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CORMORANTS PREYING ON FISH STOCK (fwd)



---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 10 Jul 97 10:47:48 -0700
From: rich_greenwood@mail.fws.gov



Fish and Wildlife Service                         
     
     
For release: June 30, 1997              Hugh Vickery 202-208-1456
     
     
     
SERVICE PROPOSES TO ALLOW AQUACULTURISTS TO TAKE CORMORANTS PREYING ON FISH 
STOCK
     
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing to allow catfish farmers 
and other aquaculturists in 33 states to take cormorants that are preying 
on their fish stocks. 
     
The proposed rule, published in the June 23, 1997, Federal Register, would 
save as much as $20 million in fish each year in the $714 million 
aquaculture industry, the Service estimates. Much of the impact would be 
felt in the Mississippi Delta region where catfish farmers lose an 
estimated 3
percent to 7 percent of their inventory each year to the birds.
     
The order would affect all of the contiguous 48 states except Arizona, 
California, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, 
North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.
     
Cormorants are long-necked, large-bodied, diving birds. Their webbed feet 
and hooked beaks are adapted for chasing and capturing fish under water. 
Because of their generally dark plumage and gregarious nature, cormorants 
are sometimes referred to as crows of the sea. The double-crested cormorant 
is the most widely distributed of the six North American species, occupying 
a variety of coastal and interior wetland habitats. As of 1992, it had been 
found breeding in 40 of the 50 United States, all 10 Canadian provinces, 
and in Mexico, Cuba, and the Bahamas.
     
The proposal would have no impact on the health of the cormorant 
population, which is at an all-time high of 1 to 2 million birds and 
increasing at a rate of 8 percent a year.
     
The Service is permitted to issue special depredation orders for specific 
species of migratory birds to address particular problems under the 
Migratory Bird Treaty Act, which generally prohibits take of migratory 
birds except for game birds during regulated hunting seasons.
     
The public may comment in writing on the proposed rule until August 23, 
1997. Comments should be sent to: Chief, Migratory Bird Management Office, 
4401 N. Fairfax Drive, Mail Stop 634, Arlington, Virginia 22203.
     
-FWS-
     
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Date: Mon, 30 June 1997 14:43:00 -0600 (MDT) 
From: Mitch Snow <mitch_snow@mail.fws.gov>
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Subject: CORMORANTS PREYING ON FISH STOCK
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