BRUSSELS, BELGIUM--(Marketwired - Apr 28, 2016) - Canada and the European Union signed a joint statement today to work together more closely to fight illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing in the world's oceans.
Hunter Tootoo, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, and Karmenu Vella, European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, signed the statement after their meeting during Seafood Expo Global in Brussels, Belgium.
"The world has to step up and join together to protect our oceans and our fisheries," said Minister Tootoo. "We cannot afford to turn a blind eye to illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, nor can we try to address it on our own. It is a global problem and it needs global solutions. We look forward to working with the European Union and our other world partners to solve this problem."
Canada's leadership in combating IUU fishing will be bolstered by formal cooperation and increased information-sharing with the EU. For example, the statement calls for strengthened monitoring and enforcement activities, and promotes further cooperation on measures at global and regional levels.
One of Canada's significant contributions to the fight against IUU is our world-renowned expertise in digital forensics, which has successfully uncovered key digital evidence for major international investigations of suspected IUU vessels.
IUU fishing can devastate the environment and undermine responsibly managed fisheries. It threatens the sustainability of fish resources worldwide. In many maritime regions around the world, it has contributed to the depletion of valuable fish stocks and taken a toll on ecosystems. IUU fishing deprives the global economy of billions of dollars and jeopardizes the safety of fishers.
- Approximately 30% of total global fish catches comes from IUU fishing. In some cases, IUU catches can be three times higher than legal catches.
- Experts estimate that IUU fishing costs the world economy $10 to 23 billion USD annually.
- Canada and the EU have in place legal instruments to combat IUU fishing: Canada's Coastal Fisheries Protection Act and its Regulations; and the EU IUU Regulation (EC) No 1005/2008.
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