Session of Saturday afternoon.
The session was opened at 3 o’clock.
Mr. Asser asked Mr. John W. Garret, secretary of the legation of the United States of America, and Mr. Stanislaus Gutowski, attaché of the Imperial embassy at Berlin, acting secretary of the Russian legation at The Hague, to have the kindness to perform with Mr. W. Roel the functions of secretary.
Mr. Asser then asked Captain Baker what was his share of the catch. The captain says that he had received a twelfth or a tenth of the catch, which brought him from $3,800 $4,000.
Mr. Komarow asks if Captain Baker is in the business himself.
Mr. Baker answers, Not as a tradesman. He was not in the business but he says he knows the price of the bone and oil of the whale.
Mr. Peirce desired to ask several questions.
Mr. Peirce asked Captain Baker: You have been engaged in whaling for forty-two years, during which you have become thoroughly acquainted with Russian waters?[Page 417]
Captain Baker. Yes; both Okhotsk and Bering.
Mr. Peirce. Do you know anything about whaling practices except what you have done yourself?
Captain Baker. Yes; Eskimo and Siberian natives whale along shore when ice breaks up early in season. They take grampuses or calves of the right whale or bowhead or finback.
(Grampus is a fish with bottle nose, between a whale and a porpoise; it has no whalebone; finback has no bone. Calves of right whales or bowhead have no bone.)
Mr. Peirce. Do right whales ever go into the bays?
Captain Baker. No.
Mr. Peirce. What is the value of whales when taken near shore?
Captain Baker. Forty to fifty barrels of oil, perhaps. No large whales are taken from shore. Couldn’t well be taken.
Mr. Peirce. In cruising these waters did you ever see a Russian whaling ship?
Captain Baker. No.
Mr. Peirce. A Russion whaling captain?
Captain Baker. No.
Mr. Peirce. Did you ever have in your crew a Russian subject or other national?
Captain Baker. Never a Russian, but many others.
Mr. Peirce. Did you ever hear tell from others of captains of Russian whaling ships?
Captain Baker. No.
Mr. Peirce. Ever hear tell of a Russian being in a crew?
Captain Baker. No.
Mr. Peirce. Do you consider that, except fishing from shore, there is much Russian experience in whaling?
Captain Baker. No, sir.
Mr. Peirce handed to the arbitrator a printed document which relates to the Cape Horn Pigeon, from which the Russian delegate yesterday read some passages. He took cognizance of the contents; he is satisfied to leave it in the hands of the honorable arbitrator, but he believes he ought to state that it is an unsigned document, which deprives it of all value from a juridical point of view.
Mr. Komarow did not understand the meaning of these words. He said that the publication above mentioned contains only that which he had the honor to say yesterday. The printed matter is returned to Mr. Asser. He added that in the neighborhood of the Medny Islands there are scarcely any whales; it is this that caused the supposition that the Cape Horn Pigeon was engaged in sealing. Moreover, its arrest was acknowledged to be illegal by the Imperial Government. The captain of the man-of-war was punished.
Mr. Peirce again questioned Captain Baker with regard to the above-mentioned publication about the Cape Horn Pigeon.
Mr. Peirce. Did you know bark Corral?
Captain Baker. Yes.
Mr. Peirce. In 1898 she was in Okhotsk, fishing?
Captain Baker. No; she went out of service three or four years before that.
Mr. Peirce. Did you know the Stamboul in 1898?
Captain Baker. She went out of service three or four years before that.[Page 418]
Mr. Peirce. You know Cape Horn Pigeon? You sailed in her?
Captain Baker. Yes.
Mr. Peirce. She went down at sea, didn’t she? When was it?
Captain Baker. I think about 1896 or 1897.
Mr. Peirce. But this document shows all of these vessels were whaling in year 1898.
Captain Baker. That is a mistake.
Mr. Peirce. The Josephine—did you know her?
Captain Baker. She was fishing in 1898—sperm whaling outside Japan Sea.
Mr. Peirce. But this document says she was whaling in the Okhotsk Sea in 1898.
Captain Baker. They have made a mistake in that year.
Mr. Peirce. Were the Corral, the Cape Horn Pigeon, and the Josephine fishing in Okhotsk Sea in 1888?
Captain Baker. Yes.
Mr. Peirce. Was Corral fishing in Okhotsk Sea in 1899?
Captain Baker. No; she was not in 1899; she was fishing along Alaska coast.
Mr. Peirce. Did you know the Tropic Bord?
Captain Baker. Yes.
Mr. Peirce. Was she fishing in Japan Sea in 1881?
Captain Baker. Yes.
Mr. Peirce. What sort of ship was she?
Captain Baker. Third class, small, about 100 tons; crew of about 23 or 24 men; not capable of getting much of a catch; couldn’t hold it if she got it.
Mr. Peirce. Did you know the Reindeer?
Captain Baker. Yes.
Mr. Peirce. Was she fishing in Okhotsk Sea in 1883–84?
Captain Baker. Yes.
Mr. Peirce. She didn’t get much bone or oil?
Captain Baker. No; she didn’t finish the season there; she was there in May to July. If she had stayed till September she would have done better. She was too early for whaling in Okhotsk Sea.
Mr. Peirce. The Cape Horn Pigeon; did you know her?
Captain Baker. Yes.
Mr. Peirce. Was she third class?
Captain Baker. No; first class.
Mr. Peirce. What do you mean by a first-class ship?
Captain Baker. Anywhere from 210 to 350 or 360 tons.
Mr. Peirce. Was she well equipped?
Captain Baker. She was; she had 4 boats; first-class equipment and first-class captain.
Mr. Peirce. Was she a successful whaler?
Captain Baker. Yes; always made money for her owners.
Mr. Peirce. Could she command a good captain?
Captain Baker. Yes.
Mr. Peirce. You know her well?
Captain Baker. Yes.
Mr. Peirce. Was she staunch?
Captain Baker. Yes; I would take her anywhere.
Mr. Peirce. She was the sort of boat that would get a good captain?
Captain Baker. Yes.[Page 419]
Mr. Peirce. You were her captain at one time?
Captain Baker. Yes; I was captain in 1871–1879.
Mr. Peirce. Who owned her at that time?
Captain Baker. William Potter.
The Arbitrator. Not Wing & Co.?
Captain Baker. No; they owned her later.
Mr. Peirce. You knew her when Scullen was sailing her?
Captain Baker. Yes.
Mr. Peirce. Is there much difference between whaling captains?
Captain Baker. As much as there is in other men: some work hard and some don’t.
Mr. Peirce. Knowledge plays a considerable part in success of a whaling captain, does it not?
Captain Baker. The experienced and intelligent whaleman has the better chance.
Mr. Peirce. Was Scullen a good captain?
Captain Baker. He had a high reputation in San Francisco and in New Bedford.
Mr. Peirce. Were the whales you caught in Okhotsk Sea small?
Captain Baker. No. They were large where I fished.
Mr. Peirce. Was that the same place where Scullen would be likely to fish?
Captain Baker. Yes.
Mr. Peirce. You wouldn’t bother with small whales?
Captain Baker. No; because they haven’t much bone.
Mr. Peirce. When you were whaling, what was the money value of bone?
Captain Baker. $3.50 to $5.50 per pound. On one voyage I got $5.75.
Mr. Peirce. You got that price yourself from your owners?
Captain Baker. Yes, sir.
Mr. Peirce. As your share?
Captain Baker. Yes. For the last three or four years previous to that I got about $3.30.
Mr. Peirce submitted copy of “Whaleman’s Shipping List,” dated February 23, 1897, showing prices from 1851 to 1897; year 1892 average price $5.50 per pound for bone.
The Arbitrator asks if Mr. Komarow has nothing to add on the question of whales.
Mr. Komarow requested that Mr. Grunwaldt be heard.
Mr. Grunwaldt said that Mr. Liebes, of San Francisco, founder of the Alaska Company, pays to the captains of whalers a certain sum of money from the contractors before their departure. Thus they go whaling at their risk and cost. It might be that such an arrangement had been made with the captain of the Cape Horn Pigeon. Therefore it is difficult to fix the price of whales.
The Arbitrator said that the contract indicates that the captain had a share of the catch. He asks if the risks that are run can be insured to the contractor who paid the money to the captain.
Mr. Clifford said that only the cargo—that is to say, the bone and oil which are aboard the vessel—is insured. The premium is 6 per cent per season.
The Arbitrator said that the affair of the Cape Horn Pigeon may be considered as closed.[Page 420]
Mr. Clifford and Captain Baker asked permission to withdraw.
The parties and the arbitrator have no objection.
The Arbitrator said that the affair of the whaler being closed, it is now time to consider the questions as to best season for sealing, the length of the season, and the date of the beginning and the ending of the sealing season.
Mr. Kroupsky said that the season of the regular catch of seals on the landings of the Commander Islands is chiefly during the months of June and July and sometimes half of the month of August. Sometimes sealing is begun again by certain sealers in the month of September. The herds begin to arrive at their grounds on the islands in the month of May. Toward June the families, or harems, are formed, and in July the season of sexual life is at its height. It continues to August and September, so that the young are born in from four to five months. Toward October the migration begins, and the greater part of the herd departs to winter in the south.
He thinks that further details could be given by Mr. Townsend.
The Arbitrator asked if the young are brought forth in mid seas or upon ground.
Mr. Kroupsky. They come ashore expressly for the purpose of bringing forth upon the islands. The females come there to give birth to their young. The nursing of the young follows quickly after the birth. The females, again enceintes, go with the herd.
The Arbitrator asked if there is any essential difference between the seals of the Pribilof and those of the Commander islands (the American seals and the Russian), as is set forth in one of the annexes of the American memorandum.
Mr. Kroupsky said there is some difference noticeable enough with regard to the conditions of life and nourishment, but the animals are the same except for some very fine distinctions, which are developed to some extent under the influence of the conditions of life, these conditions, as regards the two races, not being identical. These conditions, developed, so to speak, in the Darwinian way, cause the zoologists of our day to distinguish the subspecies by different scientific Latin names. It would be an exaggeration to say that there is any very marked difference between these two species.
The Arbitrator asked if these differences, so far as they exist, extend to the females and their habits.
Mr. Kroupsky. One may say no, unless it be in the conditions of the surroundings and the food. The female seals come ashore upon the islands to give birth to their young. For the time being they are lazy and inactive. After the young are born and while they are nursing, still watched over by the males, they seldom go out to sea. The female seals never go to any great distance, and never to a distance of 6 miles from Commander Islands, during the month of July and even the beginning of August. They prefer to remain during that time on the “rookeries.” The male seals remain during the months of June and July on the islands.
Mr. Komarow said that he noted of what has just been said on the subject of female seals to show that the mother seals on the Commander Islands do not go far to seek their food, which constitutes a fact set forth by Mr. Grebnitsky in his memorial entitled New Data [Page 421] on the Life of Fur Seals. This fact agrees entirety with the indications of the line of marine depths (J. H. L. log book, p. 5). He adds that Mr. Townsend’s charts confirm the opinion of Mr. Grebnitsky.
Mr. Kroupsky claimed the privilege of giving this memoir set forth in Russian to the arbitrator. In continuing he says that according to the American publications already presented it appears from the log books of the schooners that the more the sealing is in the proximity of the shore in July and August, the more females are there killed. In the month of August the young females appearing upon the islands are not yet reproducing (J. H. L. log book, p. 5); moreover, on the chart of maritime enterprise in fur sealing drawn up in 1883 and 1893 by Townsend, it is seen that in the month of July near the Commander Islands seals are hunted nearer shore than in June, which shows acquaintance with the laws of their migration (J. H. L. log book, p. 5).
At the request of Mr. Komarow, Mr. Kroupsky submitted that chart to the arbitrator, as well as another chart, entitled “Map of the western portion of Behring Sea,” by Leonhard Steineger, 1896, on which are marked the places where sealing is done around Commander Islands and upon which certain directions of the course of the schooner James Hamilton Lewis are marked. It was not possible to indicate all of them, the chart ending at 175° east longitude (J. H. L. log book, p. 2).
Mr. Kroupsky continued: In the Senate Document No. 137, Part II, Fifty-seventh Congress, first session, there are annexed three charts of Bering Sea and of the northern part of the Pacific, indicating the points where the sealing industry was carried on in 1883–1893 (Chart I), for 1893, and 1894, and in these charts no indication is found of facts of sealing relating to the longitudes and latitudes alleged by the schooner Hamilton Lewis. The data which served in the composition of the charts was borrowed from the log books of the American, Canadian, and English schooners (J. H. L. log book, p. 2), adding that Colonel Woloschinow (1885) claims the same thing on the subject of the habits of seals, Townsend says the same, as does also Prosorow in his publication in the Russian language, Brief Sketch of the Okhotsk and Kamtschatka Regions (St. Petersburg, 1902), Sawitsch (report for 1893), and Dr. Slumine (Industrial Resources of Kamtschatka and the Commander Islands, 1895). These works have been remitted, besides that of Sawitsch and Woloschinow.
Examination of charts, with designation of the parts of the sea where seals are taken in the pelagic sealing at different periods of the year, and the migration habits of seals.
Three charts were handed to the arbitrator.
Mr. Kroupsky showed on the chart (Western portion of Behring Sea, by Leonhard Stejneger, 1896) the places where pelagic sealing is carried on around Commander Islands, and on which are marked the course of the schooner Hamilton Lewis. It was, however, impossible to mark the whole course, the chart ending at 175° east longitude.
The Arbitrator again asked Mr. Kroupsky about the taking of the mother seals in pelagic sealing; if it is possible to distinguish from a distance whether the animal is male or female.
Mr. Kroupsky said that the females are very easily distinguished by their relatively small bodies. The males having attained mature [Page 422] age (about 4 years), are nearly twice as large as the females, and nothing is more simple than to differentiate at sight, even at a considerable distance.
Mr. Townsend said that sometimes some females go out to distance of 200 miles from shore. It is then possible to presume that the James Hamilton Lewis could have taken all of the skins of female seals in mid seas, even at the period stated.
The Arbitrator observed that according to what has been said in the arbitration of Paris, the places where female seals seek their food are much more distant.
Mr. Komarow answered that at the arbitration of Paris it was a question of American seals of the islands of Pribilof. It is now a question of the seals around the Russian islands of Commander, of which the conditions of life are slightly different by reason of the places where they find their food. The Russian and American waters differ as regards depths and character.
Mr. Peirce said that this does not relate to the present matter (to the question of the sealing of the J. H. L.).
The Arbitrator is of different opinion. It is a question of the value of the statements that there is a difference between females of the Pribilof Islands and those of the Commander Islands and between the depths about those islands. He stated that it has been said by Mr. Kroupsky that it was impossible to find female seals at a distance of 5 or 6 miles from the Commander Islands, and asks if the professor can produce documents to prove it.
Mr. Kroupsky insisted that it is impossible to find in the said season female seals in predominating quantity around the Commander Islands. He sustained his deposition by a citation from an American source. (Stejneger.)
Mr. Peirce said that it can not be admitted that it would be impossible to find female seals in the North Pacific between the longitudes where the James Hamilton Lewis passed. He wishes further explanations on that allegation.
Mr. Kroupsky particularized, and said that some females can be found in midocean. If it is on the one hand incontestible that seals are never met with between longitude 171° and 185°, on the other hand it may be said that sometimes, by chance of nature and within the zoological possibility, exceptions may be found, but very rarely. For instance, animal species which are only found in certain climates or places which are their proper homes, or where zoologically they belong, can be accidentally met with in unique and, so to speak, erratic examples in regions where one would not expect to find them in their normal condition. Thus it is with seals, as with all other sorts of living things—the possibility of an accidental appearance in regions where they are generally never found. I admit that accidental possibility, but I do not believe that in such regions it would be a question of hunting erratic individual seals, at least not without running the risk of taking but one or two in a long time. Consequently, it is very difficult to suppose that the James Hamilton Lewis could have taken that proportion of 90 per cent of female seal skins precisely in the regions so exceptional for that purpose, viz, the great distance of the place from Medny Island, and still more the fact that the sealing must have taken place in the longitudes between Attu and the Adakes.[Page 423]
Mr. Komarow drew attention to the fact that 90 per cent of mother seals had been taken. The mention made in the memorandum of the party opposed to the deposition of Mr. Morgan as to how that circumstance would prove that the skins were taken from animals killed in mid sea is not justified. What Mr. Morgan said must be otherwise interpreted. He had simply stated that that lot of skins had been taken from mother seals, but in his deposition he made no statement that this would serve as proof that sealing had been done in mid seas. (J. H. L., log book, p. 5.)
The Arbitrator asked about the hibernating places of seals.
Mr. Kroupsky said that the places of hibernating are always in the sea. It has never been remarked that seals spend the winter on land or on other islands. The winter “sealing grounds” are not known. The seals go into the depths of the sea. It is difficult to determine in an exact manner the places of hibernation in the sea. What is known is merely the migration of the herds, which go at the approach of winter toward the south; those of the Commander Islands in the direction of Japan; those of the Pribilof Islands in the direction of San Francisco.
Mr. Komarow produced a marine chart to establish that, according to the log book, the captain had taken seals in longitude where they never come.
Mr. Peirce said that this point should have been refuted in the memorandum, and that it is not a question to be discussed here.
The Arbitrator was of opinion that all liberty should be accorded to the delegate from Russia.
Mr. Komarow found that that relates to the supplementary information, and says the Report of Fur Seal Investigation of 1896–97, Part I, page 44, reads—
The fur seals of the North Pacific comprise three distinct herds, which do not intermingle in any way, having distinct breeding grounds, feeding grounds, and routes of migration.
In the same Report, Part III, in the article of Charles H. Townsend, “Pelagic sealing” (p. 234 and following), it reads:
The Asiatic herd traverses from longitude 141°–171° east; American herd traverses from longitude 119°–175° west.
Having examined on the chart the directions indicated in the log book of the James Hamilton Lewis from the 13th July, it appears that the schooner took fur seals in latitudes and longitudes in which fur seals have never been found by anybody. One concludes therefrom that if the schooner indicated in an exact manner her sojourn in those latitudes and longitudes she could not have taken any seal skins, and that the skins had been taken elsewhere, and as it will be shown further on, probably in the proximity of the Medny Island. (J. H. L., log book, p. 2.)
Mr. Kroupsky gave explanations on the chart, and adds that the fact of the proximity to the shore, which explains the possibility of taking a certain number of skins, 90 per cent female seals, as is the case with the James Hamilton Lewis, has become exceedingly common for the schooners of the pelagic fleet. In the report of the chief of the district of the islands of Commander for 1891 we read:
The poaching schooners have again begun to approach the shore, first observing the prohibited zone, and not approaching the coast except in fogs. Seeing that their [Page 424] acts remain unpunished, and that there were no Russian cruisers nor other vessels, also supposing perhaps that the Imperial Government did not desire to put any obstacle in the way of their raids, the schooners in 1890 and 1891 remained and sealed off the coasts of Medny Island, carefully remaining beyond the range of gunshot. In the places inaccessible for the inhabitants, or far from the principal landings, they sealed even upon the shores. Their audacity reached such a point that in 1891 the captains offered resistance to the war ships which were in those parts.
Page 191 of the Report, Part IV:
But not all the schooners were satisfied with taking the seals outside of the territorial water of Russia. They adopted the tactics of sending the boats inshore to hunt on the rookeries, and as a consequence many of tham had to feel the claws of the bear.
The seizures of the schooners in 1890, 1891, and 1892 were cases considered as quite ordinary. (P. 226 of the Report, Part III.) Prior to 1892 the desultory sealing carried on about the Commander Islands virtually amounted to sealing on the rookeries, the seals having been taken in foggy weather close to the shores, or, when opportunity afforded, on unguarded rookeries.
In Part IV of the Report of the Fur Seal Investigation, pages 189 and 190, one reads:
The captains of most of the schooners were becoming wary, however, and, to avoid being captured within the 3-mile limit of the territorial waters, adopted the tactics of keeping some distance at sea, only sending their boats or canoes to kill the seals on or off the rookeries, as the case might be.
Mr. Townsend said that he knew the chart which was produced, but that it is not quite exact. He consulted another marine chart to demonstrate where the seals are at different periods of the year, and the route they follow during their migration. He said that there is no reason for not admitting that seals had been taken in the places indicated on the log book. (Pointing on the map, he said that it was possible the Lewis got the seals where she claimed.)
The Arbitrator asked Mr. Townsend for information with regard to sealing, and their habits.
Mr. Townsend. Seals arrive from the Pacific in a great body about July, in Bering Sea, and are present at the Pribilof and Commander islands in July and August and till late in the fall. They are found at all distances up to 200 miles from both groups of islands. The males stay on the islands; the females bring forth young early in July, and then, being hungry, nursing their young, they go away to feed. Young males and very young females not under the same pressure for food, not nursing, stay most of the time on land. Females go away out to sea, where they can get the most food in the shortest time.
The Arbitrator (referring to p. 143) asked if it is stated that males remain on ground, never eating.
Mr. Townsend. They become very hungry and thin. I refer only to breeding males in the harems. They first come last of May. From the time the big males take up their position they never eat nor drink for two months. Then leaving the rookeries they go to sea very little, sleep on sand beaches—seem to want to sleep for the first month after their breeding duties are over. The young are born early in July—they remain on rocks. They can’t swim till a month old. When the females arrive they have young at once. They nurse them for five or six days, till they come in heat and are then covered by the bulls. They then go to sea. They go long distances and come back to nurse their pups, and then go out again. Two hundred miles out I have caught [Page 425] female seals in milk in July, also in August and September. Sealing stops about the middle of September on account of the weather.
Mr. Peirce asked if he knew of any cases where the young seals had been taken from the bodies of the mothers.
Mr. Townsend said that sometimes in the month of July on opening the bodies of female seals which come from the south, little seals are found with hair on them; but after the month of August the females have only milk in them.
Mr. Peirce asked if the J. H. L. could have taken during the voyage indicated in the log book 424 seals; or how many she could have taken without going within the 3 miles.
Mr. Townsend. These are all late June and July dates except August 1. The American seal herd enters through the passes out to sea, 172°. The J. H. L. landed her winter catch in Alaska. She could have found good sealing in the neighborhood in July. There should be an abundance of seals going through passes at this date.
Mr. Peirce. What could the J. H. L. have taken after August 1 without going within 3 or 5 miles of Russian land?
Mr. Townsend. Good sealing in Bering Sea around both American and Russian islands at great distance from islands—out to 200 miles. Sealers working free outside 60 miles protected zone around Pribilof.
Mr. Kroupsky asked if it is probable or possible that the J. H. L. could have taken so large a number of seals in the waters indicated in the memorandum on the high seas.
The Arbitrator asked the same question.
Mr. Komarow said in the United States Fish and Fisheries Commission, Part XVIII, page ci, we read:
The Attu men never saw fur seals east of the Semichi group, and the Albatross’s experience in traversing the whole length of the Aleutian Archipelago from Unalaska to Attou without seeing even a single individual, seems to confirm the native belief that the Commander Islands herd do not enter or leave the sea east of Attu, and the Pribilof herd do not enter or leave west of the Four Mountain Pass.
This mention relates to the year 1892, that is to say to an epoch close to the confiscation of the schooner James Hamilton Lewis, and it does not establish any really determined data as to the actual limits between the herds of the Asiatic and American shores, that which was only executed in 1896. It was up to that time that the log book and the sealing account was most likely made.
In the United States Fish and Fisheries Commission, in the article “The Russian fur-seal islands,” was produced a chart of the fur sealing about the Commander Islands, which is annexed to the fourth part of the report of fur-seal investigation. From the data therein, borrowed from the American official publications, it appears that from the 141° longitude east to 175° longitude west—that is to say, over an extent of 14 degrees—there are no herds of fur seals, and if there were any of these animals it could only be a sporadic case, analogous to the phenomena which relates to the development of the life of all sea animals in general, while the schooner notes the catch of a large quantity of seals in those parts. Moreover, there must necessarily have been seals of the American herds, which are noticeably distinct from those of the Asiatic waters, as it was well known then by all who were Interested in the sealing industry. The fact of the presence of that sort of skins could not escape the attention of an expert in those matters, such as Mr. Morgan, who, concurrently with the administration [Page 426] of the islands in question, examined all of the skins for the purpose of determining the percentage of female skins (mothers), which required a very minute examination. Thus all of the skins were recognized to have been taken from the Asiatic herds, the limits of which is marked at 171°. The sealing account (pp. 213, 214) does not quite agree with the chart now presented.
Mr. Peirce. The log book does not indicate precisely where seals were taken. In a few cases it gives the places.
Mr. Townsend (p. 214). Seals referred to were taken from 170° to 177° longitude west. There is no reason why seals should not have been taken here; 169° to 172° east longitude, latitude 50° 30’ to 52° 40’ are points on migration track and on border of sealing ground. They claimed to have killed last seal from 24th to 30th of July at this point (pointing to map). There is no reason why he should not have taken seals here.
Mr. Peirce. You have data showing catch of seals in August and September?
Mr. Townsend. Yes, a great many. In August there is good sealing; July, ditto; September, all right, if doesn’t blow too hard, up to 20th.
Mr. Peirce. How many seals could well-equipped sealer take in August and the usual part of September?
Mr. Townsend. There is a great difference in vessels. A first-class, well-found vessel with an energetic master could pick up, I suppose, from 1,500 to 2,500 seals from August 1 to September 15. I have known vessels to pick up 1,800 during August.
The Arbitrator. Do you consider J. H. L. a good vessel?
Mr. Townsend. The J. H. L. was of good size, of larger class. Thirty to 40 tons would be about the smaller class. The J. H. L. was of 73 to 75 tons.
The Arbitrator, correcting, said 78 tons.
Mr. Komarow said that the color of the seals fading toward the end of August the price of the skins taken at that time must be lower.
Mr. Townsend. I do not think so. The pelagic catch is the same in winter and summer, and there is no reason why August and September skins should not be the same.
Mr. Peirce. Might it not be that seals living on land will be differently affected by season than are seals on the high seas?
Mr. Townsend. Undoubtedly. The best time to kill on land is in July to early August. The pelagic catch consists of skins taken when and where you can get your hands on them. Male seals on the islands are best in July and August.
The Arbitrator asked the Russian expert, Mr. Grunwaldt, if the seals taken in the last months of the territorial catch, viz, the months of August and September, are equivalent or inferior as merchandise to the seals taken during the height of season.
Mr. Grunwalt said that that makes a difference of 75 per cent for the seals which have been killed in the month of September. The skins of the American herd have the greater value.
The Arbitrator stated that according to Mr. Grunwaldt there is a difference for pelagic sealing, 60 to 75 per cent.
Mr. Kroupsky said that there is no essential difference between the pelagic seal and the territorial. They are the same animals, not only [Page 427] from the point of view of the different seasons of their life, but also from that of the character and significance of chase. The pelagic sealing is not regular sealing; it injures the industry of both the two parties—American and Russian—equally. The territorial industry, organized in conformity with the zoological conditions of the species, is the only reasonable one. It gives besides the best product as to quality. Pelagic sealing should be interdicted in the interest of the preservation of seals, for which we are responsible.
Mr. Townsend. Fur dealers will take seals of different ages and caught at different times. How can you tell whether the skins were taken in September or August?
Mr. Grunwaldt maintained that the merchants can see.
Mr. Townsend. I am not aware that any difference exists.
The Arbitrator asked Mr. Townsend what must be understood by “pelagic sealing.”
Mr. Townsend, Sealing on the high seas from vessels, but the Russian and American Governments take some male seals on the islands; this is not “pelagic.” Killing on land means killing of the surplus males by the Governments.
Mr. Peirce. On the groups of islands where the seal rookeries are, owned by Russia and the United States, are there not two companies, one for each group, which control seal killing?
Mr. Townsend. They have the lease. The Governments control killing and prescribe how many seals shall be killed.
Mr. Peirce. What do they kill?
Mr. Townsend. Three-year-old males.
Mr. Peirce. Where and how do they pass the summer?
Mr. Townsend. They stay close to islands. The Government kills on island; they are not very much in water.
Mr. Peirce. Is it your impression that a fur seal most of the summer out of water would be in the same condition in September as a seal that had been during that time swimming in the Bering Sea?
Mr. Townsend. The fur is under the hair; the female may change color slightly, but the fur underneath is the same.
Mr. Peirce. After the seals are caught and skin taken off, what is done with the skins before they are put on the fur market as a finished article?
Mr. Townsend. They are plucked and dyed before being manufactured.
Mr. Peirce. Would color make much difference if they are dyed?
Mr. Townsend. No. Skins are graded by age and size; not by season of catch.
The session adjourned to Monday morning at 10 o’clock.