Congressional Research Service Reports - 238 Matching Results

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The U.N. Law of the Sea Convention and the United States: Developments Since October 2003

Description: On October 31, 2007, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted to recommend Senate advice and consent to U.S. adherence to the 1982 U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea and the 1994 Agreement Relating to Implementation of Part XI of that Convention. This followed the statement by President Bush on May 15, 2007, urging “the Senate to act favorably on U.S. accession” to the Convention. CRS Issue Brief IB95010, The Law of the Sea Convention and U.S. Policy, serves as a basic CRS source for discussion of issues related to the United States and the Convention and Agreement, whereas this report focuses on events and issues that emerged since October 2003. It summarizes the committee’s proposed resolution of advice and consent in 2004 and presents some of the issues raised in support of and in opposition to U.S. adherence.
Date: October 31, 2007
Creator: Browne, Marjorie Ann
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Endangered Species Act and Legal Issues Regarding Columbia Basin Salmon and Steelhead

Description: This report discusses the resident fish, such as bull trout and Kootenai River white sturgeon, which are listed as threatened and endangered respectively under the ESA are affected by the FCRPS. This report focuses on Endangered Species Act (ESA) actions and litigation related to these species.
Date: July 16, 2008
Creator: Lane, Nic; Alexander, Kristina & Buck, Eugene H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Effects of Radiation from Fukushima Dai-ichi on the U.S. Marine Environment

Description: The massive Tohoku earthquake and tsunami of March 11, 2011, caused extensive damage in northeastern Japan, including damage to the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power installation, which resulted in the release of radiation. Concerns have arisen about the potential effects of this released radiation on the U.S. marine environment and resources. This report discusses these concerns.
Date: January 20, 2012
Creator: Buck, Eugene H. & Upton, Harold F.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Commercial Fishery Disaster Assistance

Description: This report discusses disaster relief for commercial fishery, which be provided by the federal government to assist the fishing industry when it is affected by a commercial fishery failure.
Date: May 2, 2008
Creator: Upton, Harold F.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Cruise Ship Pollution: Background, Laws and Regulations, and Key Issues

Description: This report describes the several types of waste streams that cruise ships may discharge and emit. It identifies the complex body of international and domestic laws that address pollution from cruise ships. It then describes federal and state legislative activity concerning cruise ships in Alaskan waters and activities in a few other states, as well as current industry initiatives to manage cruise ship pollution.
Date: July 1, 2008
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Active Military Sonar and Marine Mammals: Events and References

Description: This report summarizes legal and political events related to active sonar and marine mammals since 1994. The report discusses the deployment of active sonar by the U.S. Navy and its potential impacts on marine mammals has been an ongoing issue of intense debate; regulatory, legislative, and judicial activity; and international concern.
Date: February 11, 2008
Creator: Buck, Eugene H. & Calvert, Kori
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Piracy: A Legal Definition

Description: Pirate attacks in the waters off the Horn of Africa, including those on U.S.-flagged vessels, have brought continued U.S. and international attention to the long-standing problem of piracy in the region. A recent development in one of the piracy trials in Norfolk, VA, has highlighted a potential limitation in the definition of piracy under the United States Code. This report first examines the historical development of the offense of piracy, as defined by Congress and codified in the United States Code. The focus then turns to how contemporary international agreements define piracy. Finally, the report highlights a recent federal district court ruling that the offense of piracy under 18 U.S.C. § 1651 requires a robbery at sea.
Date: October 19, 2010
Creator: Mason, R. Chuck
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Endangered Species Act: A Primer

Description: The Endangered Species Act (ESA)1 receives significant congressional attention. The associated power and reach of its comprehensive protection for species identified as endangered or threatened with extinction has ignited concern that there be appropriate bounds on this power. The following discussion provides an overview and background on the various features of the ESA that contribute to its stature and yet spark an ongoing debate over its implementation.
Date: March 31, 2005
Creator: Baldwin, Pamela; Buck, Eugene H. & Corn, M. Lynne
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Endangered Species Act: A Primer

Description: The Endangered Species Act (ESA)1 receives significant congressional attention. The associated power and reach of its comprehensive protection for species identified as endangered or threatened with extinction has ignited concern that there be appropriate bounds on this power. The following discussion provides an overview and background on the various features of the ESA that contribute to its stature and yet spark an ongoing debate over its implementation.
Date: March 31, 2005
Creator: Baldwin, Pamela; Buck, Eugene H. & Corn, M. Lynne
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Agreements to Promote Fishery Conservation and Management in International Waters

Description: Declining fish populations threaten an important food source. Natural catastrophes, pollution, habitat destruction, and overfishing contribute to the depletion of fish stocks. Overexploitation of fishery resources often occurs when management allows expanding and increasingly efficient fishing fleets to continue harvesting dwindling supplies. Although prevalent, overexploitation is not universal and its extent varies among areas, species, and fisheries. This report discusses the issue of overfishing and its possible consequences, as well as domestic and international efforts to combat overfishing.
Date: January 5, 1996
Creator: Buck, Eugene H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Marine Protected Areas: An Overview

Description: Marine protected areas (MPAs) are generally defined as areas reserved by law or other effective means to protect part or all of the enclosed environment. This report identifies a number of issues related to establishing MPAs in the United States. It begins by defining the concept and administrative actions taken to provide spatial protection in marine areas. It then considers some of the key issues and potential benefits and costs of designating additional MPAs. It concludes by considering potential areas of congressional interest for the 111th Congress. Existing federal laws related to the use of MPAs are summarized in the Appendix.
Date: September 29, 2010
Creator: Upton, Harold E. & Buck, Eugene H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Ocean Dumping Act: A Summary of the Law

Description: The Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act has two basic aims: to regulate intentional ocean disposal of materials, and to authorize related research. Permit and enforcement provisions of the law are often referred to as the Ocean Dumping Act. The basic provisions of the act have remained virtually unchanged since 1972, when it was enacted to establish a comprehensive waste management system to regulate disposal or dumping of all materials into marine waters that are within U.S. jurisdiction, although a number of new authorities have been added. This report presents a summary of the law.
Date: December 15, 2010
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Seafood Safety: Background and Issues

Description: Although seafood consumption can contribute to a healthy diet, some fish and shellfish can cause foodborne illnesses or contain environmental contaminants. This report discusses whether current food safety programs are sufficiently protecting consumers, and if not, what changes should be considered.
Date: December 2, 2010
Creator: Upton, Harold F.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Environmental Exemptions for the Navy's Mid-Frequency Active Sonar Training Program

Description: This report discusses laws related to the protection of marine mammals when using mid-frequency active sonar including the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA). The report discusses each of the laws generally, and then reviews the litigation surrounding the Navy's compliance with these laws in the context of using the sonar for training purposes off California's coast.
Date: August 27, 2008
Creator: Alexander, Kristina
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Ocean Acidification

Description: This report discusses the increasing concern, within the scientific community, that rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere could detrimentally alter marine ecosystems. The report discusses how ocean acidification happens, its possible outcomes, as well as natural and human responses that could possibly limit or reduce the rate of the process.
Date: May 27, 2010
Creator: Buck, Eugene H. & Folger, Peter
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department