Dhaliwal Announces Entry Into ForceOf United Nations Fish Agreement

OTTAWA — Herb Dhaliwal, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, today announced that the United Nations Agreement on Straddling and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks (UNFA) will enter into force on December 11, 2001. Mr. Dhaliwal made the announcement from Paris where he is attending the Global Conference on Oceans and Coasts.

“I am pleased to announce that we now have the 30 ratifications needed to implement this Agreement at the domestic, regional and global levels,” said Mr. Dhaliwal. “I am proud of the leadership Canada has shown in promoting this Agreement, which provides the necessary tools for the sound management and protection of fisheries resources on the high seas.

“More significantly, the Agreement will promote responsible fishing practices on the high seas, thus benefiting all fishing nations who depend on healthy and abundant fishery resources. Canada will continue to encourage more states to consider ratifying as soon as possible.”

UNFA establishes guiding principles for the sustainable management of straddling and highly migratory fish stocks, such as the precautionary approach and the minimization of pollution, waste, discards and bycatch. It creates strong obligations for flag states and contains monitoring and enforcement provisions to ensure compliance with fishing measures established by regional fisheries organizations. In addition, a binding dispute settlement mechanism, contained in the Agreement, provides for the peaceful resolution of conflicts on the high seas.

Canada played a key role in the negotiations leading to the adoption and entry into force of UNFA and was among the first nations to sign the agreement in December 1995.

The requirements for the entry into force of the Agreement were met on November 11, 2001, following ratification by Malta. In addition to Canada, the United States, Russia, Norway, Iceland, Brazil and Australia have also ratified the Agreement.

Related backgrounder: United Nations Fish Agreement (UNFA) is attached.


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Heather Bala
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
(613) 996-0076
Myriam Brochu
Manager, Media Relations
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
(613) 998-1530