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Presidential Message -- Northwest Atlantic Fishery Convention


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With a view to receiving the advice and consent of the Senate to ratification, I transmit herewith the Amendment to the Convention on Future Multilateral Cooperation in the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries (the "Convention"), adopted on September 28, 2007, at the twenty-ninth Annual Meeting of the North Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO). I also transmit, for the information of the Senate, the report of the Secretary of State on the Amendment, which includes an article-by-article analysis.

The Amendment serves to bring the Convention in line with modern international fisheries governance, including revisions to its decisionmaking and objection rules and a new comprehensive dispute settlement procedure. The Amendment also reflects changes to the budget contribution scheme that are expected to significantly reduce U.S. annual payments to NAFO. Involved Federal agencies and stakeholders strongly support the proposed changes to the Convention. The strengthened Convention will improve the way NAFO manages the fish stocks under its purview and enforces compliance with the measures it adopts, which in turn will improve the chances that key stocks in the Northwest Atlantic will recover enough to support resumed fishing.

The recommended changes to the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Convention Act of 1995 necessary to implement the Amendment will be submitted separately to the Congress. I therefore recommend that the Senate give favorable consideration to the Amendment to the Convention and give its advice and consent to ratification at the earliest possible date.


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