The Secretary, through the Secretary of State, shall—
(1)initiate negotiations as soon as possible for the development of bilateral or multilateral agreements with other nations for the protection and conservation of all marine mammals covered by this chapter;
(A)negotiations as soon as possible with all foreign governments which are engaged in, or which have persons or companies engaged in, commercial fishing operations which are found by the Secretary to be unduly harmful to any species or population stock of marine mammal, for the purpose of entering into bilateral and multilateral treaties with such countries to protect marine mammals, with the Secretary of State to prepare a draft agenda relating to this matter for discussion at appropriate international meetings and forums;
(B)discussions with foreign governments whose vessels harvest yellowfin tuna with purse seines in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean, for the purpose of concluding, through the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission or such other bilateral or multilateral institutions as may be appropriate, international arrangements for the conservation of marine mammals taken incidentally in the course of harvesting such tuna, which should include provisions for
(i) cooperative research into alternative methods of locating and catching yellowfin tuna which do not involve the taking of marine mammals,
(ii) cooperative research on the status of affected marine mammal population stocks,
(iii) reliable monitoring of the number, rate, and species of marine mammals taken by vessels of harvesting nations,
(iv) limitations on incidental take levels based upon the best scientific information available, and
(v) the use of the best marine mammal safety techniques and equipment that are economically and technologically practicable to reduce the incidental kill and serious injury of marine mammals to insignificant levels approaching a zero mortality and serious injury rate;
(C)negotiations to revise the Convention for the Establishment of an Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (1 U.S.T. 230; TIAS 2044) which will incorporate—
(i)the conservation and management provisions agreed to by the nations which have signed the Declaration of Panama and in the Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks Agreement, as opened for signature on December 4, 1995; and
(ii)a revised schedule of annual contributions to the expenses of the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission that is equitable to participating nations; and
(D)discussions with those countries participating, or likely to participate, in the International Dolphin Conservation Program, for the purpose of identifying sources of funds needed for research and other measures promoting effective protection of dolphins, other marine species, and the marine ecosystem;
(3)encourage such other agreements to promote the purposes of this chapter with other nations for the protection of specific ocean and land regions which are of special significance to the health and stability of marine mammals;
(4)initiate the amendment of any existing international treaty for the protection and conservation of any species of marine mammal to which the United States is a party in order to make such treaty consistent with the purposes and policies of this chapter;
(5)seek the convening of an international ministerial meeting on marine mammals before July 1, 1973, for the purposes of
(A) the negotiation of a binding international convention for the protection and conservation of all marine mammals, and
(B) the implementation of paragraph (3) of this section; and
(6)provide to the Congress by not later than one year after October 21, 1972, a full report on the results of his efforts under this section.
(b) Consultations and studies concerning North Pacific fur seals
(1)In addition to the foregoing, the Secretary shall—
(A)in consultation with the Marine Mammal Commission established by section
1401 of this title, undertake a study of the North Pacific fur seals to determine whether herds of such seals subject to the jurisdiction of the United States are presently at their optimum sustainable population and what population trends are evident; and
(B)in consultation with the Secretary of State, promptly undertake a comprehensive study of the provisions of this chapter, as they relate to North Pacific fur seals, and the provisions of the North Pacific Fur Seal Convention signed on February 9, 1957, as extended (hereafter referred to in this subsection as the “Convention”), to determine what modifications, if any, should be made to the provisions of the Convention, or of this chapter, or both, to make the Convention and this chapter consistent with each other.
The Secretary shall complete the studies required under this paragraph not later than one year after October 21, 1972, and shall immediately provide copies thereof to Congress.
(2)If the Secretary finds—
(A)as a result of the study required under paragraph (1)(A) of this subsection, that the North Pacific fur seal herds are below their optimum sustainable population and are not trending upward toward such level, or have reached their optimum sustainable population but are commencing a downward trend, and believes the herds to be in danger of depletion; or
(B)as a result of the study required under paragraph (1)(B) of this subsection, that modifications of the Convention are desirable to make it and this chapter consistent;
he shall, through the Secretary of State, immediately initiate negotiations to modify the Convention so as to
(i) reduce or halt the taking of seals to the extent required to assure that such herds attain and remain at their optimum sustainable population, or
(ii) make the Convention and this chapter consistent; or both, as the case may be. If negotiations to so modify the Convention are unsuccessful, the Secretary shall, through the Secretary of State, take such steps as may be necessary to continue the existing Convention beyond its present termination date so as to continue to protect and conserve the North Pacific fur seals and to prevent a return to pelagic sealing.
(c) Description of annual results of discussions; proposals for further action
The Secretary shall include a description of the annual results of discussions initiated and conducted pursuant to subsection (a)(2)(B) of this section, as well as any proposals for further action to achieve the purposes of that subsection, in the report required under section
1373(f) of this title.
1997—Subsecs. (a)(2)(C), (D). Pub. L. 105–42added subpars. (C) and (D).
1988—Subsec. (a)(2). Pub. L. 100–711, § 4(b), amended par. (2) generally. Prior to amendment, par. (2) read as follows: “initiate negotiations as soon as possible with all foreign governments which are engaged in, or which have persons or companies engaged in, commercial fishing operations which are found by the Secretary to be unduly harmful to any species of marine mammal, for the purpose of entering into bilateral and multilateral treaties with such countries to protect marine mammals. The Secretary of State shall prepare a draft agenda relating to this matter for discussion at appropriate international meetings and forums;”.
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