Bering Sea Question


Bering Sea Question
   Arose out of a dispute as to the seal-fisheries of Bering Sea. Several Canadian sealers were seized by the United States in 1886, on the plea that these waters constituted a mare clausum, or closed sea. Similar seizures were made in 1887 and 1889. Finally the British and United States governments agreed to submit the question to arbitration. The Commission met at Paris in 1893. Lord Hannen and Sir John Thompson represented British interests; the United States was represented by Judge Harlan and Senator Morgan. The other arbitrators were Marquis Visconti Venosta of Italy, Gregora W. Gram of Sweden, and Baron de Courcel of Belgium, who presided. The decision was in favour of Great Britain, and contrary to the claim of the United States to jurisdiction over the waters of the Bering Sea and the seals visiting the coasts and islands of Alaska. Regulations were provided for the better protection of the fisheries; and the United States was required to compensate the Canadian sealers for the unlawful seizure of their vessels.
   Index: D Influenced by Russian occupation, 38; settled under Paris award, 1897, 283; history of dispute 340-341.

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