Canada’s Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, Sean Casey, have announced Canada’s ratification of the Agreement on Port State Measures to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing.
This international agreement enters into force for Canada today, 20th July, and the minister said that this sends a strong message that Canada will not tolerate IUU fishing, and will protect the honest good work of Canadian fish workers.
‘Canada is serious about ending illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. We are working with international partners to achieve this goal,’ Jonathan Wilkinson said.
‘We have invested in innovative technology to track and share regional and global fishing activity data. By preventing fish and seafood products derived from IUU fishing from entering our ports, we will not only help level the playing field for Canadian harvesters and Canadian businesses involved in the fish and seafood trade: we are also sending a very strong message that Canada’s ports have zero tolerance for illegally caught fish.’
The Port State Measures Agreement grants officials additional powers to deny port entry and use of port services for vessels carrying illegally harvested fish, and also increases protection and monitoring at Canadian ports during all stages of fishing operations, including vessel registration, fish harvesting, and fish trade.
Since all fish must come through a port before going to market, limiting port access is one of the most efficient and cost-effective ways to eliminate IUU fishing.
‘Canada is now in position to join several countries that limit port access to foreign vessels engaged in illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing that is emptying our oceans of fish and seafood,’ said Sean Casey, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard.
‘With the ratification of this legally-binding Agreement, Canada has stronger rules and standards to deny vessel access to ports and thus prevent fish products from IUU fishing getting to Canadian markets.’
The ratification of the Port State Measure Agreement is one of the many ways the Government of Canada has demonstrated its commitment to end illegal fishing. Most recently, Canada participated in the Canadian Space Agency’s RADARSAT Constellation Mission, which launched three new satellites that will provide maritime surveillance to remotely identify and track suspected IUU vessels.
Over the last year alone, Canada contributed $1.2 million to Global Fishing Watch to analyse fishing activity around the world and ratified the Agreement to Prevent Unregulated High Seas Fisheries in the Central Arctic Ocean.