Message to the Senate Transmitting a Protocol to the International Convention for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas

March 14, 1985

To the Senate of the United States:

I transmit herewith, for the advice and consent of the Senate to ratification, the Protocol agreed upon July 10, 1984 by the Conference of Plenipotentiaries of the Contracting Parties to the International Convention for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT). The Protocol was signed by the United States on September 10, 1984. It will enter into force following ratification by all Contracting Parties of the ICCAT. Also transmitted for the information of the Senate is the report of the Department of State with respect to the Protocol.

The Protocol would amend the ICCAT to permit intergovernmental economic integration organizations, such as the European Economic Community (EEC), to become Contracting Parties to the ICCAT on behalf of their member States. The ICCAT, which seeks to promote the conservation of tuna and tuna-like fish in the Atlantic Ocean, now provides only for the accession of individual States as Contracting Parties.

Once the Protocol has entered into force, it is anticipated that the EEC will take the necessary steps to become a Contracting Party. At that time France will withdraw from the ICCAT. These actions are intended to recognize the competence of the EEC over fisheries matters on behalf of its member States and is consistent with the long-standing support of the United States for the process of European integration embodied by the EEC. Ratification by the United States will be necessary before the Protocol can enter into force, as the Protocol stipulates that all Contracting Parties must ratify the agreement in order for its provisions to take effect.

I recommend that the Senate give early consideration to the Protocol and give its advice and consent to ratification.

Ronald Reagan

The White House,

March 14, 1985.