Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

September 22, 2005 12:30 ET

DFO: APEC Oceans Ministers Make Commitment to Fisheries Trade and Marine Resources Management

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Sept. 22, 2005) - Coastal communities in British Columbia will benefit from the commitment of Asia-Pacific oceans ministers to improve trade of fish and aquaculture products, and facilitate greater market access for small-scale fisheries, said Geoff Regan, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans. B.C. communities will also reap the benefits of an international commitment to the wise management of oceans and marine resources in this region.

"Ministers responsible for oceans in the Asia-Pacific region recognize that economic growth and prosperity in our coastal communities must be balanced with stronger oceans conservation and marine resources management," Minister Regan said. "With the adoption of the Bali Plan of Action, Canada's Asia-Pacific partners have demonstrated their willingness to share this responsibility."

The Bali Plan of Action was adopted by Ministers of 20 members of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation at the 2nd APEC Ocean-related Ministerial Meeting held in Bali, Indonesia on September 16 and 17, 2005. The meeting was co-chaired by Minister Regan and Indonesia's Minister of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, H.E. Freddy Numberi.

The plan outlines priorities for action under three key areas: balancing conservation and sustainable use; providing for sustainable economic benefits from the oceans; and, enabling sustainable development of coastal communities. Among the plan's activities, APEC oceans ministers resolved to:

- address the role of oceans for food security and economic
prosperity, especially for coastal communities;

- stress the reform of fisheries and oceans management as
the key to prosperity;

- address the threats of marine invasive species, pollution,
and marine debris - as well as illegal, unreported and
unregulated (IUU) fishing; and

- encourage the use of science and other tools to integrate
an ecosystems approach to fisheries and oceans management
and designate marine protected areas.

These areas are closely aligned to Canada's Oceans Action Plan and its federal strategy for Marine Protected Areas. They also support Canada's strategy to combat illegal fishing and improve international fisheries and oceans governance, including through the reform of regional fisheries management organizations.

"I am especially pleased with the fundamental priority that every APEC member economy has placed on addressing IUU fishing through a reform process," said Minister Regan. "Clearly, building well-regulated, sustainable fisheries is in all of our best interests."

The Bali Plan of Action includes a commitment by Asia-Pacific oceans ministers to be accountable for achieving measurable progress towards healthy oceans and coasts by the end of this decade. Ministers also committed to bring the plan to the attention of APEC Leaders at the Leaders' Summit in Busan, Korea in November 2005. It is expected that the plan will serve to increase the profile of fisheries and oceans issues within the broader APEC agenda, especially at the Leaders' level.

"At every opportunity, Prime Minister Paul Martin has raised internationally the importance of ensuring sustainable oceans and marine resources," said Minister Regan. "These efforts are getting worldwide attention and applause."

"As the Bali Plan of Action demonstrates, we are also starting to see a united commitment to the sustainable use of our oceans and seas."

The closing news release, joint ministerial statement, and Bali Plan of Action of the 2nd APEC Ocean-Related Ministerial Meeting can be found at A webcast of the Ministers' closing news conference is also linked on the APEC Web site.

Contact Information

  • Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Ottawa
    Sophie Galarneau
    Media Relations
    (613) 990-7537
    Office of the Minister Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Ottawa
    Sujata Raisinghani
    Press Secretary
    (613) 992-3474