Statement by Minister Rodriguez on World Maritime Day


September 28, 2023             Ottawa           Transport Canada

Today, the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, issued this statement on World Maritime Day:

“Today is World Maritime Day—a day to recognize the important role marine transportation and marine workers play in keeping our supply chains and people moving. With the longest coastline in the world, and ports of call in the Great Lakes, St. Lawrence Seaway and the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic Oceans, Canada relies heavily on maritime trade and transportation.

“This year’s International Maritime Organization’s World Maritime Day theme—MARPOL at 50: Our commitment goes on—reflects Canada’s long history of protecting the environment from the impacts of shipping and emphasizes our ongoing commitment to this important work. This highlights the critical role that MARPOL (the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships) plays in managing and preventing the pollution of the marine environment by ships—from both operational and accidental causes.

“The MARPOL Convention was first adopted on November 2, 1973, and is part of the foundation of Canada’s participation in the prevention and reduction of ship-source water and air pollution globally. We are taking action in innovative ways to support the work of MARPOL under its six target annexes: oil, noxious liquid substances, harmful substances, sewage, garbage and air. Some examples include:

  • Through Canada’s $3.5 billion Oceans Protection Plan, we are not only strengthening how we prevent and respond to marine oil spills but are taking steps to better prevent and respond to all marine pollution incidents, regardless of location or type of good spilled.
  • We have implemented stronger restrictions regarding sewage discharge from vessels across Canada, including in Canadian Arctic Waters.
  • We are implementing mandatory technical and operational energy efficiency measures, which will significantly reduce the amount of CO2 emissions from ships and are also enforcing the mandatory international code of safety for ships operating in polar waters.
  • At COP26 in 2022, Canada signed on to the Clydebank Declaration to support the establishment of zero-emission maritime routes between two or more ports, known as green shipping corridors. Budget 2023 provided $165.4 million over seven years to establish a program to deliver on this commitment.
  • Under Canada’s Emissions Reduction Plan, we are developing an action plan to reduce marine sector emissions. We are engaging across departments, provinces and territories, and with Indigenous Peoples and industry representatives to work towards the shared goal of marine decarbonization.
  • Over the past five years, Canada has taken action on underwater vessel noise, including the development of international underwater noise standards for vessel design and maintenance.

“The Government of Canada is committed to taking action to protect the marine environment from the impacts of shipping from operational or accidental causes, to keep our oceans clean for the benefit of all Canadians for years to come.”


Laura Scaffidi
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Pablo Rodriguez
Minister of Transport, Ottawa

Media Relations
Transport Canada, Ottawa

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