Memorandum of Understanding on Fisheries Cooperation

MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING ON FISHERIES COOPERATION BETWEEN THE DEPARTMENT OF FISHERIES AND OCEANS OF CANADA AND THE STATE COMMITTEE ON FISHERIES OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans of Canada and the State Committee on Fisheries of the Russian Federation (the "Participants"),

Having regard to the concern of the governments of both countries for the rational management, conservation and utilization of marine and fisheries resources, particularly in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans;

Recalling the many years of fisheries cooperation at various levels between Canada and Russia, including the Agreement between the Government of Canada and the Government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on Mutual Fisheries Relations done at Moscow on 1 May 1984, to which the Russian Federation is the continuing State;

Noting that the Russian Federation and Canada are both Parties to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 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);

Noting also that the Russian Federation and Canada are both Members of a number of regional fisheries management organizations, including: the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization, the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas, the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization and the North Pacific Anadromous Fisheries Commission;

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;

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

Recognizing the sovereign rights of Canada and of the Russian Federation for the purpose of exploring and exploiting, conserving and managing natural resources, including marine and fisheries resources, in the maritime area under their respective jurisdictions, established in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea;

Recognizing that fishing operations in the northwest Atlantic Ocean beyond the area under coastal States jurisdiction must be managed and controlled with due regard to the conservation of straddling fish stocks and highly migratory fish stocks throughout their range, and the conservation of sedentary species on the continental shelf;

Taking note of the special interests of Canada, the needs of Canadian coastal communities in the northwest Atlantic and, for straddling and highly migratory fish stocks found within Canadian jurisdiction, the need for consistency between Canadian management measures and management measures adopted for the high-seas;

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

Having determined to reinforce their bilateral cooperation in fisheries relations in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans and other international waters in which both countries maintain a presence as a means to conserve and manage the fisheries resources in areas beyond the limits of national jurisdiction;

Have come to the following understanding:

1. The Participants will promote the development of technical, scientific, economic and enforcement cooperation on matters addressing fisheries resources among all stakeholders including, where possible, governmental institutions, educational institutions, corporations, trade groupings, communities and individuals.

2. The Participants will endeavour to ensure that vessels flying the flag of their respective country in the Regulatory Area of the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization carry out their fishery in a manner consistent with quotas and other conservation and management measures adopted by the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization for such fisheries and the Participants will act promptly respecting any citations issued to vessels flying the flag of their respective country pertaining to infringements that occur, or are alleged to occur.

3. At the governmental level, the Participants will develop cooperation by means of ongoing exchange of information and documentation, including the sharing of information on follow-up to infringements of conservation and management measures in the relevant regional fisheries management organizations, fisheries statistical data and port landings data.

4. Each Participant will encourage:

(a) its institutions to receive officials, 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, enforcement or legal nature.

In particular, the Participants will promote and facilitate the organization of bilateral scientific exchanges in the area of aquaculture and mariculture.

5. To give effect to the commitments in this Memorandum of Understanding, the Participants will promote and facilitate joint inspection patrols in the Regulatory Area of the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization, through the participation of fisheries inspectors on inspection platforms of the other Participant.

6. The Participants will promote and will cooperate in joint initiatives to address the need for reform of the fisheries and oceans governance regimes at the international level, including the full implementation of the UNFSA within the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization and the furtherance of the objectives of the Ministerial Declaration of the St. John's Conference on the Governance of High Seas Fisheries and the UN Fish Agreement – Moving from Words to Action.

7. 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 of the Department of the State Committee on Fisheries of the Russian Federation and the Director General, International Fisheries Directorate, Department of Fisheries and Oceans of Canada.

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.

The Committee for Bilateral Cooperation on Fisheries will:

(a) review the year's fishery, including the application of relevant conservation measures under each Participant's competence; discuss matters of relevance to both Participants; and promote ways and means of developing an enhanced dialogue;

(b) examine and propose means of expanding bilateral cooperation, including through projects or programmes designed to facilitate the initiatives in paragraph 2; and,

(c) assess ongoing or completed projects or programmes.

For the purposes referred to in this Paragraph, the Committee will meet once a year, alternately in Canada and Russia.

8. This Memorandum of Understanding does not create obligations for the Participants and is not legally binding under international law.

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.

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

Signed in duplicate at Ottawa this 29th day of November 2007 in the English, French and Russian languages, each version being equally valid.



Loyola Hearn, Minister of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada


Andrey Krayniy, Head of the State Committee on Fisheries of the Russian Federation