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U.S. Fisheries Legislation

  Distributed to TAP-RESOURCES, a free Internet Distribution List
  (subscription requests to listproc@tap.org) 
  (please distribute freely)
  May 1, 1996
  	The following letter has been sent to the Senate regarding an
  impending vote on S. 39, the reauthorization of the Magnuson Act. Many of
  the larger multinational corporations involved in the fishing industry
  would like to impose a quasi-property rights system of management to give
  these large corporations greater control over publicly-owned fisheries. 
  Senator Gorton with the support of Senator Murray, both from Washington
  state, has threatened to filibuster S. 39 which could be the best
  environmental bill to pass this Congress. If you would like more
  information on Individual Transferable Quotas (described in the letter)
  check out: 
  Or send me an email and I can forward the information.
  *** WEB SITES ***
  	Anyone interested in seeing how the web can be used to advance 
  environmental issues should take a look at the Deformed Frog web site:
  A sixth grade class takes a field trip. The kids start catching frogs in a
  pond, but half of the frogs they catch are severely deformed. To find out
  why, they set up a web page. This is probably the best environmental use
  of the web I have found. Who says kids are just looking at pornography on
  the web. 
  				Ned Daly
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  P.O. Box 19367, Washington, DC  20036; voice 202/387-8030; 
  internet: tap@essential.org
  Support America's Fisheries
  Don't Let S. 39 Be Filibustered
  Dear Senator,
  	Congress has responded to the crisis facing our 
  nation's fisheries with overwhelming support for the 
  reauthorization of the Magnuson Act, the principle law 
  governing fisheries management in this country.  Though not 
  perfect, S. 39 will improve the health of our nation's 
  fisheries and protect taxpayers' interests.  Despite the 
  bill's bipartisan, geographically diverse support, a small 
  group of parochial interests may attempt to monkeywrench the 
  restoration of our fisheries in an effort to gain greater 
  control over this publicly owned asset.
  	The House Resources Committee and the Senate Commerce 
  Committee correctly placed a four and one-half year 
  moratorium on new Individual Transferable Quota (ITQ) 
  schemes for fisheries management in the United States. ITQ 
  management schemes divide up a predetermined Total Allowable 
  Catch (TAC) and give companies a percentage of the TAC, 
  usually based on historical catch levels.  The use of ITQs 
  in other countries, such as New Zealand, has created 
  problems including increased levels of bycatch.  A main 
  objective of S. 39 is to reduce bycatch levels [those fish 
  caught, but thrown back, often dead, because they are not 
  commercially viable].  Also the extent to which this quota 
  is a property right and may interfere with the public's 
  ownership over this asset has not been resolved.  Four and 
  one-half years is the minimum amount of time needed to 
  determine the adequacy of more ITQ programs in the U.S.
  	Despite ITQ's present shortcomings, Senators Slade 
  Gorton and Patty Murray would like to see more ITQs in place 
  to benefit the Seattle-based factory-trawler fleet. Senator 
  Gorton has threatened to filibuster the bill.
  	An ITQ management scheme will be revisited in Congress, 
  especially with such staunch allies as Senators Gorton and 
  Murray, but now is not the time to address this issue. S. 39 
  will have a positive effect on the management of America's 
  fisheries. A public resource vital to the health of 
  America's economy and its citizens is at stake. Please do 
  not allow a filibuster of S. 39 to succeed. If you would 
  like more information on ITQs or S. 39, please contact 
  the Taxpayer Assets Project.
  Edward Daly
  Taxpayer Assets Project
  v.  (202) 387-8030
  email: ned@tap.org
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