Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

February 14, 2010 09:00 ET

Statement by Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans: Federal Government to Protect Against foreign Overfishing

Will close ports to Faroese and Greenlandic fishing vessels

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 14, 2010) - Fisheries and Oceans Minister Gail Shea made the following statement today, in response to calls from the Faroe Islands and Greenland for Canadian ports to remain open to their respective fishing vessels:

"Last month, I advised the Fisheries Ministers in the Faroe Islands and Greenland that Canada would be closing its ports to Faroese and Greenlandic fishing vessels as of February 15, unless they withdraw their objection to the 3L shrimp quota set by the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO).

We have acted in good faith for several years to try to resolve this issue, to no avail. It has become clear to Canada that attempts to come to a multilateral agreement regarding the 3L shrimp quota for Denmark (in respect of the Faroe Islands and Greenland) are at an impasse. I remain open to meet with the Fisheries Ministers of the Faroe Islands and Greenland at their earliest convenience. The Government of Canada will close Canadian ports to the Faroe Islands and Greenland effective tomorrow. Our government will continue to do whatever is necessary, under the law, to protect Canadian fishermen and the sustainability of the industry. I have sent letters to both Fisheries Ministers clearly outlining our position on this matter.

We expect all NAFO Contracting Parties to abide by existing international agreements, particularly conservation measures such as the NAFO quotas agreed to last September in Bergen, Norway, and to resolve disputes through the appropriate NAFO process. Failure to do so undermines the very foundations of international fisheries management and the integrity of NAFO.

It is now up to Denmark (in respect of the Faroe Islands and Greenland) to come back to the NAFO table to resolve the ongoing dispute. Until then, we will continue to protect the interests of our Canadian fishers and the straddling 3L shrimp stock."

http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca

Contact Information

  • Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Ottawa
    Alain Belle-Isle
    Media Relations
    613-993-5413
    or
    Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Ottawa
    Office of the Minister
    Nancy Bishay
    Press Secretary
    613-992-3474