Text: H.Con.Res.229 — 110th Congress (2007-2008)All Bill Information (Except Text)

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Referred in Senate (11/14/2007)


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[Congressional Bills 110th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H. Con. Res. 229 Referred in Senate (RFS)]

  1st Session
H. CON. RES. 229


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

                           November 14, 2007

   Received and referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and 
                             Transportation

_______________________________________________________________________

                         CONCURRENT RESOLUTION


 
Expressing the sense of the Congress that the United States should seek 
a review of compliance by all nations with the International Commission 
  for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas' conservation and management 
recommendations for Atlantic bluefin tuna and other species, and should 
pursue strengthened conservation and management measures to facilitate 
   the recovery of the Atlantic bluefin tuna, and for other purposes.

Whereas Atlantic bluefin tuna are a valuable commercial and recreational fishery 
        of the United States and many other countries;
Whereas the International Convention for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas 
        (hereinafter referred to as ``the Convention'') was signed in 1966;
Whereas the Convention established the International Commission for the 
        Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (hereinafter referred to as ``the 
        Commission'') to coordinate international research and develop 
        conservation and management recommendations on Atlantic bluefin tuna and 
        other highly migratory species in the Atlantic Ocean and the adjacent 
        seas, including the Mediterranean Sea;
Whereas in 1974, the Commission adopted its first conservation and management 
        recommendation to ensure the sustainability of Atlantic bluefin tuna 
        throughout the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea, while allowing for 
        the maximum sustainable catch for food and other purposes;
Whereas in 1981, for management purposes, the Commission adopted a working 
        hypothesis of two Atlantic bluefin tuna stocks, with one occurring west 
        of 45 degree west longitude (hereinafter referred to as the ``western 
        Atlantic stock'') and the other occurring east of 45 degree west 
        longitude (hereinafter referred to as the ``eastern Atlantic and 
        Mediterranean stock'');
Whereas since 1981, the Commission has adopted additional and more restrictive 
        conservation and management recommendations for the western Atlantic 
        stock, and these recommendations have been implemented by nations 
        fishing west of 45 degree west longitude;
Whereas despite adoption and full implementation of a science-based rebuilding 
        program for the western Atlantic stock by countries fishing west of 45 
        degree west longitude, catches and catch rates remain very low;
Whereas in contrast to the conservation and management measures implemented for 
        the western Atlantic stock, total allowable catches for the eastern 
        Atlantic and Mediterranean stock have been consistently set at levels 
        significantly above scientific recommendations intended to maintain 
        bluefin tuna populations at levels that will permit the maximum 
        sustainable catch;
Whereas compliance with eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean stock quotas by 
        parties to the Convention that harvest that stock has been very poor, 
        most recently with harvests exceeding such total allowable catch levels 
        by over 50 percent for each of the last 4 years;
Whereas poor management and compliance with recommendations for the eastern 
        Atlantic and Mediterranean stock are of grave concern because the 
        condition of the eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean stock could 
        adversely affect recovery of the western Atlantic stock due to mixing 
        between the two stocks;
Whereas recent scientific data shows considerable mixing of the two stocks and 
        additional research on stock mixing will improve the understanding of 
        the relationship between the two stocks and the fisheries for such 
        stocks, which will assist in the management of these species throughout 
        their ranges;
Whereas poor data reporting on eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean stock quotas 
        has frequently thwarted efforts by the Commission to assign quota 
        overharvests to specific countries;
Whereas many Commission members fishing east of 45 degree west longitude do not 
        comply with other Commission recommendations to control eastern Atlantic 
        and Mediterranean bluefin tuna fisheries and conserve this overfished 
        resource and, more generally, lack of compliance with Commission 
        recommendations is an ongoing problem;
Whereas the Commission's Standing Committee on Research and Statistics 
        (hereinafter referred to as ``SCRS'') noted in its 2006 report that the 
        fishing mortality rate for the eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean stock 
        may be more than three times the level that would permit the stock to 
        stabilize at the maximum sustainable catch level, and continuing to fish 
        at the level of recent years ``is expected to drive the spawning biomass 
        to a very low level'' giving ``rise to a high risk of fishery and stock 
        collapse'';
Whereas the SCRS has recommended that the annual harvest levels for eastern 
        Atlantic and Mediterranean bluefin tuna be reduced from 32,000 metric 
        tons to approximately 15,000 metric tons to halt decline of the resource 
        and initiate recovery;
Whereas in 2006, the Commission adopted the ``Recommendation by ICCAT to 
        Establish a Multi-Annual Recovery Plan for Bluefin Tuna in the eastern 
        Atlantic and Mediterranean'' (hereinafter referred to as the ``Recovery 
        Plan'') containing a wide range of management and monitoring and control 
        measures designed to facilitate the recovery of the eastern Atlantic and 
        Mediterranean bluefin tuna stock; and
Whereas the Recovery Plan is inadequate and allows overfishing and stock decline 
        to continue, and initial information indicates that implementation of 
        the plan in 2007 by many eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean bluefin 
        tuna-harvesting countries has been poor, reflecting a business-as-usual 
        attitude from the countries harvesting this stock that is unacceptable 
        in light of the 2006 SCRS assessment showing a high risk of a fishery 
        and stock collapse: Now, therefore, be it
    Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), 
That it is the sense of the Congress that the United States, through 
the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas 
(hereinafter in this concurrent resolution referred to as the 
``Commission''), should--
            (1) pursue a review and assessment of compliance with 
        conservation and management measures adopted by the Commission 
        and in effect for the 2006 eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean 
        bluefin tuna fishery, occurring east of 45 degree west 
        longitude, and other fisheries that are subject to the 
        jurisdiction of the Commission, including data collection and 
        reporting requirements;
            (2) seek to address noncompliance by nations with such 
        measures through appropriate actions, including, as 
        appropriate, deducting a proportion of a future quota for a 
        country to compensate for such country exceeding its quota in 
        prior years;
            (3) pursue a meaningful discussion of the implementation 
        and effectiveness of the Commission recommendation entitled 
        ``Recommendation by ICCAT to Establish a Multi-Annual Recovery 
        Plan for Bluefin Tuna in the Eastern Atlantic and 
        Mediterranean'' (Recommendation 06-05), including seeking 
        detailed explanations from Commission members that have failed 
        to fully implement the terms of the recommendation; and
            (4) seek to strengthen the conservation and management of 
        the eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean bluefin tuna by making 
        recommendations to halt the decline of the stock and begin to 
        rebuild it.

            Passed the House of Representatives November 13, 2007.

            Attest:

                                            LORRAINE C. MILLER,

                                                                 Clerk.