Convention on Great Lakes Fisheries
The United States of America
The Government of the United States of America and the Government of
Have resolved to conclude a convention and have appointed astheir respective
Taking note of the interrelation of fishery conservation problems and of
the desirability of advancing fishery research in the Great Lakes,
Being aware of the decline of some of the Great Lakes fisheries,
Being concerned over the serious damage to some of these fisheries caused
by the parasitic sea lamprey and the continuing threat which this lamprey
constitutes for other fisheries,
Recognizing that joint and coordinated efforts by the UnitedStates of America
and Canada are essential in order to determine theneed for and the type
of measures which will make possible the maximum sustained productivity
in Great Lakes fisheries of common concern,
The Government of the United States of America:
WALTER BEDELL SMITH, Acting Secretary of State of the United States of
WILLIAM C. HERRINGTON, Chairman of the Delegation of the United States
of America to the Great Lakes Fisheries Conference, and
The Government of Canada:
ARNOLD DANFORD PATRICK HEENEY, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
of Canada to the United States of America, and
STEWART BATES, Chairman of the Delegation of Canada to the Great Lakes
who, having communicated to each other their respective full powers,
found in good and due form have agreed as fellows:
This Convention shall apply to Lake Ontario (including the St. Lawrence
River from Lake Ontario to the forty-fifth parallel of latitude), Lake
Erie, Lake Huron (including Lake St. Clair), Lake Michigan, Lake Superior
and their connecting waters, hereinafter referred to as "the Convention
Area." This Convention shall also apply to the tributaries of each of the
above waters to the extent necessary to investigate any stock of fish of
common concern, the taking or habitat of which is confined predominantly
to the Convenion Area, and to eradicate or minimie the populations of the
sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) in the Convention Area.
The Contracting Parties agree to establish and maintain a joint commission,
to be known as the Great Lakes Fishery Commission, hereinafter referred
to as "the Commission," and to be composed of two national sections, a
Canadian Section and a United States Section. Each Section shall be composed
of not more than three members appointed by the respective Contracting
Each Section shall have one vote. A decision or recommendaion of the Commission
shall be made only with the approval of both sections.
Each Contracting Party may establish for its Section an adisory committee
for each of the Great Lakes. The members of each advisory committee so
established shall have the right to attend all sessions of the Commission
except those which the Commission deides to hold in camera.
At the first meeting of the Commission and at every second subsequent annual
meeting thereafter the members shall select from among themselves a Chairman
and a Vice-Chairman, each of whom shall hold office from the close of the
annual meeting at which he has been selected until the close of the second
annual meeting there after. The Chairman shall be selected from one Section
and the Vice-Chairman from the other Section. The offices of Chairman and
Vice-Chairman shall alternate biennially between the Sections.
The seat of the Commission shall be at such place in the Great Lakes area
as the Commission may designate.
The Commission shall hold a regular annual meeting at such place as it
may decide. It may hold such other meetings as may be agreed upon by the
Chairman and Vice-Chairman and at such time and place as they may designate.
The Commission shall authorize the disbursement of funds for the joint
expenses of the Commission and may employ personnel and acquire facilities
necessary for the performance of its duties.
The Commission shall make such rules and by-laws for the conduct of its
meetings and for the performance of its duties and such financial regulations
as it deems necessary.
The Commission may appoint an Executive Secretary upon such terms as it
The staff of the Commission may be appointed by the Executive Secretary
in the manner determined by the Commission or appointed by the Commission
itself on terms to be determined by it.
The Executive Secretary shall, subject to such rules and proedures as may
be determined by the Commission, have full power and authority over the
staff and shall perform such functions as the Commission may prescribe.
If the office of Executive Secretary is vacant, the Commission shall prescribe
who shall exercise such power or authority.
The Commission shall have the following duties:
(a) to formulate a research program or programs designed to determine
the need for measures to make possible the maximum sustained productivity
of any stock of fish in the Convention Area which, in the opinion of the
Commission, is of common concern to the fisheries of the United States
of America and Canada and to determine what measures are best adapted for
(b) to coordinate research made pursuant to such programs and, if necessary,
to undertake such research itself;
(c) to recommend appropriate measures to the Contracting Parties on
the basis of the findings of such research programs;
(d) to formulate and implement a comprehensive program for the purpose
of eradicating or minimizing the sea lamprey populations in the Convention
(e) to publish or authorize the publication of scientific and other
information obtained by the Commission in the performance of its duties.
In order to carry out the duties set forth in Article IV, the Com ission
(a) conduct investigations;
(b) take measures and install devices in the Convention Area and the
tributaries thereof for lamprey control; and
(c) hold public hearings in the United States of America and Canada.
In the performance of its duties, the Commission shall, in so far as feasible,
make use of the official agencies of the Contracting parties and of their
Provinces or States and may make use of private or other public organizations,
including international organizations, or of any person.
The Commission may seek to establish and maintain working arrangements
with public or private organizations for the purpose of furthering the
objectives of this Convention.
Upon the request of the Commission a Contracting Party shall furnish such
information pertinent to the Commission's duties as is practicable. A Contracting
Party may establish conditions regarding the disclosure of such information
by the Commission.
Each Contracting Party shall determine and pay the expenses of its Section.
Joint expenses incurred by the Commission shall be paid by contributions
made by the Contracting Parties. The form and proportion of the contributions
shall be those approved by the contracting Parties after the Commission
has made a recommendation.
The Commission shall submit an annual budget of anticipated joint expenses
to the Contracting Parties for approval.
The Commission shall submit annually to the Contracting Parties a report
on the discharge of its duties. It shall make recommendations to or advise
the Contracting Parties whenever it deems necessary on any matter relating
to the Convention.
Nothing in this Convention shall be construed as preventing any of the
States of the United States of America bordering on the Great Lakes or,
subject to their constitutional arrangements, Canada or the Province of
Ontario from making or enforcing laws or regulations within their respective
jurisdictions relative to the fisheries of the Great Lakes so far as such
laws or regulations do not preclude the carrying out of the Commission's
The Contracting Parties agree to enact such legislation as may necessary
to give effect to the provisions of this Convention.
The Contracting Parties shall jointly review in the eighth year of the
operation of this Convention the activities of the Commission in relation
to the objectives of the Convention in order to determine the desirability
of continuing, modifying or terminating this Convention.
This Convention shall be ratified and the instruments of ratifiation shall
be exchanged at Ottawa.
This Convention shall enter into force on the date of the exchange of the
instruments of ratification. It shall remain in force for ten years and
shall continue in force thereafter until terminated as povided herein.
Either Contracting Party may, by giving two years' written notice to the
other Contracting Party, terminate this Convention at the end of the initial
ten-year period or at any time thereafter.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF the respective Plenipotentiaries have signed the
DONE at Washington, in duplicate, this tenth day of September, 1954.
For the Government of the United States of America:
(Signed) WALTER BEDELL SMITH
(Signed) Wm. C. HERRINGTON
For the Government of Canada:
(Signed) A. D. P. HEENEY
(Signed) STEWART BATES
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