Statement on Signing the
South Pacific Tuna Act of 1988
June 7, 1988
am pleased to sign into law S. 1989, the South Pacific Tuna Act of 1988. This
bill implements the South Pacific Regional Fisheries Treaty by making U.S. domestic legislation
consistent with our treaty obligations. The treaty is historic in both its
complexity and scope and culminates over 2 years of difficult negotiations. Its
successful implementation will set a tone of cooperation rather than
confrontation in our fisheries relations with 15 island nations of the South
the terms of the treaty, U.S. tuna fishermen may
purchase regional licenses to fish in some 10 million square miles of tuna-rich
waters in the South
Pacific Ocean, including waters under the jurisdiction of the Pacific Island signatories. It will
set to rest the fisheries-related problems we have experienced stemming from
our differing juridical positions concerning highly migratory species of tuna.
In addition, the license fees and the economic assistance agreement associated
with the treaty will further the economic development and strengthen the democratic
traditions of the Pacific Island states participating in
peoples of the United States and the South Pacific
have a long history of contact and cooperation. Beginning in the early 19th
century when American seamen first ventured into the region, through the dark
days of World War II when we fought side by side in defense of our homes and
freedom, to today when we sit together at the negotiating table to work out
mutually beneficial solutions to complex problems, our peoples have together
faced and overcome adversity and challenge. I am proud of that history and of
the fact that through the peoples of Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, and the Northern Mariana
the United States has contributed to the
rich cultural and spiritual traditions of the Pacific Islands. I am pleased that my
signature on this legislation will reinforce the bonds of friendship and
affection that unite our peoples.
June 7, 1988.
Note: S. 1989, approved
June 7, was assigned Public Law No. 100 - 330.