Government of Canada launches new aircraft to improve conservation and protection of our oceans

News release

February 19, 2021

St. John’s, NL - Fishery officers require state-of-the-art aerial surveillance equipment to continue the important work they conduct protecting Canada’s marine resources, ensuring compliance with fisheries management measures and enforcing the Fisheries Act from coast to coast to coast.

In 2019, Fisheries and Oceans Canada announced a five-year, $128 million contract with PAL Aerospace-located in St. John’s, to deliver a new fleet of four aerial surveillance aircrafts, including two long-range maritime patrol aircrafts. When operational, the planes will fly out of three bases of operation: St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador; Halifax, Nova Scotia; and a brand new facility in Campbell River, British Columbia.

Today, the first of our long-range maritime patrol aircraft—the Dash-8—becomes operational. The Dash-8 aircraft will allow our fishery officers to expand their range of operations, providing them with essential tools to combat illegal fishing and enhance Canada’s maritime security.

This new fleet of aerial surveillance aircraft will also be a crucial tool for the enforcement of measures put in place by the Government of Canada to protect our endangered whales. This includes monitoring the Gulf of St. Lawrence for compliance to fisheries management measures for North Atlantic right whales, as well as monitoring critical habitat areas for Southern Resident killer whales.

Additional multimedia

Dash-8
Photo credit: PAL Aerospace The first of Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s long-range maritime patrol aircraft—the Dash-8—becomes operational.

Quotes

“Canada’s fishery officers perform a crucial service, helping to conserve and protect our country’s marine and coastal areas. Our Government, along with PAL Aerospace, a Canadian-owned world leader in its field, are proud to equip our fishery officers with the resources they need to carry out their enforcement duties as effectively as possible. When we invest in environmental protections, we’re investing in our future.”

The Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

“PAL Aerospace is privileged to work with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) in introducing their new long-range surveillance aircraft in Canada. Since the beginning of PAL’s working relationship with DFO, we have always respected their commitment to delivering the best possible value for Canadian taxpayers through responsible program management and by supporting the development of valuable intellectual property/industrial capacity here in Canada. These new aircraft extend this proud tradition and enhance DFO’s enforcement and conservation leadership.”

Jake Trainor, Chief Executive Officer for the PAL Group of Companies

“PAL gets the people of the Province to where they need to go. But they do a lot more – and today they’re protecting our coastlines and endangered whales.”

The Honourable Seamus O’Regan, Minister of Natural Resources

Quick facts

  • PAL Aerospace, an international aerospace and defence company based in St. John’s. PAL is a global leader in airborne intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, with over four decades of experience in both civilian and military aviation environments.

  • The contract includes two King Air 200 and two Dash-8-100 maritime patrol aircraft, and three bases of operation: St. John’s, NL; Halifax, NS; and Campbell River, BC.

    • The new base of operations in Campbell River, BC became operational in September 2020.
    • The King Air aircraft—one based in Halifax, NS and another based in St. John’s, NL—became operational in September 2020.
  • Fishery officers flew over 700 hours in 2020 patrolling the Gulf of St. Lawrence to enforce fishery management measures designed to protect North Atlantic right whales.

  • The long-range aircraft and new base of operation in BC will also help fishery officers better patrol marine protected areas (MPAs) across Canada, including remote MPAs Anguniaqvia niqiqyuam and Tarium Niryutait in the Beaufort Sea.

Associated links

Contacts

Jane Deeks
Press Secretary 
Office of the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
343-550-9594
Jane.Deeks@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

Media Relations
Fisheries and Oceans Canada 
613-990-7537
Media.xncr@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

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