Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

February 11, 2010 16:20 ET

Government of Canada Collaborates With the U.S. to Protect Great Lakes Fisheries

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 11, 2010) - The Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, today held discussions to further build Canada's positive relationship with the new U.S. administration on a broad array of fisheries issues. She also emphasized the need for continued cooperation in controlling the spread of invasive species like Asian carps into the Great Lakes.

This was expected to be the second international visit by Minister Shea this year to advance Canadian interests. In January, the Minister visited China to promote Canada's fish, seafood and sealing industries.

"Our Government recognizes the importance of the Great Lakes fisheries to Canadians and to Ontario's economy." said Minister Shea. "We share the concerns of our U.S. partners regarding the threat of Asian carps spreading into the Great Lakes and are supportive of safe and sustainable efforts that help minimize that threat in the future.".

DFO scientists have shared their expertise with the U.S on this issue since 2004 when they conducted a risk assessment study to provide in-depth analysis on how Asian carp might survive and impact Canadian waters.

More recently, the Government of Canada responded to requests for assistance on prevention efforts taking place in the U.S. in December 2009, when electrical barriers that provide protection against Asian carp migration through the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal were taken out of service for maintenance. DFO led an 18-member team as part of the multi-jurisdictional team that provided on-the-ground technical expertise that assisted in the efforts to prevent Asian carps from passing through the canal during the deactivation of an electrical barrier for maintenance work.

The Minister spoke with representatives from the U.S Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Department of the Interior to explore short and long-term solutions for keeping Asian carp from advancing any further in North American waterways.

"I was pleased to be briefed on the efforts of the United States Government to address issues surrounding the Asian carp populations that have aggressively infested several U.S. waterways," added Minister Shea. "Our Government is committed to working together with our American counterparts, both at the national and regional level, to limit the unwanted introduction of Asian carps into the Great Lakes. I look forward to a meeting in person soon and for our two countries to further intensify our efforts in protecting the Great Lakes fishery."

Contact Information

  • Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Ottawa
    Alain Belle-Isle
    Media Relations
    Fisheries and Oceans Canada
    Office of the Minister
    Nancy Bishay
    Press Secretary