Fish stories

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, November 1995:

The House on October 18 approved a tougher
reauthorized edition of the Magnuson Fishery
Management and Conservation Act, 388-37. The new
version dropped a clause exempting Gulf of Mexico
shrimpers from having to immediately reduce bycatch and
sea turtle deaths. The Gulf bycatch averages four pounds of
wasted finfish for every pound of shrimp retrieved.
After three years of negotiation sponsored by
the United Nations, 99 countries agreed in August to a
treaty regulating commercial fishing in all waters, including
sovereign waters. The treaty will take effect when and if it
is ratified by at least 30 nations.

State warnings against eating fish from polluted
waters now cover one mile out of every 25 miles of U.S.
rivers, and one acre out of every seven acres of U.S. lake
surface, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
There were 20% more such warnings issued in 1994, the
EPA said, than in 1993.
At least one Danish power station still burns
fish oil to generate electricity, according to London Daily
T e l e g r a p h environment editor Charles Clover, five years
after the practice was supposed to have stopped. The plant
consumes 1.5 million tons of small fish per year, and won’t
be converted to burn bunker oil until mid-1996.
Formed in 1957 when sharks ate five swimmers
in 100 days, the Natal Shark Board is now selling an electronic
shark-chaser called the Protective Oceanic Device,
which can be attached to diving tanks or surfboards. The
POD was developed as an alternative to the shark netting the
NSB annually strings around the beaches of the KwaZuluNatal
coast. About 1,100 sharks drown in the nets each
year, becoming so entangled that they can no longer swim
to keep water passing over their gills.
Saying the bass are back, from Maine to North
Carolina, NMFS on September 25 proposed lifting a 1991
ban on striped bass fishing in east coast waters.
Ruffe, a European perch species found in the
St. Louis River in 1987, have now spread from Lake
Superior into Lake Huron, says the Michigan Department
of Natural Resources. “Lake Huron will be more suitable to
the ruffe,” said Michigan DNR biologist John Schrouder.
“The ruffe could disrupt the stability of the aquatic ecosystem
and severely compete with game fish.”
Seeking to establish fishing claims in the Spratly
Islands, a largely flooded reef archipelago in the South
China Sea, Vietnam mined red coral from the reef during
the summer through the use of a Russian cargo ship and a
mini-submarine formerly used in scientific exploration. The
Spratlys are also claimed wholly or in part by Brunei,
China, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Taiwan.

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