Canada joins global pact to stop illegal fishing trade, plans more inspections

Canada will be the 62nd party to sign on to the agreemen

Foreign vessels arriving in Canadian ports can expect more monitoring by officials hunting for contraband fish now that Canada is part of an international agreement to combat illegal fishing.

As of Saturday, Canada will be part of the Port State Measures Agreement, which seeks to put a dent in the US$23-billion global industry in illegal fishing.

Liberal MP Sean Casey, the parliamentary secretary for the minister of fisheries, says Canada signed on to the agreement when it was developed almost a decade ago but it took five years for the previous Conservative government to pass legislation to implement it, and another four years for the Liberals to get the needed regulations in place.

Canada will be the 62nd party to sign on to the agreement, which Casey says mostly just seeks to strengthen things Canada is already doing.

Globally it is estimated that 26 million tonnes of fish are illegally caught and unreported but Casey says there is no certainty about how much of that total comes into Canada.

Once in force in Canada, the agreement will give Canadian officials more power to deny port entry to vessels carrying illegally caught fish, mainly through more monitoring at Canadian ports when vessels are registered and fish are offloaded.

Casey says it will also formalize Canada’s participation in information-sharing with other countries that are part of the agreement.

“It gives our international partners more confidence that we have complied with what we said we were going to do,” he said.

Casey, a longtime MP from Prince Edward Island running for re-election in the fall, said illegal fishing isn’t often raised with him by fishers here but it’s on the agenda at every international fishing conference he has attended.

In addition to formalizing this agreement, Canada recently launched three new satellites for maritime surveillance that will remotely identify and track boats suspected of carrying illegal fish.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

OPINION: Ten signs that Port Alice has changed

“Right now, our lack of amenities is holding back economic growth in our village”

Striking Western Forest Products workers could lose benefits in September

Union, forest company at odds over Vancouver Island benefit payments as strike enters third month

Port McNeill council discusses ‘bear aware’ and what you can do to stay safe

Port McNeill’s Conservation Officer Brad Adams gave a presentation about being ‘bear aware’.

Port Hardy RCMP release tips to prevent fraud and theft from vehicles

In many of the incidents reported, “the vehicles that were broken into were unlocked.”

Stranded hikers rescued by helicopter on Mt. Schoen

Campbell River Search and Rescue used hoist operation to rescue trio

VIDEO: B.C. woman meets biological mother, 38 years later

Mother never gave up hope of finding daughter, despite all the obstacles

Island murder victim’s mom expresses outrage over mental fitness decision of the accused

Smith vows to keep fighting until justice served for Descoteau

B.C. VIEWS: Pipelines set to roll as federal politicians posture

Projects to drive B.C., Canadian economy in years ahead

B.C. Lions fall to 1-9 after 13-10 loss to Ticats

Lowly Leos have dropped six straight CFL contests

VIDEO: B.C. woman meets biological mother, 38 years later

Mother never gave up hope of finding daughter, despite all the obstacles

B.C. man who died after rescuing swimmer was known for helping others

Shaun Nugent described as a dad, a coach, a hero and ‘stand-up guy’ at celebration of life

B.C. RCMP plane chases fleeing helicopter as part of major cross-border drug bust

The helicopter eventually landed at a rural property near Chilliwack

Vancouver Island man dead after reported hit-and-run incident

Oceanside RCMP seek public’s help gathering information

Thousands cycle to conquer cancer

The 11th annual Ride to Conquer Cancer took place Saturday morning, Aug. 24 in Surrey, B.C.

Most Read