Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

August 10, 2005 12:15 ET

DFO/Reforming High Seas Fisheries Management a Priority Shared by Canada and Norway

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Aug. 10, 2005) - Canada is exploring new ways to work with Norway to reform international fisheries governance, Fisheries and Oceans Minister Geoff Regan said today.

"As coastal states, Canada and Norway place a high level of importance on effective international fisheries management," said Minister Regan. "We also value our close working relationship regarding fisheries and oceans issues, and the common objectives we share for stronger high seas fisheries regimes. I am pleased that our countries will be working more closely to meet our respective goals."

Minister Regan is in Trondheim, Norway this week to attend Aqua Nor, the world's largest aquaculture tradeshow. As part of his agenda, the Minister met Svein Ludvigsen, Norway's Minister of Fisheries, to discuss international fisheries and oceans governance and the reform of regional fisheries management organizations. The Ministers also talked about the global problem of high seas overfishing and illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

"The international community urgently needs to develop and implement solutions to the problem of illegal fishing," said Minister Ludvigsen. "IUU fishing is placing at great risk an important source of the world's protein - and an important source of jobs for coastal communities. We must address this problem quickly before it grows worse."

Canada and Norway have held an Agreement on Mutual Fishery Relations since 1976. This agreement enables the two countries to work in partnership to achieve common fisheries objectives, such as the sustainable management of fish stocks and protection of the marine environment. Canada and Norway also work closely in the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO), the annual meeting of North Atlantic Fisheries Ministers, and the Arctic Research Council.

Improving international fisheries governance through the strengthening of regional fisheries management organizations (RFMOs) has been a top priority for both Canada and Norway at recent international meetings. At the Governance of High Seas Fisheries and the United Nations Fish Agreement conference held in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador in May, the two countries agreed that RFMO reform should include:

- making decisions based on sound science and using a
pre-cautionary approach;

- implementing ecosystems considerations in fisheries management;

- ensuring that the governance and rules are consistent with
international agreements, in particular the UN Fish Agreement;

- improved enforcement of fishing catches to ensure compliant
fishing behaviour.

At the 10th annual North Atlantic Fisheries Ministers' Conference
held in Torshavn, Faroe Islands in May, Norwegian and Canadian
representatives agreed that the modernization of NAFO and the North
East Atlantic Fisheries Commission should include:

- sharing ideas for improving decision-making;

- strengthening monitoring, control and surveillance; and

- reflecting better conservation and sustainability in management

Official photos of the meeting between Minister Regan and Minister Ludvigsen will be available on the DFO web site at

For more information about Canada's strategy to combat overfishing and improve international fisheries governance, visit For details on this year's Aqua Nor tradeshow, visit

Contact Information

  • Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Ottawa
    Phil Jenkins
    Media Relations
    (613) 990-7537
    Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Ottawa
    Sujata Raisinghani
    Press Secretary
    (613) 992-3474