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Canada Protects Waters Against Foreign Overfishing

by the Fish Site Editor
15 February 2010, at 12:00am

CANADA - Fisheries and Oceans Minister Gail Shea made the following statement last week, in response to calls from the Faroe Islands and Greenland for Canadian ports to remain open to their respective fishing vessels:

"Last month, I advised the Fisheries Ministers in the Faroe Islands and Greenland that Canada would be closing its ports to Faroese and Greenlandic fishing vessels as of February 15, unless they withdraw their objection to the 3L shrimp quota set by the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organisation (NAFO).

We have acted in good faith for several years to try to resolve this issue, to no avail. It has become clear to Canada that attempts to come to a multilateral agreement regarding the 3L shrimp quota for Denmark (in respect of the Faroe Islands and Greenland) are at an impasse. I remain open to meet with the Fisheries Ministers of the Faroe Islands and Greenland at their earliest convenience. The Government of Canada will close Canadian ports to the Faroe Islands and Greenland effective tomorrow. Our government will continue to do whatever is necessary, under the law, to protect Canadian fishermen and the sustainability of the industry. I have sent letters to both Fisheries Ministers clearly outlining our position on this matter.

We expect all NAFO Contracting Parties to abide by existing international agreements, particularly conservation measures such as the NAFO quotas agreed to last September in Bergen, Norway, and to resolve disputes through the appropriate NAFO process. Failure to do so undermines the very foundations of international fisheries management and the integrity of NAFO.

It is now up to Denmark (in respect of the Faroe Islands and Greenland) to come back to the NAFO table to resolve the ongoing dispute. Until then, we will continue to protect the interests of our Canadian fishers and the straddling 3L shrimp stock.”

the Fish Site Editor