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August 8, 2008
OTTAWA – The Honourable Loyola Hearn, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, today announced that Canada and the United States concluded a series of successful joint enforcement patrols in Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO) waters. Canadian NAFO Inspectors were joined by U.S. Coast Guard officers on board Canadian vessels during patrols of the NAFO Regulatory Area (NRA) with the goal of making current inspection practices even stronger.
“Joint patrols help reinforce strong Canada-U.S. relations and allow our enforcement officials to learn from one another’s best inspection practices,” said Minister Hearn. “It is important for Canada and its partners to maintain close working relationships in order to eliminate illegal fishing activities.”
The joint patrols began in early June, and saw a different U.S. Coast Guard officer join Canadian NAFO inspectors in four different patrols. This type of joint-enforcement gives officers from both countries a chance to meet face-to-face, demonstrate best practices, and work together to discover new techniques that can help the fight against illegal fishing.
“The United States takes illegal fishing operations very seriously and believes in strengthening high seas enforcement by working with DFO and the Canadian Coast Guard,” said Commander Edward J. Marohn, Deputy Chief of Enforcement Branch with the First (U.S.) Coast Guard District. “These joint patrols allow us to work better together and reduce overfishing not only in NAFO, but in other areas as well.
These at-sea patrols were inspired by a similar successful initiative that took place in June 2007.
“This type of collaboration keeps the door open for joint efforts in the future,” concluded Minister Hearn. “By working together we can send a clear message: illegal fishing activity will not be tolerated and we are determined in our fight to end it.”
For more information : www.overfishing.gc.ca
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