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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

Presidential Message -- South Pacific Fisheries Convention


I transmit herewith the Convention on the Conservation and Management of High Seas Fishery Resources in the South Pacific Ocean (the "Convention"), done at Auckland, New Zealand, November 14, 2009, with a view to receiving the advice and consent of the Senate to ratification. I also transmit, for the information of the Senate, the report of the Secretary of State on the Convention that includes an article-by-article analysis.

The Convention establishes a regional fisheries management organization through which Parties will give effect to their duty to cooperate in the conservation and sustainable use of the high seas fishery resources in the South Pacific Ocean and to safeguard the marine ecosystems in which these resources occur.

The Convention requires Parties to apply specific conservation and management principles and approaches in giving effect to the objective of the Convention. These principles and approaches are enshrined in existing international instruments to which the United States is a party, such as the Agreement for the Implementation of the Provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of December 10, 1982, relating to the Conservation and Management of Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks of December 4, 1995. In addition, the Convention requires that Parties design and adopt specific conservation and management measures, such as limitations on catch or effort, time or area closures, and gear restrictions.

The Department of State, Department of Commerce, U.S. Coast Guard, and relevant U.S. stakeholders strongly support the Convention. The legislation necessary to implement the Convention will be submitted separately to the Congress for its consideration. I therefore recommend that the Senate give early and favorable consideration to this Convention and give its advice and consent to ratification.