WASHINGTON — President Reagan signed legislation Tuesday to make U.S. laws comply with a recent fisheries treaty governing tuna-rich waters of the South Pacific, saying the pact "will set a tone of cooperation rather than confrontation."
The treaty provides for U.S. fishermen to purchase regional licenses to fish for tuna in 10 million square miles of the South Pacific.
"It will set to rest the fisheries-related problems we have experienced stemming from our differing judicial positions concerning highly migratory species of tuna," Reagan said.
The President also said that license fees and a related economic assistance agreement "will further the economic development and strengthen the democratic traditions of the Pacific island states participating in the treaty."
"The treaty is historic in both its complexity and scope and culminates over two years of difficult negotiations," Reagan said. "Its successful implementation will set a tone of cooperation rather than confrontation in our fisheries relations with 15 island nations of the South Pacific."