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News release: President's FY 2000 Budget Includes Increased Funding for Great Lakes Sea Lamprey Control



Great Lakes Fishery Commission
2100 Commonwealth Blvd., Suite 209
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48105
313-662-3209    313-741-2010 (fax)

For Immediate Release	
Contact:  Marc Gaden
February 1, 1999	
734-662-3209 x. 14

President's FY 2000 Budget Includes Increased Funding 
for Great Lakes Sea Lamprey Control

Additional U.S. funds critical to Great Lakes fishery protection

Ann Arbor, MI-Sea lamprey control on the Great Lakes will receive a
much-needed boost thanks to a $1 million increase proposed in President
Clinton's fiscal year 2000 budget, which was released today.  The budget,
which proposes a U.S. contribution to the Great Lakes Fishery Commission of
$9.353 million, coupled with a proposed increase in funds recommended by a
Canadian Parliamentary committee, will allow the commission to meet many of
its fishery rehabilitation challenges including sea lamprey control on the
St. Marys River and treatment of sea lamprey producing streams in the Great
Lakes.

 	"The President's budget is exciting news for the Great Lakes
fishery," said commission Vice-Chair Bernie Hansen.  "If approved by
Congress, the additional funds will allow the commission to deliver better
sea lamprey control on the Great Lakes and to ensure continued control on
the St. Marys River.   Every dollar spent on sea lamprey control generates
$17 dollars in economic return, so sea lamprey control makes good economic
sense.  Thus, these efforts not only protect the fishery from the
destructive sea lamprey, but they also stimulate additional economic
activity."

U	.S. Section Chair Dave Dempsey added:  "We applaud the
administration for proposing these additional funds, which will be a
tremendous benefit to the Great Lakes fishery and to the environment.  The
President's budget will allow us to take significant steps forward with
aggressive sea lamprey control, critical fisheries research, habitat
protection, and sea lamprey control on the St. Marys River."

	Last fall, the Canadian Parliament's Standing Committee on Fisheries
and Oceans, after holding field hearings throughout the Great Lakes region,
called for its government to commit at least CDN $8 million annually for the
commission's work, a substantial increase from current levels.  The
Committee's recommendation requires Parliament's approval.

	The Great Lakes Fishery Commission is a binational organization
established in 1955 by treaty between the United States and Canada.  The
commission's primary duties are to carry out sea lamprey control and to
conduct fisheries research.  The commission also facilitates coordinated
fisheries management through the Joint Strategic Plan for Management of
Great Lakes Fisheries.

	The commission was formed primarily in response to the sea lamprey
invasion of the 1920s and 1930s which nearly destroyed the valuable Great
Lakes fishery.  Sea lampreys, left uncontrolled, reduced fish harvest from
about 17 million pounds annually to almost nothing.  Many native fish
species of the Great Lakes were driven to near extinction, contributing to a
fishery severely out of balance.  Sea lamprey control and other programs
carried out by the commission have reduced sea lamprey populations by 90% in
the Great Lakes, have produced world-class scientific fisheries research,
and are key to the success of today's sport, commercial, and tribal
fisheries.

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