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Senator FULBRIGHT. Does California know anything about the investigation of these facts on its own; does it?
Senator KNOWLAND. They do some investigation, but I think they would be limited pretty much to the coastal waters of California. Senator FULBRIGHT. I thought that since they obtained all the benefit from it, they might have undertaken some of the burden on it. Senator KNOWLAND. Of course, you recognize that the State of California, I think, contributes a little over $3,000,000,000 in taxes to the Federal Treasury.
Senator GREEN. Are there any other questions?
Thank you very much, Senator.
Now, Mr. James, if you will state your name and position.
STATEMENT OF MILTON C. JAMES, ASSISTANT DIRECTOR, FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
Mr. JAMES. My name is M. C. James. I am Assistant Director of the Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior.
I have a rather extended statement here, supplemented by an appendix of some 34 pages, which has been intended to give the committee the full background of the biology and the statistical data of the Northwest Atlantic fishery, and in the interest of conserving the committee's time, I would be prepared to submit this statement. Senator GREEN. You might summarize it.
Mr. JAMES. I will touch briefly on the high lights, particularly with respect to the questions that have been raised.
THE PAST RECORD AND FUTURE TREND
The matter of the past record and the possible future trend in the absence of ratification of this treaty might be enlightened by reference to the halibut fishery, which I believe has been mentioned by Dr. Chapman. This is the Atlantic halibut fishery, which a half century ago supported the production of about 13,000,000 pounds. This time it is negligible-half a million pounds or less a year is produced in the halibut fishery.
The cod fishery is holding up fairly well, but there is increasing pressure upon it. Cod fisheries of the eastern Atlantic and the North Sea have been seriously depleted, which is apparently the pressure that is inducing greater interest on the part of European nations in fishing in the northwestern banks more intensively.
A particularly good example apparently is the haddock. The haddock fishery yielded about 260,000,000 pounds in 1929. The catch has been showing a decline, in recent years it has been down to 190,000,000 pounds, and in 1946, it was as low as 147,000,000 pounds. The haddock apparently is one species which deserves immediate attention, and the Fish and Wildlife Service would concentrate its investigation upon this species.
Senator GREEN. All these figures that you are giving and Dr. Chapman gave relate to this country alone, do they not?
Mr. JAMES. The production and landings in this country alone; yes, sir. They have no relationship to the production of the other countries.
Senator GREEN. Have you any information as to whether the figures in other countries correspond?
Mr. JAMES. I believe that they show the same trends, although they have not been analyzed in the detail that we have supplied in our own records.
COMPARISON OF UNITED STATES CATCH TO THE TOTAL CATCH
Senator FULBRIGHT. Do you know what percentage of the take in those areas is ours and what percentage the other countries?
Mr. JAMES. The largest percentage yield of any country is that of the United States.
Senator FULBRIGHT. About what would you estimate?
Mr. JAMES. I wouldn't be able to give you that figure offhand.
Dr. H. J. DEASON (Fish and Wildlife Service). We can supply that from the record, sir. We have all the basic statistics here for all the foreign countries, but we haven's determined the percentage, and we can do that.
(The matter referred to is as follows:)
The year 1938 is the latest representative year for which complete statistics are available for all of the countries participating in the fisheries of the Northwest Atlantic Ocean. The total catch of each country and the percentage of the grand total taken by each country are shown below:
Mr. JAMES. A further species which requires attention is the rosefish, which had practically no commercial production prior to 1933-a very limited quantity-and has obtained a peak of 180,000,000 pound in 1946. The life history of this species is very little known, and it may be that it is being seriously overfished. There seems to be some indication of that fact at the present time, and investigations such as are contemplated under this treaty would bring out the facts which could lead to adequate regulations to preserve his particular species of fish before depletion occurs to a serious degree.
FISH TO WHICH THE CONVENTION APPLIES
Senator GREEN. Does this convention relate to all fish?
Mr. JAMES. No, sir. The species involved are those which are of concern in the international fisheries, primarily the so-called bottom fish such as cod, haddock, halibut, and rosefish.
Senator GREEN. Are they enumerated?
Mr. JAMES. No; they are not.
Dr. CHAPMAN. May I inject here, that the regulatory function is on the basis of those fish utilized in international fisheries. That qualification was put in the convention to provide certain safeguards.. Senator GREEN. He used it as an illustration, but suppose some other fish could be caught. Could they be added to the fish?
Dr. CHAPMAN. They can be at a later time, if they become the subject of an international fishery.
Senator GREEN. Would there have to be a new convention to cover it?
Dr. CHAPMAN. No.
Senator GREEN. How are they described, the fish that are covered by the convention now?
Dr. CHAPMAN. They are just described in those words, "which support an international fishery."
Senator GREEN. How is that?
Dr. CHAPMAN. "Those fish which support an international fishery." That is just how they are described. There is no further description of them in the convention.
Senator GREEN. How many would you include in that list?
Mr. JAMES. It amounts to, I believe, 8 to 10 at the present time. Senator GREEN. I was surprised to hear, Dr. Chapman-you mentioned, among others, in support of this, some lobster fishery, so-called.
Dr. CHAPMAN. Those are entirely domestic fisheries, both in our country and in Canada.
Senator GREEN. They wouldn't be affected by it one way or another, would they?
Dr. CHAPMAN. No.
Mr. JAMES. The treaty for certain purposes does name family groups, giving the scientific name of family groups which comprise the species which are commonly used in international fisheries at this time.
Senator GREEN. In article 6, it states
"" * * * make such investigations as it finds necessary as to abundance, life history, ecology of any species of aquatic life of any part in the North Atlantic Ocean."
Now why doesn't that cover lobsters? I don't know why it shouldn't cover oysters or seaweeds.
EXTENT OF THE INVESTIGATIONS
Dr. CHAPMAN. The investigatory powers cover every type of animal or plant, marine plant and animal, in the area. Investigative powers cover the whole range and the investigation has to be as broad as possible. The recommendations of the Commission, however, can apply only to those fish which support international fisheries. And then there is a third point, the membership in the panels will be determined on the basis of the fishery that each nation has for the three types of fish, the flatfish, the rosefish, and the cod-like fishes. Senator FULBRIGHT. What does it take to support an international fishery, a certain minimum amount that is taken?
Dr. CHAPMAN. Two nations fishing on the same stock of fish. That is our case in area 5 at the present time.
Senator FULBRIGHT. At least two; it may be more?
Dr. CHAPMAN. Yes.
Senator GREEN. I think your investigations have to include everything.
Dr. CHAPMAN. They do.
Senator GREEN. If one kind of seaweed died out, that might mean the extinction of a certain kind of fish.
Dr. CHAPMAN. That is right. That is why the investigatory power is made completely broad. The Commission can investigate anything in the ocean, practically speaking.
Senator GREEN. Încluding human pollution?
Dr. CHAPMAN. Quite so.
Senator GREEN. All right, sir, you may proceed.
Mr. JAMES. That is the substance of my general statement, Mr. Chairman, pointing out particular species and the trends which have occurred in connection with them, and the need for investigation and possibly ultimate regulation.
I might add that in 1941, the Fish and Wildlife Service issued a publication on the crisis in the haddock fishery, and covered that field rather thoroughly at that time. I think the situation is probably worse now than it was in 1941.
A question has been raised about the funds involved in the work contemplated under the Northwest Atlantic Fishery Convention. In that connection I would say that at the present time the Fish and Wildlife Service is expending approximately $244,000 a year in investigations in the general area relating to the subjects contemplated to be covered under the convention. We believe that an additional sum of about $300,000 would be necessary to assure adequate, complete and thorough studies under the terms of the convention to enable the Commission to have enough adequate scientific data on which to make specific recommendations.
CONTRIBUTIONS OF OTHER NATIONS
Senator GREEN. What contributions do the other nations make in that area?
Mr. JAMES. The other nations would conduct their own investigations with their own funds as a regular function of the respective governments.
Senator GREEN. You must have cooperation, otherwise you would be investigating the same thing.
Mr. JAMES. There would be very definite coordination and cooperation through the Commission.
Senator GREEN. Roughly speaking, what proportion of it would the other nations bear?
Mr. JAMES. I dare say that in area 5, for example, the cost of investigations which would be divided between Canada and the United States might be roughly equal. No other nation would have much interest in conducting any investigations in area 5. Conversely, in area 1 or area 2, it is improbable that the United States would expend any funds whatever for investigations. The Scandinavian countries and possibly Canada would meet all the costs of any studies that were undertaken there.
UNITED STATES FREE UNDER THE CONVENTION TO DECIDE THE EXTENT TO WHICH IT WILL CONDUCT INVESTIGATIONS
Senator GREEN. But there will be no obligation on our part to pay any of that. I mean we can do as we do now-decide how much is desirable each year.
Mr. JAMES. That is correct. The Fish and Wildlife Service would include in its annual budget the estimated cost for the investigations which it believes are necessary in the fisheries that are of direct interest to the United States and the Congress would pass upon them in the regular manner.
Senator GREEN. It would hardly affect, really, the obligatory appropriations at all, and I don't see why it should affect the appropriations at all in any other way at all.
Mr. JAMES. Aside from the administrative costs which Dr. Chapman has mentioned, I can speak from a little experience in connection with the International Halibut Commission on the west coast, of which I am a member. The funds for that Commission are secured through the State Department at the present time, but they are treated in exactly the same way as the regular operating appropriations for the Fish and Wildlife Service on investigations. They have to be justified item by item and in detail.
Senator FULBRIGHT. I don't understand why this treaty necessarily means $300,000. Isn't what you are saying that you think more money ought to be spent on investigations, treaty or no treaty?
Senator GREEN. I don't see it has anything to do with it.
Senator FULBRIGHT. I don't see the treaty has anything to do with that.
Mr. JAMES. The investigations would have to be expanded. So far, the work has been confined to a very limited area, inshore on banks which are most accessible to the United States. Area 4 is an area in which some expanded studies would be necessary in order to determine the facts and come up with some sound recommendations. Senator GREEN. It may be desirable, but it wouldn't make it necessary; would it?
Mr. JAMES. Yes; it would be desirable.
Senator GREEN. It would be desirable anyway, wouldn't it?
Senator GREEN. As I understand that point, this involves no additional expense; is that right?
THE NORTHWEST ATLANTIC CONVENTION DOES NOT NECESSARILY MEAN
Mr. JAMES. It involves no additional expense, unless the Congress feels the Department of the Interior has made a sound justification for expanded fishery research.
Senator FULBRIGHT. Is there anything in the treaty that requires or states that there must be additional investigations?
Mr. JAMES. NO. The convention has as its general purpose the conduct of investigations which will lead possibly to conservation regulations. The extent to which those investigations will be carried out is left to the discretion of the signatory governments.
Senator GREEN. I think it is quite important to have it clear on the record that this treaty involves very little necessary additional