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.
An effective Blue Economy Strategy is one in which Canadians from coast to coast to coast will see themselves: ocean industries, innovators, environmental groups, indigenous and non-indigenous communities across the country. Over the past week, the Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard held roundtable discussions with leaders in some of these key sectors including the fisheries and aquaculture sectors, academia, and women leaders in ocean sectors to hear their suggestions on a successful blue economy strategy.
Today the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Bernadette Jordan, the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, and the Chiefs of the A-Tlegay Member Nations (We Wai Kai Nation, Wei Wai Kum First Nation, Kwiakah First Nation, Tlowitsis Nation, and K'ómoks First Nation), announced the signing of the “Reconciliation Framework Agreement for Fisheries Resources.” All five nations have a long history of marine use and stewardship in the northern Gulf of Georgia and the Johnstone Strait region, and the Framework Agreement commits the Parties to work together based on recognition of rights, respect, cooperation and partnership.
With the world’s longest coastline and connected to three oceans, Canada is well positioned to be a global leader in the blue economy – an economy that creates good, middle-class jobs, while ensuring healthy oceans and sustainable ocean industries.