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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
January 9, 2003

Message to the Senate of the United States

With a view to receiving the advice and consent of the Senate to ratification, I transmit herewith the Agreement Amending the Treaty Between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of Canada on Pacific Coast Albacore Tuna Vessels and Port Privileges done at Washington May 26, 1981 (the "Treaty"), effected by an exchange of diplomatic notes at Washington on July 17, 2002, and August 13, 2002 (the "Agreement"). I am also enclosing, for the information of the Senate, the report of the Secretary of State on the Agreement and a related agreement, effected by an exchange of notes at Washington on August 21, 2002, and September 10, 2002, amending the Annexes to the Treaty; this related agreement was concluded pursuant to Article VII of the Treaty.

The Treaty currently permits unlimited fishing for albacore tuna by vessels of each Party in waters under the jurisdiction of the other Party. The Agreement amends the Treaty to allow for a limitation on such fishing necessitated by changing circumstances.

The U.S. fishing and processing industries strongly support the amendment to the Treaty. The amendment not only allows the Parties to redress the imbalance of benefits received by U.S. fishers that has developed in the operation of the Treaty, but also preserves U.S. interests under the Treaty, including the interest of U.S. fishers to fish in Canadian waters at times when the albacore stock moves northward, the interest of U.S. processors to continue to receive Canadian catches for processing, and the U.S. interest in being able to conserve and manage the stock.

The recommended legislation necessary to implement the Agreement will be submitted separately to the Congress.

I recommend that the Senate give favorable consideration to this Agreement and give its advice and consent to ratification at an early date.

January 9, 2003.

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