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Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

The 1985 Pacific Salmon Treaty

Sharing Conservation Burdens and Benefits

For thousands of years, Pacific salmon have been the focus for the economic and social development of societies, both ancient and modern, around the rim of the North Pacific Ocean. After lengthy oceanic migrations, the salmon pass through coastal waters of Alaska, British Columbia, and the northwest United States in a final journey to spawn, where they form lucrative targets for Canadian and US fishermen.

Beginning late in the nineteenth century and culminating in the 1985 Pacific Salmon Treaty, Canada and the United States carried out long and contentious negotiations to provide a framework for cooperation for conserving and sharing the vitally important Pacific salmon resource. The 1985 Pacific Salmon Treaty traces the history of the tumultuous negotiations, providing an insider’s perspective on the many complex issues that were addressed. It concludes with a brief assessment of the treaty’s performance under the difficult economic and environmental circumstances that have prevailed in the fishery since 1985.

This incisive work, with its unique historical perspective, will be of great interest to the Canadian and United States fishing communities affected by the treaty, to the general public, politicians, and fisheries specialists in both countries concerned with stewardship of natural resources, and to scholars of international law and regional history.

352 pages

Table of Contents


1 Salmon Migrations, Fisheries, and Problems

2 The Opening Stanzas: 1890s to 1960s

3 The Global Context

4 Comprehensive Bilateral Negotiations, 1960-85

5 The 1985 Treaty in Detail

6 Article II: Institutional Arrangements

7 Principles of the Treaty: Article III and the Memorandum of Understanding

8 Fraser River Sockeye and Pinks

9 Northern British Columbia/Southeastern Alaska Net Fisheries

10 Transboundary Rivers

11 Chinook Salmon

12 Coho Salmon

13 Southern British Columbia and Washington State Chum Salmon

14 Concluding Observations



Literature Cited


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