Our waters, Our future: Sustainable development strategy 2007-2009

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Table of Contents


  • Annex 1: Background information on the development of the 2007–2009 Sustainable Development Strategy
  • Annex 2: Glossary
  • Annex 3: Index of Text Boxes

Minister's Message

As Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, I am pleased to present my department's Sustainable Development Strategy for 2007 - 2009. This new strategy is part of our continuing commitment to provide Canadians with sustainable fisheries and aquaculture, as well as healthy and productive aquatic ecosystems.

Canada's public resources must be well managed to ensure their long-term viability. At Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), we believe in working with interested partners and stakeholders to manage our aquatic resources in a collaborative, transparent and accountable manner.

For example, Canada's new government has been active in the global community to better protect fish stocks that straddle Canadian and international waters. Through the High Seas Task Force on Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated fishing and our recent success in improving the effectiveness of the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization, Canada is leading the fight against overfishing and encouraging more responsible governance of high-seas fisheries.

We also believe in sound science as a means to better inform our management decisions and help ensure that development of our fish and ocean resources proceeds responsibly. Science is a key part of an integrated, ecosystems-based approach to managing our fisheries and oceans.

To this end, we were pleased earlier this year to invest in improvements to primary research facilities at the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Centre in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. We also implemented a small-scale, one-year northern cod fishery for research purposes.

On the West Coast, we launched a new three-year pilot plan for the integration of commercial groundfish fisheries for the 2006 season. The plan, developed by industry stakeholders in consultation with federal and provincial governments and First Nations, promotes the conservation and sustainability of Pacific groundfish stocks.

We also invested in enhancing our conservation and protection presence in the Pacific region and increasing our habitat monitoring capability in key areas there.

In March, we also announced a five-year management plan for the conservation and sustainable development of the Atlantic seal population, which has remained healthy and stable since the mid-1990s. The plan is based on objective-based fisheries management practices and the precautionary approach to manage the annual seal hunt responsibly, without threatening the viability of the seal herd.

I am proud of these achievements on behalf of Canadians. Moreover, they help demonstrate that Canada's new government is fully committed to integrating sustainable and responsible development principles in managing our fish and ocean resources.

The Sustainable Development Strategy is an important part of this commitment and an essential element of departmental planning. It tells the story of the Department's successes, and sets a clear course of action and accountability for the next three years.

The Strategy is a key tool in helping DFO conserve and protect our fish and ocean resources, while responsibly delivering their ultimate value to Canadians – today and for generations to come.

The Honourable Loyola Hearn, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

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