Flag of Canada | Drapeau du Canada Government of Canada | Gouvernement du CanadaSymbol of the Government of Canada

What's New

Law fo the Sea – Institute of Iceland

(Law of the Sea – Institute of Iceland)


This Web site is now a repository and record of the Conference.  For more information on Canada's strategy to combat overfishing and improve international fisheries and oceans governance, visit: www.overfishing.gc.ca.

St. John’s 2005 Conference – Another Step in Stopping Global Overfishing


Canada’s Fisheries and Oceans Minister Geoff Regan hosted ministers and senior officials from 45 fishing nations at the international conference on the Governance of High Seas Fisheries and the United Nations Fish Agreement – Moving from Words to Action held in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, from May 1-5, 2005. 

Prime Minister Paul Martin of Canada opened the conference on May 1st , challenging delegates to identify immediate measures to stop overfishing.  "Make no mistake," the Prime Minister said. "As the conference’s theme suggests, the time for simply talking about the problem is over. Canada joins other nations in looking for concerted action against the systemic pillage of our oceans and their resources."

Minister Regan chaired a one-day Round Table of 19 invited Ministers on May 2nd , which culminated in the release of a Ministerial Declaration.  "There was strong consensus in the room today that overfishing is unacceptable," Minister Regan said after the Round Table.  "We agree that the time to act is now."

The Ministerial Declaration urges all States to ratify international agreements, such as the United Nations Fish Agreement, and to modernize the regional organizations used to manage high seas fisheries.  It urges these organizations to by fully implement the international rules developed in the past decade; provide a mechanism to address disputes; improve decision-making; use the precautionary approach and factore in ecosystems considerations to ensure the conservation of fish stocks; and strengthen the monitoring and control mechanisms to improve detection and deterrence of non-compliance.

A series of delegate workshops focused on implementing ecosystems considerations in fisheries management; compliance and enforcement; decision-making in regional fisheries management organizations; balancing fishing capacity with fishing aspirations; and addressing new areas and gaps in fisheries governance. The conference concluded May 5th with release of a Summary Report by delegates.

The Summary Report outlined a number of initiatives including Canada’s commitment to host a meeting of experts early in 2006 to develop regional guidelines for States to use in establishing sanctions for non-compliance by their vessels.

"The Government of Canada considers the Conference as a positive step toward stronger international fisheries governance," said Minister Regan.  "We will continue to press for further progress to modernize fisheries management on the high seas."



Last updated : 2010-07-12

Important Notices