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Documenting the Presence of a Fishery

Two items of documentation are required for a fishery:

Aquatic human food chain organisms are organisms that human beings eat. Do not confuse this HRS definition with the broader concept of the biological food chain that includes all organisms, beginning with the microscopic.

  • More than fish are included. Consider shellfish, crustaceans, amphibians, and amphibious reptiles.

  • Note that birds such as ducks and mammals such as moose are not included as aquatic human food chain organisms.

  • If aquatic organisms that are not generally eaten can be documented to be consumed locally, provide the documentation and consider them to be aquatic human food chain organisms.

  • If a fishery is now devoid of human food chain organisms because of contamination attributable to the site you are assessing, count that fishery as though it still existed. This is a general HRS principle: where a resource such as a well or a fishery has been lost because of contamination attributable to the site, count that resource in the HRS evaluation. See Section Q of the Preamble to the Revised HRS, page 51567 and also the Preamble to the final original NPL at 47 FR 40664, September 8, 1983.

Fishing is defined as an attempt to remove aquatic human food chain organisms for consumption.

  • Fish and game personnel, rural sheriffs, tackle stores, and other local people can often identify where people fish.

  • Supporting documentation has included paths made to fishing locations, wrappings for lures, or filament caught in trees.

  • If a fishery has been closed or is "catch and release," provide documentation that people nevertheless take fish home for consumption.

Turtles are trapped for soup in the wetland. Is this a fishery? ANSWER

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