North Atlantic Fisheries Ministers discuss sustainable fisheries and marine conservation
Shediac, New Brunswick -- Resilient and healthy ecosystems help support sustainable industries, local economies and coastal communities across Canada and around the world. That is why the discussion at this year’s North Atlantic Fisheries Ministers’ Conference was focused on how to deliver on the commitments we have made to conserve our oceans.
The Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, hosted the 22nd North Atlantic Fisheries Ministers’ Conference in Shediac, New Brunswick on August 28-30, 2017. Minister LeBlanc welcomed Ministers and senior representatives from the European Union, the Faroe Islands, Greenland, Iceland, Norway and the Russian Federation to Shediac.
During the conference, delegations deliberated on the theme: “Marine Conservation Targets: How do we get there?” Minister LeBlanc reiterated Canada’s commitment to increase the proportion of Canada’s marine and coastal areas that are protected to 5 per cent by the end of 2017, and 10 per cent by 2020, and spoke of Other Effective Area-Based Conservation Measures as helpful tools to achieve global marine conservation objectives and targets. The delegations at the meeting agreed that such measures can contribute to achieving the international target of ocean protection and sustainable ocean use.
The delegations discussed the challenges they face in managing fisheries in their jurisdiction and shared best practices. Common issues across the North Atlantic include the effects of climate change on living marine resources, including marine mammals, and the effect of global illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing on industry and the environment. There was also an emphasis on the necessity for regional cooperation in the North Atlantic, and also globally, to address the challenges faced by fisheries and oceans.
The Government of Canada is committed to reaching our domestic and international marine conservation targets. Budget 2016 designated $123.7 million over five years to support marine conservation activities. This includes designating new Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) under the Oceans Act and continuing development of new national parks and National Marine Conservation Areas (NMCAs), including the Lancaster Sound NMCA in Nunavut and Thaidene Nene National Park in the Northwest Territories.
“Canada is proud to stand with other nations that share our marine conservation goals as we move our marine conservation targets forward and address the challenges facing our oceans. Together we are working hard to protect our oceans for future generations.”
The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, P.C., Q.C., M.P., Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
The North Atlantic Fisheries Ministers’ Conference began in 1995 as a Canadian initiative by then Fisheries Minister, Brian Tobin. The conference is designed to build and maintain relationships among North Atlantic Fisheries Ministers.
The next Our Ocean 2017 conference will be held in Malta from October 5-6, 2017.
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