Sustainable fisheries, marine safety, and protection of the marine environment are of critical importance to Arctic communities. In 2018, Fisheries and Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard announced the creation of stand-alone Arctic Regions to advance reconciliation, partnerships and collaboration with Inuit, First Nation and Métis Nation organizations and governments, provinces and territories and other partners.
Canada and our partners around the world are facing unprecedented challenges from an economic crisis, climate change and a recovery from COVID-19. Canada and our international counterparts recognize the potential that healthy oceans will have as a powerful solution to these problems. That is why the United Nations declared a Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (Ocean Decade) 2021 2030.
The Government of Canada and the Government of Quebec are announcing funding of more than $1 million to improve the efficiency, quality and sustainability of Quebec’s fish and seafood sector. The Government of Canada’s contribution to these thirteen projects amounts to $855,806, and the Government of Quebec’s contribution is $376,773.
On December 21, 2020, Frederick Stanley Kent was found guilty in Salmon Arm Provincial Court for fishing while prohibited by a Court Order. The Honourable Justice Leven also found Mr. Kent guilty of unlawful possession of fish. He was ordered to pay a $1,500 fine, forfeit his fishing equipment, and issued a further 5-year fishing prohibition.
Internationally, illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing is a major contributor to the decline of fish stocks and marine habitat destruction. It also undermines the livelihoods of our legitimate fish harvesters.
Canada has the longest coastline in the world leaving us with vast ocean-based resources that can be utilized for economic potential, positioning Canada as a global leader. A Blue Economy Strategy will enable us to protect and revitalize the health of our oceans while taking advantage of emerging economic growth opportunities throughout ocean sectors.
The Government of Canada is committed to a responsible plan to transition from open-net pen aquaculture in British Columbia by 2025. Close collaboration with Indigenous communities, industry and other key stakeholders will ensure the transition is workable, economically feasible and takes into account social impacts.
A key part of protecting aquatic species at risk is ensuring their critical habitat is also protected. The Government of Canada recognizes that we must safeguard these vital areas—including breeding sites, nursery areas, or feeding grounds—to help our at-risk species recover and survive for future generations.
Today, the Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard, announced that Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) has released the 2020-21 Pacific Herring Integrated Fisheries Management Plan (IFMP). The IFMP is developed in the fall of each year and describes the scientific results and proposed management measures for the upcoming season, including gear allocations, open areas and harvest levels. Prior to the release, a 30-day public consultation period was held to ensure that DFO’s fishery management decisions are transparent, developed through the best available science, and informed by First Nations groups, commercial harvesters and input from the public.
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.