Canadian fishery officers are leading their first mission in the Indo-Pacific to fight illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.
Officers will conduct patrols to ensure compliance with regulations and collect scientific data to help us better understand the high seas environment.
As part of the Pacific Salmon Strategy Initiative, Fisheries and Oceans Canada is committing more than $46 million over the next five years to combat illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing, which includes this operation.
“Through work like this, Canada is strengthening our leadership role in the fight against marine ecosystem destruction and declining fish stocks caused by illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing like Pacific salmon,” said Coquitlam–Port Coquitlam MP Ron McKinnon at the launch event for the mission Monday (July 24) at the Institute of Ocean Sciences in Sidney. “I wish our brave fishery officers, U.S. and Canadian Coast Guard members and the rest of the crew a safe and successful trip.”
Fisheries and Oceans Canada has contracted Atlantic Towing to provide a vessel for this operation, which will last until this fall.
This is part of Operation North Pacific Guard, an annual international law enforcement operation that targets illegal fishing.
The federal government says illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing is considered to be a potential driver of Pacific salmon declines.
“Pacific salmon is vital to the food security, cultures and economies of numerous First Nations, as well as the livelihoods of thousands of workers in rural and coastal communities in British Columbia and Yukon,” Fisheries and Oceans Minister Joyce Murray said. “As fish are not bound by borders, we must take decisive action to safeguard these species. This high seas enforcement operation will assist in the rebuilding efforts we are undertaking domestically.”