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May 9, 2008
OTTAWA – The Honourable Loyola Hearn, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, today issued the following statement:
"I am pleased that Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO) Contracting Parties successfully adopted new measures to protect Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems (VMEs), such as seamounts and deep sea corals, in the NAFO Regulatory Area.
"Canada is proud to have played a leadership role in shaping the outcome of this comprehensive and proactive proposal with enhanced measures that will introduce new requirements for fishing vessels engaging in bottom fishing activities.
"Under this new plan, NAFO will map current fishing areas outside of Canada’s 200-mile limit, and an assessment will be done to see if current fishing practices are having an impact on vulnerable areas. Protocols will also be put in place to protect areas that have not been recently fished.
"This decision is a significant step towards an effective, enforceable approach towards responsible fishing practices. It’s another example of how Canada is taking real action to improve the health of our oceans and protect fish stocks."
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FOR MORE INFORMATION
| Joshua Zanin
Special Assistant, Communications
Office of the Minister
Fisheries and Oceans Canada