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This will be a formidable challenge--with so many different goals and with a complexity of institutions, nations and interests involved. But the pay-off makes the effort worthwhile and here lies the essence of international cooperation-by deeds as well as words. Everyone can benefit.
H. Con. Res. 803 puts into succinct, clear terms the essence of the Decade's objectives and expectations.
In our form of Government, the two branches have an independent voice in determining what we as a Nation can and should do. Our citizens and those of other nations would clearly understand the intent of Congress expressed in this resolution and I firmly believe enactment of the resolution would aid our gaining cooperation in this difficult enterprise. Sincerely,
EDWARD WENK, Jr. Mr. LENNON. The members of the subcommittee will recall that on March 8 of this year, in the President's message on conservation and water management, he included a number of important paragraphs on the subject of the oceans.
He pointed out: The task of exploring the ocean's depth for its potential wealth—food, minerals, resources—is as vast as the seas themselves. No one nation can undertake that task alone. As we have learned from prior ventures in ocean exploration, cooperation is the only answer.
He then announced :
I have instructed the Secretary of State to consult with other nations on the steps that could be taken to launch an historic and unprecedented adventure an International Decade of Ocean Exploration for the 1970's.
He continues : Together the countries which border the seas can survey the ocean's resources, reaching where man has never probed before.
We hope that those nations will join in this exciting and important work.
House Concurrent Resolution 803 and its companion resolution pending in the Senate, Senate Concurrent Resolution 72, were drafted in the light of the President's message and would provide a vehicle by which the Congress might express its concurrence with the objectives of the President's proposal.
Through this hearing this morning, the subcommittee will have an opportunity to determine in a little more detail the nature of this challenging proposal.
I might say for the benefit of our distinguished witnesses that the resolution was introduced by the Chair and some 15 members of the subcommittee. Some of the members of the subcommittee favored it on its face. Others, like myself, felt like we should at least use it as a vehicle to start these hearings and make some determination, without at the same time making a prior judgment, as to what action the committee might take.
We are honored and delighted to have with us this morning our distinguished friend, Dr. Edward Wenk, Jr., Executive Secretary of the National Council on Marine Resources and Engineering Development, and also another distinguished witness, Mr. Herman Pollack, Director, International Scientific and Technological Affairs of the Department of State.
Will you come forward? May we ask if you have a prepared statement that you desire to present or would you speak extemporaneously and file a prepared statement for the record? What is your preference, gentlemen?
STATEMENT OF DR. EDWARD WENK, JR., EXECUTIVE SECRETARY,
NATIONAL COUNCIL ON MARINE RESOURCES AND ENGINEERING DEVELOPMENT
Dr. WENK. Good morning. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Gentlemen, we do have brief prepared statements. With your permission, Mr. Chairman, I think that by reading it, if I may, I would cover the same highlights as in an extemporaneous statement, and perhaps a little more concisely.
Mr. LENNON. Proceed, Doctor.
Dr. WENK. Mr. Chairman and members of the Subcommittee on Oceanography of the House Merchant Marine and Fisheries Committee, it is a very great pleasure to appear before you today to support your resolution concerning the International Decade of Ocean Exploration, to elaborate on the purposes and character of the proposal, and to answer any questions.
INTERNATIONAL DECADE OF OCEAN EXPLORATION
The International Decade of Ocean Exploration during the 1970's—is a plan for intensified, sustained international study of the sea and exploration of marine resources. The concept was first set forth by President Johnson in his state of the Union message when he said, "This year I shall propose that we launch, with other nations, an exploration of the ocean depths to tap its wealth, its energy, and its abundance.”
As you noted, Mr. Chairman, he elaborated on that statement in his March 11 message.
Subsequently, the President stated that such activities could:
- expand cooperative efforts by scientists from many nations to probe the mysteries of the sea ;
-increase our knowledge of food resources, to assist in meeting worldwide threats of malnutrition and disease;
-bring closer the day when the people of the world can exploit new sources of minerals and fossil fuels.
The oceans of the world are an important source of food and minerals for a rapidly developing world society. Nations of the world have long collaborated in probing the ocean environment. But we still have a very poor understanding of the potential of the oceans.
Now, however, an unprecedented scientific and technological capability exists to advance both the exploration of the sea and the harvest of its resources. Moreover, this Nation has a new legislative mandatewritten by the Congress, by this committee—to advance our effective use of the sea for the benefit of mankind. We have a new determination—by the executive branch—to implement that charge.
The very size, complexity and variability of the marine environment suggest a more intensive effort to understand the sea if we are to gain that knowledge in a reasonable time.
Moreover, excellence, experience, and capabilities are shared by many nations. The President has thus proposed that this historic and unprecedented venture be undertaken cooperatively by all of the nations of the world having interest. We have invited these various nations to contribute their particular expertise, to assume a share of the
responsibility for the program-I want to emphasize that point and cover it more later-and to disseminate the results of their discoveries to others.
EXPLANATION OF THE CONCEPT In light of a long history of cooperative expeditions—such as the International Geophysical Year and the Indian Ocean Expeditionyou may very well ask, “What is new? What is new about the Decade ?"
First, this proposal anticipates a sustained, long-term exploration of the sea, planned and coordinated on a global basis, in contrast to the sporadic efforts of the past, developed project by project, region by region.
Second, the Decade is oriented as much toward delineation of marine resources as toward science. It is thus more than a marine IGY.
Third, we anticipate more deliberate coordination of the activities of the many interested international organizations, such as the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO, the Food and Agriculture Organization, World Meteorological Organization, and so forth, so that worldwide exploration will not be splintered among competing agencies.
Fourth, we anticipate an intensified effort to assure the systematic collection of data and its prompt dissemination, with particular attention to adoption of internationally-agreed-upon standards that will maximize the value of the data.
Fifth, we would focus attention on participation by a larger number of countries, especially those which have a maritime geography but which previously may have lacked interest, trained manpower, or capabilities to explore the oceans, even near their own shores.
Thus, during the Decade all nations would be encouraged to develop their capabilities for exploration, to expand their own national programs, to share with other nations experience acquired from these national programs and to participate in international programs. Oceanic data-the basic commodity of cooperation would be obtained both unilaterally and through multilateral programs.
EXAMPLES OF COOPERATIVE EXPLORATION
By way of illustration, objectives for collaborative endeavors might include:
1. Exploration of living resources
Assessment of these living resources useful to man in unchartered regions of the world ocean; Assessment of the current utilization of known fishery stocks.
Acquisition of knowledge relating living resources to their environment in order that greater efficiency in their capture and their conservation can be achieved.
2. Exploration of the ocean floor.
Determination of the geological structure and mineral and energy resource potential of the world's continental margins.
Preparation of topographic, geological, and geophysical maps of selected areas of the deep ocean floor.
Coring and drilling on the continental margins and deep ocean floor in selected areas.
3. Exploration of ocean processes.
Study of scales of motion in the sea and the dynamics of ocean current systems.
Investigations of surface boundary processes, such as the growth and propagation of ocean waves.
Investigations of evolutionary processes of ocean bottoms and the basins.
4. Assistance to the developing nations.
Mapping of selected areas of the Continental Shelf of developing nations, depending upon their invitation for international assistance in exploration off their own shores, and the surveys of the coastal fishery resources of the developing nations.
We would expect this program to make use of specialized oceanographic ships, but also ships of opportunity. It should also begin to incorporate advanced technical aids such as buoys, precise navigation systems, even observations from spacecraft.
CONSULTATION WITH OTHER NATIONS
In preparing the concept of this Decade, however, the United States has not attempted to prejudge the scope, the international cooperative projects, or international arrangements. For us to have developed a master blueprint would have been completely contrary to the spirit of international collaboration.
The Secretary of State was thus requested by the President to undertake consultations with other nations. To aid in that task, the Marine Sciences Council prepared a “white paper” outlining the general character of the Decade, with a message from Vice President Humphrey inviting participation by all nations large and small.
Mr. Pollack is with me here today to elaborate on the interests of other nations in this proposal.
COORDINATION BY MARINE SCIENCES COUNCIL
The National Council on Marine Resources and Engineering Development has been assigned the responsibility by the President for coordinating ocean exploration activities of our Federal agencies and for developing a national exploration plan. This planning function will be undertaken by a joint Government-non-Government planning staff under the Council.
It is of critical importance to gain both guidance and participation from our nongovernmental scientific community in expanded comprehension of the sea, and from our industrial community in the intensified development of marine resources. As a first step, we have invited the National Academies of Soiences and of Engineering to participate continuously and actively, and have recently concluded a contract with them for an initial study of the scientific and engineering aspects of the Decade—the goals, priorities, timing, and capabilities required.
In short, the International Decade of Ocean Exploration builds on a strong foundation of scientific interest and experience in a worldwide program to study the sea. There will be benefits to science. But
there will also be benefits to economic development and to interna-
It is our view, Mr. Chairman, that this is in our national interest to undertake this international cooperative program. By way of example, if I may digress for just a moment.
We have visualized that the United States might contribute as much as one-third of the total international effort to this program. That invesment of one-third brings with it a return of the two-thirds of the exploration undertaken by other countries, data from which would be available to us. Depending upon how you look at it, this is a return of either two or three for one.
SUPPORT OF HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION 803
Your resolution, Mr. Chairman, and that of your colleagues puts into succinct, clear terms the essence of the Decade's objectives and expectations.
In our form of government, the two branches have an independent voice in determining what we as a nation can and what we should do. Our citizens and those of other nations would clearly understand the intent of Congress as expressed in this resolution, and I firmly believe enactment of the resolution would aid our gaining cooperation in what is an intensely difficult enterprise.
This support by the Congress would, indeed, be warmly welcomed. Thank you very much.
Mr. LENNON. Thank you, Doctor.
If the committee will permit, we will ask Mr. Herman Pollack, the Director of International Scientific and Technological Affairs, Department of State, to proceed with his statement before we question either of the two witnesses.
STATEMENT OF HERMAN POLLACK, DIRECTOR, INTERNATIONAL
SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNOLOGICAL AFFAIRS, DEPARTMENT OF
Mr. POLLACK. Thank you.
Mr. Chairman and members of the subcommittee, it is a pleasure in the midst of many difficult and complicated considerations affecting the marine environment, to appear before you to speak to one aspect which is clear and simple in both concept and purport. I am not suggesting that the International Decade of Ocean Exploration will be easy to arrange, or that its implementation will not be a complex matter. I am, however, stating that the challenge is clear, the need is obvious, and the benefit substantial.
The Department of State supports this concept wholeheartedly.