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

Haida film Now Is The Time selected for Sundance

Recognition continues for tale of Old Massett totem pole raising

Future of Sandspit Inn hangs in the balance, Transport Canada not renewing lease

Transport Canada and Sandspit Community Society set to discuss options

UPDATED: Ferry cancellations and significant wind warning in effect for Haida Gwaii

Loose objects may be tossed by the wind says Environment Canada, BC Ferries cancels sailings

Adverse weather conditions lead to pair of ferry cancellations

Northern Expedition sailings from Prince Rupert and Skidegate affected

This week in photos | The spirit of giving comes to Haida Gwaii

Masset Lions Telethon, Queen Charlotte’s annual craft fair, Fields store coming along in Skidegate

VIDEO: Success of wildlife corridors in Banff National Park has advocates wanting more

Demand for more highway protection escalated after seven elk were killed by a semi-trailer near Canmore

Sharks beat Canucks 4-2 to snap 6-game skid

Vancouver visits Vegas on Sunday

Fans sing Canadian anthem after sound system breaks at BMW IBSF World Cup

The Canadians in attendance made sure their team and flag were honoured on the podium

VIDEO: Fire destroys Big White Ski Resort chalet

Social media eulogies peg the property, nicknamed “The Pharamacy,” as both loved and hated

Prince George RCMP use bait packages to catch porch pirates over the holidays

First-in-Canada program with Amazon looks to combat parcel theft

Nanaimo mechanical engineer creates thief tracking program

Nanaimo Thief Tracking lets users plot and share information about thefts online

Mayor wants B.C. to institutionalize severely mental ill people who are homeless

Those suffering from mental health conditions, such as schizophrenia, need specialized care, mayor says

Five things of note from Trudeau’s mandate letters to his ministers

Some marching orders come from the Liberal Party’s campaign, while others are new additions

Most Read