December 1, 1945 (20th Parliament, 1st Session)


Thomas Reid



"Mr. Chairman, there is one matter I should- like to draw to the attention [DOT]of the Minister of Fisheries. I do not expect he will be able to give a definite answer at the moment, but I would ask him to give [DOT] some thought to it between now and the :next session. I refer to the offshore fisheries <of British Columbia. As is well known, we spend millions of dollars hatching, rearing and protecting the great salmon fisheries of British Columbia. These fish head out to sea in their first or second year, and after they pass the three-mile limit they are at the mercy of the fishermen of any country. The United States has taken note of the calamity that might occur if foreign nations come

close-I mean within ten or fifteen miles- of the shores of the United States in order to fish. After some investigation they passed a bill this year to take care of offshore fishing beyond the three-mile limit.
It may be remembered that prior to the outbreak of the war, Japan sent mother ships down along the Alaska and British Columbia coasts. These ships returned home with great quantities of canned salmon. The war interfered with their activities, but under international law we had no control of any ships beyond the three-mile limit. The United States became greatly alarmed at what had taken place in Alaska bay. The Japanese had many ships in that bay, and strange to say when they were accused of this there was an official denial by the government of Japan. The fishermen there knew what was going on, and they went to the expense of hiring an aeroplane which took photographs of the Japanese actually fishing in Alaska bay.
Very few nations have gone to -the trouble of rehabilitating or preserving or regulating their fisheries. Most nations, including Japan, have only one thought in their minds, to secure all the fish possible and market them. Here is what the United States have done, and I quote from a dispatch dated September 28:
President Truman announced to-day the United States government has decided to regulate and control fisheries on the high seas contiguous to the United States. The new policy will safeguard the valuable Alaska salmon fishery, he said. .
The order provided for establishment, under recommendation of the interior and state departments, of fishery conservation zones, in areas of the high seas contiguous to the United States coast.
Until -the present the only high seas fisheries in which the United States has participated in regulating are those for whales, Pacific halibut and fur seals.
"In areas where fisheries have been or hereafter shall be developed and maintained by nationals of the United States alone," the White House said, "explicitly bounded zones will be set up in which the United States may regulate and control all fishing activities."
In areas where the nationals of other countries may be involved, the announcement continued, zones will be established by agreements and joint regulations made effective.
This new policy, the White House asserted will enable the United States "to protect ' effectively, for instance, its most valuable fishery, that for'the Alaska salmon."
"Uncontrolled fishery activities^ of this and other countries," the statement said, "have constituted an ever-increasing menace to the salmon fishery."
My suggestion is that the minister give this matter serious thought. When the salmon which are hatched and reared at great expense


F isheries
by our government head out through Juan de Fuca strait, they feed for the next two or three years probably fifteen to twenty miles out. There is nothing to prevent the fishermen of any country from coming in there and destroying or taking the entire catch.
There is another matter I should like to bring to the attention of the minister. The waters of Hecate strait between the Queen Charlotte islands and the mainland of British Columbia should be declared Canadian waters. This strait is eighty or more miles wide, but it lies between the Queen Charlotte islands, which is Canadian territory, and the mainland. Considerable fishing is done in these waters, and at present under international law they are open to United States, Japan or any other nation. I know that if these waters had been contiguous to the United States they would long before this have been declared United States waters.

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