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Around the world in 60 seconds and what you should know about it... Simply Dateline: San Francisco San Francisco, CA - A coalition of environmental and fishery groups filed suit today in San Francisco Superior Court against the California Department of Fish and Game (DFG), seeking to overturn new regulations that streamline the killing of endangered coho salmon. The groups charge the regulations, adopted by DFG in December 2007, violate the California Endangered Species Act (CESA). The coalition includes the Environmental Protection Information Center (EPIC), Sierra Club and California Trout. "California Trout fought long and hard to have coho salmon listed as endangered by the State of California," said Brian Stranko, California Trout Chief Executive Officer. "DFG has a legal obligation to protect native salmon. We are disappointed that this administration has put the interests of the logging industry above the long-term survival of coho salmon, a species clearly at risk." At the heart of the lawsuit is DFG's move, under the new regulations, to delegate its duty to protect fish to the agency that approves logging plans, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CDF or CALFIRE). The DFG regulations are tied to a package of new rules the State Board of Forestry (BOF) adopted last year that allow the timber industry to continue "business as usual" logging practices that harm salmon habitat. Fish and Game is trying to pawn off its responsibility to protect our threatened salmon on CDF," said EPIC's Scott Greacen, "but CDF has just put in place road management rules that ensure coho will continue to be routinely harmed by logging practices." Coho salmon have been state listed as threatened or endangered from the Oregon border south through the San Francisco Bay since 2004, and have been listed as endangered from San Francisco to Monterey Bay since 1995. The federal government also lists coho salmon as an endangered species. The plaintiffs argue that DFG approved incidental take permit guidelines for timber regulations that violate CESA, the California Fish and Game Code, the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), and Administrative Procedures Act. "Incidental take" refers to the accidental killing of one or more coho salmon in the course of logging activity. "These rules focus more on making it easier to kill endangered salmon, rather recovering their habitat," said Paul Mason, deputy director of Sierra Club California. "We need to restore salmon habitat, not streamline the killing of the few remaining wild coho salmon." The lawsuit also alleges that DFG and the Board acted improperly when adopting the incidental take regulations because both agencies failed to address concerns raised repeatedly by the plaintiffs during the rule-making process. Another lawsuit against the BOF was brought by EPIC and the Sierra Club late last year regarding the same set of regulations.

Simply Fishing Magazine .com Angling On The Edge Of Technology 2008 Dateline: Sweeden RECREATIONAL FISHING 10x BIGGER IN SWEDEN THAN COMMERCIAL SECTOR, REPORT REVEALS The recreational fishing market in Sweden is more than 10 times greater than the commercial fishing market, a new report has revealed. Fiskeriverket, the Swedish Fisheries Board, values the socio-economic value of sport fishing in the country at around 1 billion kroner (106m euros). But commercial fishing is responsible for just 75m kroner (8m euros). The report further reinforces the Swedish government’s ambition to dramatically reduce commercial fishing quotas for the long-term benefit of recreational angling - especially tourism. ‘Fritidsfiske och fritidsfiskebaserad verksamhet’ (‘Recreational Fishing and Recreational Fishing Dependant Business’) says fishing tourism in Sweden has a growth potential, but only if more fish stocks are protected against commercial trawling. Sweden has around 1 million recreational anglers - 776,000 using handheld gear only. The country supports around 1,300 sportfishing-related businesses, many of which are small-scale businesses operating in rural areas. This compares to just 1,000 commercial fishermen. With these statistics in mind, Fiskeriverket wants to redirect parts of the catch quota to recreational fishermen, a strategy which is supported by one of the report’s authors, Anton Paulrud. Mr Paulrud believes recreational fishing poses no threat to fish stocks and said: “It is possible for the politicians to direct the quotas to another part of the business. Even if we are part of the common fisheries policy within the EU, which allocates quotas to Sweden, this doesn’t mean that this entire quota has to be caught. For more info regarding this subject contact Heather Kerr, heatherkerr@eftta.com EFTTA will be represented at a significant meeting next week in Brussels to discuss invasive non-native species - which comes days after a deadly ‘Snakehead’ fish was caught in a British river. The giant snakehead comes from south east Asia. But the apparent capture of one on the River Witham in Lincolnshire has sparked fears in the UK of an invasion of the species - which is a huge predator and can wipe out fish stocks if left unchecked. Next week (March 10th) discussions are taking place to formulate an EU Framework on Invasive Alien Species. Dr Bruno Broughton of the European Anglers Alliance - who has been working closely with EFTTA lobbyist Jan Kappel on the issue of snakehead fish - will attend the meeting. There is also an online survey, running until May 5th, which anglers and concerned companies can complete to share their views on the snakehead. Jan Kappel asked the EU to implement an import ban on all 28 species of snakehead six years ago, but the then Commissioner for the Environment, Margot Wallström, refused.