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  • 10.08.01: Canada faces probe of its Pacific salmon rules
  • 20.07.01: Conference on Columbia river water and power
  • 19.07.01: USA : Bipartisan Bill To Save Endangered Snake River Salmon
  • 27.06.01: Actes du colloque International des Poissons Migrateurs
  • 20.06.01: House OKs bill for Pacific salmon
  • 15.06.01: Columbia river wild salmon losses mount
  • 15.06.01: USA: New tagging technique used at Bonneville
  • 08.06.01: NASCO warned genetically modified farm fish will endanger Atlantic Salmon
  • 07.06.01: BPA spills water at two more NW dams to aid salmon
  • 03.06.01: North Atlantic wild salmon on brink of extinction - WWF
  • 01.05.01: Bush Budget Would Mean Salmon Extinction

10.08.01: Canada faces probe of its Pacific salmon rules

VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Environmental groups claimed victory yesterday in their bid to use international trade rules in their battle to protect wild salmon that breed on Canada's Pacific Coast.
An agency that was created as part of the North American Free Trade Agreement has asked for permission to investigate complaints that Canada has failed to protect salmon-spawning waterways from logging in British Columbia.
The commission, which probes the environmental impact of free trade, has told the top environmental regulators of NAFTA members Canada, Mexico and the United States that the complaint filed by a coalition of green groups warrants investigation.
The environmental officials must approve the commission's investigations.
Environmentalists contend Canada has not enforced logging rules designed to protect streams and rivers in British Columbia. They argued the case is trade-related because the lumber is exported to the United States.
"We are confident that a future investigation will substantiate our position that the Government of Canada is not enforcing its environmental laws," the Sierra Legal Defense Fund said in a statement.
Stocks of Pacific salmon species, such as coho, sockeye and chinook, have declined sharply because of overfishing and environmental damage to coastal rivers and streams in British Columbia and the US Pacific Northwest.
The commission in May also asked for permission to probe allegations from the same environmental groups that Canada's failure to enforce its mining regulations had also hurt the Pacific salmon.
A spokesman for the Montreal-based commission said the environmental regulators have no deadline for acting on either the logging or the mining probe requests. The agency has received 31 complaints since it was created in 1994, but recommended only nine receive further investigation.


On 16-17 August a conference titled "Water & Power" will beheld 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
For more information or to register contact:
Law Seminars International, 800 Fifth Ave., Suite 101, Seattle, WA
98104, (800)854-8009 or registrar@lawseminars.comor go to their web site at:

19.07.01: USA : Bipartisan Bill To Save Endangered Snake River Salmon

From Idaho Rivers United

Washington, DC - U.S. Congressmen Jim McDermott (D-WA) and Thomas Petri (R-Wisconsin) today introduced bipartisan legislation to help assure recovery of endangered salmon in the Columbia and Snake Rivers.

The Salmon Planning Act would institute back-up plans should the 2000 federal salmon recovery plan fail to restore salmon to Idaho. It does not call for dam removal. Rather, it will initiate a series of studies on the impacts of retiring the four lower Snake River dams on employment, irrigation, transportation and energy production. It would prepare the information necessary for an economic transition plan should dam removal prove necessary to recover Idaho's salmon and steelhead. The studies would be conducted by the Comptroller General of the United States.

"Congressman McDermott should be applauded for having the vision and the political courage to take this bill forward. Certainly, his legislation represents a critical part of salmon recovery in Idaho and the Northwest," said Bill Sedivy, executive director of Idaho Rivers United. "I hope that other members of Northwest Congressional delegations will see the wisdom in Congressman McDermott's efforts and join with him to ensure passage of this important piece of legislation."

All Idaho salmon and steelhead species are either extinct or have been listed under the Endangered Species Act and represent less than one percent of historic levels. Fishing industries have suffered with a similar decline.

"This proposal shows us that salmon recovery is a social issue. We need to keep everyone whole while recovering our salmon and steelhead," said Mitch Sanchotena of Idaho Steelhead and Salmon Unlimited. "The Salmon Planning Act is good for people, communities and fish."

In addition to funding the planning, the Salmon Planning Act would call for the National Academy of Sciences to conduct peer reviewed studies of the methods being used in the current salmon recovery plan. The Salmon Planning Act would also give the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers the authority to partially remove the dams should the current plan fail to meet its recovery targets.

"The total failure of the federal agencies and the Bush Administration to either fund or implement the salmon recovery plan has forced this legislation," said Dan Skinner of Idaho Rivers United. "This ought to be a wake-up call that we are serious about salmon recovery in the Northwest. Drawing up a plan and then not funding it is not acceptable."

Other House members co-signing the Salmon Planning Act include (21): Reps. Sherman (D-CA), Bonier (D-)MI, McKinney (D-GA), Borski (D-PA), Leach (R-IA), Napolitano (D-CA), Neal (D-MA), Pallone (D-NJ), Petri (R-WI), Miller (D-CA), Sawyer (D-OH), Gutierrez (D-IL), Payne (D-NJ), Udall (D-NM), Evans (D-IL), Andrews (D-NJ), Blagojavich (D-IL), Mink (D-HI), Costello (D-IL), Solis (D-CA)

For more information, contact:
Dan Skinner
Conservation Organizer
Idaho Rivers United
Web site:

07.06.01: BPA spills water at two more NW dams to aid salmon

USA: June 7, 2001
SAN FRANCISCO - Federal agencies have decided to spill some water at two more hydroelectric dams in the Pacific Northwest in an effort to help endangered salmon move safely over the structures.
Whether federal agencies should release water to help the endangered salmon move safely over the dams has taken on a greater importance this spring due to a regional drought that has pitted the needs of Northwest hydropower suppliers against the needs of salmon - and left few completely happy. "We are now spilling at two more dams, bringing the total to four dams, and we will continue until further notice," said Ed Mosey, a spokesman at the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), which markets the power generated from the 29 federal dams strung along the massive Columbia and Snake Rivers in the Northwest. The move could potentially lift power prices in the West, but mild weather blanketing the region was expected to limit the impact. In the spring, water is normally spilled over the region's huge hydropower dams - which generate more than 70 percent of the Northwest's energy during normal rainfall years - to protect millions of migrating salmon from the massive blades used to generate power. Mosey said mild weather in most of the West and around 2,500 megawatts of power the BPA no longer has to provide for some of its customers were the primary reasons behind the decision to spill more water, in a decision made on Friday by BPA and several other federal agencies. SMELTERS CLOSE "We dropped around 2,500 megawatts of load in recent weeks. Around 2,000 megawatts have come from the closure of aluminum smelters because of high power prices," he said. Market analysts have said recently that some regional utilities have also bought small turbines to generate some of their own power and to reduce the amount they have been forced to pay in the open market. To avoid giving power marketers a competitive advantage, no estimate was given as to how much electricity output would be reduced from the spills at the The Dalles, the Bonneville, John Day and McNary dams, Mosey said. Portland, Oregon-based BPA and several other federal agencies began round-the-clock spills in mid-May at The Dalles and Bonneville dams that were estimated to use the equivalent of 300 megawatts of electricity generated from the dams. The volume of the mid-May spills were estimated at less than one-third the amount called for by federal guidelines. In April, BPA dropped plans to spill water to maintain the reliability of the power system serving the western U.S. in a move that angered environmentalists, who said the decision would kill thousands of endangered salmon. Of the 12 regional salmon species protected under the Endangered Species Act, 11 migrate in spring to the Pacific Ocean. Western states are in the midst of a chronic power shortage which has already led to six days of blackouts in California this year. The Northwest has also had one of driest winters on record. Washington state officially declared a drought in March in a move that freed up millions of dollars in emergency funds to be spent pumping water to farmland and other areas in need of water supplies. The federal agencies have said they intend to return to normal spill operations next year if there is enough water in regional dams, BPA said.

27.06.01: Actes du colloque International des Poissons Migrateurs

Du 10 au 11 mars 2000 s'est tenu à Clermont Ferrand le Symposium International des Poissons Migrateurs organisé par le Club Mouche Saumon Allier. Un document de plus de 80 pages présente les actes de ce colloque et il est disponible au prix de 70.00 F (port compris) auprès de l'association Club Mouche Saumon Allier, Mr Grebot, 12 rue de l'Oradou 63000 Clermont-Ferrand Tél./fax: 04 73 92 51 82

20.06.01: House OKs bill for Pacific salmon

The House approved a bill Wednesday that would authorize $600 million to Western states and Indian tribes to pay for Pacific salmon recovery efforts.
The federal money would be spread over three years. Fifteen percent would go to qualified tribes already involved in efforts to restore threatened and endangered Pacific salmon. The remaining money would be allocated for states with coastal or inland waters that are home to the salmon - Alaska, Washington, Oregon, California and Idaho.
More information

15.06.01: Columbia river wild salmon losses mount

Data from the Columbia Basin Fish Passage Center indicates that cutbacks by the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) on spills this year in the Columbia River (flows that were to be provided for salmon restoration efforts) have resulted in greatly increased travel times for outmigrating juvenile salmon, translating into increases of up to 231 percent above year 2000 travel times. Most other travel times were also up substantially. Increased travel time means higher fish mortality. The Fish Passage Center, in its 25 May Weekly Report (#01-11), reported that "low flows are having a significant detrimental impact on the juvenile spring migration of yearling chinook salmon and steelhead." Additionally, at least 700,000 juveniles were stranded and died in pools on the Hanford Reach due to sudden water level drops, with losses estimated of between 7-10 percent of the whole run. The Hanford Reach is the only stretch of the Columbia River that is not dammed, and contains the river's healthiest salmon run. Every other Columbia River salmon run is now listed under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA). For current data go to the Fish Passage Center at:
source: Fishlink Sublegals

15.06.01: USA: New tagging technique used at Bonneville

A new tagging technique has been implemented in the study of salmonid movement around Bonneville Dam on the Columbia. In addition to the survival studies using coded tags for radio telemetry, a study of fish activity using electromyogram (EMG) tags has been added this year. By measuring muscle activity, the EMG tags can be used to monitor how fast the fish is swimming and the amount of energy expended in the fishes' attempts to navigate the dam. All of the data is received in real time and no downloading is necessary. For more information on the EMG research, contact Matt Mesa, USGS, 509-538-2299 or: For more information on the MITAS system used, visit:
Source: Fishlink Sublegals

08.06.01: NASCO warned genetically modified farm fish will endanger Atlantic Salmon

At its 18th annual meeting, being held this year in Mondariz, Spain, the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization (NASCO) was warned that introducing genetically-engineered, or "transgenic" fish into Atlantic Ocean salmon farms will cause irreversible damage to wild Atlantic salmon populations, WorldCatch News Network reported on 6 June. NASCO members include Canada, the U.S., Russia and the European Union (EU). Atlantic salmon are believed threatened with extinction (see Sublegals, 3:22/04). "The future threat to the Atlantic salmon is from transgenic salmon and it should not be allowed anywhere near the oceans,'' Lindsay Keenan, a genetic specialist from Greenpeace told the five-day gathering, adding that "altered salmon could escape into the wild, adversely affecting the ecosystem.'' Keenan called on NASCO to take action to prevent the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) from approving the cultivation of genetically modified salmon in ocean pens, saying transgenic salmon should only be grown in secured, self-contained land-based facilities, which is "not economically viable for those companies'' that want to cultivate it. PCFFA, along with Greenpeace and some 60 other fishery, conservation and food safety groups have petitioned the FDA to halt approval of an application by Aqua-Bounty Farms to allow the use of the genetically modified salmon in fish farm operations in the U.S. (see Sublegals, 3:19/03).
On the Bush Administration's delegation to NASCO, however, is Joe McGonigle, vice-president of Aqua Bounty Farms, a company that has developed a genetically modified Atlantic salmon and is currently seeking FDA approval for the use of these fish. McGonigle, whose company has advance orders for 15 million eggs from genetically engineered Atlantic salmon that it has been raising in a research project on Prince Edward Island in Canada, dismissed the concerns raised by fishing and conservation organizations. Sitting on the U.S. NASCO delegation, with his financial stake in the promotion of genetically-modified salmon, McGonigle disputed studies estimating that the introduction of 60 fertile transgenic fish in a natural population of 60,000 could genetically destroy it in 20-30 years. To view the report on the NASCO meeting, go to:
Source : Fishlink Sublegals

03.06.01: North Atlantic wild salmon on brink of extinction - WWF

NORWAY,/OSLO: June 1, 2001
The North Atlantic wild salmon, on the brink of extinction from pollution and over-fishing, could be dealt a final blow by its cousins escaping from fish farms, especially if they are genetically modified.
The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), which has made a river-by-river assessment of the wild salmon, said stocks had fallen by more than 80 percent since 1973 and remained healthy only in Norway, Ireland, Scotland and Iceland.
"However, salmon fish farms represent a major threat to the wild salmon in all these countries apart from Iceland," Henning Roed, a Norwegian who is leading the WWF's salmon research, said yesterday.
"Farmed salmon have genes which are adapted to a life in captivity - the very opposite to what is needed in the wild."
Mixed with farmed salmon, the wild fish could lose its ability to travel up to 7,000 km (4,300 miles) a year to return to the same river where it was born in order to breed.
Roed said the farming of genetically modified salmon, which could grow to many times the size of wild salmon, would prove disastrous if it were allowed: "The 'Frankenfish' salmon could prove the final nail in the coffin for the wild salmon."
WWF has that found fish farms, which produced about 700,000 tonnes of salmon in 1999 compared to a wild stock of about 5,000 tonnes, have a high escape rate - 11 million tonnes since 1988 in Norway alone.
Roed's report said wild salmon could be extinct within 20 years unless radical action was taken on fish farming, river damming and pollution. "Wild salmon should be regarded as a flagship species in relation to environmental change," he said. "We should ask ourselves: 'If the salmon cannot live in our rivers, should we then drink the same water?'"
Roed said he hoped the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organisation (NASCO), due to meet in Spain from June 4 to 8, could come up with plans to save the wild salmon, such as a ban on genetically modified salmon. He said that if fish farmers become partly responsible for the extinction of wild salmon, their own marketing and sales would suffer because they would lose the opportunity to associate their product with an image of pristine rivers.
The WWF's strategy for saving the wild salmon is based on cleaning up rivers, an approach which has already brought the fish back to rivers including the Thames in southern England and the Rhine, and the establishment of a gene bank.
Story by Erik Brynhildsbakken (Planet Ark News)

01.05.01: Bush Budget Would Mean Salmon Extinction

The Bush Administration's proposed budget appears to fall far short of what is needed to save threatened and endangered Snake and Columbia River salmon and steelhead, warned American Rivers and Save Our Wild Salmon. President Bush has pledged to restore salmon while retaining the Snake River dams.
Full article
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