border from Oregon.

Among other things the DFG letter states: "The DFG believes the draft
Plan does not meet the USBR's stated mandates and obligations and
appears to sacrifice significant anadromous fisheries resources in the
Klamath River below Iron Gate Dam in favor of making nearly full
deliveries to agricultural interests in the upper Klamath Basin. We are
particularly concerned that the proposed Klamath flows at Iron Gate Dam
will not sustain anadromous fish species in good condition.... This serious
impact will occur to significant numbers of naturally produced coho,
chinook and steelhead in the Klamath River Basin. Further, the flow
regime that the Plan would set up for the Klamath River will seriously
jeopardize a portion of the annual production of coho, chinook and
steelhead from Iron Gate Hatchery.... The proposed flows do not appear
to be based on sound science and appear to ignore the significant work on
instream flow needs for anadromous fish done so far in the Klamath
Basin.... The Proposed Plan will also have serious consequences for
ongoing State and Federal restoration efforts occurring in the Klamath
River Basin.... We believe the draft Plan is a step backward that negates
much of the good effort that is presently being made by Federal, State,
tribal and local governments to restore California's anadromous fish
populations." The Final 2000 Operations Plan, now adopted by the
Bureau and being implemented, had only minor changes from the draft
referred to in the DFG letter. Rainfall to date in the Klamath Basin has
been below average while agricultural water deliveries have remained at
full capacity.

This follows the filing of a 60-Day Notice to Sue by PCFFA, IFR, the
Karuk Tribe of California and several conservation groups (Sublegals, 21
April 2000), claiming that the Bureau's current Operations Plan is illegal
for many of the reasons stated in the DFG letter. The notice states that
Bureau is now proceeding with water deliveries without having formally
consulted with the National Marine Fisheries Service as required under
the ESA, without a valid Biological Opinion from NMFS and without an
Environmental Assessment (EA) as required by law. Among other
applicable case law, the 60-Day Notice cited Klamath Water Users Assn.
v. Patterson, 204 F.3d 1206 (9th Cir. 1999) decided last September, in
which the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals clearly stated that irrigators'
rights in the Upper Klamath Basin are subservient to both senior tribal
water rights and the requirements of the Endangered Species Act. PCFFA
and IFR were both Intervenors in that case. Coho are already ESA listed in
the basin, and NMFS has proposed a similar listing for Klamath Basin
steelhead.

SEA GRANT AND USFWS FUNDS AVAILABLE FOR PROJECTS
TO CONTROL AQUATIC INVASIVE SPECIES: The National Sea Grant
Program and the US Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) have announced
the availability of approximately $1 million in grants for proposals to
participate in research, outreach, and demonstration projects that address
the problems of aquatic invasive species in U.S. waters. Invasives include
such animals as zebra mussels, Asian clams and mitten crabs, as well as
numerous aquatic plant species. Proposals for funding must be received
by 19 June. For more information, contact the National Sea Grant office
at (301) 713-2435 or USFWS at (703) 358-1718.

WORKSHOP ON SCIENCE OF CONSERVATION HATCHERIES
AND SUPPLEMENTATION STRATEGIES FOR RECOVERY OF
WILD STOCKS OF SALMONIDS: On 19-21 June, the Independent
Multidisciplinary Science Team (IMST), created by statute as a scientific
watchdog for the Oregon Plan for Salmon and Watersheds is hosting a
workshop in Portland for scientists to identify and clarify the scientific
basis on which conservation hatcheries and supplementation strategies can
help accomplish the mission of salmon restoration. The IMST will
publish a report of the workshop, and plans to use it in developing
recommendations for the management of hatchery programs and the use
of supplementation in Oregon. The IMST will conduct the workshop and
active participation is limited to invited participants. For more
information, and for other IMST activities and reports, see:
http://www.fsl.orst.edu/imst.

PFMC HIGHLY MIGRATORY SPECIES WORK SESSION: The
Pacific Fishery Management Council's (PFMC) Highly Migratory Species
Plan Development Team will hold a public work session 5-7 June at the
Port of Astoria, 1 Port Way Street in Astoria. Among other issues being
discussed in the development of a plan for highly migratory species are
proposals for limited entry into the albacore fishery, including control
dates and qualification criteria. For more information visit the PFMC
website at: http://www.pcouncil.org.

NMFS PROPOSES ELIMINATING SET NET FISHERY FOR
GROUNDFISH AT HUNTINGTON FLATS AND OTHER AREAS
ALONG THE CALIFORNIA COAST: The National Marine Fisheries
Service (NMFS) is proposing a ban on the use of set nets for the take of
Pacific groundfish along the California coast. This includes the area in
federal waters known as Huntington Flats which supports a small-boat,
family fishery in San Pedro. NMFS claims the action, published in the 19
May Federal Register (pp. 31880-31885), is intended to bring the federal
regulations into compliance with California's Proposition 132. The
Pacific groundfish fishery has been declared a disaster, in part due to
overfishing. What is perplexing about NMFS' proposal to eliminate the
set net fishery is that the set net fishery harvests a fraction of the
groundfish taken by the trawl fishery and has never been associated with
either overfishing or bycatch problems that have plagued the larger trawl
fleet. NMFS, however, proposes eliminating the set net fishery instead of
placing further controls on the trawl fishery. Comments on the proposed
rule must be submitted to NMFS Southwest Region by 19 June. For more
information, contact Svein Fougner at (562) 980-4040.

GROUNDFISH STAR PANEL TO MEET IN SANTA ROSA: The
Pacific Fishery Management Council's Groundfish Stock Assessment
Review (STAR) Panel will meet 5-9 June in Room 215 of the Federal
Building in Santa Rosa in a work session reviewing lingcod and widow
rockfish. For more information, visit the PFMC website at:
http://www.pcouncil.org.

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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