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Agreement Between the Government of

the United States of America and the Government of Japan Regarding Squid and Large-Mesh Driftnet Fisheries,

Tokyo and Silver Spring, 1990

Done at Tokyo and Silver Spring 12 April 1990

Entered into force 12 April 1990*
Primary source citation: Copy of text provided by the

U.S. Department of State

FISHERIES AGENCY
MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY AND FISHERIES, GOVERNMENT OF JAPAN

2-1, 1-Chome, Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100, Japan TEL:03-502-8111 EXT:

April 12, 1990

Ambassador Edward E. Wolfe
Deputy Assistant Secretary
Department of State

Dr. William W. Fox, Jr.
Assistant Administrator for
Fisheries
National Marine Fisheries
Service, Department of Commerce

Dear Ambassador Wolfe / Dr. Fox:

With reference to the letters of Mr. K. Shima dated May 2, 1989 and of Mr. Tanaka dated June 26, 1989, I have the pleasure to write this letter concerning the 1990 observer program with respect to the Japanese squid and large-mesh driftnet fisheries, which are operating in the high seas areas of the North Pacific beyond the 200-mile zones of any coastal states. The details of this program are set forth in the attached Annexes A and B.

I would like to notify you of the intention of the Japan Squid Driftnet Fishery Association and the Japan Large-mesh Driftnet Fishery Association to take the voluntary measures to accept Japanese researchers and North American scientific observers on board the Japanese squid driftnet and large-mesh driftnet fishing vessels in 1990.

I understand that logistical details of the program have been agreed by the appropriate organizations of Japan, Canada, and the United States. I also understand that each side will be responsible for bearing the expenses incurred with respect to the boarding of its own scientific observers.

This Agreement expired on 31 December 1990.

In addition, I would like to notify you of the plan of the Fisheries Agency of Japan to send scientific research vessels to the North Pacific in 1990 to collect various scientific data with respect to the Japanese squid and large-mesh driftnet fisheries as follows:

4 research vessels to the squid driftnet fishing area
1 research vessel to the large-mesh driftnet fishing area

The Japanese side is ready to accept two North American scientists on board the RN Syoyo-maru and Wakatori-maru respectively and one North American scientist on board each of the other 3 vessels mentioned above, on condition that the boarding expenses will be borne by the Canadian or U.S. side that dispatches the scientist. The Canadian and U.S. sides will be provided with the details of the research plan and are requested to inform the Japanese side in a timely fashion of the intent to participate in the research cruises.

I would like to state that the program has been devised in response to your interests with respect to the Japanese high seas squid and large-mesh driftnet fisheries and their impact on the stocks of various species, particularly recognizing the significance of collecting adequate information on the incidental take of anadromous species in these fisheries, taking into account the 1989 observations, and with full respect to the United Nations Resolution A/C 2/44/L.81.

I understand that Japanese, Canadian and the U.S. sides share the view that the data to be obtained from the program will be statistically reliable.

I would also like to notify you of the intention of the Japanese side to exchange views with Canadian and the U.S. sides in early 1991 to plan a scientific observer program adequate to obtain needed data for the 1991 squid and large-mesh driftnet fisheries, taking into account the 1990 observations.

Finally, I would like to repeat the basic position of the government of Japan on the subject of high seas fishery including, but not limited to, the squid and large-mesh driftnet fisheries, that is the research programs and other activities with regard to those high seas fisheries should be undertaken under the responsibility and initiative of the flag state, i.e. Japan.

Sincerely,

Kouji Imamura
Councillor
Fisheries Agency
Government of Japan

C.C.

Dr. J. C. Davis
Regional Director-Science
Pacific Region
Department of Fisheries and Oceans
Government of Canada

ANNEX A
Japanese High Seas Driftnet Fishery 1990 Observer Program

The arrangements described below represent the process for collecting, handling, and providing driftnet fishery data by Japanese and North American scientific observers during 1990. The purpose of these activities is to secure statistically reliable information on the catch of target species such as squid and tuna and the incidental take of salmonids, all other fin fishes, marine mammals, seabirds, sea turtles, and other species of marine life.

1. Observer Deployment

A. Squid Driftnet Fishery

During the 1990 fishing season, 10 Canadian, 35 U.S. and 29 Japanese scientific observers (total of 74 observers) will be deployed on a total of 74 squid driftnet vessels so that a total of approximately 4380 operations will be observed throughout the squid fishing area. Allocation of observer effort will follow the plan outlined in Table 1.

B. Large-Mesh Driftnet Fishery

During the twelve month period from May 1990 through April 1991, a scientific observer program on large-mesh driftnet vessels will be implemented. 12 North American and 12 Japanese scientific observers (total of 24 observers) will be deployed on a total of 24 large-mesh driftnet vessels. Allocation of observer effort will follow the plan outlined in Table 2.

C. Embarkation and Disembarkation of Observers

In principle, embarkation and disembarkation of North American scientific observers will be from Japanese ports designated by the Japanese side.

Further details regarding arrangements for observation of Japanese high seas squid driftnet and large-mesh operations are addressed in Annex B of this letter.

Each North American scientific observer will present a Letter of Introduction to the Ship's master which will describe the detailed arrangements consistent with understandings among the appropriate organizations of Japan, Canada and the United States for deployment, observation, and other terms and conditions as appropriate. Such Letter of Introduction should be written in Japanese. The Japanese side will provide the ship's master and crew of each squid or large-mesh driftnet vessel with written instructions describing duties of scientific observers and required assistance from the crew.

2. Data Collection

A. Data to be Collected. For each operation, observers will collect the following data according to standardized procedures and format:

(a) Information on fishing methods including net mesh sizes, method of net deployment (i.e., whether the vessel fished individually or in conjunction with other vessels), depth of the top of the net from the water surface, total net depth from corkline to lead line, true compass direction of the set, length (m) of a tan of net (as measured by the observer), number of tans per net section, number and arrangement of net sections deployed per net set, and tans of net lost or discarded, description of net materials, number of driftnet vessels fishing in an array and number of such arrays in the area (within 15 nm of the observer vessel);

(b) Environmental conditions at the beginning and again at the ending of each net deployment, including: surface water temperatures, weather conditions (wind speed and direction), and sea condition (swell height);

(c) Date and location of net at the time of the beginning and the end of the set and at retrieval to nearest minute of latitude and longitude as recorded by the scientific observer directly from the navigation equipment;

(d) Catches and take of all species, including target species and incidental take species, recorded by each net section observed. Dropout rates will be recorded according to the procedures agreed upon at the March 1990 meeting in Tokyo by scientists of Canada, Japan and the United States and described in section B. below (“Agreed Procedures”).

(e) The vertical distribution of seabirds and seabird prey species (such as squid, saury, and pomfret) in the net webbing maybe recorded by net section.

() Observers will record biological information from any salmonid incidentally caught. For the 1990 observer program, this information will include the taking of scale samples, species determination, sex, fork length determination and the collection of snouts from all salmonids missing the adipose fin. Gonad weight will be measured whenever feasible. After sampling the salmonids will be returned to the water, in compliance with Japanese domestic regulations. All salmonid information will be exchanged by the appropriate authorities of Japan, Canada and the United States by February 1, 1991,

(g) Observers will record biological information from any sea turtles caught. Carapace measurements will be taken whenever feasible. Whenever conditions permit, turtles taken alive will be freed from net fragments, tagged by the observer, and released. Turtles taken aboard dead may be dissected for examination of stomach contents and collection of organs or tissue samples. All biological data from sea turtles will be exchanged by the appropriate authorities of Japan, Canada and the United States by April 1, 1991.

(h) Observers will record biological information and collect biological samples including length measurements from albacore and other tunas and billfish species. All biological data from finfish (other than salmonids) will be exchanged by the appropriate authorities of Japan, Canada and the United States by April 1, 1991.

(i) Observers will record biological information and collect biological samples according to the agreed procedures from marine mammals incidentally caught. The data will include species, sex, body length, lactation, pregnancy, fetal length and sex, teeth and reproductive organs. These data will be exchanged by the appropriate authorities of Japan, Canada and the United States by April 1, 1991.

(j) Observers will record biological information and collect biological samples from sea birds incidentally caught according to the agreed procedures. The data will include species, color phase, age, brood patch, culman length, wing length, molt, stomach contents, sex, and weight. One whole specimen of each species may be retained and frozen as a voucher specimen by each observer. These data will be exchanged by the appropriate authorities of Japan, Canada and the United States by April 1, 1991.

(k) Observers may record data on sightings of marine mammals and seabirds when the vessel is in transit to a new fishing location. The data will include standard sighting information such as location, environmental conditions, species sighted, number of animals sighted, distance from the vessel, etc. Such sighting activity is not to alter the course or interrupt in any way the normal operations of the vessel, except that access to information on the vessels position and environmental conditions will be assured.

(1) Secure freezer space adequate (up to 2 mo for vessels of 100 gross tonnes or larger and 1 mo for vessels smaller than 100 gross tonnes) to hold biological samples and specimens will be available for the observer. Specimens will be promptly removed from the ship's freezers upon the vessel's arrival in port.

(m) Observers, without neglecting their duties aboard the host vessel as described herein, may record observations of the fishing operations of non-INPFC member nations. This activity will consist of visual observation and recording of a description of activities observed and is not intended to disrupt or divert the host vessel in any way from its normal fishing activities. These data will be exchanged by the appropriate authorities of Japan, Canada and the United States at the same time as other observer information is exchanged following return of observers to port.

(n) On a daily basis, the vessel captain will provide to the observer information on the quantities of albacore, billfish and sharks retained by the vessel and the quantities discarded. Information on the quantities retained by the vessel will be provided with respect to each processed form, including whole fish, fillets, loins, fins, and belly portions. In a manner not to interfere with efficient operations of the vessel, observers may collect data to determine the size composition of albacore discarded by the vessel, the size composition of those retained by the vessel, and the relative weights of whole fish and the various processed forms.

B. Agreed Procedures

The procedures for catch and bycatch data collection and sampling agreed upon by scientists of Canada, Japan and U.S. are as follows :

1. Catch and Bycatch Data Collection Procedures

(a) Number of sections to be observed for catch and bycatch records on all animal species:

Sections will be randomly selected for observations. Six sections will be observed in operations consisting of six to nine sections and seven sections will be observed in operations consisting of ten or more sections.

(b) Number of observed sections for counting dropouts by species:

Two sections out of the sections mentioned above. During the observation of these two sections, the number of all finfishes which have dropped out of the net should be counted and recorded except for squid. Mammal, sea bird and sea turtle dropouts are to be recorded for every section observed. When counting dropouts, the counting of pomfret may be excluded if it impacts on the ability of the observer to accurately count the dropouts of other species.

(c) Observers do not work on non-fishing days. Should a vessel fish continuously for many days, the observers may take every 6th consecutive fishing day off.

(d) For Canada and Japan, a common data sheet (format) should be used. Variables will be common among the three countries.

(e) The computer file of observer data should be common among the three countries at the section level of resolution.

2. Sampling and Biological Measurements

(a) Sampling and biological measurements will be done on observed days and observed sections. Sampling should not be done on off-duty days and non-observed sections.

(b) For salmonids, species, fork length and sex will be recorded and scale samples will be taken. Gonad weight may be measured. For salmonids missing the adipose fin, snouts will be collected.

(c) All observers will record species, sex and body length for marine mammals and will collect teeth from all dead cetaceans. Sampling of internal organs will be limited to marine mammal experts on board vessels of more than 300 gross tonnes.

(d) For sea birds, the number of incidental take by species will be recorded. Each observer will preserve one specimen of each species during each cruise. Detailed biological measurements and dissection may be done by sea bird experts.

(e) For tuna fishes, fork length measurements will be taken for the first 30 individuals caught in each week for each species. For albacore, samples will be frozen if fish less than 30 cm in length are caught.

C. Coordination, Standardization, and Observer Training

1. All data identified in section 2 for collection by observers will be recorded daily onto data forms developed by the parties. These forms will be duplicated and provided to the appropriate authorities of Japan, Canada and the United States within 30 days after the Japanese or the North American scientific observer disembarks the host vessel.

2. Canadian, U.S. and Japanese scientists will cooperate to ensure that their respective scientific observers will collect and record data in an agreed and standardized format produced at the March 1990 meetings in Tokyo. The designated liaison persons of the appropriate authorities of Japan, Canada and the United States will exchange final versions of the observer training and field data collection manuals by May 1, 1990.

3. Data Exchange and Reporting

A. Data Exchange

1. Total fishing effort and the total catch in numbers of salmonids and in metric tons of animals of the squid driftnet fleets will be compiled by 10-day period and month and 1° x 1° statistical areas, for the following species: flying squid, albacore, skipjack tuna, swordfish, marlin, yellowtail, pomfret, sharks, and other fishes. Total fishing effort and the total catch in numbers of animals of the large-mesh driftnet fleets will be compiled by 10-day period and month and 1° x 1° statistical areas, for the following species: salmonids, albacore, skipjack tuna, other tuna, swordfish, marlin, pomfret, sharks and other fishes. Such data will be provided to the appropriate authorities of Japan, Canada and the United States by May 31, 1991. The number of vessels by type are also to be provided to the appropriate authorities of Japan, Canada and the United States by May 31, 1991. Three measures of effort are to be reported for each fishery: the cumulative number of standardized tans (50m standard tan length), number of vessels fishing and vessel days of operations.

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