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
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
"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
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
ON COLUMBIA RIVER WATER AND POWER
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
go to their web site at: www.lawseminars.com.
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
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
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:
Idaho Rivers United
Web site: http://www.idahorivers.org
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
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
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.
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: www.fpc.org
source: Fishlink Sublegals
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: email@example.com. For
more information on the MITAS system used, visit: www.mitastm.com.
Source: Fishlink Sublegals
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,
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: www.worldcatch.com.
Source : Fishlink Sublegals
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
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)
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.
See also: www.wildsalmon.org