Text: S.J.Res.17 — 110th Congress (2007-2008)All Information (Except Text)

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Public Law No: 110-243 (06/03/2008)

[110th Congress Public Law 243]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]

[DOCID: f:publ243.110]

[[Page 122 STAT. 1569]]

Public Law 110-243
110th Congress

                            Joint Resolution

 Directing the United States to initiate international discussions and 
 take necessary steps with other Nations to negotiate an agreement for 
     managing migratory and transboundary fish stocks in the Arctic 
            Ocean. <<NOTE: June 3, 2008 -  [S.J. Res. 17]>> 

Whereas the decline of several commercially valuable fish stocks 
    throughout the world's oceans highlights the need for fishing 
    nations to conserve fish stocks and develop management systems that 
    promote fisheries sustainability;
Whereas fish stocks are migratory throughout their habitats, and 
    changing ocean conditions can restructure marine habitats and 
    redistribute the species dependent on those habitats;
Whereas changing global climate regimes may increase ocean water 
    temperature, creating suitable new habitats in areas previously too 
    cold to support certain fish stocks, such as the Arctic Ocean;
Whereas habitat expansion and migration of fish stocks into the Arctic 
    Ocean and the potential for vessel docking and navigation in the 
    Arctic Ocean could create conditions favorable for establishing and 
    expanding commercial fisheries in the future;
Whereas commercial fishing has occurred in several regions of the Arctic 
    Ocean, including the Barents Sea, Kara Sea, Beaufort Sea, Chukchi 
    Sea, and Greenland Sea, although fisheries scientists have only 
    limited data on current and projected future fish stock abundance 
    and distribution patterns throughout the Arctic Ocean;
Whereas remote indigenous communities in all nations that border the 
    Arctic Ocean engage in limited, small scale subsistence fishing and 
    must maintain access to and sustainability of this fishing in order 
    to survive;
Whereas many of these communities depend on a variety of other marine 
    life for social, cultural and subsistence purposes, including marine 
    mammals and seabirds that may be adversely affected by climate 
    change, and emerging fisheries in the Arctic should take into 
    account the social, economic, cultural and subsistence needs of 
    these small coastal communities;
Whereas managing for fisheries sustainability requires that all 
    commercial fishing be conducted in accordance with science-based 
    limits on harvest, timely and accurate reporting of catch data, 
    equitable allocation and access systems, and effective monitoring 
    and enforcement systems;
Whereas migratory fish stocks traverse international boundaries between 
    the exclusive economic zones of fishing nations and the high seas, 
    and ensuring sustainability of fisheries targeting these stocks 
    requires management systems based on international coordination and 

[[Page 122 STAT. 1570]]

Whereas international fishing treaties and agreements provide a 
    framework for establishing rules to guide sustainable fishing 
    activities among those nations that are parties to the agreement, 
    and regional fisheries management organizations provide 
    international fora for implementing these agreements and 
    facilitating international cooperation and collaboration;
Whereas under its authorities in the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery 
    Conservation and Management Act, the North Pacific Fishery 
    Management Council has proposed that the United States close all 
    Federal waters in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas to commercial 
    fishing until a fisheries management plan is fully developed; and
Whereas future commercial fishing and fisheries management activities in 
    the Arctic Ocean should be developed through a coordinated 
    international framework, as provided by international treaties or 
    regional fisheries management organizations, and this framework 
    should be implemented before significant commercial fishing activity 
    expands to the high seas: Now, therefore, be it

    Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United 
States of America in Congress assembled, That
            (1) the United States should initiate international 
        discussions and take necessary steps with other Arctic nations 
        to negotiate an agreement or agreements for managing migratory, 
        transboundary, and straddling fish stocks in the Arctic Ocean 
        and establishing a new international fisheries management 
        organization or organizations for the region;
            (2) the agreement or agreements negotiated pursuant to 
        paragraph (1) should conform to the requirements of the United 
        Nations Fish Stocks Agreement and contain mechanisms, inter 
        alia, for establishing catch and bycatch limits, harvest 
        allocations, observers, monitoring, data collection and 
        reporting, enforcement, and other elements necessary for 
        sustaining future Arctic fish stocks;
            (3) as international fisheries agreements are negotiated and 
        implemented, the United States should consult with the North 
        Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council and Alaska Native 
        subsistence communities of the Arctic; and
            (4) until the agreement or agreements negotiated pursuant to 
        paragraph (1) come into force and measures consistent with the 
        United Nations Fish Stocks Agreement are in effect, the United 
        States should support international efforts to halt the

[[Page 122 STAT. 1571]]

        expansion of commercial fishing activities in the high seas of 
        the Arctic Ocean.

    Approved June 3, 2008.


                                                        Vol. 153 (2007):
                                    Oct. 4 considered and passed Senate.
                                                        Vol. 154 (2008):
                                    May 19, 21, considered and passed