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\s long as no one used the World Ocean for anything but an inexpensive highway and a barrier against enemies, there was little interest in owning part of it. Freedom of the seas was an easy doctrine to preach and to maintain. But now that nations are convinced that the water world contains “inexhaustible” resources, they are gradually encroaching upon this freedom. A struggle for ownership of the ocean is arising, and a new law of the sea is gradually taking form.
Ecuador has charged American tuna men exorbitant fees for fishing within 200 miles of her coast and in 1963 seized, held, and fined two American crews. Japanese fishermen have violated our territorial seas so consistently that Alaska’s Governor William Egan, in 1962, ordered National Guardsmen to board and arrest the crews of two of their boats. Large, modern Soviet fleets fishing off both U. S. coasts have been called, in Congressional reports, “a peril to the U. S. fishing industry and a threat to the available supply of fish.” In March 1963. Brazil and France almost went to war over who owned the lobsters walking on the sea bed 60 miles off the Brazilian coast. A fishing dispute between Iceland and Great Britain has been smoldering since 1958.
The presence of Soviet fishing vessels off both coasts, such as these seven off Nantucket, constitutes “a peril to the U. S. fishing industry.”
One of the prizes at stake in this struggle— food—could relieve the cruel grip hunger holds on over half the world’s population. Many of the 500 million people who are Protein-starved live in nations fronting on the Indian Ocean, which teems with protein In a variety of delicious forms. The present w«rld fish catch of 88 billion pounds a year could be increased at least five-fold, and Maintained indefinitely at that level, without anger of depleting the stock. (Yet, many of e presently popular seafoods are showing the effects of overfishing.)
Another prize is the mineral wealth of the oceans. Diamonds are being dredged off outh Africa and tin off Indonesia. Japan Mines iron from its coastal waters, and coal 1S taken from tunnels extending under the from the coasts of Canada and England.
1 and gas are produced from offshore fields !? the Persian Gulf, the Gulf of Mexico, and e Gulf of Suez, off the shores of California, enezuela, Mexico, Japan, and Peru. Exration and drilling are going on in numerous other locations. Sulphur is being recovered it;0r|f keneath the Gulf of Mexico. Sea water 1 se f is a highly-dilute ore that contains dis- ed minerals in astronomical quantities; magnesium, bromine, iodine, and salt
are now being profitably extracted from it. Preliminary exploration indicates that the floor of the deep ocean is strewn with manganese, copper, cobalt, and nickel in amounts that could meet man’s needs for a million years at the present rate of consumption.
As 158,800 people are added to the world population every 24 hours and land resources are reduced or exhausted, the pressure to utilize these resources becomes greater and greater. But to exploit and conserve the sea’s wealth efficiently, international agreements must be reached and enforced. In addition, vastly more knowledge must be obtained and effective engineering and management techniques developed. While some are taking food from the sea, others are using it as a dumping ground for sewage, pesticides, and radioactive wastes. This adds to the urgency for a new international law of the sea.
Discovery and recovery of oil in the Gulf of Mexico by the United States precipitated the first Act to appropriate resources beyond territorial boundaries. Production of oil off Louisiana began in 1938, and subsequently it was estimated that submerged lands off Louisiana, Texas, and California contain the largest undeveloped source of oil under U. S. control—14 billion barrels. To protect
This three-legged, 4,000-ton, movable drilling island is designed to drill for oil below 20,000 feet in water as deep as 100 feet.
these resources against appropriation by foreign countries and to insure orderly exploitation, President Harry S. Truman issued the historical “Proclamation of 28 September 1945.” Called by some “one of the most decisive Acts in history,” this proclamation laid claim to the “natural resources of the subsoil and sea bed of the continental shelf.”
By this Proclamation, the United States gained rights to an undersea area three times the size of France (760,000 square miles). This acquisition should not be confused with decisions involving the Government and the States of California, Louisiana, and Texas. In a legal battle for oil and gas rights, these States laid claim to submerged lands from the low water mark to the three- mile limit. But the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Federal Government in three separate cases, stating that it has “paramount rights in and full domain and power over the belt as a function of national external sovereignty, and that these rights . . . extend to the outer edge of the continental shelf.”
The proclamation of 28 September 1945 was designed to initiate a change in international law by establishing a precedent which other nations could follow, but instead it unleashed a wave of extravagant claims and protests that international law had been violated. In 1950, the tiny Central American republic of El Salvador declared sovereignty over the sea, subsoil, and air space for a distance of 200 miles from its shores. At least five nations framed their claims to include the sea above the shelf, although the U. S. proclamation specifically stated: “The character as high seas of the waters above the continental shelf and the right to their free and unimpeded navigation are in no way affected.” This prompted two U. S. university professors to publish an article proposing that “we should extend our claim outward to the centers of the oceans.”
In 1952, Ecuador, Chile, and Peru claimed exclusive fishing rights for 200 miles off their coasts, irrespective of the width of their narrow shelves. Ecuador enforced its claim to the tune of $500,000 paid in fines by American tuna boat skippers in 1962 for fishing in the 66,000 square miles of Pacific Ocean claimed by that country. Fed up with paying up to $8,000 for a one-shot license to drop nets in these waters, 21 U. S. tuna boats penetrated the 200-mile limit in June 1963 and began fishing without licenses.
A U. S. purse seiner sets out its encircling net to catch the schools of tuna which run near the surface off the South American coast in the Pacific Ocean.
According to the fishermen, a patrol craft approached two of the boats 14 miles out and
ordered them into port to pay the fee. They refused, and the 19 other tuna boats surrounded the patrol craft. The Ecuadoreans sent out an emergency call for a destroyer, shots were fired, and the two American skippers then agreed to go along under force °f arms. Ecuador asserted that the boats were Wlthin the three-mile limit and stuck to this
Flee^”' a^so J' J• Johnson, “The Pacific Coast Tuna ’ U. S. Naval Institute Proceedings, June
story. Despite a call from Secretary of State r-*ean Rusk in their behalf, the crews were ePt imprisoned on their vessels for three weeks and fined $12,086 and $14,186.* Senator Ernest Gruening of Alaska called J. e incident an “unmitigated outrage.” Ecuador receives about $152,000,000 a year in U. S. 1 ; so Gruening and his Senate colleagues Passed an amendment to the foreign aid bill November 1963, limiting assistance to oreign countries imposing “any penalty or sanction on U. S. vessels.” The amendment Penalizes any country that makes exaggerated claims of fishing rights.
I 0 bring order out of the chaos of claims, an International Conference on the Law he Sea was convened by the United Na-
tions in Geneva in February, 1958. Attended by representatives of 86 nations, the Conference upheld the U. S. position that a coastal nation has exclusive rights to natural resources on and under its continental shelf. This Geneva convention also states that these rights do not extend to the overlying water and air, and it recognizes the four freedoms of the sea—freedom of navigation, freedom of fishing, freedom to lay submarine pipelines and cables, and freedom to fly over the high seas. The International Convention on the Continental Shelf came into force on 10 June 1964, when the United Kingdom became the 22nd nation to ratify it. British action was undoubtedly prompted by the fact that ratification gives Great Britain possession of the western half of the North Sea floor with its potential of rich gas and oil deposits.
Ratification means the convention’s terms are now acknowledged international law, and it marks the first world-wide accord on the ownership of marine resources. The terms, however, are not so specific that serious problems in interpretation and implementation cannot arise. In March 1963, Brazilian warships chased six French boats fishing for lobsters 60 miles off their coast. Brazil pointed out that the 1958 Geneva convention included
John 7. Royal
'fishing n miles off the coast of Ecuador in 8 ■ 3 White Star was one of two purse seiners th }' Ecuadorean government claimed
e boats were within the three-mile limit.
A nger and frustration are etched in the faces of U. S. tuna fishermen as they are brought ashore at Salinas, Ecuador, under armed guard.
not only minerals and other non-living resources, but also “living organisms . . . which . . . are unable to move except in constant physical contact with the sea bed or the subsoil.” Lobsters, langoustes, or crayfish, by whatever name they are called, do not swim but walk along the bottom; therefore Brazil considers them part of the resources of the shelf.
France disagreed in the form of the 2,750- ton destroyer Tartu, which was dispatched to protect the French fishermen. There were also rumors of a French armada heading toward Brazil from West Africa. “De Gaulle’s force de frappe Thermidor,” sneered a Brazilian official, and a newspaper headline announced “BRAZIL WILL MEET THE FRENCH ATTACK WITH SHELLS.”
When it looked as though a naval battle was imminent, the Journal do Brasil suggested: “Since both Brazilian and French gourmets delight in lobster, let us solve this crisis at the dinner table.” The French must have thought this was reasonable because they recalled whatever ships were en route. Back in Paris, Premier Georges Pompidou wrote the equivalent of the congressman from the fishermen’s district: “Brazil has no atomic bombs. We have very few of them. We are not going to declare war.”
The most important issues left unresolved by the 1958 Geneva Conference were the width of the territorial sea and the extent of fishing rights. Twenty-one nations, including the United States, claimed a three-mile limit; 17 nations claimed four to six miles; 11 nations, including Russia, claimed 12 miles; five nations went for 200 miles, and nine claimed the sea above the continental shelf. When it became apparent that none of these claims could muster support from a two-thirds majority, the United States offered a compromise proposal for a six-mile territorial sea with an additional six-mile restricted fishing zone. But after extensive and sometimes heated debate, neither this nor any other proposal received the required majority, and the 1958 Conference adjourned without taking any further action.
A Second Conference on the Law of the Sea convened in Geneva in March 1960, with the agenda limited to these two questions. During the period between the two conferences, representatives from the U. S. Navy and the Department of State visited countries all over the world to gain support for the six-plus-six compromise. Firmly convinced that six-miles was the outer limit consistent with security, freedom of the seas, and limitations of patrol
1 n^^*en the final vote was taken on 26 April iib) the six-milers fell one vote short of the required two-thirds majority of the 86 voting na lions. Thus, for the third time since 1930, an international conference on the law of the Sca failed to agree on regulation of living re- s°urces in the sea and how much ocean next Us coast a maritime country can control c°nsistent with the rights of other nations.
and maintenance of navigational aids, the United States used this compromise as a take- °ff point at the 1960 meeting.
After six weeks of debates, the claimants boiled down to six-milers vs. 12-milers. The former, led by the United States and Canada, Proposed a six-mile territorial sea with fishing restricted in the contiguous six miles. Whereas certain nations who had traditionally shed in the outer zone would have enjoyed Perpetual rights under the first U. S. six-plus- six plan, the new combined proposal limited istoric rights to a definite period of time. The 2-milers, an 18-nation bloc including the oviet Union, proposed each state could estab- 1. its own territorial sea within a three to 12- mde belt. Any country choosing less than 12 Wiles would be allowed exclusive fishing rights in the contiguous waters out to the 12- Wile limit.
ne 1958 Geneva Conference having failed to s°lve the width of the territorial sea and the ent of fishing rights questions, a second Con- erenct>. convened at Geneva in 1960, where the States was represented by Ambassador Dean (right) and Dr. M. Richards.
Upon failure of the Second Geneva Conference, the United States returned to the three- mile limit, stating that this is the only territorial sea sanctioned by use in international law. The United States officially established this limit in 1793 when the “cannon-shot rule,” which dates from around 1700, captured the imagination of jurists and politicians. According to this rule, the distance to which a cannon shot could be fired from shore was the distance to which a nation could enforce any territorial claims. At the time, the absolute limit that a shore battery might reasonably expect to hit anything with an iron cannon ball was a marine league or three nautical miles (5,556 meters).
Many observers hold the view that ballistics technology has outmoded the three-mile limit. Senator Gruening feels it was “a development of a national defense measure” which today penalizes the fishing industry. He and Senator Edward Muskie of Maine have co-sponsored a bill to extend territorial limits to 12 miles for fishing purposes only. The federal government’s position is that the origin and antiquity of the three-mile limit is not the question, that any territorial sea is an encroachment upon the freedom of the seas, and that a three-mile limit is most
Between the 1958 and 1960 Geneva conferences, the presence of Soviet fishing vessels in the Bering Sea brought strong U. S. protests.
consistent with the rights of other nations.
Gruening says this is all very well in principle, but in practice it is “an albatross hung around every fisherman’s neck.” He represents a group that feels the three-mile limit further sickens an already sick fishing industry by allowing the large modern fishing fleets of Russia, Japan, and other nations to come too close to our shores, deplete the stock, and in some cases sell it back to the United States. A Senate Commerce Committee report accuses Soviet fishermen of strong-arm tactics such as hit-and-run collisions, crowding out our fishermen with trawler flotillas of 150 to 200 vessels, destroying pots and lines, using illegal gear and ignoring conservation agreements. Gruening states: “Soviet vessels have repeatedly, under cover of morning fog, penetrated inside our three-mile limit.” Reports from Alaska claim that for two successive seasons Russian trawlers have torn up king crab traps just outside the three-mile limit. Gov- ernos Egan has written the President saying “the Russians are driving American fishermen from their traditional fishing grounds and ignoring the fundamental requirements of king crab conservation.”
Japanese fishermen, too, have repeatedly penetrated our territorial seas and violated
conservation practices. In the summer of 1962, Governor Egan protested to the Department of State the presence of Japanese fishing vessels in territorial waters between Kodiak Island and the Alaska mainland. When no action was taken, Governor Egan sent the National Guard on board two of the vessels, had the crews arrested, and ordered them brought to court. His action was heartily approved by Alaska’s congressional delegation and won the unanimous and enthusiastic support of the people of the State. The Department of State, however, was not so pleased and, at their request, the Japanese were released without any penalty whatsoever.
Subsequent to this incident, President J. F. Kennedy signed Senate Bill 1988, imposing fines up to $10,000 and imprisonment up to one year for violation of our territorial waters. The bill, which became Public Law 88-308*, also prohibits the taking of any U. S. fishery resource on the continental shelf regardless of the width of the territorial sea. In addition to this law, the one to create a 12-mile fishing zone, and the amendment to the foreign aid
* Created by the last Congress, this law gives the President discretionary powers to extend U. S. territorial limits beyond the traditional 3-mile limit.
Alaska’s Senator Gruening charges that Russian trawlers have repeatedly penetrated his state’s three-mile limit, and have torn up king crab traps such as these being set by Alaskan fishermen.
The Japanese fishing boat Ohtori Maru 5, tied to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game Patrol Boat Teal in Kodiak Harbor, was apprehended in Shelikof Strait and charged with fishing in Alaska’s territorial waters.
bill, there is legislation pending to give the President power to raise tariffs against uncooperative nations and to subsidize the fishing industry. All this adds up to an impressive package of laws dealing with marine resources and control of large areas of the high seas.
Meanwhile, Mexico has claimed the right to exclude U. S. shrimp boats from traditional fishing grounds within nine miles of her shores. Turkey has extended her fishing boundaries from six to 12 miles, and Colombia js considering making claims out to 200 miles rom her coast. In August 1964, Canada be- San a by-stages move to extend its fisheries’ unit from three to 12 miles. This will deprive some American fishermen of long-frequented grounds unless State Department negotiations n°w in progress are successful.
A 16-nation European Fisheries Conference in London in February 1964 to settle ishing disputes in the North Eastern Atlantic and to discuss ways to push back increasing numbers of Russian and Polish fishing vessels.
ne of the main disputes was the Fish War between Great Britain and Iceland, smolder- *ng since 1958. In September of that year, Cc and banned fishing by other nations Mthin 12 miles of her coast. Great Britain, nose trawlers had been working these waters for about 70 years, protested this as unlawful interference with ships on the high seas. She announced that her fishermen would continue to fish in the disputed zone and would be protected by the Royal Navy while so doing. For more than 18 months British trawlers fished in groups within short distance of both Icelandic gunboats and British warships. Remarkably, neither side lost its temper, good sense, or judgment; and not a single person was hurt during the entire “war.”
Both British trawlers and warships withdrew to clear the air for the 1960 Geneva Conference. After the Conference, the trawlers kept outside the 12-mile limit until an agreement was reached in March 1961. The terms: Iceland received her 12-mile limit, but Great Britain retained the right to fish at certain times and locations within six miles • of her coast for three years. When this agreement expired, Britain hoped to keep fishing these waters by getting the nations participating in the European Fisheries Conference to agree to a six-plus-six pact. Iceland refused to join the convention, but Great Britain and 12 other nations agreed to extend their fisheries’ jurisdiction out to 12 miles. The first six miles are reserved for each nation’s own fishermen, while the outer six are restricted to countries
Mr. Cromie received a B.S. degree in Geology from Columbia University in 1956. He served in Merchant Marine cargo ships at the age of 15, in 1945-1946, and with the Military Sea Transportation Service in Korean waters from 1951 to 1953. He was a member of the IGY scientific staff in Antarctica from 1956 to 1958. In 1958. he served as oceanographer aboard Columbia University’s schooner Vema) which was engaged in oceanographic research in the Indian Ocean-Red Sea area. He organized and acted as head of Columbia University’s Arctic Ocean expedition in Drifting Station Charlie in 1959-1960.
who have traditionally fished these grounds.
This is the first general international agreement revising the three-mile limit, and it substantially strengthens the position of the 12-mile limit in international law. Such multilateral pacts for specific purposes are the beginning of a new law of the sea—a law that must soon take form if nations are to efficiently exploit and effectively conserve the ocean’s resources.
Dr. Columbus O’D. Iselin of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and Harvard UniBureau of Mines
The Department of the Interior has established a 73-acre Marine Mineral Technology Center (formerly the Tiburon Naval Net Depot) 17 miles north of San Francisco, where underwater mining studies will be conducted by the Bureau of Mines.
versity predicts: “Inevitably it will be practical to set up the equivalent of fences in the sea so as to regulate the goings and comings of fish. It will be possible to remove the ‘weed’ forms and to encourage the production of desirable food fish.” All present marine mining is in waters less than 400 feet deep. But with increased knowledge, efficient methods and equipment and, perhaps, government money, ocean miners will go farther and deeper. (By the end of this decade, the Bureau of Mines expects to have underwater mining demonstration laboratories, and floating submerged laboratories for research, on-the-spot analyses and testing.) “But,” Iselin warns, “nothing will happen in such directions on a large scale until it is decided who will have the right to reap the harvest.”
At present, the legal, political, and economic problems of seriously exploiting the wealth of the sea are much further from solution than the remaining scientific ones. Many farsighted scientists, jurists, and statesmen are urging that the time to start laying down the ground rules within which ocean resources can be developed is now.
Dr. Wilbert Chapman, of the Van Camp Foundation, and others have suggested that the United Nations is the logical agency to do
From depths of 12,000 feet, the Bureau of Mines has dredged nodules which are heavy in manganese, nickel, cobalt, and copper. These nodules, which form faster than they can be mined, are exciting evidence of the untold wealth which waits beneath the world’s waters.
this. Reporting on the topic of marine resources to the Scientific Committee on Oceanographic Research, (SCOR) Van Camp called for the U. N. to establish a World Oceanographic Organization similar to its World Meteorological Organization.
The State of Washington’s ocean-minded . er>ator Warren G. Magnuson plans to organ- tze a world fisheries group that would have ae power to resolve international conflicts on he high seas, and to develop, maintain, and conserve its living resources so that they will Provide the greatest possible benefit to man- md. Part of these plans is a Senate Joint '-solution (SJ-112) directing that an extensive study be made of all commercial fisheries in Waters contiguous to the United States.
In addition, Representative Richard T. anna of California, on 12 May 1964, intro- uced a “measure providing a modest sum of rn°ney to energize the resources of some of °Ur outstanding legal institutions to provide cadership and guidance to the important eld of the law of the oceans.” Two weeks ater, Representative Alton Lennon of North
Carolina introduced a bill authorizing the appropriation of $50,000 for a study of the legal problems of management, use, and control of the natural resources of the oceans and ocean beds.
In speeches advocating such legislature, Congressmen have indicated concern about open conflict erupting over disputes involving rights to marine resources. A respected international agency—either inside or outside the U. N.—would be a buffer against explosive national tempers and could attempt compromise solutions to such disputes. It could coordinate and sponsor research and development. The agency could also be given power to grant exploration and exploitation leases, and to control and monitor disposal of radioactive waste and other wastes.
Until something like this happens, the World Ocean—71 per cent of the earth’s surface—will remain in a state of lawlessness that one scientist compared to the “Wild West” of a century ago. Unless something is done, the danger of “shoot outs” on the main street of the world will be ever present.
An Easy Way to Make Money
Recently a newly commissioned ensign in a destroyer was sent to the new pier-mart with a supply requisition to purchase a few items for the gun boss. The requisition was filled out for the amount of $12.00 and the Ensign’s purchase totaled $9.12.
Upon receiving the goods and the sales slip, the Ensign calmly inquired, “May I have my change, please?”
------------------------------------------ Contributed by Lieutenant (j.g.) Charles W. Crawford, U. S. Navy
★ ★ ★
Eighteen Knots and No More
During the Joint Commonwealth Exercises off Singapore in 1962, the HMNZS Pukaki, a World War II frigate capable of doing a maximum speed of 18 knots, was ordered to take station about four miles ahead of the convoy. Being stationed astern, it took her some time to get there. The impatient screen commander signalled her to hurry up and get on station.
Back came the reply from the Pukaki, “Am proceeding at flank speed. Chug! Chug! Chug!”
------------------------------------------------------------------- Contributed by Lieutenant O. N. Handa, Indian Navy
(The Naval Institute will pay $10.00 for each anecdote published in the Proceedings.)