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THE FISHERIES CONVENTIONS
THURSDAY, JULY 14, 1949
UNITED STATES SENATE,
COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN RELATIONS,
SUBCOMMITTEE ON FISHERIES CONVENTIONS,
Washington, D. C.
The subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 10 a. m., in the committee hearing room, United States Capitol, Senator Theodore F. Green, chairman of the subcommittee, presiding.
Present: Senators Green and Fulbright.
Senator GREEN. Gentlemen, the subcommittee has been appointed to investigate and report on three fisheries conventions, one dealing with fisheries in the Northwest Atlantic, the other two being concerned with tuna fisheries in the Eastern Pacific. The three conventions, the messages transmitting them to the Senate for advice and consent to ratification, and the final act of the International Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Conference, held in Washington from January 26 through February 8 of this year with the clarifying resolutions and recommendations will be inserted in the record at this point. We will take up first, the Northwest Atlantic Convention.
[Senate, Executive K, 81st Cong., 1st sess.]
MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES TRANSMITTING A CONVENTION BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND MEXICO FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF AN INTERNATIONAL COMMISSION FOR THE SCIENTIFIC INVESTIGATION OF TUNA, SIGNED AT MEXICO CITY, JANUARY 25, 1949
To the Senate of the United States:
THE WHITE HOUSE,
With a view to receiving the advice and consent of the Senate to ratification, I transmit herewith a convention between the United States of America and Mexico for the establishment of an International Commission for the Scientific Investigation of Tuna, signed at Mexico City January 25, 1949.
I transmit also, for the information of the Senate, the report which the Secretary of State has addressed to me in regard to this convention.
The purpose of this convention has my complete and wholehearted approval and I recommend the convention to the favorable consideration of the Senate. HARRY S. TRUMAN.
(Enclosures: (1) Report by the Secretary of State and (2) convention for the establishment of an International Commission for the Scientific Investigation of Tuna, Mexico City, January 25, 1949.)
The White House:
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
The undersigned, the Secretary of State, has the honor to lay before the President, with a view to its transmission to the Senate to receive the advice and consent of that body to ratification, if his judgment approve thereof, a convention
between the United States of America and Mexico for the establishment of an International Commission for the Scientific Investigation of Tuna, signed at Mexico City, January 25, 1949.
During the past several years it has become increasingly apparent that the United States and Mexico should undertake cooperative scientific investigation of the tuna and tunalike fishes of the eastern Pacific Ocean, as well as those fishes which are used for bait in the tuna fisheries. The scientific information based upon studies made in the past is not sufficiently extensive to indicate whether or not tuna stocks are now in danger of depletion. With a view to exploring the possibility of joint action, discussions were opened in Mexico City on October 25, 1948, which terminated on November 4, 1948, with the signing of a joint report to the two Governments. That report recommended the conclusion of a convention between the two countries and stated that it-"will not only result in a positive benefit to the respective fishing industries, but * * * will also contribute to the far-sighted conservation of food resources in general."
The draft convention which was contained in the report formed the basis of further discussions which culminated in the signing of a convention on January 25, 1949.
This convention has for its purpose the making of a joint study and the gathering and interpretation of factual information with a view to maintaining the populations of these fishes at a level which will permit maximum utilization year after year without depletion. This will be done through an International Commission for the Scientific Investigation of Tuna composed of a United States section and a Mexican section. The organizational and procedural aspects of the Commission are defined in article I. The second article of the convention is devoted to the functions and duties of the Commission, with the various types of investigative activity envisaged enumerated in some detail. Article III contains the usual treaty provisions regarding ratification, entry into force, and termination. It also provides for the disposition of property supplied to the Commission, as well as the archives thereof, in the event of termination.
In some respects this convention is similar to the conventions between the United States and Canada regarding sockeye salmon and halibut, which were signed on May 26, 1930, and January 29, 1937, respectively. As in the case of those conventions the objectives of the present convention are to be attained through a Commission composed of representatives of both Governments, which shall have investigatory powers. In another important respect, however, it is quite different. The Commissions established by the salmon and halibut conventions are also empowered to take regulatory action. The tuna Commission will not have that authority. Its activities are purely investigatory. Any regulatory measures which are indicated by the study would have to be the subject of future negotiation, and any convention for that purpose would, of course, also be subject to ratification.
Several representatives of the tuna fishing and processing interests were, at the invitation of the Department of State, in Mexico during the discussions and were in daily consultation with the United States delegation. Moreover, under the provisions of the convention (art. I, par. 11) each national section of the Commission may appoint its own advisers and it is contemplated that the United States section will accordingly have available to it the services of an advisory body qualified to assist not only in the technical aspects of the program, but in the industrial aspects as well.
At a subsequent date the Congress will be requested to consider implementing legislation necessary for the United States to apply the provisions of this convention.
(Enclosure: Convention for the establishment of an International Commission for the Scientific Investigation of Tuna, Mexico City, January 25, 1949.) CONVENTION FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF AN INTERNATIONAL COMMISSION FOR THE SCIENTIFIC INVESTIGATION OF TUNA.
The United States of America and the United Mexican States considering their respective interests in maintaining the populations of certain tuna and tunalike fishes in the waters of the Pacific Ocean off the coasts of both countries, and desiring to cooperate in scientific investigation, and in the gathering and interpretation of factual information to facilitate maintaining the populations of these
fishes at a level which will permit the maximum reasonable utilization without depletion year after year, have agreed to conclude a Convention for these purposes and to that end have named as their Plenipotentiaries:
The President of the United States of America:
Walter Thurston, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America in Mexico;
The President of the United Mexican States:
Manuel Tello, acting Secretary of Foreign Relations;
who having communicated to each other their full powers, found to be in good and due form, have agreed as follows:
1. The High Contracting Parties agree to establish and operate a joint commission, to be known as the International Commission for the Scientific Investigation of Tuna, hereinafter referred to as the Commission, which shall carry out the objectives of this Convention. The Commission shall be composed of two national sections, a United States section, consisting of four members, appointed by the Government of the United States of America, and a Mexican section consisting of four members, appointed by the Government of the United Mexican States.
2. The Commission shall submit annually to the respective Governments a report on its findings, with appropriate recommendations, and shall also inform them, whenever it is deemed advisable, on any matter relating to the objectives of this Convention.
3. The expenses incurred by each national section for its own personnel, offices and operation, including emoluments, transportation and subsistence, shall be borne by its government. Joint expenses incurred by the Commission shall be paid by the High Contracting Parties in the form and proportion recommended by the Commission and approved by the High Contracting Parties.
4.-Both the general annual program of activities and the budget of joint expenses shall be recommended by the Commission and submitted for approval to the High Contracting Parties.
5.-The High Contracting Parties shall decide on the most convenient place for the establishment of the Commission's headquarters.
6. The Commission shall meet at least twice each year and at such other times as may be requested by either national section. The date and place of the first meeting shall be determined by agreement between the High Contracting Parties. 7. At its first meeting the Commission shall select a chairman from the members of one national section and a secretary from the members of the other national section. The chairman and secretary shall hold office for a period of one year. During succeeding years, selection of the chairman and secretary shall alternate between the respective national sections.
8. Each national section shall have one vote. Decisions, resolutions, and recommendations of the Commission shall be made only by approval of both
9. The Commission shall be entitled to adopt and to amend subsequently, as occasion may require, by laws or rules for the conduct of its meetings and for the performance of its functions and duties. Such by-laws, rules or amendments shall be referred by the Commission to the Governments and shall become effective thirty days from the date of receipt of notification unless disapproved by either of the two Governments within that period.
10. The Commission shall be entitled to employ necessary personnel for the performance of its functions and duties. The appointments shall be distributed equitably between nationals of the United States and Mexico except in special instances in which the appointment of persons of other nationalities is desirable. 11. Each section of the Commission may appoint its own advisors who may attend sessions of the Commission in their advisory capacity when the Commission so determines. Each section may meet separately with advisors from its own country when it deems such meetings desirable.
12. Each section of the Commission may hold public hearings within the territory of its own country.
13. The Commission shall designate simultaneously a Director and an Assistant Director of Investigations, who shall be technically competent and shall be responsible to the Commission. One of these functionaries shall be a national of the United States and the other a national of Mexico. Subject to the instruction of the Commission and with its approval, the Director shall have charge of:
a) the drafting of programs of investigation, and the preparation of budget estimates for the Commission;
b) authorizing the disbursement of the funds for the joint expenses of the Commission;
c) the accounting of the funds for the joint expenses of the Commission; d) the appointment and immediate direction of technical and any other personnel required for the scientific functions of the Commission;
e) arrangements for the cooperation with other organizations or individuals in accordance with paragraph 18 of this Article;
f) the coordination of the work of the Commission with that of organizations and individuals whose cooperation has been arranged for;
g) the drafting of administrative, scientific and other reports for the Commission;
h) the performance of such other duties as the Commission may require. 14. The Assistant Director shall assist the Director of Investigations in all his functions, and shall substitute for him during his temporary absences. Both the Director and the Assistant Director of Investigations may be freely removed by the Commission.
15.—The official languages of the Commission shall be English and Spanish, and members of the Commission may use either language during meetings. When necessary, translation shall be made to the other language. The minutes, official documents and publications of the Commission shall be in both languages, but official correspondence of the Commission may be written at the discretion of the secretary in either language.
16.-Representatives of both national sections shall be entitled to participate in all work carried out by the Commission or under its auspices.
17.-Each national section_shall be entitled to obtain certified copies of any documents pertaining to the Commission except that the Commission will adopt and may amend subsequently rules to insure the confidential character of records of statistics of individual catches and individual company operations. These rules and amendments shall be referred to the Governments in accordance with the procedures of paragraph 9 of this Article.
18. In the performance of its duties and functions the Commission may request the technical and scientific services of and information from official agencies of the High Contracting Parties and any international, public, or private institution or organization or any private individual
The Commission shall perform the following duties:
1. Make investigations: (a) concerning the abundance, biology, biometry, and ecology of the yellowfin, bluefin, and albacore tunas, bonitos, yellowtails, and skipjacks (hereinafter referred to as tuna and tuna-like fishes) in the waters of the Pacific Ocean off the coasts of both countries and elsewhere as may be required, and of the kinds of fishes commonly used as bait in tuna fishing; and (b) concerning the effects of natural factors and human activities on the abundance of the populations of fishes to which this Convention refers.
2. Collect and analyze information relating to the current and past conditions and trends of the populations of the tuna and tuna-like fishes and tuna-bait fishes of the waters of the Pacific Ocean off the coasts of both countries and elsewhere as may be required.
3.-Study and appraise information concerning methods and procedures for maintainting and increasing the populations of tuna and tuna-like fishes and tuna bait fishes in the waters of the Pacific Ocean off the coasts of both countries and elsewhere as may be required.
4. Conduct such fishing and other activities, on the high seas and in the waters which are under the jurisdiction of either High Contracting Party, as may be necessary to attain the ends referred to in sub-paragraphs 1, 2 and 3 of this Article.
5.-Obtain statistics and all kinds of reports concerning catches, operations of fishing boats and other information concerning the fishing for tuna and tuna-like fishes and the tuna-bait fishes. The High Contracting parties shall, if necessary, enact legislation in order to make it obligatory for the boat captains or other persons who participate in these fishing activities to keep records of operations, including the voume of the catch by species and the area in which caught, all of these in the form and with such frequency as the Commission deems necessary. 6.-Publish or otherwise disseminate reports relative to the results of its findings and such other reports as fall within the scope of this Convention, as well as scientific, statistical, and other data relating to the fisheries for tuna and tuna-like fishes and tuna-bait fishes in the waters of the Pacific Ocean off the coasts of both countries and elsewhere as may be required.