I AM pleased to sign H.R. 15445, the Whale Conservation and Protection Study Act.
This bill authorizes the Secretary of Commerce to conduct comprehensive studies of all whales found in waters subject to United States jurisdiction, and to report to Congress the results of these studies by January 1, 1980. The bill also provides that the Secretary of State will initiate negotiations with Mexico and Canada to develop appropriate bilateral agreements for the protection and conservation of whales.
Although much is known of the habits of whales, the vastness of the oceans and the mobility of these mammals make it very difficult to monitor adequately their many species. This legislation will allow the collection of scientific information that will permit us to determine the most appropriate means of preventing the exploitation of whales and thus avoid their extinction.
The United States has placed great emphasis on multilateral efforts with other nations through the International Whaling Commission to achieve effective conservation of whales throughout the world. The negotiations with Mexico and Canada directed by this bill will reinforce the efforts of our three nations within the Commission.