Memorandum of Understanding on Fisheries Cooperation

MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING ON FISHERIES COOPERATION BETWEEN THE DEPARTMENT OF FISHERIES AND OCEANS OF CANADA AND THE MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE, RURAL DEVELOPMENT AND FISHERIES OF PORTUGAL

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans of Canada and the Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Fisheries of Portugal (the "Participants"),

Having regard to the concern of the governments of both countries for the rational management, conservation and utilization of the fisheries resources of the sea;

Noting that Canada and Portugal are both Parties to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the Agreement for the Implementation of the Provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982 Relating to the Conservation and Management of Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks (UNFSA);

Recognizing that regional fisheries management organizations and arrangements (RFMO/As) are the most effective means of cooperating in the conservation and management of high seas fish stocks and should, therefore, be reinforced;

Wishing to improve on the existing level of cooperation between Canada and Portugal, notably in respect of fishing activities in the Atlantic;

Taking note of the Ministerial Declaration of May 2, 2005 issued during the Conference on the Governance of High Seas Fisheries and the UN Fish Agreement – Moving from Words to Action held in St. John's, Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada;

Recognizing the importance of the fisheries sector in both countries at the social, economic and cultural levels;

Aware of the necessity to ensure sustainable management of fisheries resources, particularly in the Atlantic, taking into consideration the best scientific information and the utilization of the precautionary approach;

Aware of the importance of international cooperation, at both the bilateral and multilateral levels, for the conservation and management of fisheries resources;

Affirming their desire for cooperation in the field of fisheries;

Aware that bilateral cooperation should be developed not only between governments but also among stakeholders in both countries;

Have determined to reinforce their bilateral cooperation in fisheries relations as a means to consolidate mutual trust and to conserve and sustainably manage the fisheries, as follows:

  1. The Participants will promote the development of technical, scientific, economic and enforcement cooperation on fisheries matters among all stakeholders including, where possible, governmental institutions, corporations, trade groupings, communities and individuals.
  2. At the governmental level, the Participants will develop cooperation by means of
     
    • a) ongoing exchange of information and documentation; and,
    • b) coordinated programs and projects.
  3. In giving effect to this governmental level cooperation, each Participant will encourage:
     
    • a) its institutions to receive technicians, experts, researchers or fisheries officials on exchange from the other Participant;
    • b) its officials, technicians, experts, researchers or fisheries officials to participate in technical, scientific, policy, research or other exchanges hosted by the other Participant;
    • c) the organization of seminars, conferences or workshops which address fisheries-related questions, including those of a technical, scientific, economic or enforcement nature;
    • d) other actions mutually decided by the Participants.
  4. At the private sector level, the Participants may develop cooperation through promotion of the establishment of interest associations between stakeholders of both countries in fisheries and related industries.
  5. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans of Canada will, where appropriate, encourage other Departments of the Government of Canada to cooperate with the Portuguese Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Fisheries in other areas within the mandate of the Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Fisheries in order to further the overall cooperative relationship.
  6. A Committee for Bilateral Cooperation on Fisheries will be created to ensure the management of this Memorandum of Understanding and it will be co-Chaired by the Director-General, International Affairs Directorate, Department of Fisheries and Oceans of Canada and the Director-General of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Fisheries of Portugal.
    The Committee will invite representatives from both countries to participate in meetings of the Committee. The invited representatives may include experts on the subjects under analysis at each meeting, and may be drawn from government, industry and other stakeholders.
    Each Participant may designate a different person to represent them as co-Chair on the Committee by written notification to the other Participant.
  7. The Committee for Bilateral Cooperation on Fisheries will:
     
    • a) study and select the projects and programs designed to expand bilateral cooperation;
    • b) facilitate and monitor, to the extent possible, the fulfilment of the approved projects and programs;
    • c) review the year's fishery, discuss issues of relevance to both Participants, and promote ways and means of developing enhanced dialogue and a stronger understanding in areas of mutual interest.
    • For the purposes referred to in this Paragraph, the Committee will meet once a year, alternately in Canada and Portugal.
  8. This Memorandum of Understanding does not create obligations for the Participants and is not legally binding under international law.
    As such, none of the provisions of this Memorandum of Understanding will prejudice the obligations incumbent upon Portugal as a Member State of the European Union.
  9. This Memorandum of Understanding will be effective from the date of its signature and will remain in effect for an indeterminate time. Either Participant may terminate this Memorandum of Understanding by means of a written communication to the other Participant on three weeks' notice.

Amendments to this Memorandum of Understanding will be made by mutual consent of the Participants, expressed in writing.

Signed in duplicate at Halifax, on the 12th day of the month of October 2005, in the English, French and Portuguese languages, each version being equally valid.


For the Department of
Fisheries and Oceans of Canada

For the Ministry of Agriculture,
Rural  Development and Fisheries of Portugal