Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

June 17, 2005 11:03 ET

DFO: U.S. and Canadian Coast Guards Working Together to Strengthen Partnership

CLEVELAND, OHIO--(CCNMatthews - June 17, 2005) - The Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), Admiral Thomas H. Collins and John Adams, Commissioner of the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) and their respective delegations, attended a summit meeting this week at the U.S. Coast Guard Base in Cleveland, Ohio. With the theme, Building on a Tradition of Maritime Partnership, the two agencies engaged in discussions of areas of mutual concern including marine safety and environmental protection. On the security front, challenges and opportunities surrounding marine domain awareness were also explored.

"Our two Coast Guards work side by side on a daily basis along the St. Lawrence Seaway and Great Lakes and often work together along our Atlantic and Pacific Coasts," said Commissioner Adams. "This has been a valuable exercise that has allowed us to exchange information, learn from one another and forge a stronger working relationship."

"With both the U.S. and Canada working to strengthen safety and security along our borders and waterways, it is only fitting that our two Coast Guard agencies work to establish the most productive and effective relationship possible," said Admiral Collins.

Admiral Collins also used the occasion of the summit to present Commissioner Adams with a U.S. Coast Guard Lifetime Honorary Membership in the USCG Auxiliary. Mr. Adams also received a Distinguished Public Service Award, one of the highest public recognition awards given by the Commandant.

Commissioner Adams presented Admiral Collins with the Canadian Coast Guard's highest decoration, the Commissioner's Commendation in honour of the work carried out by the USCG Strike Team in Alabama in helping to reduce the pollution threat presented by a derelict vessel off of New Brunswick.

A backgrounder giving highlights of the U.S.C.G. and CCG relationship is attached.

More information on the C.C.G. can be found at

Information on the U.S.C.G. can be found at

Fisheries and Oceans Canada


Canadian Coast Guard

The Canadian Coast Guard is housed within Fisheries and Oceans Canada where it carries out the Government of Canada's oceans agenda. The CCG is Canada's civilian maritime organization and operator of the federal government's civilian fleet.

The Canadian Coast Guard's mandate is one of marine safety, environmental protection, the facilitation of marine commerce and support to the federal marine security community.

The Canadian Coast Guard fleet provides:

- open and safe routes for shipping,
- search and rescue services,
- fishery enforcement support,
- vessels for oceanographic science and fishery research,
- support to federal marine security agencies,
- environmental protection and response,
- aids to navigation, and
- icebreaking services

In Canada, maritime security and safety is shared by several federal government departments - the Coast Guard, Transport Canada, the RCMP, Citizenship and Immigration and the Department of National Defence. This collaborative effort works very effectively in this country.

United States Coast Guard

The United States Coast Guard is a military, multi-mission, maritime service within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and is one of the nation's five armed services.

The mission of the U.S. Coast Guard is one of maritime safety, protection of natural resources, maritime mobility and security as well as national defense.

Its core roles are to protect the public, the environment, and U.S. economic and security interests in any maritime region in which those interests may be at risk, including international waters and America's coasts, ports, and inland waterways.

Examples of CCG/USCG Cooperation:

The Canadian and U.S. Coast Guard co-operate in environmental response activities, search and rescue, vessel tracking services, marine aids to navigation services, icebreaking and research and development projects.

An excellent example of this cooperation can be seen in the search and rescue program along the Seaway and Great Lakes. When a distress call is received, the tasking is given to the closest Coast Guard vessel that is able to respond, whether American or Canadian. It is not uncommon for USCG resources to respond to incidents in Canadian waters and likewise, Canadian resources responding in US waters.

Along the Strait of Juan de Fuca on the Pacific Coast, a cooperative vessel traffic services agreement is in place to ensure safe and efficient navigation and to reduce as much as possible the environmental risks presented by tanker traffic in Juan de Fuca and Puget Sound.

Along the Great Lakes, the USCG and CCG coordinate icebreaking activities in order to pool resources and increase efficiency.

Both Coast Guard agencies assist the other in the lifting, placing and repair of navigational aids along the St. Lawrence Seaway and Great Lakes, increasing efficiency and reducing duplication of effort between the two organizations.

Joint security role-playing exercises are conducted periodically along the Great Lakes and on the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic coasts between the two Coast Guard agencies as well as military and police agencies from both countries. The information gained from these exercises is crucial to the planning and implementation of security measures for both countries.

Contact Information

  • Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Ottawa
    Phil Jenkins
    Media Relations
    (613) 990-7537