As we prepare to close out the calendar year, I am writing to draw your attention to the circumstances of the U.S.-Canada Albacore Treaty (the Treaty). The current reciprocal fishing regime is entering its third and final year, and per the terms of the Treaty amendments and other arrangement concluded in 2008 the U.S. and Canadian Governments will begin talks in early 2011 on the future of the treaty, including any new regime.
In order for our discussions with Canada to proceed in an informed way, it is important to once again solicit the views of stakeholders on the Treaty. In consultation with my NMFS colleagues, I am requesting that all interested stakeholders write to us with any and all views as to the benefits or detriments of the treaty to your business, association membership, constituents, communities, etc. These views will be taken into account in the development of positions that the United States may take in discussions with Canada on the future of the Treaty. The nature of those positions will then inform us as to whether, and if so how, we may proceed with formal negotiations.
I am requesting written responses by mid January so that we can begin to analyze these views that are expressed and conduct any further outreach and/or coordination, as necessary. Therefore, please provide your views by January 20, 2011. Please send them to me at HoganDF@state.gov, and please copy Mark Helvey in NMFS/SWR at Mark.Helvey@noaa.gov. If that deadline presents difficulties, please let us know ASAP and we can discuss different arrangements; otherwise, if we do not hear from folks we will proceed as if their positions/views are neutral.
In sending along your views, please seriously consider including the other addressees to this message so that we can ensure transparency in the process and everyone can understand the range of views and positions that may be expressed. I believe this will help alleviate any questions related to where each stakeholder or group(s) of stakeholders stands with regard to the Treaty.
Thanks and happy holidays, DFH
p.s.: I’ve tried to include the e-mail addresses for all of the current contacts I have for folks dealing with albacore in the Pacific, but if there’s anyone else who you believe should be included in the distribution please feel free to forward my message and I’d welcome being advised of anyone I’ve missed.
David F. Hogan
Office of Marine Conservation (OES/OMC)
U.S. Department of State