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 represe
ted 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=: (Sir James Douglas era) Influenced by Russian occupation, 38; settled

under Paris award, 1897, 283; history of dispute 340-341.