WASHINGTON, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - Sept. 16, 2016) - The conservation and protection of our oceans is of paramount importance to the Government of Canada. We continue to take tangible steps, both domestically and internationally, to conserve and protect our precious marine environments.
Parliamentary Secretary Serge Cormier, on behalf of the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, today concluded a successful visit to the third annual Our Ocean Conference, hosted by Secretary of State John Kerry, in Washington D.C. from Sept 15 to 16, 2016.
At the conference, Parliamentary Secretary Cormier announced that Canada's contribution towards joint Canada-U.S. conservation efforts off the Atlantic coast will be the designation of both the Jordan Basin and Corsair and Georges Canyon as Sensitive Benthic Areas, thereby protecting significant concentrations of Atlantic Canada's ocean deep sea corals from bottom contact fishing activities.
Parliamentary Secretary Cormier also reaffirmed Canada's commitment to protect 5% of marine areas by 2017, and 10% by 2020, and highlighted Canada's continued efforts to increase understanding of existing and potential Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) through scientific collaboration with the U.S. The two countries have planned scientific expeditions in the Gulf of Maine and the western Scotian Shelf to better understand the species and ecosystems of the area.
The Government of Canada is also collaborating with the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA) on the Market Probe - Illegal Sell / Possess Prohibited Fish Species project, a new enforcement-based initiative to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing around the globe. A proud supporter of the U.S. Safe Ocean Network, Canada is committed to working together with the U.S. to fight illegal fishing.
"Today's announcements demonstrate the actions the Government of Canada is taking to conserve and protect our oceans. We stand firm with our international partners such as the United States to ensure that marine environments both domestically and internationally are preserved not only for now, but for the generations who follow."
- Serge Cormier, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
- Budget 2016 proposed $123.7 million over five years to support marine conservation activities. This includes the designation of new MPAs under the Oceans Act specifically the Hecate Strait and Queen Charlotte Sound Glass Sponge Reefs in the Pacific and another very important MPA in the Arctic known as Darnley Bay as well as the development of new national parks and National Marine Conservation Areas (NMCAs), including the Lancaster Sound NMCA, Nunavut and Thaidene Nene National Park, Northwest Territories.
- Budget 2016 also committed almost $200 million over the next five years to reinvigorate Canada's capacity to undertake fisheries and oceans science, which will enhance our ability to make informed, evidence-based decisions on priority issues.
- Approximately 30% of total global fish catches comes from IUU fishing. In some cases, IUU catches can be three times higher than legal catches.
- Experts estimate that IUU fishing costs the world economy $10 to 23 billion USD annually.
- Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing - DFO Website
- Canada's High Seas Monitoring, Control and Surveillance Activities
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