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109th Congress                                              Exec. Rept.
 1st Session                                                      109-5




                November 8, 2005.--Ordered to be printed


          Mr. Lugar, from the Committee on Foreign Relations,
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                   [To accompany Treaty Doc. 108-24]

    The Committee on Foreign Relations, to which was referred 
the Agreement between the Government of the United States of 
America and the Government of Canada on Pacific Hake/Whiting 
(Treaty Doc. 108-24) (hereafter the ``Agreement''), done at 
Seattle, Washington, on November 21, 2003, having considered 
the same, reports favorably thereon and recommends that the 
Senate give its advice and consent to ratification thereof, as 
set forth in this report and accompanying resolution of advice 
and consent.



  I. Purpose..........................................................1
 II. Background.......................................................2
III. Summary of Key Provisions of the Agreement.......................2
 IV. Implementing Legislation.........................................3
  V. Committee Action.................................................3
 VI. Committee Recommendation and Comments............................3
VII. Text of Resolution of Advice and Consent to Ratification.........3

                               I. Purpose

    The Agreement establishes, for the first time, formal 
allocation of the transboundary stock of Pacific whiting (also 
known as Pacific hake) between the United States and Canada. 
The primary objectives of the Agreement are to: (1) alleviate 
overfishing and the associated decline in abundance of this 
transboundary fish stock; (2) provide long-term stability for 
harvesters and processors; and (3) establish a structure for 
ongoing scientific collaboration.

                             II. Background

    Over the last quarter century, United States and Canadian 
scientists have generally reached informal agreements on annual 
overall total allowable catch (TAC) for this transboundary fish 
stock. However, the two countries had not reached agreement on 
how to divide the TAC between U.S. and Canadian fisheries. 
Generally, the United States had claimed 80 percent of the TAC 
for its fisheries and Canada had claimed 30 percent, leading to 
overfishing and a decline in the stock. The most recent 
negotiations began in 2002. Both parties agreed to the text in 
principle in April 2003, and the Agreement was signed in 
Seattle, Washington, on November 21, 2003. Under the Agreement, 
the United States would be assigned 73.88 percent of the agreed 
TAC and Canada would be assigned 26.12 percent. This formula 
would apply for the first nine years following entry into force 
of the Agreement, and remain in place thereafter unless the 
Parties agree to a modification. Fishery managers and 
harvesters of both nations generally support the Agreement, as 
do environmental groups. The landed value of the U.S. Pacific 
whiting harvest in 2003 was about $17 million.

            III. Summary of Key Provisions of the Agreement

    The core obligations of the Agreement are contained in 
Articles II and III. Article II establishes four joint U.S.-
Canadian entities to implement the Agreement: (1) a Joint 
Technical Committee (JTC); (2) a Scientific Review Group (SRG); 
(3) a Joint Management Committee (JMC); and (4) an Advisory 
Panel on Pacific Hake/Whiting. Under the terms of the 
Agreement, each year the JTC would conduct a stock assessment, 
which would then be subject to a peer review by the SRG. Based 
on advice from the JTC and SRG, as well as input from the 
Advisory Panel, the JMC would recommend for approval by the 
parties the total allowable catch (TAC). This article also 
provides for adjustments in annual TAC to deduct annual 
overharvests from the next year's allocation or, after any 
shortfall in harvest, to increase the next year's allocation.
    Article III of the Agreement mandates a default harvest 
rate but allows the JMC to recommend to the Parties a different 
rate if scientific evidence demonstrates that a different rate 
is necessary to sustain the resource. It sets the current TAC 
shares at 73.88% for the United States, and 26.12% for Canada 
for a nine-year period, which would remain in place thereafter 
unless the Parties agree to a modification.
    The executive branch has confirmed that while the United 
States catch level of Pacific whiting would be established 
according to the standards and procedures set out in the 
Agreement and implementing legislation, other aspects of 
domestic management of this fish stock (including domestic 
allocations of the catch to U.S. fishers) would continue to be 
subject to the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and 
Management Act and the management authorities of the Pacific 
Fishery Management Council and the Department of Commerce 

                      IV. Implementing Legislation

    Legislation will be needed to implement this Agreement. 
Such legislation is expected to provide general authority for 
the executive branch to carry out the Agreement, including the 
authority to appoint members to the various joint bodies 
created under the Agreement.

                          V. Committee Action

    The Committee on Foreign Relations held a public hearing on 
the Agreement on September 29, 2005, at which it heard 
testimony from a representative of the Department of State. (A 
hearing print of this session will be forthcoming.) On October 
25, 2005, the committee considered the Agreement and ordered it 
favorably reported by voice vote, with the recommendation that 
the Senate give its advice and consent to its ratification.

               VI. Committee Recommendation and Comments

    The Committee on Foreign Relations believes that the 
proposed Agreement is in the interest of the United States and 
urges the Senate to act promptly to give advice and consent to 
its ratification. The committee believes the Agreement will 
provide a useful means to alleviate overfishing and the 
associated decline in Pacific whiting, as well as provide long-
term stability for harvesters and processors both in Canada and 
the United States.

                 VII. Text of Resolution of Advice and
                        Consent to Ratification

    Resolved (two-thirds of the Senators present concurring 

    The Senate advises and consents to the ratification of the 
Agreement between the Government of the United States of 
America and the Government of Canada on Pacific Hake/Whiting, 
done at Seattle, November 21, 2003 (Treaty Doc. 108-24).