Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

June 05, 2009 12:01 ET

Government of Canada Announces Significant Aerial Surveillance Contract

ST. JOHN'S, NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR--(Marketwire - June 5, 2009) -

Editors Note: A photo for this release will be available via Marketwire on the picture wire of The Canadian Press

Senator Fabian Manning, on behalf of the Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, today announced that the Government of Canada has awarded Provincial Airlines Limited (PAL), a subsidiary of Provincial Aerospace Limited of St. John's, NL, a five-year contract worth $75 million to provide aerial surveillance of Canada's inland coastal and offshore waters. This contract was awarded in keeping with the Government of Canada open bidding system.

"This contract represents a significant investment in the Canadian aerospace industry and the Newfoundland and Labrador economy that will protect jobs and stimulate economic growth during the current slowdown," said Senator Manning. "Aerial surveillance is an important aspect of Canada's fisheries enforcement activities as well as helping to assert Canada's sovereignty and enhance marine security."

Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) is responsible for monitoring, control and surveillance of Canada's fisheries waters as well as certain international areas, such as the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization Regulatory Area and the North Pacific.

The department's aerial surveillance program provides the capability to monitor domestic and foreign vessel activities and detect potential violations. The program also provides information on pollution surveillance, environmental monitoring and marine security to a number of other federal departments and agencies.

"I recently had the opportunity to take part in a surveillance flight with DFO fishery officers. I was extremely impressed with the technological capabilities of the aircraft and the professionalism of the crew," said Minister Shea.

Provincial Airlines Limited is a completely Canadian-owned company that is recognized worldwide as a leader in aerial surveillance operations and support. It has provided aerial surveillance services to DFO in various capacities since 1989. The company employs 750 people across Canada.

The contract includes exclusive use of three specially modified and equipped Beechcraft King Air B200 aircraft (and one back-up aircraft), complete with all ground support and other related services. Approximately 7,500 hours will be flown annually from three bases in St. John's, NL; Halifax, NS; and Comox, BC.


BACKGROUNDER

National Fisheries Aerial Surveillance Program

Aerial surveillance is an effective tool for monitoring marine activities over a large geographical area. Fisheries and Oceans Canada's (DFO) National Fisheries Aerial Surveillance Program monitors the activities of both domestic and foreign vessels to ensure they are abiding by national laws and regulations and international obligations.

DFO is responsible for monitoring, control and surveillance of Canada's fisheries within its exclusive economic zone and in certain international areas. The primary focus of DFO's aerial surveillance activities is to monitor domestic and foreign fishing vessel activity to detect potential violations that threaten the sustainability of fishery resources or marine security.

Domestically, aerial surveillance supports enforcement of the following legislation:

- The Fisheries Act

- The Oceans Act

- The Coastal Fisheries Protection Act

- The Species at Risk Act

- The Canada Shipping Act.

DFO also shares responsibility for monitoring, control and surveillance of fishing activities in certain international waters. Canada provides aerial surveillance support as a contracting member of the following regional fisheries management organizations:

- International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas

- Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO)

- North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission (NPAFC)

The majority of DFO's domestic aerial patrols will continue to be carried out with services from Provincial Airlines Limited (PAL), a subsidiary of Provincial Aerospace Limited of St. John's, NL. PAL operates three planes (and one back-up aircraft) for DFO from bases in St. John's, NL; Halifax, NS and Comox, BC. Approximately 7,500 hours are flown annually.

Under the contract, PAL provides DFO with exclusive use of the specially modified and equipped Beechcraft King Air B200 aircraft complete with all ground support and other related services.

DFO Fishery Officers aboard the aircraft gather and send information to marine security operations centres using sophisticated surveillance equipment including a 200 mile, 360 degree search radar, forward looking infrared system, digital photography and video, night time illumination system, and a fully integrated data management system. If a fishery officer observes potentially illegal or suspicious fishing activity, information about the vessel is also relayed directly to Canadian patrol vessels in the area, which can then continue the investigation from the water.

DFO also has a memorandum of understanding with the Department of National Defence (DND) for an annual allocation of aircraft surveillance hours by the CP-140 Aurora maritime patrol aircraft. This time is divided between the west coast for surveillance of the North Pacific as part of the NPAFC's Operation Driftnet, and on the Atlantic coast, primarily for surveillance of the NAFO Regulatory Area.

In addition to its fishery surveillance activities, DFO also extends its aerial surveillance services to other federal government departments to support the overall safety and security of Canada's marine environment. Additional surveillance activities include pollution patrols, ice and iceberg reconnaissance, surveillance of commercial shipping vessels, and information to support search-and-assist missions and border integrity.

To view the photos associated with this press release, please visit the following links:

http://www.marketwire.com/library/20090605-Top%20Picture_800.jpg

http://www.marketwire.com/library/20090605-Bottom%20Picture_800.jpg

http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca

Contact Information

  • Fisheries and Oceans Canada - Ottawa
    Scott Cantin
    Media Relations
    613-990-7537
    or
    Fisheries and Oceans Canada - Ottawa
    Office of the Minister
    Nancy Bishay
    Press Secretary
    613-992-3474