The 1985 Pacific Salmon Treaty
352 pages, 6 x 9
38 b&w illustrations, 14 tables
Release Date:01 Jan 2006
Release Date:15 Jul 2005

The 1985 Pacific Salmon Treaty

Sharing Conservation Burdens and Benefits

UBC Press

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.

Both authors were involved in the negotiations that led to the treaty …. as a result, the reader is privileged to what is and feels like an insider’s account of difficult sets of negotiations that eventually led to a treaty … the book is an important contribution and an exceedingly valuable resource for anyone interested in the Pacific salmon fishery and, more generally, as a case study of bilateral treaty negotiations and of Canada-U.S. relations. Douglas C. Harris, International Journal of Maritime History, vol. XVIII, no. 1
Both authors have been deeply immersed in Canada’s management of its salmon resources and conflicts with US fisheries. The treatment of the subject is nicely balanced and even-handed… This masterful account is likely to be the definitive work, given its combination of breadth and depth with the added value of a balanced insider’s view. Edward L. Miles, Professor, School of Marine Affairs, University of Washington
M.P. Shepard was a technical advisor to the Pacific Salmon Treaty negotiations from 1958 to 1976, and negotiator from 1977 to 1983. A.W. Argue was a technical advisor during treaty negotiations and after implementation in 1985.


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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