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Environmental Treaties and Resource Indicators (ENTRI) -- Full Text


Summary of the "International Convention for the High Seas Fisheries of the North Pacific Ocean" is available from the UNEP Register of International Treaties and Other Agreements in the Field of the Environment.

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INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION FOR THE HIGH SEAS FISHERIES OF THE NORTH 
PACIFIC OCEAN*

* The Annex to this Convention was amended on November 17, 1962, by the 
International North Pacific Fisheries Commission.  The amendments have been 
accepted by Japan on February 26, 1963, by the United States of America on 
March 23, 1963 and by Canada on May 8, 1963.

Tokyo, 9 May 1952

   The Governments of the United States of America, Canada and Japan, whose 
respective duly accredited representatives have subscribed hereto,

   Acting as sovereign nations in the light of their rights under the 
principles of international law and custom to exploit the fishery resources of 
the high seas, and

   Believing that it will best serve the common interest of mankind, as well 
as the interests of the Contracting Parties, to ensure the maximum sustained 
productivity of the fishery resources of the North Pacific Ocean, and that 
each of the Parties should assume an obligation, on a free and equal footing, 
to encourage the conservation of such resources, and

   Recognizing that in view of these considerations it is highly desirable 
(1) to establish an International Commission, representing the three Parties 
hereto, to promote and co-ordinate the scientific studies necessary to 
ascertain the conservation measures required to secure the maximum sustained 
productivity of the fisheries of joint interest to the Contracting Parties and 
to recommend such measures to such Parties and (2) that each Party carry such 
conservation recommendations, and provide for necessary restraints on its own 
nationals and fishing vessels.

   Thereafter agree as follows:


Article I

1. The area to which this Convention applies, hereinafter referred to as "the 
Convention area," shall be all waters, other than territorial waters, of the 
North Pacific Ocean which for the purposes hereof shall include the adjacent 
seas.

2. Nothing in this Convention shall be deemed to affect adversely (prejudice) 
the claims of any Contracting Party in regard to the limits of territorial 
waters or to the jurisdiction of a coastal state over fisheries.

3. For the purposes of this Convention the term "fishing vessel" shall mean 
any vessel engaged in catching fish or processing or transporting fish loaded 
on the high seas, or any vessel outfitted for such activities.


Article II

1. In order to realize the objectives of this Convention, the Contracting 
Parties shall establish and maintain the International North Pacific Fisheries 
Commission, hereinafter referred to as "the Commission."

2. The Commission shall be composed of three national sections, each 
consisting of not more than four members appointed by the governments of the 
respective Contracting Parties.

3. Each national section shall have one vote. All resolutions, recommendations 
and other decisions of the Commission shall be made only by a unanimous vote 
of the three national sections except when under the provisions of article 
III, section I (c) (ii) only two participate.

4. The Commission may decide upon and amend, as occasion may require, by-laws 
or rules for the conduct of its meetings.

5. The Commission shall meet at least once each year and at such other times 
as may be requested by a majority of the national sections. The date and place 
of the first meeting shall be determined by agreement between the Contracting 
Parties.

6. At its first meeting the Commission shall select a Chairman, Vice-Chairman 
and Secretary from different national sections. The Chairman, Vice-Chairman 
and Secretary shall hold office for a period of one year. During succeeding 
years selection of a Chairman, Vice-Chairman and Secretary from the national 
sections shall be made in such a manner as will provide each Contracting Party 
in turn with representation in those offices.

7. The Commission shall decide on a convenient place for the establishment of 
the Commission's headquarters.

8. Each Contracting Party may establish an Advisory Committee for its national 
section to be composed of persons who shall be well informed concerning North 
Pacific fishery problems of common concern. Each such Advisory Committee shall 
be invited to attend all sessions of the Commission except those which the 
Commission decides to be in camera.

9. The Commission may hold public hearings. Each national section may also 
hold public hearings within its own country.

10. The official languages of the Commission shall be Japanese and English. 
Proposals and data may be submitted to the Commission in either language .

11. Each Contracting Party shall determine and pay the expenses incurred by 
its national section. Joint expenses incurred by the Commission shall be paid 
by the Commission through contributions made by the Contracting Parties in the 
form and proportion recommended by the Commission and approved by the 
Contracting Parties.

12. An annual budget of joint expenses shall be recommended by the Commission 
and submitted to the Contracting Parties for approval.

13. The Commission shall authorize the disbursement of funds for the joint 
expenses of the Commission and may employ personnel and acquire facilities 
necessary for the performance of its functions.



Article III

1. The Commission shall perform the following functions:

a) In regard to any stock of fish specified in the annex, study for the 
purpose of determining annually whether such stock continues to qualify for 
abstention under the provisions of article IV. If the Commission determines 
that such stock no longer meets the conditions of article IV, the Commission 
shall recommend that it be removed from the annex. Provided, however, that 
with respect to the stocks of fish originally specified in the Annex, no 
determination or recommendation as to whether such stock continues to qualify 
for abstention shall be made for five years after the entry into force of this 
Convention.

b) To permit later additions to the annex, study, on request of a Contracting 
Party, any stock of fish of the Convention area, the greater part of which is 
harvested by one or more of the Contracting Parties, for the purpose of 
determining whether such stock qualifies for abstention under the provisions 
of article IV. If the Commission decides that the particular stock fulfills 
the conditions of article IV it shall recommend (1) that such stock be added 
to the annex, (2) that the appropriate Party or Parties abstain from fishing 
such stock and (3) that the Party or Parties participating in the fishing of 
such stock continue to carry out necessary conservation measures.

c) In regard to any stock of fish in the Convention area:

   (i) Study, on request of any Contracting Party concerned, any stock of fish 
which is under substantial exploitation by two or more of the Contracting 
Parties, and which is not covered by a conservation agreement between such 
Parties existing at the time of the conclusion of this Convention, for the 
purpose of determining need for joint conservation measures;

  (ii) Decide and recommend necessary joint conservation measures including 
any relaxation thereof to be taken as a result of such study. Provided, 
however that only the national sections of the Contracting Parties engaged in 
substantial exploitation of such stock of fish may participate in such 
decision and recommendation. The decisions and recommendations shall be 
reported regularly to all the Contracting Parties, but shall apply only to the 
Contracting Parties the national sections of which participated in the 
decisions and recommendations.

(iii) Request the Contracting Party or Parties concerned to report regularly 
the conservation measures adopted from time to time with regard to the stocks 
of fish specified in the Annex, whether or not covered by conservation 
agreements between the Contracting Parties, and transmit such information to 
the other Contracting Party or Parties.

d) Consider and make recommendations to the Contracting Parties concerning the 
enactment of schedules of equivalent penalties for violations of this 
Convention.

e) Compile and study the records provided by the Contracting Parties pursuant 
to article VIII.

f) Submit annually to each Contracting Party a report on the Commission's 
operations, investigations and findings, with appropriate recommendations, and 
inform each Contracting Party, whenever it is deemed advisable, on any matter 
relating to the objectives of this Convention.

2. The Commission may take such steps, in agreement with the Parties 
concerned, as will enable it to determine the extent to which the undertakings 
agreed to by the Parties under the provisions of article V, section 2 and the 
measures recommended by the Commission under the provisions of this article 
and accepted by the Parties concerned have been effective.

3. In the performance of its functions, the Commission shall, insofar as 
feasible, utilize the technical and scientific services of, and information 
from, official agencies of the Contracting Parties and their political 
subdivisions and may, when desirable and if available utilize the services of, 
and information from, any public or private institution or organization or any 
private individual.


Article IV

1. In making its recommendations the Commission shall be guided by the spirit 
and intent of this Convention and by the considerations below mentioned.

a) Any conservation measures for any stock of fish decided upon under the 
provisions of this Convention shall be recommended for equal application to 
all Parties engaged in substantial exploitation of such stock.

b) With regard to any stock of fish which the Commission determines reasonably 
satisfies all the following conditions, a recommendation shall be made as 
provided for in article III, section 1, (b).

    (i) Evidence based upon scientific research indicates that more intensive 
exploitation of the stock will not provide a substantial increase in yield 
which can be sustained year after year.

    (ii) The exploitation of the stock is limited or otherwise regulated 
through legal measures by each Party which is substantially engaged in its 
exploitation, for the purpose of maintaining or increasing its maximum 
sustained productivity;
such limitations and regulations being in accordance with conservation 
programs based on scientific research, and

   (iii) The stock is the subject of extensive scientific study designed to 
discover whether the stock is being fully utilized and the conditions 
necessary for maintaining its maximum sustained productivity.

    Provided, however, that no recommendation shall be made for abstention by 
a Contracting Party concerned with regard to: (1) any stock of which at any 
time during the twenty-five years next preceding the entry into force of this 
Convention has been under substantial exploitation by that Party having regard 
to the conditions referred to in section 2 of this article; (2) any stock of 
fish which is harvested in greater part by a country or countries not party to 
this Convention; (3) waters in which there is historic intermingling of 
fishing operations of the Parties concerned. intermingling of the stocks of 
fish exploited bv these operations, and a long established history of joint 
conservation and regulation among the parties concerned so that there is 
consequent impracticability of segregating the operations and administering 
control. It is recognized that the conditions specified in subdivision (3) of 
this proviso apply to Canada and the United States of America in the waters 
off the Pacific Coasts of the United States of America and Canada from and 
including the waters of the Gulf of Alaska southward and, therefore, no 
recommendation shall be made for abstention by either the United States of 
America or Canada in such waters.

2. In any decision or recommendation allowances shall be made for the effect 
of strikes, wars, or exceptional economic or biological conditions which may 
have introduced temporary declines in or suspension of productivity 
exploitation. or management of the stock of fish concerned.


Article V

1. The annex attached hereto forms an integral part of this Convention. All 
references to "Convention" shall be understood as including the said annex 
either, in its present terms or as amended in accordance with the provisions 
of article VII.

2. The Contracting Parties recognize that any stock of fish originally 
specified in the annex to this Convention fulfills the conditions prescribed 
in article IV and accordingly agree that the appropriate Party or Parties 
shall abstain from fishing such stock and the Party or Parties participating 
in the fishing of such stock shall continue to carry out necessary 
conservation measures.


Article VI

   In the event that it shall come to the attention of any of the 
Contracting Parties that the nationals or fishing vessels of any country which 
is not a Party to this Convention appear to affect adversely the operations of 
the Commission or the carrying out of the objectives of this Convention, such 
Party shall call the matter to the attention of other Contracting Parties. All 
the Contracting Parties agree upon the request of such Party to confer upon 
the steps to be taken towards obviating such adverse effects or relieving any 
Contracting Party from such adverse effects.


Article VII

1. The annex to this Convention shall be considered amended from the date upon 
which the Commission receives notification from all the Contracting Parties of 
acceptance of a recommendation to amend the annex made by the Commission in 
accordance with the provisions of article III, section I or of the Protocol to 
this Convention.

2. The Commission shall notify all the Contracting Parties of the date of 
receipt of each notification of acceptance of an amendment to the annex.


Articel VIII

   The Contracting Parties agree to keep as far as practicable all records 
requested by the Commission and to furnish compilations of such records and 
other information upon request of the Commission. No Contracting Party shall 
be required hereunder to provide the records of individual operations.


Article IX

1. The Contracting Parties agree as follows: 

a) With regard to a stock of fish from the exploitation of which any 
Contracting Party has agreed to abstain, the nationals and fishing vessels of 
such Contracting Party are prohibited from engaging in the exploitation of 
such stock of fish in waters specified in the annex, and from loading, 
processing, possessing, or transporting such fish in such waters.

b) With regard to a stock of fish for which a Contracting Party has agreed to 
continue to carry out conservation measures, the nationals and fishing vessels 
of such Party are prohibited from engaging in fishing activities in waters 
specified in the annex in violation of regulations established under such 
conservation measures.

2. Each Contracting Party agrees, for the purpose of rendering effective the 
provisions of this Convention, to enact and enforce necessary laws and 
regulations, with regard to its nationals and fishing vessel, with appropriate 
penalties against violations thereof and to transmit to the Commission a 
report on any action taken by it with regard thereto.


Article X

1. The Contracting Parties agree, in order to carry out faithfully the 
provisions of this Convention, to co-operate with each other in taking 
appropriate and effective measures and accordingly agree as follows:

a) When a fishing vessel of a Contracting Party has been found in waters in 
which that Party has agreed to abstain from exploitation in accordance with 
the provisions of this Convention, the duly authorized officials of any 
Contracting Party may board such vessel to inspect its equipment, books, 
documents, and other articles and question the persons on board. Such 
officials shall present credentials issued by their respective Governments if 
requested by the master of the vessel.

b) When any such person or fishing vessel is actually engaged in operation in 
violation of the provisions of this Convention, or there is reasonable ground 
to believe was obviously so engaged immediately prior to boarding of such 
vessel by any such official, the latter may arrest or seize such person or 
vessel. In that case, the Contracting Party to which the official belongs 
shall notify the Contracting Party to which such person or vessel belongs of 
such arrest or seizure and shall deliver such vessel or persons as promptly as 
practicable to the authorized officials of the Contracting Party to which such 
vessel or person belongs at a place to be agreed upon by both Parties. 
Provided, however, that when the Contracting Party which receives such 
notifications cannot immediately accept delivery and makes request, the 
Contracting Party which gives such notification may keep such person or vessel 
under surveillance within its own territory under the conditions agreed upon 
by both of the Contracting Parties.

c) Only the authorities of the Party to which the above-mentioned person or 
fishing vessel belongs may try the offence and impose penalties therefor.
The witnesses and evidence necessary for establishing the offence, so far as 
they are under the control of any of the Parties to this Convention, shall be 
furnished as promptly as possible to the Contracting Party having jurisdiction 
to try the offence.

2. With regard to the nationals or fishing vessels of one or more Contracting 
Parties in waters with respect to which they have agreed to continue to carry 
out conservation measures for certain stocks of fish in accordance with the 
provisions of this Convention, the Contracting Parties concerned shall carry 
out enforcement severally or jointly. In that case, the Contracting Parties 
concerned agree to report periodically through the Commission to the 
Contracting Party which has agreed to abstain from the exploitation of such 
stocks of fish on the enforcement conditions, and also, if requested, to 
provide opportunity for observation of the conduct of enforcement.

3. The Contracting Parties agree to meet, during the sixth year of the 
operation of this Convention, to revel the effectiveness of the enforcement 
provisions of this article and, if desirable, to consider means by which they 
may more effectively be carried out.


Article XI

1. This Convention shall be ratified by the Contracting Parties in accordance 
with their respective constitutional processes and the instruments of 
ratification shall be exchanged as soon as possible at Tokyo.

2. This Convention shall enter into force on the date of the exchange of 
ratifications. It shall continue in force for a period of ten years and 
thereafter until one year from the day on which a Contracting Party shall give 
notice to the other Contracting Parties of an intention of terminating the 
Convention, where upon it shall terminate as to all Contracting Parties.

   In Witness Whereof, the respective Plenipotentiaries duly authorized, 
have signed the present Convention.
    Done in triplicate, in the English and Japanese languages, both equally 
authentic, at Tokyo this ninth day of May, one thousand nine hundred fifty-
two.

ANNEX

1. With regard to the stocks of fish in the respective waters named below, 
Japan agrees to abstain from fishing, and Canada and the United States of 
America agree to continue to carry out necessary conservation measures, in 
accordance with the provisions of article V, section 2 of this Convention:

a) Halibut (Hippoglossus stenolepis)

  The Convention area off the coasts of Canada and the United States of 
America exclusive of the Bering Sea in which commercial fishing for halibut is 
being or can be prosecuted. Halibut referred to herein shall be those 
originating along the coast of North America.

b) Herring (Clupea pallasii)

   The Convention area off the coast of Canada in which commercial fishing 
for herring of Canadian origin is being or can be prosecuted, exclusive of the 
waters of the high seas north of 51 deg 56 min North Latitude and west of the 
Queen Charlotte Islands and west of a line drawn between Langara Point on 
Langara Islands, Queen Charlotte Islands and Cape Muzon on Dall Island in 
Southeast Alaska.

c) Salmon (Oncorhychus gorbuscha, Oncorhynchus keta, Oncorhynchus kisutch, 
Oncorhynchus nerka, Oncorhynchus tschawytscha)

   The Convention area off the coasts of Canada and the United States of 
America, exclusive of the Bering Sea and of the waters of the North Pacific 
Ocean west of a provisional line following the meridian passing through the 
western extremity of Atka Island; in which commercial fishing for salmon 
originating in the rivers of Canada and the United States of America is being 
or can be prosecuted .

2. With regard to the stocks of fish in the waters named below, Canada and 
Japan agree to abstain from fishing, and the United States of America agrees 
to continue to carry out necessary conservation measures, in accordance with 
the provisions of article V, section 2 of this Convention:

Salmon (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha, Oncorhynchus keta, Oncorhynchus kisutch, 
Oncohynchus nerka and Oncorhynchus tschawytscha)

   The Convention area of the Bering Sea east of the line starting from Cape 
Prince of Wales on the west coast of Alaska, running westward to 168 deg 58 
min 22.59 sec West Longitude; thence due south to a point 65 deg 15 min 00 sec 
North Latitude; thence along the great circle course which passes through 51 
deg North Latitude and 167 deg East Longitude, to its intersection with 
meridian 175 deg West Longitude; thence south along a provisional line which 
follows this meridian to the territorial waters limit of Atka Island; in which 
commercial fishing for salmon originating in the rivers of the United States 
of America is being or can be prosecuted.


PROTOCOL TO THE INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION FOR THE HIGH SEAS 
FISHERIES OF THE NORTH PACIFIC OCEAN

   The Governments of the United States of America, Canada and Japan, 
through their respective Plenipotentiaries, agree upon the following 
stipulation in regard to the International Convention for the High Seas 
Fisheries of the North Pacific Ocean, signed at Tokyo on this ninth day of 
May, nineteen hundred fifty-two.

   The Governments of the United States of America, Canada and Japan agree 
that the line of meridian 175 deg West Longitude and the line following the 
meridian passing through the western extremity of Atka Island, which have been 
adopted for determining the areas in which the exploitation of salmon is 
abstained or the conservation measures for salmon continue to be enforced in 
accordance with the provisions of the annex to this Convention, shall be 
considered as provisional lines which shall continue in effect subject to 
confirmation or readjustment in accordance with the procedure mentioned below.

   The Commission to be established under the Convention shall, as 
expeditiously as practicable, investigate the waters of the Convention area to 
determine if there are areas in which salmon originating in the rivers of 
Canada and of the United States of America intermingle with salmon originating 
in the rivers of Asia. If such areas are found the Commission shall conduct 
suitable studies to determine a line or lines which best divide salmon of 
Asiatic origin and salmon of Canadian and United States of America origin, 
from which certain Contracting Parties have agreed to abstain in accordance 
with the provisions of article V, section 2, and whether it can be shown 
beyond a reasonable doubt that this line or lines more equitably divide such 
salmon than the provisional line specified in sections I (c) and 2 of the 
annex. In accordance with these determinations the Commission shall recommend 
that such provisional lines be confirmed or that they be changed in accordance 
with these results, giving due consideration to adjustments required to 
simplify administration. 

   In the event, however, the Commission fails within a reasonable period of 
time to recommend unanimously such line or lines, it is agreed that the matter 
shall be referred to a special committee of scientists consisting of three 
competent and disinterested persons, no one of whom shall be a national of a 
Contracting Party, selected by mutual agreement of all Parties for the 
determination of this matter.

  It is further agreed that when a determination has been made by a majority 
of such special committee, the Commission shall make a recommendation in 
accordance therewith.

  The Governments of the United States of America, Canada and Japan, in 
signing this protocol, desire to make it clear that the procedure set forth 
herein is designed to cover a special situation. It is not, therefore, to be 
considered a precedent for the final resolution of any matters which may, in 
future, come before the Commission.

   This Protocol shall become effective from the date of entry into force of 
the said Convention.

   In Witness Whereof, the respective Plenipotentiaries have signed this 
Protocol.

   Done in triplicate at Tokyo this ninth day of May, one thousand nine 
hundred fifty-two.