Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

November 22, 2011 11:43 ET

Canada Moves Forward on Protection of Key Species at the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 22, 2011) - Several key species, including North Atlantic Swordfish and Atlantic Bluefin tuna, will benefit from stronger management measures, following the 2011 annual meeting of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT).

The meeting wrapped up on Saturday, November 19, 2011 in Istanbul, Turkey, with Members agreeing to strengthen the management of key species, enhance scientific capacity and data collection, and further the implementation of the Ecosystem and Precautionary Approach.

A significant success story for Canada and ICCAT at the 2011 meeting was the adoption of a management plan for North Atlantic swordfish. Under this new plan, Canada secured additional quota, which will result in significant financial opportunities for Atlantic coastal harvesters.

"We are committed to the economic growth of the fishery industry in a sustainable manner based on scientific advice. The increase in our quota for North Atlantic swordfish reflects that commitment," said the Honourable Keith Ashfield, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans. "While our quota was increased - through transfers from other member states - the plan also implements greater precautionary management measures."

Members also made progress towards the implementation of a new electronic catch documentation scheme for Atlantic bluefin tuna. Canada strongly supports the new tracking system as an important tool to tackle compliance issues that persist in the Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean bluefin tuna fishery.

Canada also led the development of a plan of action for 2012 to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the Commission itself. Canada is committed to ensuring that ICCAT remains a leading regional fisheries management organization.

The Commission was unable to adopt management measures for North Atlantic porbeagle sharks. "We remain committed to the conservation of all shark species while at the same time supporting responsible and sustainable fisheries. Canada was one of the first countries in the world to establish a National Plan of Action for Sharks," added Minister Ashfield. "Our small commercial Northwest Atlantic porbeagle fishery is grounded on the best scientific advice available. We are disappointed that no agreement was reached and will continue to work with ICCAT members to put in place management measures for this very important stock."

For more information about the Commission and Canada's role within ICCAT, visit www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/tuna

For broadcast:

Several key species, including North Atlantic Swordfish and Atlantic Bluefin tuna, will benefit from stronger management measures, following the 2011 annual meeting of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas which wrapped up on Saturday, November 19, 2011 in Istanbul, Turkey. Members made progress towards the implementation of a new electronic catch documentation scheme for Atlantic bluefin tuna and adopted a management plan for North Atlantic swordfish. Canada is committed to the economic growth of the fishery industry in a sustainable manner based on scientific advice.

Contact Information

  • Frank Stanek
    Media Relations
    Fisheries and Oceans Canada
    Ottawa, Ontario
    613-990-7537

    Barbara Mottram
    Press Secretary
    Office of the Minister
    Fisheries and Oceans Canada
    613-992-3474
    www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca