Memorandum of Understanding on Fisheries Cooperation Between the Government of Canada and the Government of the Russian Federation

Memorandum of Understanding Between the Government of Canada and the Government of the Russian Federation on Cooperation in Preventing, Deterring and Eliminating Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing

The Government of Canada and the Government of the Russian Federation, hereinafter referred to as the “Sides”,

Desiring to develop mutually beneficial fisheries relations in a manner that is consistent with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations International Plan of Action to Prevent, Deter, and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing of 2 March 2001;

Considering the possibility of negotiating an agreement between them on cooperation in preventing, deterring, and eliminating illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing;

Conscious of their role in the adoption of effective measures to promote the sustainable use and long-term conservation of living marine resources;

Desiring to promote trade between them in responsibly managed and harvested living marine resources;

Have reached the following understanding:

  1. In this Memorandum of Understanding (Memorandum):

    1. “fish” means all species of living marine resources, whether processed or unprocessed;
    2. “fishing” means catching, harvesting or taking fish;
    3. “fishing-related activity” means any operation in support of, or in preparation for, fishing, including landing, packaging, processing, transhipping or transporting fish that have not been previously landed at a port, and includes providing personnel, fuel, gear or other supplies at sea;
    4. “illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing” (“IUU fishing”) refers to the activities set out in paragraph 3 of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations International Plan of Action to Prevent, Deter, and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing of 2 March 2001;
    5. “port” includes any offshore terminal or other facility for landing, transhipping, packaging or processing fish, or for refuelling or resupplying;
    6. “State” refers to Canada or the Russian Federation; and
    7. “vessel” means any vessel equipped for or intended to be used for fishing or fishing-related activities.
  2. The Sides designate the following Competent Authorities to implement this Memorandum: for the Canadian Side, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans of Canada, and for the Russian Side, the Federal Agency for Fisheries and the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation.
  3. The objective of this Memorandum is to enhance cooperation between the Sides in preventing, deterring and eliminating IUU fishing through the exchange of information on vessels entitled to fly the flag of one State seeking to enter or found in a port of the other State.
  4. The Competent Authorities will:

    1. exchange the information referred to in paragraph 3 with a view to preventing, deterring and eliminating IUU fishing;
    2. seek to prevent, in the ports of one State, the landing of fish harvested in the course of IUU fishing by vessels entitled to fly the flag of the other State; and
    3. convene meetings between their officials, fisheries inspection experts or other relevant authorities, when the meetings are necessary to enhance cooperation under this Memorandum.
  5. The Competent Authorities will provide each other with the list of the ports that have been designated by their respective Sides and to which vessels entitled to fly the flag of the other State may request entry for fishing-related activities.
  6. When a vessel entitled to fly the flag of one State seeks entry into a port of the other State, the Competent Authorities of the Port State will apply the following procedures:

    1. In advance of the date proposed for port entry, the Competent Authorities of the Port State intend to transmit to the Competent Authorities of the Flag State the following information, as provided by the master of the vessel:

      1. name of the vessel;
      2. vessel type;
      3. registration (hull) number;
      4. international call sign;
      5. name of owner;
      6. net weight (in tonnes) of fish on board by species; and
      7. a copy of any fishing authorization issued by the Flag State in relation to the fish on board;
    2. At the request of the Competent Authorities of the Port State, the Competent Authorities of the Flag State will provide information concerning any fishing authorizations issued to the vessel;
    3. If the master of the vessel has not provided the information referred to in subparagraph (a), the Competent Authorities of the Port State will promptly advise the Competent Authorities of the Flag State of any action they have taken concerning the vessel;
    4. If the Competent Authorities of the Port State find a discrepancy between the information referred to in subparagraph (a) and the information provided by the Competent Authorities of the Flag State, the Competent Authorities of the Port State will consider inspecting the vessel;
    5. If the Competent Authorities of the Flag State request, sufficiently in advance, to participate as observers in an inspection, the Competent Authorities of the Port State may authorize inspectors of the Flag State to do so; and
    6. If the Competent Authorities of the Port State have reasonable grounds to suspect that fish on board the vessel has been harvested in the course of IUU fishing, they will take appropriate steps in accordance with their national laws and the international commitments of their respective State.
  7. The Competent Authorities will endeavour to provide each other with:

    1. an annual report consisting of a list of the vessels entitled to fly the flag of one State that, in the previous calendar year, landed fish in a port in the territory of the other State, which includes the following information for each vessel:

      1. its name;
      2. date of port entry;
      3. name of port;
      4. quantity by species of fish landed as submitted by the master; and
      5. information concerning any violations of its State's fisheries laws;
    2. any other information that they may request in order to prevent, deter and eliminate IUU fishing or fishing-related activities in support of IUU fishing.
    1. The Competent Authorities understand that all requests for information pursuant to this Memorandum will be made in writing and include sufficient information to enable a response, including:

      1. the full name and title of the official making the request;
      2. the applicable law or particulars concerning the investigation in respect of which the request is made; and
      3. the purpose of the request.
    2. Notwithstanding subparagraph (a), in urgent cases, the Competent Authorities may make a verbal request for information provided that they confirm the verbal request in writing as soon as practicable.
    1. The Competent Authorities will protect the confidentiality of the information they receive pursuant to this Memorandum;
    2. The Competent Authorities will not use information obtained pursuant to this Memorandum for purposes other than those envisaged in its provisions, and will not communicate that information to third parties without the written consent of the providing Competent Authorities of the other Side;
    3. If the Competent Authorities have provided information that they later amend or delete the receiving Competent Authorities will, upon request in writing, promptly amend or delete the information in their possession and confirm, in writing to the Competent Authorities of the other Side that they amended or deleted that information;
    4. The Competent Authorities will ensure mutual notification of any unauthorized disclosure or use of information, provide information about that unauthorized disclosure and describe the steps taken to prevent recurrence;
    5. If the Competent Authorities or third parties have improperly disclosed personal information shared pursuant to this Memorandum, the Competent Authorities of the other Side may suspend the exchange of information until they are satisfied that reasonable steps have been taken to prevent recurrence; and
    6. If the Competent Authorities consider that compliance with a request for assistance is likely to be detrimental to the sovereignty, security or other national interest of their State, they may decline to provide the information requested in whole or in part, or may offer to provide the information, subject to such terms and conditions as they may specify.
  8. The Competent Authorities will seek to settle any difference regarding the interpretation or application of this Memorandum through consultations conducted by the Canadian-Russian Committee for Bilateral Cooperation on Fisheries established pursuant to the Memorandum of Understanding on Fisheries Cooperation between the Department of Fisheries and Oceans of Canada and the State Committee of Fisheries of the Russian Federation, signed at Ottawa, on 29 November 2007.
    1. The Sides recognize that this Memorandum is not a treaty, and does not create rights and obligations under international law.
    2. The Competent Authorities will implement this Memorandum in accordance with their respective national law.
    1. This Memorandum will become applicable 90 days after the date of its signature and will remain valid for a period of three years. It will be extended annually for periods of one year, unless one Side informs the other Side in writing, no later than six months before the end of the Memorandum, of its intention to terminate it.
    2. The Sides may amend this Memorandum by mutual consent in writing.

Signed in duplicate, at Reykjavik, Iceland, on this 3rd day of July 2012, in the English, French and Russian languages, each version being equivalent.

Original signed by Randy Kamp, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

____________________________

For the Government
of Canada

Original signed by Aleksandr Fomin, Deputy Head of the Federal Fisheries Agency of the Russian Federation

____________________________

For the Government
of the Russian Federation