Jimmy Carter photo

Fishery Conservation and Management Bill Statement on Signing H.R. 10732 Into Law.

August 29, 1978

Yesterday I signed H.R. 10732, which amends the Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1976. This bill authorizes fiscal year 1979 appropriations to implement the act, which first established the 200-mile Fishery Conservation Zone off the coast of the United States.

This bill also establishes a permit system for foreign fish processing vessels within the 200-mile limit. Under this system, Government permits would be granted to foreign fish processors to purchase fish caught by U.S. fishermen within the 200-mile zone only if domestic processors do not have the capacity or intent to process these fish. To date, domestic processors have not purchased such fish as hake and pollack, which have no domestic market. Foreign processors, however, have become interested in these fish because of clear foreign demand.

My administration is strongly committed to reducing barriers to international trade. While I am concerned that the establishment of this permit system may be viewed by some foreign nations as an interference with international commerce, the most egregious provisions have been removed at our request. Thus, during the legislative process, the administration made clear our objections to a provision which would have denied permits to processors from countries with import barriers to U.S. fish and fish products. That provision would have conflicted directly with our trade policies. I am pleased that this provision was deleted by Congress.

When Congress was considering this bill, we made clear our preference for a permit system lasting only for 2 years, rather than permanently. However, I believe that this bill will in practice cause little if any adverse impact on foreign fish processors, since most of the interest by foreign processors relates to fish species not currently consumed in the United States products.

At the same time, this bill will provide domestic processors with increased certainty about fish supplies, which will in turn provide an incentive for investments in increased capacity. It also will provide American fish processors with comparable treatment given to our fishing industry within our fishery zone. In signing this bill into law, I do not intend to set a precedent for other United States products.

Note: AS enacted, H.R. 10732 is Public Law 95-354, approved August 28.

Jimmy Carter, Fishery Conservation and Management Bill Statement on Signing H.R. 10732 Into Law. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/248835

Simple Search of Our Archives