HOUSE JOINT MEMORIAL 4008
State of Washington 52nd Legislature 1991 Regular Session
By Representatives R. King, Hochstatter, Cole, Orr, Haugen, Basich, Wilson, Spanel, Fuhrman, Padden, Winsley, D. Sommers, Bowman, Paris, May, Miller, Riley, Brough, Silver, Nealey, Forner, Wynne, Sheldon, Fraser, Phillips, Jones, Brumsickle, Nelson, Neher, Horn, Casada, H. Myers, Leonard, Moyer, Sprenkle, Brekke and Anderson.
Read first time February 11, 1991. Referred to Committee on Fisheries & Wildlife.
TO THE HONORABLE GEORGE BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, AND TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE AND THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, AND TO THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE UNITED STATES, IN CONGRESS ASSEMBLED:
We, your Memorialists, the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Washington, in legislative session assembled, respectfully represent and petition as follows:
WHEREAS, The continued use of driftnets by Japanese, Taiwanese, and Korean fishing fleets in the North and South Pacific is killing vast numbers of sea mammals and sea birds each year; and
WHEREAS, These thirty mile‑long driftnets are intercepting salmon species that originate in waters of the western United States and Canada further decreasing the important salmon resource of both countries; and
WHEREAS, Japanese, Taiwanese, and Korean squid fishing fleets of roughly 1200 vessels operate about 30,000 miles of driftnet per fishing day; and
WHEREAS, Squid driftnet fisheries are suspected of incidentally taking large numbers of salmon, seabirds and living mammals as evidenced by over 40,000 metric tons of illegally harvested salmon recovered through various enforcement actions; and
WHEREAS, These fleets are having a significant impact on the living marine resources of the North Pacific; and
WHEREAS, In 1987, the United States Congress passed the Driftnet Monitoring and Control Act which required that agreements be reached with nations operating high seas driftnet fleets to allow monitoring of their operation and provide enforcement; and
WHEREAS, Under the 1987 Driftnet Monitoring and Control Act, trade sanctions can be imposed against fish products imported from nations failing to successfully reach an agreement with the United States; and
WHEREAS, Many of these same vessels fish for tuna in the South Pacific where a significant conservation problem exists with albacore tuna; and
WHEREAS, Sixteen South Pacific Island nations have issued the Tarawa Declaration calling for an international ban on driftnet fishing in the South Pacific; and
WHEREAS, Steps taken so far to minimize the impact of these driftnet fisheries on living marine resources have somewhat improved monitoring, enforcement and research; however, they are only early steps and will not halt the imminent threat to the conservation and protection of these resources; and
WHEREAS, The states of Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Idaho, California, and Hawaii, and the province of British Columbia have signed a proclamation proposing some immediate steps that will work toward the long‑term goal of securing an international ban on driftnet fishing on the high seas;
NOW, THEREFORE, Your Memorialists respectfully pray that the United States Congress and President George Bush seek through all legal efforts in all available international forums an international ban on driftnet fishing on the high seas.
BE IT RESOLVED, That copies of this Memorial be immediately transmitted to the Honorable George Bush, President of the United States, the President of the United States Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and each member of Congress from the State of Washington.