Memorandum of Understanding on Fisheries Cooperation


The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food of the Kingdom of Spain and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans of Canada (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 the Kingdom of Spain ("Spain") and Canada 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);

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 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;

Considering the friendly relations between Spain and Canada, in the framework of which there is mutual cooperation in the political, cultural, economic and technological sphere;

Considering their shared knowledge of fisheries and marine sciences as a result of intergovernmental exchanges and working visits between the two countries, and scientific cooperation in relation to the fisheries of the northwest Atlantic;

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

Taking into account trade and the reciprocal interest of Spanish and Canadian companies in working together;

Motivated by the desire to increase the existing level of cooperation in the fields of fisheries and marine sciences research between Spain and Canada, notably in respect of fishing activities in the northwest Atlantic;

Determined to reinforce their bilateral cooperation in fisheries relations as a means to consolidate mutual trust and to conserve and sustainably manage the fisheries resources;

Have reached the following understanding:

  1. The Participants intend that their cooperation should contribute to the sustainable development of fisheries and to a better understanding between the fishing, aquaculture and commercial sectors of the two countries.
  2. The Participants will promote the development of technical, scientific, economic and enforcement cooperation on fisheries matters, particularly in the northwest Atlantic, through the pursuit of the following initiatives:
    • a) the promotion of joint participation in research projects, productive and commercial development, trade, biotechnology, sustainable management of the marine environment and responsible fishing between governmental and non-governmental bodies and stakeholders. In particular, cooperation will be encouraged between central, regional and provincial governmental institutions and fishing companies;
    • b) the encouragement of private investment and commercialexchanges through special missions, and the encouragement of industrial fishing and aquaculture companies to participate in fairs, exhibitions and other events in both countries;
    • c) the exchange of scientific experts and the coordination of research campaigns, particularly in the northwest Atlantic;
    • d)  the encouragement and facilitation of joint initiatives to improve the conservation and management of regulated fisheries, in particular the regular sharing of information on the status of fisheries and follow up action within the competence of each Participant; and
    • e) other actions mutually decided by the Participants...
  3. 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 of Fisheries Resources of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food of the Kingdom of Spain 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.
  4. 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.
  5. This Memorandum of Understanding does not create obligations for the Participants and is not legally binding under international law.
  6. 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.
  7. Amendments to this Memorandum of Understanding will be made by mutual consent of the Participants, expressed in writing.

Signed in duplicate at Madrid on the sixth day of September 2007, in the English, French and Spanish languages, each version being equally valid.

For the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food of the Kingdom of Spain

For the Department of Fisheries and Oceans of Canada