WHEREAS, the seals, sea lions, walrus, beluga of the Bering and Chukchi Seas comprise an international resource, largely outside of the territorial waters of any nation; and
WHEREAS, these mammals are the principal source of food and raw materials for a large proportion of the aboriginal populations of Alaska and the Soviet Far East; and
WHEREAS, the decline of world whale stocks has created immediate demands for new sources of marine mammal oils and protein; and some nations have already begun exploratory operations to determine the feasibility of exploiting stocks of pelagic pinnipeds in the Bering and Chukchi Seas, and have already expressed interest in harvesting large numbers of these marine mammals in Alaskan territorial waters; and
WHEREAS, the seals and walrus of the Bering and Chukchi Seas are highly vulnerable to exploitation;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the American Society of Mammalogists urges the Governments of the United States, Japan, and the Soviet Union to consider the perilous situation of the valuable marine mammal stocks of the Bering and Chukchi Seas, and recommends immediate action to establish international controls for the conservation of these stocks.