+ I would like to discuss the recently signed Conservation plan and lamprey control funding with you, the ratio of that funding between the US and Canada, and the concerns raised for Canada's federal government apparently backing away from its treaty commitment to fully fund the program at the 69:31 ratio.

+ Well, I think it's fair to say that we need to discuss this with the Canadians, and I have told the local officials in Washington that we need to discuss this with Canadian officials and I will be doing that when I go to Ottawa next week to see if I can't encourage a little more negotiation and discussion on the continued funding by the Canadians. It's really important because we have a fifty years investment in lamprey control on behalf of both Canada and the United States and we can't afford to jeopardize this investment.

The important thing is continued level of funding and exactly where or how that proportion in Canada is achieved I don't think is really any great concern to us as long as the funding is stable and they continue at the agreed upon level of funding.

+ Regarding the recently implementedRecreational Fishery Resources Plan, how do you view it as different from previous plans that have addressed the outdoor resources in our country by previous administrations?

+ This is a progressive deal, building and expanding the level and depth of partnership efforts and scientific research. I would say the plan is just that--a guide, and now what we've got to do is make sure it gets done and that it gets funded and we move towards those goals.

+ What can the sport fishing community do to help bring about the fruition of this particular plan?

+ What the sport fishing community can do is make itself heard at all levels of government in favor of adequate funding and maintaining the Endangered Species Act and the Clean Water Act, and the state and federal laws, especially the clean water laws that guarantee the habitat. Do that at every level, with interplay of state and federal laws. It's very important to keep those laws at that level.

+ The American Sportfishing Association is a trade association of manufacturers and individuals that are also concerned with recreational fishing, the Endangered Species Act, Clean Water and habitat. What can the tackle industry do as an industry to assure the fruition of this plan?

+ The American Sportfishing Association and the manufacturing industry have a lot of access to the political process, to the Congress. They are in a unique position both as an association and individually. They are major employers, they are the kind of people that elected officials listen to.

+ You addressed the issue of exotics in the Conservation Plan. Recently, the US Coast Guard made a presentation to the Great Lakes Panel on Exotics referencing three foreign vessels that entered the Great Lakes in 1995. Those three ships, from Greece, Cypress and China, with full loads of cargo and categorized by the Coast Guard as NOBOBs (No Ballast on Board) were tested by Transport Canada. The sediment in the bottom of their ballast tanks were found to contain a possible strain of cholera.

+ I'm aware of this.

+What do we need to do to prevent a potential outbreak of a yet unknown exotic or foreign bacteria that could have devastating effects on our water and our populations.

+ On the ballast water issue, it is an interactive combination that we need more research on control methods and stronger modern regulations. I think we have to do both at the same time. How can we get a higher degree of safety, not only in the exchange of water, but in making certain that we've got effective discharge or cleansing of the tanks. You're aware of the various ideas. We have to press ahead on that and at the same time do a tougher job of regulation with the tools that we have right now. We have to do both.

I think we need more legislation and we need to continue to work with the Coast Guard about using the jurisdiction they have. We have to do both.

+ What can we anticipate from the kind of research that has been initiated by the Great Lakes Ballast Water Technology Demonstration Project? Are we still looking at the need for stronger legislation for enforcing ballast water controls and ballast water exchange? Should we consider treatment of in-place ballast water to assure the 100% mortality of all exotics in those tanks?

+ We need to proceed on all fronts. Basically, what we ought to do is use what we know to tighten up the regulations and at the same time do we press on with the research and is there a practical way of doing this sort of ballast decontamination, whether with ultra-violet or however else research turns up. It's important stuff. I'd like to think that there is a technological and feasible way of really decontaminating. That would be best.

We can't wait around and just say we're going to do research. We've got to tighten up the system we have. I think the Coast Guard needs more regulatory authority than they have.

+ How can we can address the issue that the Canadian Coast Guard at the present time only has voluntary guidelines for ballast water exchange?

+ Obviously, the only way, is for both the United States and Canada to sit down, look at all the issues, all the economics, all the regulatory concerns and work our way toward a common understanding. With so many jurisdictions involved on the issues of ballast water and exotics, everybody ought to be working on it together.

I'll admit I'm not as knowledgeable as I should be. I need to get more involved in this issue. I need to find out what are the activities of the various committees, their level of involvement, their structure and where do they get their marching orders?

The Recreational Fishery Resources Conservation Plan was signed on June 3, 1996. That plan that would promote recreational fishing to new levels was also signed by six other cabinet level officials.

+ At the present time Dept of Fisheries & Oceans Minister Mifflin maintains steadfastly that the federal government does not intend to compromise its level of involvement in lamprey funding, but they are going to use other means to secure that funding. By that they mean that they are turning over the responsibility to and negotiating with the province of Ontario

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