Pacific Salmon Treaty: Memorandum of Understanding (1999)

MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING

The Government of Canada and the United States of America have agreed to record the following in connection with the Treaty Concerning Pacific Salmon; in order to set out the intention of the Parties with respect to implementation of Article III, paragraph 1(b) of the said Treaty, Data Sharing and the Yukon River, Transboundary Rivers and the Northern Boundary - Southern Alaska fisheries:

  1. Implementation of Article III, paragraph 1(b)

    The principal goals of the Treaty are to enable both countries, through better conservation and enhancement, to increase production of salmon and to ensure that the benefits resulting from each country’s efforts accrue to that country. In this regard, research on the migratory movements of stocks subject to interception must be continued for several years. Such research is required not only to determine with more precision the extent of interceptions by both sides, but also to provide an improved basis for conservation and enhancement. The resultant long-term increases in production of salmon should fully justify the short-term expenditures on research.

    With respect to the obligation to provide each Party with benefits equivalent to the production of salmon originating in its rivers (contained in Article III, paragraph 1(b) of the Treaty), it is recognized that data on the extent of interceptions in some areas are imprecise and that it is therefore not possible to determine with certainty the total production of salmon from each country’s rivers. It is also recognized that methods of evaluating benefits accruing within each country may differ. For these reasons, it is anticipated that it will be some time before the Commission can develop programs to implement the provisions of Article III, paragraph 1(b) in a complete and comprehensive manner. Nevertheless, in the short term, the Commission shall ensure that the annual fishery regimes and understandings regarding enhancement are developed in an equitable manner taking into account the principle outlined in Article III 1(b). In particular, the Commission’s decisions take into account changes in the benefits flowing to each of the Parties through alteration in fishing patterns, conservation actions, or as the result of changes in the abundance of the runs.

    In the longer term, if it is determined that one country or the other is deriving substantially greater benefits than those provided from its rivers, it would be expected that the Parties would develop a phased program to eliminate the inequity within a specified time period, taking into account the provisions of Article III, paragraph 3. Since correction of imbalances is a national responsibility and may involve differential fishery adjustments or enhancement projects on a regional basis within either country, the Party with the advantage shall submit appropriate proposals to the Commission for consideration. Such proposals shall be discussed within the Commission and can be reflected in the agreed fishery regimes and co-ordinated enhancement planning in ensuing years.

  1. Data Sharing

    Considering that development of comprehensive evaluations of management is required in order to assess the impact of such regimes on interception fisheries and on the stocks which contribute to those fisheries for the affective implementation of the Treaty, the Parties consider it necessary to develop a coast-wide stock assessment and management data system, including catch, effort, escapement, and coded-wire tag data that will yield reliable management information in a timely manner and develop analytical models along with standardized methods for monitoring fishing effort. The Parties agree to maintain a coded-wire tagging and recapture program designed to provide statistically reliable data for stock assessments and fishery evaluations. The Parties agree to establish a working group prior to April 1, 1985 to review the program and to make recommendations to the Commission before April 1, 1987.

Therefore, the Parties agree to

a.     develop the capability to use current season coded-wire tag data, fishing data, spawning escapement data, and age composition data for the pre-season management process for the next season;

b.     continue in 1985 and 1986 the research program begun in 1982 in northern British Columbia and Southeast Alaska, designed to develop agreed estimates of rates of interception of salmon in the area;

c.     continue efforts to develop analytical models that forecast abundance and analyze recovery and escapement data to refine stock productivity estimates and monitor and forecast management needs;

d.     improve evaluation of escapements through improved monitoring (key index area streams, standardization of methods, etc.) and coded-wire tag recovery in escapements;

e.     develop and maintain coded-wire tagging programs for key stocks or index groups to measure exploitation rates and better define time-area distribution for development of management options;

f.      obtain coastwide estimates for non-reported incidental catches of juvenile salmon;

g.     evaluate and develop alternative techniques such as electrophoresis, scale analysis, etc., for stock identification in order to identify stocks not represented by coded-wire tag groups;

h.     explore the feasibility of in-season management;

i.      review annually methodologies and procedures for the purpose of determining performance of applied measures and maintaining "state-of-the-art" fishery management techniques.

  1. Yukon River

Considering that salmon stocks originating from the Canadian section of the Yukon River and the Canadian section of the Porcupine River are harvested by fishermen of both Canada and the United States and that effective conservation and management of these resources is of mutual interest, the Parties, in order to facilitate implementation of Article VIII, shall

1.     During March 1985, meet in order inter alia, to

a.     determine current stock status;

b.     develop preliminary escapement goals;

c.     examine enhancement opportunities;

d.     examine conservation concerns, including habitat degradation, and recommend management strategies and goals;

e.     develop and recommend co-operative research proposals for 1985 and thereafter; and

f.      notwithstanding the Transboundary River Annex and other provisions of this Memorandum establish the range within which the percentage of the United States harvest of each species of salmon originating in Canadian sections of the rivers that shall be deemed to by of United States origin shall be set, as required by Article VIII, paragraph (4).

2.     During March 1985, establish a technical committee to compile available data and itemize research requirements for effective future management and conservation.

3.     Notwithstanding the Transboundary River Annex and other provisions of this Memorandum, during October 1985, initiate negotiations as required by Article VIII, paragraph (3), to determine inter alia, the percentage of the United States harvest of each species of salmon originating in Canadian sections of the rivers that shall be deemed to be of United States origin.

  1. Transboundary Rivers

Whereas salmon originating in Canadian sections of Transboundary Rivers are subject to harvesting by United States fishermen in United States waters;

And whereas the Parties have encountered difficulties in determining the percentage of the total allowable catch of salmon that shall be deemed to be of United States origin for the purpose of implementing Article III, paragraph 1(b) of the Treaty,

The Parties therefore agree that the Commission shall determine this percentage during the first year following the entry into force of the Treaty.

  1. Northern Boundary - Southeastern Alaska

In recognition of the Northern Boundary Technical Committee Report that Area 3 net fisheries in Canada harvest both Canadian and United States pink stocks along the boundary areas, Canada shall provide to the United States a plan that ensures that fisheries in this Area are not increased during the period of mid-July through mid-August.