A report to the President and the Congress - First Annual Report
Common interest issues are prominent in three of the four sections of this Report. In "Some International Issues Related to Law of the Sea" they are central. Here NACOA reviews the developing controversies over freedom of passage, freedom for research, and the jurisdiction of fisheries, and proposes means for fostering their resolution while protecting U.S. interests. In a second section, NACOA notes the growing international awareness that fish can be harvested to extinction if not biologically managed and suggests how this awareness provides the opportunity to work at rehabilitating the U.S. fisheries. Thirdly, recognizing advances in the ability of some developed nations, including our own, to modify the weather both intentionally and inadvertently, NACOA advocates intensified national and international discussion and development of appropriate regulation. The fourth section of the Report, on coastal zone management, though specific to the United States, describes a situation demanding virtually unprecedented management efforts to weave together and rationalize the conflicting and at times imcompatible needs of the many different users of this resource. The coastal zone is not only complex naturally, it is also the focus for an unusual confluence of national, regional, state, and local interests. Which is David and which Goliath when it comes to the oil terminal or the bathing beach? the oyster or the dredge? Here again NACOA finds that the nation's science and technology can be more effectively used in support of management. It is on the means for promoting a more effective interaction between management and science that the discussion of the coastal zone centers. Finally, in a brief section titled "Moving Ahead" NACOA emphasizes the urgent need for action and for facing up to the pervasive impact on our society that appropriate action will have. The alternative, doing nothing, is in our view unthinkable. The days of the open ocean and limitless air are gone. The oceans and the atmosphere belong to all rather than to none, and it is in our common interest to enhance the use and decrease the abuse to which they are made subject.