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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Saanich Fire Department investigating early morning fire at elementary school

Fire crews remain on scene at Strawberry Vale Elementary school

No swimming or skating at Juan de Fuca rec centre for now

The Q Centre to reopen starting on July 13

Saanich councillors scurry to ban rat poisons on municipal properties

A ‘small but important first step’ to protect local wildlife, councillor says

Sidney’s Star Cinema looks to reel in audience with reopening

It’s lights, camera, action — again — for Sidney’s Star Cinema in… Continue reading

Unemployment surpasses historic high in Greater Victoria, tourism hit hard

Hospitality and tourism sectors hurting as pandemic continues

VIDEO: Langford cat missing 18 months reunited with family

Blue the cat found at Victoria museum 17 kilometres from home

RCMP ‘disappointed’ by talk that race a factor in quiet Rideau Hall arrest

Corey Hurren, who is from Manitoba, is facing 22 charges

NHL’s Canadian hubs offer little economic benefit, but morale boost is valuable: experts

Games are slated to start Aug. 1 with six Canadian teams qualifying for the 24-team resumption of play

‘Made in the Cowichan Valley’ coming to a wine bottle near you

Cowichan Valley has the honour of being the first sub-GI outside of the Okanagan

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of July 7

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Would you get a vaccine for COVID-19 when it is available?

With the number of positive COVID-19 tests skyrocketing across much of the… Continue reading

VIDEO: Alberta man rescues baby eagle believed to be drowning in East Kootenay lake

Brett Bacon was boating on a lake in Windermere when he spotted the baby eagle struggling in the water

Vancouver Island business ad unintentionally features OK gesture linked to white supremacy

Innocuous ‘OK’ gesture in cleaning franchise advertisement gets flak on social media for ‘supposedly’ promoting white supremacy

Comox Valley RCMP looking for missing woman

Ami Guthrie was last seen in Courtenay in early July

Most Read