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113th Congress                                              Exec. Rept.
                                 SENATE
 2d Session                                                       113-4

======================================================================



 
 AMENDMENT TO THE CONVENTION ON FUTURE MULTILATERAL COOPERATION IN THE 
            NORTHWEST ATLANTIC FISHERIES (TREATY DOC. 113-3)

                                _______
                                

                 March 13, 2014.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

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

                                 REPORT

                    [To accompany Treaty Doc. 113-3]

    The Committee on Foreign Relations, to which was referred 
the Amendment to the Convention on Future Multilateral 
Cooperation in the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries (Treaty Doc. 
113-3) (the ``Convention''), which was adopted in Lisbon, 
Portugal on September 28, 2007, by the Twenty-Ninth Annual 
Meeting of the North Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO) and 
signed by the United States on that date, having considered the 
same, reports favorably thereon with one declaration, as 
indicated in the resolution of advice and consent, and 
recommends that the Senate give its advice and consent to 
ratification thereof.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page

  I. Purpose..........................................................1
 II. Background.......................................................2
III. Summary of Key Provisions of the Convention......................2
 IV. Implementing Legislation.........................................4
  V. Committee Action.................................................5
 VI. Committee Recommendation and Comments............................5
VII. Text of Resolution of Advice and Consent to Ratification.........6

                               I. Purpose

    The Amendment brings the Convention in line with current 
international fisheries governance with articles outlining 
definitions and general principles, specifying the basic duties 
of Contracting Parties, flag State Parties, addressing 
cooperation and relations with non-Contracting Parties, 
imposing discipline on the objection process, and establishing 
a dispute settlement procedure. The Amendment also creates a 
more equitable budget contribution scheme which is expected to 
reduce payments by the United States to the Organization by at 
least one-third.

                             II. Background

    The Convention on Future Multilateral Cooperation in the 
Northwest Atlantic Fisheries came into force on 1 January 1979, 
and replaced the 1949 International Convention for the 
Northwest Atlantic Fisheries. The 1979 Convention established 
NAFO, which in 2005 launched a modernization effort to bring 
itself in line with present-day fisheries management concepts. 
The United States supported this modernization drive because of 
concerns over the budget formula, Convention Area catch 
allocations, and the decision-making process. On 28 September 
2007, after a 2-year process, NAFO adopted the Amendment, with 
the United States signing on that date.

            III. Summary of Key Provisions of the Convention

    A detailed article-by-article discussion of the Convention 
may be found in the Letter of Submittal from the Secretary of 
State to the President, which is reprinted in full in Treaty 
Document 113-3. A summary of the key provisions of the amended 
Convention is set forth below.
    Article I is a new article which defines a number of terms, 
including ``fisheries resources,'' which include fish, mollusks 
and crustaceans, but not sedentary species under the 
jurisdiction of coastal states, or highly migratory species. 
``Fishing activities'' is defined as the catching or taking of 
fisheries resources, engaging in any activity that could lead 
to taking or catching, and any operation at seas in support of, 
or in preparation for these activities.
    Article II is a new article which states that the 
Convention's objective is to ensure the long-term conservation 
and sustainable use of the fishery resources in the Convention 
Area and to safeguard the marine ecosystems in which these 
resources are found.
    Article III requires Parties to work individually or 
collectively to promote the general principles of the 
Convention, which include ensuring the long-term sustainability 
of fisheries resources, making decisions based on the best 
scientific and technical information, taking due account and 
minimizing the impacts of fishing activities on other species 
and marine ecosystems, protecting marine biodiversity, 
preventing overfishing, sharing data on fishing activities 
between Parties, ensuring compliance with conservation and 
management measures, and reducing pollution and waste from 
fishing vessels.
    Article VI establishes that each Contracting Party shall be 
a member of the Commission. The Commission's leadership will 
consist of a Chairperson and a vice-Chairperson from among the 
Contracting Party representatives. The representatives elected 
to these positions cannot be from the same Party, and serve for 
a period of 2 years. Though they are eligible for reelection, 
they cannot serve in their position for more than 4 years in 
succession. The representatives elected to these positions 
cannot be from the same Party. A new provision charges the 
Commission to collaborate with the Scientific Counsel in 
assessing the impacts of fishing on the Convention Area's 
marine ecosystem. Another new provision permits the Commission 
to adopt measures regarding areas under the national 
jurisdiction of a Contracting Party, so long as the Party has 
requested and agrees to the measure. The Commission is also 
permitted to adopt procedures that enable actions against any 
State or fishing entity whose flag vessels undermine the 
effectiveness of measures adopted by the Commission.
    Article VII combines previous articles concerning the 
scientific functions of NAFO, and provides that each 
Contracting Party shall be a member of the Scientific Council, 
which elects a Chairperson and a Vice-Chairperson for terms of 
2 years. The Council must provide a forum for consultation and 
cooperation between Parties, compile and maintain statistics 
and records, publish and disseminate reports on fishing 
activities and ecosystems within the Convention Areas, and 
provide scientific advice to the Commission.
    Article IX states that the Commission shall establish the 
amount due from each Contracting Party for the annual budget 
based on a calculation that includes 30% of the budget being 
divided equally among Contracting Parties, 10% divided among 
the coastal States in proportion to their nominal catches in 
the Convention Area, and 60% divided among all contracting 
parties in proportion to their nominal catches in the 
Convention Area. A Contracting Party that fails to fully pay 
its contributions for 2 consecutive years will not be able to 
cast votes or raise objections until it has paid in full, 
unless the Commission resolves differently.
    Article X is a new article setting forth Contracting Party 
duties, which include implementing and ensuring the 
effectiveness of the Convention and any management measures or 
other obligations binding on it, co-operating with other 
Parties in furthering the Convention's objectives, collecting 
and exchanging scientific data and knowledge pertaining to 
living resources and their ecosystems, cooperating with other 
Contracting Parties to ensure that its nationals and fishing 
vessels owned by its nationals comply with the provisions of 
the Convention, as well conservation and management measures 
adopted by the Commission, and immediately investigating and 
taking action in response to any serious infringement of the 
Convention, or any conservation and management measures adopted 
by the Commission.
    Article XI is a new article requiring Contracting Parties 
to make certain that fishing vessels entitled to fly its flag 
comply with the provisions of the Convention and with the 
conservation and management measures adopted by the Commission, 
and not engage in unauthorized fishing activities, or 
activities that undermine the effectiveness of conservation and 
management measures. Each Party must not authorize fishing 
vessels to fly its flag unless it can effectively exercise its 
oversight of such vessels pursuant to the Convention. Parties 
must also maintain a record of such fishing vessels, exchange 
such information with other Parties, and immediately 
investigate and promptly report on any action it has taken in 
response to alleged infringement by a vessel entitled to fly 
its flag.
    Article XII is a new article stating that each port State 
Contracting Party must implement the measures concerning 
inspections in port that are adopted by the Commission.
    Article XIII alters the general rule for Commission 
decision-making from a majority to a consensus. If consensus 
cannot be achieved, decisions must be made by a two-thirds 
quorum with a vote of two-thirds of the Contracting Parties 
present and casting votes.
    Article XIV amends the procedure by which Commission 
decisions are implemented. A Commission decision now becomes 
binding 60 days after the date of transmittal in the Executive 
Secretary's notification of adoption. Members of the Commission 
may object within this time frame, but must include an 
explanation and alternative measures. If the Party does not 
submit the matter to ad hoc panel proceedings, the Commission 
determines by a majority vote whether to submit the matter to 
an ad hoc panel. If the vote fails, any Contracting Party may 
request a Commission meeting to review the measure. If the 
matter goes to an ad hoc panel, the Commission must consider 
the panel's recommendations no later than thirty days following 
the termination of panel proceedings.
    Article XV is a new article requiring parties to cooperate 
and avoid disputes (the new procedures are described in Annex 
II to the Convention). Should such cooperation fail, Parties 
may resolve their disputes through negotiation, inquiry, 
mediation, conciliation, arbitration, judicial settlement, ad 
hoc panel proceedings, or through other peaceful means. If the 
dispute implicates the interpretation or application of 
Commission measures and enforcement related to conservation and 
management of fishery resources, the Contracting Parties may 
submit the dispute to non-binding ad hoc panel proceedings.
    Article XVI is a new article stating that when a vessel 
entitled to fly the flag of a non-Contracting Party engages in 
fishing activities in the Convention Area, the Commission is 
required to request that the flag state either become a 
Contracting Party to the Convention, or agree to apply the 
conservation and management measures adopted by the Commission. 
Contracting Parties must also exchange information on the 
fishing activities of non-Contracting Parties in the Convention 
Area, and to deter activities that undermine the effectiveness 
of the Commission's conservation and management measures.
    Article XVII is a new article that requires the 
Organization to cooperate and develop working relationships on 
matters of mutual interest with the Food and Agriculture 
Organization of the United Nations, as well as with other 
specialized agencies of the United Nations and other relevant 
intergovernmental organizations.
    Article XX requires that Contracting Parties fulfill the 
obligations assumed under the Convention in good faith, and not 
exercise their rights in a manner that would constitute abuse 
of their rights.
    Article XXII combines previous articles concerning the 
adoption of possible amendments to the Convention. The article 
states that amendments to the Convention must be adopted by a 
three-fourths majority vote of the all Contracting Parties. The 
Amendments take effect 120 days after the Depository receives 
notification of approval from three-fourths of all contracting 
parties, unless a Party lodges an objection within 90 days.

                      IV. Implementing Legislation

    Legislation will be needed to implement this Convention. 
The executive branch has indicated that it will soon provide 
proposed legislation to the appropriate congressional 
committees.

                          V. Committee Action

    The Committee on Foreign Relations held a public hearing on 
the Agreement on February 12, 2014, at which it heard testimony 
from David Balton, the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Oceans 
and Fisheries at the Department of State, as well as from 
Russell Smith, the Deputy Assistant Secretary for International 
Fisheries at the Department of Commerce, and Rear Admiral 
Frederick J. Kenney, Judge Advocate General and Counsel for the 
United States Coast Guard. The committee also heard testimony 
from a panel of private sector witnesses: Mark Gleason, 
Executive Director of the Alaska Bering Sea Crabbers; Mark P. 
Lagon, Global Politics and Security Chair of Georgetown 
University and Adjunct Senior Fellow for Human Rights at the 
Council on Foreign Relations; and Raymond Kane, Outreach 
Coordinator for the Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen's Alliance. 
On March 11, 2014, 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 joins the U.S. 
Department of State, the U.S. Department of Congress, and the 
U.S. Coast Guard in believing that the proposed amended 
Convention 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 that implementation of the 
modernized Convention is of direct and important interest to 
United States fishing concerns, as well as U.S. conservation 
organizations and U.S. consumers, all of whom have a critical 
stake in the health of the oceans and the fisheries resources 
protected by the Convention.
    The Committee on Foreign Relations has included one 
declaration in the recommended resolution of advice and 
consent. The declaration states that the Convention is not 
self-executing. This statement means that the Convention will 
have domestic effect through implementing legislation and 
regulations thereunder. Prior to the 110th Congress, the 
committee generally included such statements in the committee's 
report, but in light of the Supreme Court decision in Medellin 
v. Texas, 128 S. Ct. 1346 (2008), the committee determined that 
a clear statement in the Resolution is warranted. A further 
discussion of the committee's views on this matter can be found 
in Section VIII of Executive Report 110-12.

     VII. Text of Resolution of Advice and Consent to Ratification

    Resolved (two-thirds of the Senators present concurring 
therein),

SECTION 1. SENATE ADVICE AND CONSENT SUBJECT TO A DECLARATION

    The Senate advises and consents to the ratification of the 
Amendment to the Convention on Future Multilateral Cooperation 
in the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries, Adopted at the Twenty-
Ninth Annual Meeting of the North Atlantic Fisheries 
Organization (NAFO), in Lisbon, Portugal on September 28, 2007, 
(the ``Amendment'') (Treaty Doc. 113-3), subject to the 
declaration of section 2.

SECTION 2. DECLARATION

    The advice and consent of the Senate under section 1 is 
subject to the following declaration:
          The Amendment is not self-executing.