Sublegals [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Sublegals

12-08-2004, 10:53 AM
If anyone is interested, here is the latest copy of the Sublegals. Subscription (free) information is located at the bottom. (I had to edit some of the articles to reduce size and allow posting here. If anyone wants the whole document, e-mail me and I will forward to you.)


Administration Said To Be Stiff Arming Ocean Policy Reforms. 10:17/01.
Workshop On Economic Effects Of Climate Change On Fisheries. 10:17/03.
ICCAT Bans Shark Finning In Atlantic, Turns Down Quotas. 10:17/06.
COOL Stays On Track. 10:17/10.
Pollution Not Just A Threat To Public, Fish Endangered Too. 10:17/11.

10:17/01. BUSH ADMINISTRATION SAID TO BE STIFF ARMING OCEAN POLICY REFORMS: As it reportedly has been doing behind the scenes on intelligence reform, the Administration of U.S. President George W. Bush is said to be balking at any of the reforms proposed by the two ocean commissions or any meaningful increase in spending for oceans programs. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports, despite “warnings that the nation's ocean territories are facing an ecological crisis, President Bush is unlikely to endorse major reforms in federal oceans management recommended by a landmark commission.” In September, the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy (USCOP) submitted its final report to the President (see Sublegals, 10:08/03; 10:07/01; 9:11/09) and a year earlier, in June 2003, the privately funded Pew Oceans Commission released its report calling for an overhaul in the nation’s ocean policy (see Sublegals, 7:23/01; 7:20/04; 7:06/02). The two commissions -- one public, one private -- conducted hearings around the nation, listening to experts and laypersons alike in a three-year deliberation process that produced two reports with remarkably similar findings and recommendations. Both commissions found the nation’s ocean waters and resources were threatened, and that better coordination of activities was needed at the top levels of government as well as increases in funding for ocean programs (e.g., research, monitoring). Their work was the first thorough review conducted of U.S. ocean policy since the Stratton Commission of the late 1960’s. Prior to the election, the Bush Administration promised it would have its response to USCOP by 20 December.

Instead, the White House appears to be leaning toward "giving us a menu of all the wonderful things they are doing right now and saying they believe they can handle it within the current (government) structure and so forth," retired Navy Admiral James Watkins, former U.S. Secretary of Energy and chair of USCOP, told Scripps-Howard news service. "We would be very upset to see the status quo being delivered publicly as an adequate response.”

The P-I reported, “Bush has said almost nothing publicly about the report, even while he was campaigning for re-election in coastal states most directly affected by overfishing, pollution and general degradation plaguing the oceans…. One of the commission's top recommendations was the creation of a Presidential assistant dedicated exclusively to oceans. The commission said it was critical to have an advocate in the White House for the nation's 4.4 million square miles of ocean territory, an area 20 percent larger than the land area of the United States. U.S. jurisdiction extends 200 miles from coasts…. The commission also recommended the creation of a National Ocean Council within the Office of the President and composed of Cabinet department and federal agency heads to provide high-level attention to ocean issues.”

In the meantime, Energy & Environment Daily reports a group of Republican Representatives is asking U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert to set up a Speaker’s Task Force on Oceans Policy, as “a first step they hope toward a select committee aimed at completing comprehensive oceans policy in the next Congress.” Congressman Curt Weldon (R-PA), a co-chair of the House Oceans Caucus is talking with Hastert about setting up the task force, while Congressman Wayne Gilchrest (R-MD) is lobbying for a Select Committee on Oceans. Gilchrest currently chairs the House Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Fisheries Conservation, Wildlife & Oceans. Weldon said his “short-term goal remains for Hastert to name a task force that could lead to a select committee that would coordinate legislative oversight on oceans policy,” reported E&E. Democratic co-chairs of the Ocean Caucus, Representatives Sam Farr (D-CA) and Tom Allen (D-ME), support Weldon’s efforts. On the Administration front, E&E’s Darren Goode reported Weldon will “ask President Bush to create a White House Task Force on Oceans Policy. Congress and the Bush Administration need to better coordinate on building legislation based on the recommendations of the Bush-appointed U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy and the privately appointed Pew Oceans Commission, Weldon said. He and other Ocean Caucus leaders have introduced two bills -- one that would implement many of the recommendations of the ocean policy commissions by establishing national standards; and a smaller companion bill aimed at setting up a coastal observation and data collection pilot program.”

The 20 November P-I article, “Bush unlikely to back ocean reform-Critics fear they'll get no protections, just status quo,” by Joan Lowry, is at: The Pew Oceans Commission report can be found at:; the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy report is at:

10:17/02. SCHWARZENEGGER URGES BUSH TO IMPLEMENT OCEAN POLICY REFORMS: The Administration of California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is reiterating its request to the Bush White House to support major provisions of the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy and Pew Oceans Commission’s final reports. On 5 November, the State’s Resources Agency and the California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA) submitted a letter to the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) detailing California’s priorities for action. Then, in mid-November, Resources Secretary Michael Chrisman and representatives of the Governor’s Washington D.C. office met with key members of the USCOP, CEQ, and Congressional members to urge action to implement major recommendations of the two commissions’ reports. The Governor has pledged to work with all of these parties in the coming year on national ocean policy reform. The California Ocean Policy Act (COPA) establishes the State’s ocean program. A copy of the CEQ letter and the Governor’s ocean action plan (see Sublegals, 10:12/09) is at: For more information, contact Brian Baird, California Assistant Secretary for Ocean & Coastal Policy at (916) 657-0198, or by e-mail at:

10:17/04. SARDINES COMBATING GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE?: An article, "Sardines to the Rescue," by David Malakoff that appeared in the 17 November issue of Science NOW (requires subscription:, and a subsequent article by Carnelia Dean in the 23 November New York Times, report on a study conducted off the south coast of Africa theorizing that schools of sardines may be clearing phytoplankton from the waters off Namibia, reducing the production of toxic gases and potentially helping to curb global warming.

The study, "Greenhouse gas buildup, sardines, submarine eruptions and the possibility of abrupt degradation of intense marine upwelling ecosystems," written by Andrew Bakun, a University of Miami professor, and Scarla J. Weeks from the University of Cape Town, explores toxicity in the world’s largest sustained upwelling zone near southwestern Africa. It appears in the November issue of the journal Ecology Letters (Vol. 7, No.11, p.1015), at: “The fish are not acting like cattle or termites, whose gassy emissions (to put it politely) add heat-trapping methane to the atmosphere. Sardines improve the situation, the researchers say,” reported the Times. “The scientists say that when sardines are plentiful they gobble up ocean phytoplankton, tiny plants that appear in vast numbers when ocean currents produce upwellings of deep water…. But when sardines are scarce, the phytoplankton survive uneaten, only to sink to the bottom, decompose and produce methane and hydrogen sulfide gas that rise to the surface in giant clouds…. Hydrogen sulfide smells like rotten eggs, can poison fish and strips oxygen from water as it moves to the surface, producing anoxic "dead zones.” That's bad enough, but methane is arguably worse, at least for world climate. Pound for pound methane traps 21 times as much heat as carbon dioxide, the most common greenhouse gas.” To see the Times article, “Sardines may prevent toxic gases linked to global warming,” go to:

10:17/05. SCIENTISTS MAP GENOME OF OCEAN ALGAE THAT EATS GREENHOUSE GASES: The 1 October issue of the journal Science (Vol. 306, No. 5693, pp.79-86) reports that a team of 45 biologists have unraveled the genetic map of the ocean diatom (algae) Thalassiosira Pseudonana and the results are likely “to prove useful to ecologists, geologists and even biomedical researchers.” According to the Science article, “diatoms occupy vast swaths of ocean and fresh water, where they play a key role in the global carbon cycle. Diatom photosynthesis yields 19 billion tons of organic carbon, about 40 percent of the marine carbon produced each year; thus by processing carbon dioxide into solid matter they represent a key defense against global warming.” The article went on to say many “marine organisms feast on diatoms, When conditions are ripe, the algae can multiply at astonishing rates, creating ocean ‘blooms’ that are sometimes toxic. These blooms can suffocate nearby marine life or make a toxin that harms people who eat infected shellfish.” The article can be found at (subscription required).

10:17/06. ICCAT BANS SHARK FINNING IN ATLANTIC, BUT TURNS DOWN QUOTAS. On 21 November, at its meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana, the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) voted to ban shark finning -- the practice of taking the fins of sharks that are caught then discarding the carcass at sea -- in the Atlantic, the Mediterranean and the Gulf of Mexico. The unanimous vote by the 39 member ICCAT, representing 63 countries, followed on action taken in October of this year in Thailand by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) to protect white shark (see Sublegals, 10:11/01). The Commission, however, turned down a proposal for placing shark fisheries under quotas. The United Nations Food & Agricultural Organization (FAO) adopted an International Plan of Action (IPOA) for shark conservation in 1999, but only a few countries have produced the requested National Plans of Action (NPOAs) and there are still no international limits on shark catch. In the U.S. there are limited entry programs, quotas and other regulations governing most of the nation’s shark fisheries, but this is not true internationally. Other actions taken by ICCAT at the New Orleans meeting, include:
* Bluefin Tuna. Countries fishing in the eastern area agreed to adopt a higher minimum size with no tolerance, a significant step for the protection of juvenile bluefin in the Mediterranean -- bringing them closer to conservation steps already taken in the U.S. Japan will host a meeting in April to discuss integrated management of bluefin tuna and bluefin tuna farming.
* Bigeye Tuna. ICCAT adopted a multi-year total allowable catch for bigeye tuna, including allocations for those nations with historically large catches, with payback provisions for past overharvests. The U.S. is a relatively small producer in this fishery, but the fish is important to U.S. recreational and commercial fishermen.
* Marlin. Conservation measures that are part of Phase I of the rebuilding plan for white marlin and blue marlin were extended through 2006. This extension was important to the U.S. since it will allow the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to complete Congressionally funded research on marlin and have the results available for the next stock assessments in 2006.
* VMS. ICCAT members agreed to implement a requirement to have vessel monitoring systems (VMS) onboard large-scale longline vessels by 1 November 2005. This requirement has already been implemented in the U.S.
* Non-Compliance. In light of compliance problems with vessels from Taiwan, including insufficient monitoring and control, ICCAT took the first step toward implementing trade sanctions against Taiwan. A similar step was taken toward Singapore, which in spite of being the world’s largest importer and re-exporter of swordfish, has refused to adopt ICCAT’s swordfish trade tracking scheme. Taiwan and Singapore must take corrective action before next year’s ICCAT meeting if they wish to avoid further steps toward punitive action by the Commission.

10:17/07. EUROPE TO ALLOW LARGER CATCH OF DEEPWATER, SLOW REPRODUCING FISH STOCKS: At a meeting of European Union fishery ministers on 23 November, an agreement was reached to allow new member states of the EU “to catch deepwater fish, exotic but threatened species that are fast becoming an alternative to mainstays like cod and hake,” according to a Reuters’ report. “Europe's deepwater fish -- bearing names like orange roughy, black scabbardfish, greater silver smelt and roundnose grenadier -- grow and reproduce far more slowly than fish living in shallower waters, and are more vulnerable to overfishing,” said Reuters. “With the depletion of E.U. commercial stocks such as cod and hake in recent years, deepwater fish have become an attractive catch as trawlers switch from traditional fishing grounds.” Under the terms of the new system, Poland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, which joined the E.U. in May, will have full rights to fish for three deepwater species in Europe’s north Atlantic waters - black scabbardfish, roundnose grenadier and blue ling. To view the Reuters’ report, go to:

10:17/11. POLLUTION NOT JUST A THREAT TO PUBLIC, FISH ENDANGERED TOO: The contamination of the world’s seafood supply from toxins in the environment -- some natural, most a result of human activity -- is not just a problem for consumers, it’s an even bigger problem for fish. It turns out pollution may be killing fish, making them sick or even changing their sex. An Associated Press article from 4 October reported scientists in Denver, Colorado have discovered fish near a wastewater treatment plant with both male and female sex tissue. “Scientists haven't pinpointed which chemicals might be causing the deformities, but endocrine disrupters that mimic or disrupt hormones, especially estrogen, are a leading suspect,” said the AP article. “Such chemicals are believed to come from excreted birth-control hormones, natural female hormones and commonly used detergents that are flushed down toilets and drains.” For more, see:

The California State Senate Office of Research (SOR) looked at hormones that are being ingested by humans and getting into the water supply where they can affect fish. “A number of studies indicate that growth hormones may act as reproductive toxins and may cause cancers. These studies are challenged by the USDA [U.S. Department of Agriculture], but are supported by a number of other nations. There is more compelling evidence that use of recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone, which is used to extend the milk production cycle of dairy cattle, is carcinogenic. The recombinant growth hormone stimulates production of another hormone called Insulin-Like Growth Factor 1 (IGF-1), a naturally occurring hormone-protein in both cattle and humans. Elevated levels of IGF-1 in humans have been associated with breast and colon cancer. Separate studies found that men with elevated levels of IGF-1 are four times more likely to develop full-blown prostate cancer than are men with normal levels,” said the SOR report.” BGH is also entering waterways from the urine of dairy cows, affecting fish.

An additional worry, of course, is whether environmental regulators will work to prevent sources of water pollution. The Duluth News-Tribune reported on 27 October that Syngenta Crop Protection, the manufacturer of Atrazine, a herbicide connected by studies to fish deformities and increased risk of prostate cancer in humans, spent $260,000 lobbying the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other government agencies on behalf of the chemical. Syngenta also enlisted the lobbying talents of Viagra emissary and former U.S. Senator Bob Dole, who met at least once with White House Deputy Chief of Staff Joe Hagin to discuss the issue. After reports began emerging about atrazine's ill effects, biologist Tyrone Hayes testified to Congress that low levels of atrazine "chemically castrate and feminize" male frogs, fish, and other wildlife, and other tests indicate that men who work around the chemical are at increased risk of prostate cancer. Syngenta also hired a PR firm to lobby the White House, the Justice Department, and Congress on its behalf, and on 31 October 2003 EPA approved the chemical. To see the 27 October Duluth News-Tribune article, “Company spent $260,000 lobbying for herbicide,” go to: The SOR report is at:

YOUR NEWS, COMMENTS, CORRECTIONS: Submit your news items, comments or any corrections to Editor at:, or call the IFR/PCFFA office with the news and a source at either: (415) 561-FISH (Southwest Office) or (541) 689-2000 (Northwest Office). Sublegals is a weekly fisheries news bulletin service of Fishlink. To find out more about Fishlink, list information can be viewed and you can subscribe automatically at: If you have any trouble subscribing or unsubscribing, contact IFR/PCFFA directly at: "Fishlink" and “Sublegals” are registered trademarks of the Institute for Fisheries Resources. All rights to the use of these trademarks are reserved to IFR. This publication, however, may be freely reproduced and circulated without copyright restriction. If you are receiving this as a subscriber, please feel free to pass this on to your colleagues. Subscribers who wish to post or circulate hard copy of Sublegals or have no access to the Internet may receive fax subscriptions by faxing their request, with their fax number to: (415) 561-5464.

12-09-2004, 01:29 PM
Thanks Sinktip they respond and now I too can get the left leaning science based assesment of the fisheries respources and enviroment. :lildevl:

Brian Simonseth
12-09-2004, 01:46 PM

Thanks for the site!