June 5, 2019 Ottawa, ON
Illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing affects legitimate fish harvesters and processors and undermines their ability to contribute economically to their local communities. It destroys fragile marine ecosystems, putting the futures of many fish species at risk. It hampers the economies of small island developing nations all over the world, and creates security risks for those making their living from the sea, as well as those patrolling it. And at a cost of between $10 and 23 billion to the global economy annually, we all feel the effects of IUU fishing.
Today marks the second annual United Nations International Day for the Fight Against IUU Fishing to highlight efforts globally, regionally, and nationally to combat illegal fishing. Over the last year, the Government of Canada, along with its international partners, has taken action to implement new initiatives to combat IUU fishing, including:
- Ratifying the Agreement to Prevent Unregulated High Seas Fisheries in the Central Arctic Ocean, which prohibits commercial fishing in the high seas of the central Arctic Ocean while research is conducted to learn about the ecosystem and the potential for future sustainable harvesting.
- Contributing $1.2 million to Global Fishing Watch to support the continued growth of its free, open-source mapping platform to track and analyse fishing activity around the world.
- Hosting INTERPOL representatives and Indonesian fishery officers to provide an opportunity to work with Canada’s fishery officers to build their enforcement capacity, share best practices and promote interagency cooperation.
- Working with the Department of National Defence, the United States Coast Guard, and the Government of Fiji to conduct joint marine and aerial fisheries enforcement patrols on the high seas of the Pacific Ocean.
Moving forward, Fisheries and Oceans Canada will continue to take action to combat IUU fishing at home and abroad, to preserve our marine resources for the benefit of Canadians, including:
- Participating in the Canadian Space Agency’s RADARSAT Constellation Mission, scheduled for June 11, 2019, which will launch three new satellites to provide data for a wide range of uses, including maritime surveillance.
- Working to ratify the United Nations Agreement on Port State Measures to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing, which will give fishery officers enhanced powers to prevent illegally harvested fish and seafood products from entering the international market through Canadian ports.
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