Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

December 11, 2009 17:22 ET

Canada Ratifies Amended Convention of the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organzation

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 11, 2009) - The Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, today announced the Government of Canada has ratified the amended Convention of the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO). Canada is the second NAFO member to ratify the Convention, after Norway.

"Canada has demonstrated leadership and pressed hard for the modernization of NAFO in order to improve compliance, enhance enforcement and ensure sustainable fisheries management," said Minister Shea. "We are proud of the actions NAFO has taken to reduce and penalize illegal fishing activities. Canada will continue to work with our partners to ensure responsible fisheries management in the NAFO Regulatory Area."

The amended Convention provides for better management decisions that incorporate precautionary and ecosystem-based approaches; improves governance by limiting objections and implementing a robust dispute settlement mechanism; and holds accountable those who break the rules.

The Government of Canada consulted the Canadian fishing industry, as well as other stakeholders extensively on the amendments. The consultations were carried out over three years. There were also extensive discussions in parliament, including three parliamentary committees, which reflect the government's commitment to transparency and support for public review of international treaties.

"After more than a decade of over-fishing, misreporting, high-grading and disregard for environmental responsibility by some NAFO parties, NAFO has taken substantial steps toward improvement in recent years, and this amended convention represents further progress for Canada's leadership efforts and responsible fisheries management," Minister Shea stated. "Our Government has taken a leadership role, working with other countries, to implement a management regime that is science-based and reflects the rule of law."

For more information about NAFO or Canada's commitment to sustainable international fisheries, visit


Contact Information

  • Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Ottawa
    Phil Jenkins
    Media Relations
    Fisheries and Oceans Canada
    Office of the Minister
    Nancy Bishay
    Press Secretary