THE MARINE MAMMAL COMMISSION COMPENDIUM
BILATERAL / MEXICO
Volume(s) 1-3; pages 3325-3329
Convention for the Establishment of an International Commission for the Scientific Investigation of Tuna, Mexico City, 1949
Done at Mexico City 25 January 1949
*( This Convention was terminated on 5 February 1965. )*
Primary source citation: 1 UST 513, TIAS 2094
CONVENTION FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF AN INTERNATIONAL COMMISSION FOR THE SCIENTIFIC INVESTIGATION OF TUNA. PREAMBLE
The United States of America and the United Mexican States considering their respective interests in maintaining the populations of certain tuna and tuna-like fishes in the waters of the Pacific Ocean off the coasts of both countries, and desiring to cooperate in scientific investigation, and in the gathering and interpretation of factual information to facilitate maintaining the populations of these fishes at a level which will permit the maximum reasonable utilization without depletion year after year, have agreed to conclude a Convention for these purposes and to that end have named as their Plenipotentiaries:
The President of the United States of America:
Walter Thurston, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America in Mexico;
The President of the United Mexican States:
Manuel Tello, acting Secretary of Foreign Relations; who having communicated to each other their full powers, found to be in good and due form, have agreed as follows:
1. - The High Contracting Parties agree to establish and operate a joint commission, to be known as the International Commission for the Scientific Investigation of Tuna, hereinafter referred to as the Commission, which shall carry out the objectives of this Convention. The Commission shall be composed of two national sections, a United States section, consisting of four members, appointed by the Government of the United States of America, and a Mexican section consisting of four members, appointed by the Government of the United Mexican States.
2. - The Commission shall submit annually to the respective Governments a report on its findings, with appropriate recommendations, and shall also inform them, whenever it is deemed advisable, on any matter relating to the objectives of this Convention.
3. - The expenses incurred by each national section for its own personnel, offices and operation, including emoluments, transportation and subsistence, shall be borne by its government. Joint expenses incurred by the Commission shall be paid by the High Contracting Parties in the form and proportion recommended by the Commission and approved by the High Contracting Parties.
4. - Both the general annual program of activities and the budget of joint expenses shall be recommended by the Commission and submitted for approval to the High Contracting Parties.
5. - The High Contracting Parties shall decide on the most convenient place for the establishment of the Commission's headquarters.
6. - The Commission shall meet at least twice each year and at such other times as may be requested by either national section. The date and place of the first meeting shall be determined by agreement between the High Contracting Parties.
7. - At its first meeting the Commission shall select a chairman from the members of one national section and a secretary from the members of the other national section. The chairman and secretary shall hold office for a period of one year. During succeeding years, selection of the chairman and secretary shall alternate between the respective national sections.
8. - Each national section shall have one vote. Decisions, resolutions, and recommendations of the Commission shall be made only by approval of both sections.
9. - The Commission shall be entitled to adopt and to amend subsequently, as occasion may require, by-laws or rules for the conduct of its meetings and for the performance of its functions and duties. Such by-laws, rules or amendments shall be referred by the Commission to the Governments and shall become effective thirty days from the date of receipt of notification unless disapproved by either of the two Governments within that period.
10. - The Commission shall be entitled to employ necessary personnel for the performance of its functions and duties. The appointments shall be distributed equitably between nationals of the United States and Mexico except in special instances in which the appointment of persons of other nationalities is desirable.
11. - Each section of the Commission may appoint its own advisors who may attend sessions of the Commission in their advisory capacity when the Commission so determines. Each section may meet separately with advisors from its own country when it deems such meetings desirable.
12. - Each section of the Commission may hold public hearings within the territory of its own country.
13. - The Commission shall designate simultaneously a Director and an Assistant Director of Investigations, who shall be technically competent and shall be responsible to the Commission. One of these functionaries shall be a national of the United States and the other a national of Mexico. Subject to the instruction of the Commission and with its approval, the Director shall have charge of:
a) the drafting of programs of investigation, and the preparation of budget estimates for the Commission;
b) authorizing the disbursment of the funds for the joint expenses of the Commission;
c) the accounting of the funds for the joint expenses of the Commission;
d) the appointment and immediate direction of technical and any other personnel required for the scientific functions of the Commission;
e) arrangements for the cooperation with other organizations or individuals in accordance with paragraph 18 of this Article;
f) the coordination of the work of the Commission with that of organizations and individuals whose cooperation has been arranged for;
g) the drafting of administrative, scientific and other reports for the Commission;
h) the performance of such other duties as the Commission may require.
14. - The Assistant Director shall assist the Director of Investigations in all his functions, and shall substitute for him during his temporary absences. Both the Director and the Assistant Director of Investigations may be freely removed by the Commission.
15. - The official languages of the Commission shall be English and Spanish, and members of the Commission may use either language during meetings. When necessary, translation shall be made to the other language. The minutes, official documents and publications of the Commission shall be in both languages, but official correspondence of the Commission may be written at the discretion of the secretary in either language.
16. - Representatives of both national sections shall be entitled to participate in all work carried out by the Commission or under its auspices.
17. - Each national section shall be entitled to obtain certified copies of any documents pertaining to the Commission except that the Commission will adopt and may amend subsequently rules to insure the confidential character of records of statistics of individual catches and individual company operations. These rules and amendments shall be referred to the Governments in accordance with the procedures of paragraph 9 of this Article.
18. - In the performance of its duties and functions the Commission may request the technical and scientific services of and information from official agencies of the High Contracting Parties and any international, public, or private institution or organization or any private individual.
The Commission shall perform the following functions and duties:
1. - Make investigations: (a) concerning the abundance, biology, biometry, and ecology of the yellowfin, bluefin, and albacore tunas, bonitos, yellowtails, and skipjacks (hereinafter referred to as tuna and tuna-like fishes) in the waters of the Pacific Ocean off the coasts of both countries and elsewhere as may be required, and of the kinds of fishes commonly used as bait in tuna fishing; and (b) concerning the effects of natural factors and human activities on the abundance of the populations of fishes to which the Convention refers.
2. - Collect and analyze information relating to the current and past conditions and trends of the populations of the tuna and tuna-like fishes and tuna-bait fishes of the waters of the Pacific Ocean off the coasts of both countries and elsewhere as may be required.
3. - Study and appraise information concerning methods and procedures for maintaining and increasing the populations of tuna and tuna-like fishes and tuna bait fishes in the waters of the Pacific Ocean off the coasts of both countries and elsewhere as may be required.
4. - Conduct such fishing and other activities, on the high seas and in the waters which are under the jurisdiction of either High Contracting Party, as may be necessary to attain the ends referred to in sub-paragraphs 1, 2 and 3 of this Article.
5. - Obtain statistics and all kinds of reports concerning catches, operations of fishing boats and other information concerning the fishing for tuna and tuna-like fishes and the tuna-bait fishes. The High Contracting parties shall, if necessary, enact legislation in order to make it obligatory for the boat captains or other persons who participate in these fishing activities to keep records of operations, including the volume of the catch by species and the area in which caught, all of these in the form and with such frequency as the Commission deems necessary.
6. - Publish or otherwise disseminate reports relative to the results of its findings and such other reports as fall within the scope of this Convention, as well as scientific, statistical, and other data relating to the fisheries for tuna and tuna-like fishes and tuna-bait fishes in the waters of the Pacific Ocean off the coasts of both countries and elsewhere as may be required.
1. - The present Convention shall be ratified in accordance with the constitutional procedures of each country and the instruments of ratification shall be exchanged at Washington as soon as possible.
2. - The present Convention shall enter into force on the date of exchange of ratifications. It shall remain in force for a period of four years and thereafter until one year from the day on which either of the High Contracting Parties shall give notice to the other High Contracting Party of its intention of terminating the Convention.
3. - In the event of termination of the Convention, property supplied to the Commission by the High Contracting Parties shall be returned to that High Contracting Party which originally provided it. Property otherwise acquired by the Commission, with the exception of the archives, shall be returned to the High Contracting Parties taking into account the proportion in which they shall have contributed to the expenses of the Commission.
4. - At the termination of this Convention the High Contracting Parties shall divide the archives of the Commission as follows: The United States of America shall receive the part in English and the United Mexican States, the part in Spanish. Either of the two countries shall be able to obtain certified copies of any document from the archives of the Commission which is in the possession of the other. These archives may be consulted at any time for this purpose by authorized representatives of the government not having in its possession the archives which it wishes to consult. This paragraph shall be subject to the provisions of Paragraph 17 of Article I of this Convention.
In witness whereof the respective Plenipotentiaries have signed the present Convention and have affixed their seals.
Done in duplicate, in the English and Spanish Languages, at Mexico City this twenty-fifth day of January, one thousand nine hundred and forty-nine.
WALTER THURSTON [Seal]
MANUEL TELLO [Seal]
EMBASSY OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Mexico, D. F., January 26, 1949.
His Excellency Seor MANUEL TELLO, Acting Minister for Foreign Relations, Mxico, D. F.
I have the honor to refer to the recent negotiations which have culminated in the signing, on Tuesday, January 25, 1949, of the Convention for the Establishment of an International Commission for the Scientific Investigation of Tuna.
During the course of the negotiations which now have successfully been concluded, two understandings were reached with regard to the proper interpretation of Paragraphs 7 and 9 of Article I of the Convention. It was agreed that these understandings should be made of record through an exchange of notes.
With regard to Paragraph 7 of Article I, it is the understanding of my Government that the Commission shall be instructed to arrange for the selection of the Chairman in such a manner as to insure that the Director of Investigation will be of the other nationality during the first year.
Concerning Paragraph 9 of Article I it is the understanding of my Government that, with regard to the receipt of notifications from the Commission by the two governments, and in the event such notifications are received on different dates, the thirty day time limit shall count from the later date, thereby avoiding any confusion which might arise as to which date would be applicable.
Your Excellency's affirmative answer to this present note would constitute the desired exchange.
I avail myself of this opportunity to renew to Your Excellency the assurances of my highest and most distinguished consideration.
MINISTRY OF FOREIGN RELATIONS UNITED MEXICAN STATES MEXICO
MEXICO, D.F., January 31, 1949.
His Excellency WALTER THURSTON, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Embassy of the United States of America, City.
81620 MR. AMBASSADOR:
I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of Your Excellency's note No. 2835 which you addressed to me on the 26th instant. In the aforementioned note Your Excellency referred to the negotiations which led to the Convention for the establishment of an International Commission for Scientific Research on Tuna, which was signed on January 25, 1948. Two points regarding this Convention were left pending, to be settled by an exchange of notes between both Governments, for the purpose of defining the exact sense of sub-paragraphs 7 and 9 of article I. With regard to the first of the aforementioned sub-paragraphs, I am pleased to inform Your Excellency that, in accordance with what was agreed, the Mexican Commissioners shall be instructed in due time so that in the first year the designation of Chairman of the Commission and of Director of Research will be effected simultaneously and in such a manner that the appointments will be given to persons of different nationality.
I am also pleased to inform Your Excellency, with regard to sub-paragraph 9 of the above-mentioned article I of the Convention, that my Government is in complete agreement with the interpretation of Your Excellency's Government, regarding the period for expressing disagreement, if any, with respect to the Statutes, Regulations and amendments thereto, which the Commission, under sub-paragraph 9, may submit to the Governments. The Mexican Government, like Your Excellency's, understands that in case such notifications are received by the Governments on different dates, the period of thirty days indicated in the aforementioned sub-paragraph will be computed beginning with the later of the above-mentioned dates, in order to avoid any confusion which might arise as to which would be the applicable date.
I assure Your Excellency of my highest and most distinguished consideration.