Canada and Spain sign fisheries agreement – Fishupdate.com

Canada and Spain sign fisheries agreement Published:  10 September, 2007

Loyola Hearn and Elena Espinosa

LOYOLA Hearn, Canada’s Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, and Canada’s Ambassador for Fisheries Conservation, Loyola Sullivan, have wrapped up meetings in their visit to Spain aimed at advancing Canada’s ongoing efforts to stop overfishing.

Both are mid-way through a visit to Spain and Portugal that includes meetings with the Ministers of Fisheries in both countries, as well as industry leaders, scientists and academia.

“Canada is pleased with the results we are seeing from countries such as Spain on high seas fisheries enforcement,” Mr Hearn said. “Compliance has improved and serious infringements are currently at a record low – proof that work on the international scene by Canada’s New Government is having a real impact.”

Last week, the Minister signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Elena Espinosa, Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food in Spain.

The Canada-Spain MOU will advance technical, scientific, economic, and enforcement efforts related to fisheries issues, particularly in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean. This includes promoting joint participation in research projects, encouraging commercial exchanges and facilitating initiatives that will continue to improve the conservation and management of regulated fisheries.

This agreement follows a recent signing by Canada and Spain to enhance scientific collaboration to improve understanding about Greenland halibut, oceans ecosystems, invasive aquatic species, aquatic animal health, and aquaculture fish production. These initiatives are intended to establish a strong scientific foundation for proper decisions to be made at the international level, ensuring sustainable use of the resource.

Minister Hearn and Ambassador Sullivan met Carmen Gallego, Galician Counsellor for Fisheries, Seafood and Aquaculture, during their visit to this region of Spain.

They discussed the importance of aquaculture as one of the most important food production activities in the world and determined that aquaculture development is a key priority for both nations. They agreed to work collaboratively with the aquaculture and wild fisheries industries to identify common interests and opportunities for mutually beneficial cooperation.

“It’s important that everyone works together to ensure the conservation of fish stocks,” said Mr Sullivan. “We’re pleased with the response we have been getting from countries like Spain and Portugal. The message is getting out that Canada will not tolerate the abuses of the stocks we have seen in the past. We’re seeing real improvement on the water, and that’s what counts.”

This week, Mr Hearn and Mr Sullivan will meet Jaime Silva, Portugal’s Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development and Fisheries and tour INIAP-IPMAR, Portugal’s Fisheries and Oceans Research Institute.

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