Proclamation 364—Prohibiting the Hunting of Fur Seals
By the President of the United States of America
Whereas an act of Congress entitled "An act to give effect to the award rendered by the Tribunal of Arbitration at Paris under the treaty between the United States and Great Britain concluded at Washington February 29, 1892, for the purpose of submitting to arbitration certain questions concerning the preservation of the fur seals," was approved April 6, 1894, and reads as follows:
Whereas the following articles of the award of the Tribunal of Arbitration constituted under the treaty concluded at Washington the 29th of February, 1892, between the United States of America and Her Majesty the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland were delivered to the agents of the respective Governments on the 15th day of August, 1893:
"ARTICLE I. The Governments of the United States and Great Britain shall forbid their citizens and subjects, respectively, to kill, capture, or pursue at any time and in any manner whatever the animals commonly called fur seals within a zone of 60 miles around the Pribilof Islands, inclusive of the territorial waters.
"The miles mentioned in the preceding paragraph are geographical miles, of 60 to a degree of latitude.
"ART. 2. The two Governments shall forbid their citizens and subjects, respectively, to kill, capture, or pursue in any manner whatever during the season extending each year from the 1st of May to the 31st of July, both inclusive, the fur seals on the high sea in the part of the Pacific Ocean, inclusive of the Bering Sea, which is situated to the north of the thirty-fifth degree of north latitude and eastward of the one hundred and eightieth degree of longitude from Greenwich till it strikes the water boundary described in Article I of the treaty of 1867 between the United States and Russia, and following that line up to Bering Strait.
"ART. 3. During the period of time and in the waters in which the fur-seal fishing is allowed only sailing vessels shall be permitted to carry on or take part in fur-seal fishing operations. They will, however, be at liberty to avail themselves of the use of such canoes or undecked boats, propelled by paddles, oars, or sails, as are in common use as fishing boats.
"ART. 4. Each sailing vessel authorized to fish for fur seals must be provided with a special license issued for that purpose by its Government, and shall be required to carry a distinguishing flag to be prescribed by its Government.
"ART. 5. The masters of the vessels engaged in fur-seal fishing shall enter accurately in their official log book the date and place of each fur-seal fishing operation, and also the number and sex of the seals captured upon each day. These entries shall be communicated by each of the two Governments to the other at the end of each fishing season.
"ART. 6. The use of nets, firearms, and explosives shall be forbidden in the fur-seal fishing. This restriction shall not apply to shotguns when such fishing takes place outside of Bering Sea during the season when it may be lawfully carried on.
"ART. 7. The two Governments shall take measures to control the fitness of the men authorized to engage in fur-seal fishing. These men shall have been proved fit to handle with sufficient skill the weapons by means of which this fishing may be carried on.
"ART. 8. The regulations contained in the preceding articles shall not apply to Indians dwelling on the coast of the territory of the United States or of Great Britain and carrying on fur-seal fishing in canoes or undecked boats not transported by or used in connection with other vessels, and propelled wholly by paddles, oars, or sails and manned by not more than five persons each in the way hitherto practiced by the Indians, provided such Indians are not in the employment of other persons, and provided that when so hunting in canoes or undecked boats they shall not hunt fur seals outside of territorial waters under contract for the delivery of the skins to any person.
"This exemption shall not be construed to affect the municipal law of either country, nor shall it extend to the waters of Bering Sea or the waters of the Aleutian passes.
"Nothing herein contained is intended to interfere with the employment of Indians as hunters or otherwise in connection with fur-sealing vessels as heretofore.
"ART. 9. The concurrent regulations hereby determined with a view to the protection and preservation of the fur seals shall remain in force until they have been in whole or in part abolished or modified by common agreement between the Governments of the United States and of Great Britain.
"The said concurrent regulations shall be submitted every five years to a new examination, so as to enable both interested Governments to consider whether, in the light of past experience, there is occasion for any modification thereof."
Now, therefore, be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That no citizen of the United States or person owing the duty of obedience to the laws or the treaties of the United States, nor any person belonging to or on board of a vessel of the United States, shall kill, capture, or pursue at any time or in any manner whatever outside of territorial waters any fur seal in the waters surrounding the Pribilof Islands within a zone of 60 geographical miles (60 to a degree of latitude) around said islands, exclusive of the territorial waters.
Sec. 2. That no citizen of the United States or person above described in section I of this act, nor any person belonging to or on board of a vessel of the United States, shall kill, capture, or pursue in any manner whatever during the season extending from the 1st day of May to the 31st day of July, both inclusive, in each year any fur seal on the high seas outside of the zone mentioned in section 1, and in that part of the Pacific Ocean, including Bering Sea, which is situated to the north of the thirty-fifth degree of north latitude and to the east of the one hundred and eightieth degree of longitude from Greenwich till it strikes the water boundary described in Article I of the treaty of 1867 between the United States and Russia, and following that line up to Bering Strait.
Sec. 3. No citizen of the United States or person above described in the first section of this act shall during the period and in the waters in which by section 2 of this act the killing of fur seals is not prohibited use or employ any vessel, nor shall any vessel of the United States be used or employed, in carrying on or taking part in fur-seal fishing operations, other than a sailing vessel propelled by sails exclusively and such canoes or undecked boats propelled by paddles, oars, or sails as may belong to and be used in connection with such sailing vessels; nor shall any sailing vessel carry on or take part in such operations without a special license obtained from the Government for that purpose and without carrying a distinctive flag prescribed by the Government for the same purpose.
Sec. 4. That every master of a vessel licensed under this act to engage in fur-seal fishing operations shall accurately enter in his official log book the date and place of every such operation, and also the number and sex of the seals captured each day; and on coming into port and before landing cargo the master shall verify on oath such official log book as containing a full and true statement of the number and character of his fur-seal fishing operations, including the number and sex of seals captured; and for any false statement willfully made by a person so licensed by the United States in this behalf he shall be subject to the penalties of perjury, and any seal skins found in excess of the statement in the official log book shall be forfeited to the United States.
Sec. 5. That no person or vessel engaging in fur-seal fishing operations under this act shall use or employ in such operations any net, firearm, air gun, or explosive: Provided, however, That this prohibition shall not apply to the use of shotguns in such operations outside of Bering Sea during the season when the killing of fur seals is not there prohibited by this act.
Sec. 6. That the foregoing sections of this act shall not apply to Indians dwelling on the coast of the United States and taking fur seals in canoes or undecked boats propelled wholly by paddles, oars, or sails, and not transported by or used in connection with other vessels or manned by more than five persons, in the manner heretofore practiced by the said Indians: Provided, however , That the exception made in this section shall not apply to Indians in the employment of other persons, or who shall kill, capture, or pursue fur seals outside of territorial waters under contract to deliver the skins to other persons, nor to the waters of Bering Sea or of the passes between the Aleutian Islands.
Sec. 7. That the President shall have power to make regulations respecting the special license and the distinctive flag mentioned in this act, and regulations otherwise suitable to secure the due execution of the provisions of this act, and from time to time to add to, modify, amend, or revoke such regulations as in his judgment may seem expedient.
Sec. 8. That, except in the case of a master making a false statement under oath in violation of the provisions of the fourth section of this act, every person guilty of a violation of the provisions of this act or of the regulations made thereunder shall for each offense be fined not less than $200 or imprisoned not more than six months, or both; and all vessels, their tackle, apparel, furniture, and cargo at any time used or employed in violation of this act or of the regulations made thereunder shall be forfeited to the United States.
Sec. 9. That any violation of this act or the regulations made thereunder may be prosecuted either in the district court of Alaska or in any district court of the United States in California, Oregon, or Washington.
Sec. 10. That if any unlicensed vessel of the United States shall be found within the waters to which this act applies, and at a time when the killing of fur seals is by this act there prohibited, having on board seal skins or bodies of seals or apparatus or implements suitable for killing or taking seals, or if any licensed vessel shall be found in the waters to which this act applies having on board apparatus or implements suitable for taking seals, but forbidden then and there to be used, it shall be presumed that the vessel in the one case and the apparatus or implements in the other was or were used in violation of this act until it is otherwise sufficiently proved.
Sec. 11. That it shall be the duty of the President to cause a sufficient naval force to cruise in the waters to which this act is applicable to enforce its provisions; and it shall be the duty of the commanding officer of any vessel belonging to the naval or revenue service of the United States, when so instructed by the President, to seize and arrest all vessels of the United States found by him to be engaged, used, or employed in the waters last aforesaid in violation of any of the prohibitions of this act or of any regulations made thereunder, and to take the same, with all persons on board thereof, to the most convenient port in any district of the United States mentioned in this act, there to be dealt with according to law.
Sec. 12. That any vessel or citizen of the United States or person described in the first section of this act offending against the prohibitions of this act or the regulations thereunder may be seized and detained by the naval or other duly commissioned officers of Her Majesty the Queen of Great Britain, but when so seized and detained they shall be delivered as soon as practicable, with any witnesses and proofs on board, to any naval or revenue officer or other authorities of the United States, whose courts alone shall have jurisdiction to try the offense and impose the penalties for the same: Provided, however, That British officers shall arrest and detain vessels and persons as in this section specified only after, by appropriate legislation, Great Britain shall have authorized officers of the United States duly commissioned and instructed by the President to that end to arrest, detain, and deliver to the authorities of Great Britain vessels and subjects of that Government offending against any statutes or regulations of Great Britain enacted or made to enforce the award of the treaty mentioned in the title of this act.
Now, therefore, be it known that I, Grover Cleveland, President of the United States of America, have caused the said act specially to be proclaimed, to the end that its provisions may be known and observed; and I hereby proclaim that every person guilty of a violation of the provisions of said act will be arrested and punished as therein provided, and all vessels so employed, their tackle, apparel, furniture, and cargo, will be seized and forfeited.
In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.
Done at the city of Washington, this 9th day of April, A. D. 1894, and of the Independence of the United States the one hundred and eighteenth.
By the President:
W. Q. GRESHAM,
Secretary of State.
Grover Cleveland, Proclamation 364—Prohibiting the Hunting of Fur Seals Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/206333