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expense; that what expenses we have been talking about will be desirable anyway, treaty or no treaty. It makes it simply that we get greater benefit from them because there will be cooperation provided for, but that is all. I don't see there is any additional expense under this treaty; I don't know whether it is under the others or not.
WE BUY $3,500 IN ADMINISTRATIVE MACHINERY
Dr. CHAPMAN. Essentially, we are buying $3,500 worth of administrative machinery.
Mr. JAMES. I think it might also be said that it does provide a means for putting information to use. The investigative studies now carried out provide a certain amount of scientific data, but for reasons which were brought out by Dr. Chapman, it is not possible to put them to practical use in the interest of conserving the fishery.
Senator GREEN. Have you anything more that you want to add? Mr. JAMES. That is all.
Senator GREEN. Are there any further questions?
Senator FULBRIGHT. Well, I am not very clear about that $300,000. It seems to me, the way you first expressed it, that after the treaty is executed and ratified, that you would then ask for $300,000, because you executed the treaty, and I gathered that impression in the beginning.
Mr. JAMES. I might put it this way: At the present time, the bulk of the work carried on in this area is the operation of the research vessel Albatross III. About 5 to 6 months of the year, it confines its work to rather close inshore areas, where problems are particularly acute. Upon ratification of the convention, or when it comes into effect, we would recommend that the work of the Albatross be expanded materially into other areas where our fishermen are operating. In other words, it would be desirable to make possible a year-round operation for this research vessel. That is the principal basis of the probable increased cost for investigations which was mentioned.
Senator GREEN. There is nothing, though, under the present situation that prevents you from requesting that from the Appropriations Committee to operate that and justify it. I mean I don't know why you would use this treaty to justify it. You could justify it on the present situation, couldn't you?
Mr. JAMES. No, sir, there is basically nothing to prevent us from requesting that increase, except the feeling that in the absence of machinery for joint investigation, we wouldn't consider it justifiable. I might add that in this $300,000, there is a certain amount for enforcement which would be vested in the Department of the Interior. Senator FULBRIGHT. Is this correct, to observe that because of the added protection, you think this will give that and that you feel further expenditure is justified that otherwise would not be justified? Mr. JAMES. That would be the basis of our recommendation in the justification.
Senator GREEN. You may insert your statement, including the appendix, in the record, Mr. James, and thank you very much.
(The statement and appendix submitted by Mr. James are as follows:)
STATEMENT OF MILTON C. James, Assistant Director of the Fish and WILDLIFE SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, CONCERNING THE NEED FOR RATIFICATION OF THE INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION FOR THE NORTHWEST ATLANTIC FISHERIES SIGNED AT WASHINGTON ON FEBRUARY 8, 1949
HISTORY OF THESE FISHERIES
Mr. Chairman, I appreciate the opportunity of testifying in favor of the ratification of the International Convention for the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries. The fisheries of the Northwest Atlantic Ocean have long been among the most important and productive in the world. The history of these fisheries is older than the history of our country itself. Boats and men from hungry Europe were prosecuting the resources of the western Atlantic banks very early in the sixteenth century. By 1580 more than 300 vessels were so engaged. When New England was colonized in the early seventeenth century, commercial fisheries were established almost immediately and expanded with the growth of the populations. Exploitation by vessels from Europe continued to be predominant throughout the seventeenth and most of the eighteenth century.
Shortly before the American Revolution, New England was employing in the cod fishery alone 665 vessels and 4,400 men. The total employment, including men engaged in curing, packing, and transporting the fish to markets, was about 9,700. At that time the English were employing in the cod fisheries of this area about 250 vessels and 24,000 men; and the French, about 260 vessels and 10,000 men. The population of Newfoundland and of what are now the Maritime Provinces of Canada was then very small, and the local inhabitants were relatively much less impor ant participants in the fisheries than now.
The fisheries of the Northwest Atlantic are still a very significant factor in the economic life of New England and eastern Canada, and a dominant factor in the economic life of Newfoundland. Immediately before the late war, the number of persons employed in these fisheries (including those engaged in the taking and processing of all species of fish, shellfish, and crustaceans) was about 150,000; the total annual catch was about 1,700,000,000 pounds (round weight); and the total value, including that added by processing, was about $75,000,000.
Until the establishment of a fishery agency of the United States Government, no official attempt was made at the gathering of reliable and complete statistics of the fishery. The literature of history, economics, and fiction is replete with references to the decline of the New England fisheries. The increasing intensity of the inshore fisheries led to the construction of larger boats capable of fishing offshore. Whereas the early catches had been primarily cod and halibut the diminishing catches led to the landing and 'marketing of other species more readily available.
JOINT RESOLUTION OF FEBRUARY 9, 1871
The passage by the Congress of the joint resolution of February 9, 1871, establishing the position of United States Commissioner of Fisheries was motivated largely by concern over the future of the high seas fishing off the New England coast which by then had accumulated a history of over 300 years of exploitation. The fisheries of the other marine areas of the country then were comparatively new. Section 2 of that resolution (R. S. sec. 4396) reads as follows:
"And be it further resolved, That it shall be the duty of said commissioner to prosecute investigations and inquiries on the subject, with the view of ascertaining whether any and what diminution in the number of the food fishes of the coast and the lakes of the United States has taken place; and, if so, to what causes the same is due; and also whether any and what protective, prohibitory, or precautionary measures should be adopted in the premises; and to report upon the same to Congress."
Thus began the first activities of the United States designed to measure the effects of the fishing industry on the fishery resources and to devise measures for conserving and maintaining their productivity. From the investigations that have been conducted, with varying degrees of intensity and effort, we have only a piecemeal knowledge of the Northwest Atlantic fisheries. Although fragmentary, evidence with respect to some important species is quite conclusive that "fishing isn't as good as it used to be."
NEED FOR COORDINATION OF U. S.-CANADIAN RESEARCH
Experience has shown that the piecemeal uncoordinated researches conducted by the United States and Canada have not provided adequate knowledge of the Northwest Atlantic fisheries. Had more funds and facilities been available more and better work could have been conducted. It would hardly have been feasible, however, to cover all of the vast area of the Northwest Atlantic Ocean where United States fishermen now fish or have fished in the past. Since the fisheries over much of the area are truly international and the major species that support the fisheries are cosmopolitan, the international cooperative approach appears to be the most equitable means of conducting fishery studies and, when found necessary, of regulating the fishery in the interest of conservation.
To review and discuss in detail all of the salient statistical and biological facts bearing on those fisheries would be a far too ambitious undertaking for this statement. Therefore I have attached two appendices, one consisting of a résumé of the biology and statistics of Northwest Atlantic fisheries, and the second containing some special data on the four principal species: Haddock, rosefish, cod, and halibut. Subject to your approval, Mr. Chairman, I offer those appendices for incorporation in the record. At the same time it may be appropriate to point -out here a few of the more important features of these fisheries.
DEPLETION OF HALIBUT
The halibut, which a half-century ago supported an annual yield of about 13,000,000 pounds, now produces less than a half-million pounds a year. The halibut is a slowly growing species with a fairly large average size at the time it spawns for the first time. Its insignificance in the New England landings is unquestionably due to overfishing which took place in previous generations. We have seen the restoration of an almost lost halibut resource of the North Pacific Ocean through international cooperation. The International Fisheries Commission established under an agreement with Canada signed in 1924, through regulation based upon continuous intensive research, has been the prime agent in restoring the fishery to a sustained-yield basis. Similar international fact finding and coordinated regulation of the North Atlantic halibut resource may restore it also.
The cod is the largest resource of the Northwest Atlantic banks. It was and still is the predominant catch of the European boats. Until the advent of refrigeration it was the principal product of the American and Canadian fisheries. The popularity of the cod was primarily due to its suitability for salting. There have been rather wide fluctuations in the catch of cod per unit of fishing effort by United States fishermen during recent years, and it is not known whether depletion or natural abundance variations are indicated. The line-trawl or hand-line fishery is much more selective of the larger fish than the otter trawls currently in use.
Our knowledge of the cod is fragmentary. Extensive investigations of the cod on all of the various banks are very desirable in order that the effect of the fishery on the resource may be known. The increasing intensity of European fishing due to food shortages and the growing unproductiveness of the grounds of the eastern Atlantic and North Sea may be a future threat to the cod fishery. If biological information and accurate statistics covering the fishing effort of all nations are available on a continuing basis, then regulatory recommendations can be developed and applied promptly to thwart overexploitation.
REDUCTION IN HADDOCK CATCHES
The haddock did not become an important product of the New England fisheries until the early 1920's when the increasing adoption of refrigeration made possible the distribution and marketing of fresh fish over a wider area of the country. At peak production the haddock fishery yielded about 260,000,000 pounds in 1929. Immediately prewar the catch had been so reduced by intensive fishing, which included the capture and marketing of smaller sizes, that the average yearly catch was reduced to 180,000,000 pounds. In 1946 the haddock catch was only
147,000,000 pounds. Today the haddock landings consist of an extremely and dangerously large percentage of immature fish.
The Fish and Wildlife Service through studies of the haddock itself and through the operation of experimental trawls of various sizes of mesh has developed regulatory recommendations, the adoption of which will go a long way toward conserving and restoring the haddock fishery and maintaining it at a sustained level. These are: (1) Haddock should be protected from capture until they have attained a length of 161⁄2 inches (measured from the tip of the snout to the center of the fork of the tail) at which length they will average about 11⁄2 pounds in weight: (2) The minimum size of mesh used in trawls to capture haddock should be 4% inches measured between the knots as actually used. The recommended mesh would be for the complete trawl except the belly and cod-end belly in which mesh as small as 34 inches could be used. The bottom of the net is not selective and the use of smaller mesh would prevent gilling and entanglement.
Immediately prior to the war there was agitation among at least one segment of the Massachusetts fishing industry for Federal legislation to regulate the haddock fishery. Numerous controversies arose over such Federal action as well as the adoption of similar regulations by the individual States. The New England States, in contrast to the Pacific Coast States, had never regulated the offshore fisheries by control of the kinds or size of fish landed or by specifying types or specifications of fishing gear that may be possessed.
One of the primary reasons for the opposition to such unilateral regulation of the haddock was the international nature of the fishery. Unilateral regulation of United States fishermen in the absence of similar regulations effective for vessels of other nations utilizing the same resource would place the United States fishermen at a disadvantage. Such disadvantage would be pecially great since some of the haddock catch of other nations is sold in the United States.
The international approach to the problem of conserving the haddock appears to be the most equitable one.
The rosefish is the newest addition to the New England fisheries. Its phenomenal rise from a yield of 264,000 pounds in 1933 to 17,000,000 pounds in 1935 and further to a peak of 180,000,000 pounds in 1946 was due to the decline in abundance of haddock and the concurrent development of the fresh and frozen fillet industry. Since 1946 there has been a marked decline in the landings of rosefish from nearby grounds, and vessels are now fishing on banks increasingly more distant from port and are bringing in fish of smaller average size from the nearby banks.
Investigations of the rosefish have been undertaken only recently and on a very small scale due to lack of funds and facilities. It has been learned that the rosefish, the only Northwest Atlantic species that gives birth to live young, grow slowly and do not mature until they are about 11 years old and about 11 inches long. Immediate expansion of investigations off New England and Canada are necessary in order to determine what may be done to protect the small fish and maintain the yield.
I have briefly mentioned the need for the fairly immediate regulation of the haddock and halibut fisheries of the Northwest Atlantic Ocean, the probable need for rosefish regulation, and the desirability of maintaining a close watch of the effect of the fishery on the cod resource.
ACUTE NEED FOR REGULATION OF HADDOCK IN NEW ENGLAND
The need for regulation of haddock is acute only in the New England area now. Once regulations are applied, however, it is probable that the fishing effort will partially shift northward and eastward to the Nova Scotia banks and regulatory measures then may be called for in other subareas. When restoration of the haddock resource on the New England banks has progressed through regulation a shift back to those banks may be anticipated, and it is hoped that the annual productivity of the resource may become stabilized.
THE NORTHWEST ATLANTIC CONVENTION
The proposed International Commission for the Northwest Atlantic fisheries is the best medium for promoting adequate knowledge of the resource without duplication of effort and of applying that knowledge to recommend regulations of various species that support international fisheries, The aivision of convention
waters into five subareas and the establishment of panels composed of representatives of those nations that fish in the subarea insures that the nations most concerned will have an opportunity to maintain a closer watch over their respective interests. The panel arrangement also will make possible the intensification of investigations in the most critical subareas and will permit the application of regulations only where and when they are needed.
One of the primary interests of the Congress is in knowing the probable cost of any new undertaking. The witness of the Department of State has mentioned the probable cost of the United States share of maintaining the international Commission staff and of defraying the expenses of the United States Commissioners and their advisers.
The other financial obligations of the United States will be for the cost of conducting its portion of scientific investigations and statistical services. These investigations will be conducted primarily by existing agencies and institutions who will carry out the recommendations of the Commission in cooperation with similar agencies of other governments.
When regulatory recommendations of the Commission have been implemented by the United States, funds for a small staff of Federal enforcement officers will be necessary. It is hoped that the States may agree to cooperate in enforcement as they do in enforcing the migratory bird regulations issued pursuant to international agreements with Canada and Mexico.
The Fish and Wildlife Service presently is conducting some investigations in the area and is gathering fishery statistics although not in as great detail as will be necessary to meet the needs of the proposed international Commission. Below is a rough tabulation of present and probable future cost of such services which should be provided by the United States:
The economy and advantage of utilizing existing agencies and gearing present related functions into the proposed program of the international Commission is apparent. The international Conference that negotiated the treaty was in favor of utilizing existing equipment, personnel, and services as much as possible in order to avoid duplication and promote efficiency. Canada, France, Great Britain, Denmark, and Norway also have research vessels and technical staffs who could cooperate with the Commission in the conduct of scientific and statistical investigations.
RATIFICATION OF THE CONVENTION IS NECESSARY
In conclusion, the Fish and Wildlife Service believes that ratification of the International Convention for the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries is necessary to safeguard the resources for the future. The past history of the fisheries without adequate research and with no regulation has been detrimental to the interests of the people of the United States who cannot have an adequate food supply unless those fisheries are maintained at a high productive level.
(United States Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service)
RÉSUMÉ OF THE FISHERIES OF THE NORTHWESTERN ATLANTIC
THE PRINCIPAL SPECIES AND THEIR PRESENT STATUS
Ground fish is the term applied to many kinds of fishes that live on or near the bottom. They are the object of a special fishery, are caught mostly with otter trawls; also with line trawls and sink gill nets. Taken together, they are the most important marine resource of New England, and the third most productive