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January 5, 2009
Vancouver, B.C. – Canada and the United States have ratified an agreement on changes to five chapters of the Pacific Salmon Treaty (PST), which expired at the end of 2008, the Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, announced today.
The renewed chapters, which took effect January 1, 2009, will help ensure the long-term sustainability of Pacific salmon stocks while supporting an economically viable fishing industry on both sides of the Canada- U.S. border.
"Conservation and the long-term sustainability of Pacific salmon are the key objectives being pursued through the Pacific Salmon Treaty," said Minister Shea. "This is a crucial agreement that will help people on both sides of the border benefit from sustainable fishing opportunities for years to come. The agreement will also promote increased cooperation between our countries as we manage our shared salmon stocks."
Canadian and U.S. representatives on the Pacific Salmon Commission (PSC) began reviewing the expiring chapters of the PST and discussing possible amendments in January 2007. The PSC concluded its deliberations in May 2008, and recommended an agreement for the renewal of the five expiring chapters to the Canadian and U.S. governments. In Canada, consultations were undertaken with affected domestic stakeholders, including representatives of First Nations, the commercial and recreational harvest sectors, environmental organizations and the Province of British Columbia during the negotiations and after the PSC made its recommendations to the Parties.
With the ratification of the agreement by both governments, the renewed chapters will be in effect for the 2009 fishing season and remain in place through 2018. The 10-year agreement places strong emphasis on conservation, stability of access for harvesters, and the sustainability of the Pacific salmon resource.
Pacific salmon are highly migratory and, over the course of their life-cycle, salmon originating in the rivers of one country are often subject to the fisheries of another. To support conservation, a significant amount of bilateral cooperation is required. The PST was first signed by Canada and the U.S. in 1985 to provide the framework through which the two countries work together to conserve and manage Pacific salmon.
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