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TRIBES, STATE SIGN NEW FISH DISEASE CONTROL POLICY

 TRIBES, STATE SIGN NEW FISH DISEASE CONTROL POLICY
 OLYMPIA, Wash., Dec. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Treaty Indian tribes and the state departments of Fisheries and Wildlife have signed a new disease control policy that will help protect fisheries resources by preventing the importation and spread of diseases harmful to salmon, the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission said today.
 The policy adopted by the resource co-managers sets minimum fish and egg health standards for all tribal, state and federal hatcheries and rearing facilities in the state. It requires testing of fish and eggs before they can be transferred to another hatchery or planted in a stream outside of their area of origin. About 40 tribal and over 100 state and federal facilities are covered under the policy.
 The policy establishes egg and fish health management zones, which generally encompass entire watersheds. Transfer of eggs and fish within a zone remains flexible under the policy because of a reduced risk of introducing a new disease. Stringent testing is required, however, for movement of fish or eggs between zones because of a greater likelihood that a disease could be introduced where it did not previously exist.
 Open and frequent communication to jointly resolve fish health issues also is fostered under the policy, which includes an egg and fish transfer notification process. The process requires documentation that the fish or eggs to be transferred are disease- free, and also requires notification of any significant disease outbreak at a hatchery or fish-rearing facility.
 "The policy will lead to reduced hatchery mortality rates and better protection of wild fish as well," said Bill Frank Jr., chairman of the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission. "The result will be larger returns of healthier salmon and steelhead."
 -0- 12/20/91
 /CONTACT: Tony Meyer or Steve Robinson of the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission, 206-438-1180/ CO: Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission ST: Washington IN: SU:


SC -- SE009 -- 4409 12/20/91 13:50 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 20, 1991
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