Halibut Treaty (Great Events from History: North American Series)
Article abstract: After five years of negotiation, an agreement is reached to save the fisheries of the North Pacific, displaying U.S.-Canadian cooperation.
Summary of Event
On March 21, 1919, a Canadian-American Fisheries Conference called for a closed season on halibut fishing in the North Pacific every year for the next ten years. The commission, made up of scientists and fisheries experts, reported that halibut would totally disappear from the seas unless fishing were prohibited for at least this period. In October of the same year, the Canadian government sent a draft treaty to the United States secretary of state calling for an end to halibut fishing from November 15, 1920, to February 15, 1921, and similar dates until 1930. Boats violating this season would be seized by either country’s navy and their owners suitably punished. The treaty also contained provisions concerning regulations on lobster fishing, tariffs on fish traded between the two nations, rules for port privileges for fishing boats, and a call for a scientific investigation into the life history of the Pacific halibut.
The United States took no immediate action on the proposal. In February, 1921, however, another commission of fisheries experts issued another report predicting disaster unless halibut received protection. This conference report likened the troubles of the halibut industry to the terrible conditions faced by salmon...
(The entire section is 1448 words.)
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