Port State Measures Agreement Implementation Act

An Act to amend the Coastal Fisheries Protection Act

This bill was last introduced in the 41st Parliament, 1st Session, which ended in September 2013.

Status

Second reading (House), as of May 24, 2013
(This bill did not become law.)

Summary

This is from the published bill. The Library of Parliament often publishes better independent summaries.

This enactment amends the Coastal Fisheries Protection Act to implement the Port State Measures Agreement, to prohibit the importation of fish caught and marine plants harvested in the course of illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and to clarify certain powers in respect of the administration and enforcement of the Act.

Elsewhere

All sorts of information on this bill is available at LEGISinfo, provided by the Library of Parliament. You can also read the full text of the bill.

Port State Measures Agreement Implementation Act
Government Orders

May 24th, 2013 / 12:45 p.m.
See context

Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge—Mission
B.C.

Conservative

Randy Kamp Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and for the Asia-Pacific Gateway

Mr. Speaker, I know that my colleague, the parliamentary secretary to the minister of international trade has a keen interest in this bill, so with your consent I would like to share my time with the member for South Shore—St. Margaret's.

I am pleased to support Bill S-13, an act to amend the Coastal Fisheries Protection Act. This bill originated in the other place and the Senate Committee on Fisheries and Oceans studied the bill between November 8, 2012 and March 5, 2013. During the study, the Senate committee heard testimony from officials of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the Oceans and Environmental Law Division of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, the president of the Fisheries Council of Canada, and others as well.

The purpose of Bill S-13 is to enable Canada to ratify the international agreement on port state measures to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.

On March 7, after examining the bill and hearing from witnesses, our colleagues in the other place passed the act to amend the Coastal Fisheries Protection Act.

The port state measures agreement negotiations focused on illegal fishing and transshipping on the high seas, what we call IUU fishing or illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. IUU fishing is an issue of grave concern. The agreement deals with the worldwide problem of IUU fishing, which has deep economic and environmental consequences. The committee heard that the estimated economic loss from IUU fishing averages between $10 billion and $23 billion every year.

The international agreement ensures that there is a cohesive and collaborative effort to sustainably manage the resources contained in our oceans. On November 22, 2009, the member countries of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN reached an agreement on it. Canada was one of the countries that played a leadership role in that effort. Canada signed the port state measures agreement in 2010 and now needs to follow through with this commitment by ensuring that our legislation is amended to fulfill our international commitments.

Some of the most important stipulations in the port state measures agreement include: establishing standards for information to be provided by vessels seeking entry to port; continuing to deny port entry and service to vessels that are implicated in pirate fishing or IUU fishing unless entry is for enforcement purposes; and, setting minimum standards for vessel inspections and the training of inspectors.

I can say that Bill S-13 is widely supported by the fishing industry and is necessary in order to fulfill our international commitments. The only criticism from the president of the Fisheries Council of Canada was that it took too long to negotiate and ratify this agreement. Therefore, I sincerely hope that my colleagues on the opposition side will not delay this bill and hold up the implementation of measures that would enable Canada to effectively combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.

Fish is a highly traded food commodity and as such illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing rapidly becomes a global problem with significant economic, social and environmental consequences. IUU fishing operators gain economic advantage over legitimate fish harvesters through lower cost of operations by circumventing national laws and regulations. They also undermine conservation and management measures of regional fisheries management organizations and other international standards.

Once IUU fish enter the market, it is very difficult if not impossible to distinguish them from legally caught fish. IUU fishing will remain a lucrative business if the benefits of landing and selling such products continue to outweigh the costs associated with being caught. IUU fish in the market can depress prices for fish products to unprofitable levels for legitimate fish harvesters. Canadian fish harvesters are susceptible to price fluctuations in international markets, as approximately 85% of fish caught in Canadian waters are exported, representing more than $4 billion annually.

Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, often referred to as pirate fishing, puts the livelihoods of legitimate fishermen around the world at risk and has an impact on the conservation and protection of our fisheries.

Pirate fishing is a global problem that undermines responsible fishing and has consequences on food security, safety at sea, marine environmental protection and the stability of prices for fish products in some markets. IUU fishing also poses serious potential threats to marine ecosystems and fish stocks. Therefore, by strengthening the Coastal Fisheries Protection Act we will protect this vital resource and support the international fight against pirate fishing.

Canadian fishermen feel the impacts of pirate fishing, including the depletion of stocks from overfishing, unfair competition with illegal fish products and price fluctuations created by illegal fish products in foreign markets. Therefore, we need to continue to be leaders in the fight against threats to our fishery in order to maintain a fair and stable market environment for our high quality fish and our seafood exports.

The proposed amendments to Canada's Coastal Fisheries Protection Act would help us to do that. The amendments represent the next steps in our effort to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. There are some loopholes now where fish can be caught illegally and then moved to another vessel, which can then legitimately say that it did not catch those fish illegally.

Bill S-13 proposes a new definition of fishing vessel that includes container vessels and any type of transshipment vessels so that transshipment at sea of fish that has not already been landed would be caught under the act. Also, if a country is fishing outside of the authority or the control of a regional fish management organization, if it is just fishing without any compliance with the international norms, then fish caught by that vessel would also be subject to intervention under the act.

The amendments to the Coastal Fisheries Protection Act would expand our capacity to deal with illegally caught fish from other jurisdictions. We would have the ability to deal with illegal fish product imports in the efficient way required by the port state measures agreement to which we are a signatory.

Canadians can be proud of our already strong port access regime for foreign fishing vessels. Among other measures, Canada does not allow entry to vessels on the illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing vessel list of the Northwest Atlantic Fishing Organization, or the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas, usually called ICCAT. The IUU vessel lists are a key tool for combating pirate fishing globally. These lists include not only the fishing vessels, but also any vessel that helps fishing vessels engaged in illegal acts. For example, if they provide fuel or transshipping products or packing materials, all of these activities would be covered and included in the list. Arrangements have already been undertaken among several regional fisheries management organizations to share their lists so that members can take the necessary action to deny port entry or services to listed vessels. This makes IUU fishing more and more difficult and expensive.

The proposed changes to the Coastal Fisheries Protection Act set out even tougher prohibitions against the importation of illegally caught fish and other living marine organisms. Contravention of these provisions would be an offence under the amended Coastal Fisheries Protection Act, with penalties specified under the act. Together these measures would help dry up the profits from illegal fishing activities. Fisheries and Oceans Canada, in close collaboration with the Canada Border Services Agency, would carry out monitoring and enforcement with a view to minimizing impacts on legitimate cross-border trade of fish and seafood products.

Canada has a large stake in the fisheries and a lot of the stocks we fish are straddling stocks, stocks of fish that move from one area to another in the ocean. This means that to protect our fisheries we have to protect them inside and outside of our exclusive economic zone. When we combat illegal fishing that takes place elsewhere in the world it has a far-reaching positive effect here in Canada.

Preventing illegally taken fish and seafood products from entering Canadian markets is also a priority for Canada's major trading partners. Stronger controls at the border would help maintain our reputation as a responsible fishing nation and trading partner. The amendments to the Coastal Fisheries Protection Act that are before us would strengthen and clarify Canada's domestic rules and reinforce our leadership role in the global fight against pirate fishing.

I am very happy and proud of our government, which has taken action against this global problem that has an impact on our fisheries here at home. I encourage all members of the House to support the bill.

Port State Measures Agreement Implementation Act
Government Orders

May 24th, 2013 / 12:55 p.m.
See context

NDP

Laurin Liu Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, as the former deputy environment critic and current deputy science and technology critic, I had the honour of serving on the House of Commons Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development.

The intrinsic value of our marine ecosystems is huge, and so is their economic value. Many jobs and the economies of coastal communities depend on these ecosystems.

Illegal fishing undermines Canada's efforts to conserve and manage resources to ensure the long-term viability and sustainability of the fisheries and protect marine ecosystems. This government's track record on conservation is poor. For one thing, it is refusing to acknowledge that climate change is undermining our conservation work.

What is the government doing to stop illegal, unregulated, unreported fishing?

Port State Measures Agreement Implementation Act
Government Orders

May 24th, 2013 / 1 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Randy Kamp Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge—Mission, BC

Mr. Speaker, I think that was the whole purpose of the 10 minutes or so that I spoke. In fact, we have a fairly robust regime already in place, through the Coastal Fisheries Protection Act.

However, there was a realization among many countries around the world that to combat illegal, unregulated, unreported fishing it is going to take a global effort. That is why there was work done on this port state measures agreement. There is a realization that both the flag states, for example, the ships that are flying the Canadian flag, as well as the port states, those states where those ships might offload their cargo, need to get together and work on this. That is why this agreement is put in place.

As I said, there are good environmental, as well as economic, reasons why this needs to be done.

Port State Measures Agreement Implementation Act
Government Orders

May 24th, 2013 / 1 p.m.
See context

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, the fishing industry in the province of Manitoba is actually quite significant. One could take a look at Lake Winnipeg and Churchill.

My question is related to the legislation and whether it would have an impact on, in particular, the fishing industry in the Lake Winnipeg area and if so, perhaps the minister would elaborate on that situation.

Port State Measures Agreement Implementation Act
Government Orders

May 24th, 2013 / 1 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Randy Kamp Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge—Mission, BC

Mr. Speaker, there is, as the member said, a very significant inland fishery in Lake Winnipeg. In fact, much of what is caught there is exported and goes into this market. If there are fish that are being caught illegally, changing market prices, the whole dynamics that are going on there, then I think there would be an indirect effect.

However, this is primarily about fish that are caught on the high seas and are caught illegally, unreported. These actions go against the law of perhaps the regional fishing organization to which the flag state is party. That is why there needs to be this agreement to get the countries together to put in place these measures so that we can co-operate better with one another to put an end to this practice.

Port State Measures Agreement Implementation Act
Government Orders

May 24th, 2013 / 1 p.m.
See context

South Shore—St. Margaret's
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Gerald Keddy Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, I would like to recognize my colleague, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, and congratulate him and the department for bringing this important legislation forward.

As the parliamentary secretary stated earlier, Canada signed the port state measures in 2010. This is 2013 and it is time to put into legislation ratification of our signature in 2010. We really should not delay that ratification any longer.

The reality is that illegal, unreported, unregulated or IUU fishing is a serious problem around the world. It is one of the main impediments to the achievement of sustainable fisheries worldwide. The estimated economic losses for illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing averages between $10 billion and $23 billion per year, most of that in economies that cannot afford it.

Worse yet, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing affects these poorest countries. Their dependency on fisheries for food, livelihood and revenue is high compared to many other jurisdictions in the world.

IUU fishing is not a problem for one country to solve on its own, because it respects neither national or international borders. Where governance is weak and where countries fail to meet their international responsibility, it puts pressure on sustainability of fish stocks, marine wildlife and distorts markets, not just in that specific region but worldwide.

In recent years, the international community has been working to develop global tools to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing activities. Improving the control of foreign fishing vessels, through a global standard for actions that can be taken in ports, is one tool to prevent illegal fishing.

I am proud to say that our government plays a leadership role in this movement. As a nation with a robust fishing industry, Canada has a strong interest in protecting fish stocks and ensuring fishing regulations are respected. That is why we have taken action and have taken an international leadership role.

In 2009, Canada and other countries approved the port state measures agreement that had been negotiated at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Canada signed this agreement in November 2010 to signal the importance of taking strong actions in ports to prevent illegal fishing, and is now working towards ratifying these port state measures.

So far 20 countries have signed the treaty, 5 have ratified. The United States is currently dealing with its ratification legislation and it is expected other countries will soon follow suit.

Before Canada can ratify this new global standard, we must address gaps in our current legislation. These are the amendments we are discussing today in the Coastal Fisheries Protection Act. Once approved, the proposed amendments to the act and the subsequent changes to the regulations will allow us to meet our international obligations, not to mention better protect the integrity of legitimate activities by Canadian fish harvesters.

Within the existing Coastal Fisheries Protection Act and its regulations, Canada already has a robust port state control regime for foreign fishing vessels. These amendments will make our regime even stronger.

The proposed amendments can be grouped into three broad categories.

The first concerns authorities related to fishing vessels. Currently fishing vessels must apply for a licence to enter Canadian fishing waters or to access our ports at least 30 days before they arrive. Under the proposed amendment, the minister can allow a foreign vessel that has been directed by its flag state to enter a Canadian port even if it has not applied for a licence. In this case, Canada will issue a specific permit for the sole purpose of inspection and enforcement.

While the port state measures agreement generally promotes refusal of entry to fishing vessels that have engaged in or supported illegal fishing, there might be situations where the flag state, that is the country responsible for the fishing vessel, may want Canada's assistance to conduct an inspection and to gather evidence of a violation.

These proposed amendments will also give our Canadian protection officers greater authority to enforce the amended Coastal Fisheries Protection Act and the port state measures agreement.

When the vessel is directed to port under the new permit regime, these powers will allow Canadian protection officers, when they have reasonable grounds to suspect a vessel has been engaged in or supported illicit fishing activities, to inspect and search that foreign fishing vessel and seize and dispose of illegal catch. In the absence of the consent of the flag state, however, a Canadian court could still authorize protection officers to dispose of any catch in accordance with international law.

The second set of amendments revolves around information sharing. To meet the requirements of the port state measures agreement, the amendments provide clarity on the authorization to share information. The amendments cover both the type of information and with whom it would be shared.

First, the amendments clearly outline that the minister can share information regarding the inspection of a foreign vessel, the denial of entry to port of a foreign vessel, a change in a decision and enforcement action taken or the outcome of any proceedings related to a decision.

Second, the amendments clarify that the minister can share this information with the flag state of the vessel, relevant coastal states, regional fisheries management organizations, states in whose fisheries the illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing appears to have occurred, the state of nationality of the owner of the vessel, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and other relevant international organizations.

As I have mentioned, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing is a global threat to sustainable fisheries and to the management and conservation of fisheries resources and marine biodiversity. The sharing of information is essential for all countries to work collectively to address this global threat.

Third, the proposed amendments to the act clarify that the minister can report actions that Canada has taken with respect to Canadian vessels that have engaged in illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing or fishing-related activities in support of such fishing. This information can be shared with other states party to the port state measures agreement, relevant states, regional fisheries management organizations and the Food and Agriculture Organization.

In addition, the proposed amendments would give certainty to the ability for Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Canada Border Services Agency to share each other's information related to the import of fish and fish products.

The third major category of amendments concerns prohibitions and related authorities.

The proposed amendments will make it an offence to import illegal, unreported and unregulated fish into Canada. The amendments will also give the authorities new tools to enforce these prohibitions. For example, the amendments will expand the powers of protection officers to inspect any place, including containers, warehouses, storage areas and vehicles. Inspections can be conducted in all ports of entry. This is an important amendment since currently such powers are limited to seaports and wharves. They will also expand powers to allow for entry in search of these places with a warrant and, in certain circumstances, without a warrant.

The Conservative government is serious about controlling IUU fishing. The amendments would allow Canadian protection officers to seize illegal, unreported and unregulated caught fish and fishing vessels. Vehicles or any other thing believed to be obtained or used in the commission of an offence under the act could be seized. These foreign vessels would not only be seized if it has shown that they have been engaged in or supported illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, but stiff fines can be imposed. A summary conviction would land a fine of up to $100,000, conviction or indictment would cost vessels up to $500,000 and second convictions would garner up to double of the above fines.

I realize I do not have time to finish all my written text, but I implore my colleagues across the way to support this important legislation. We catch fish on the east coast, the west coast and the High Arctic in Canada and the in-line fishery in Manitoba as well, all important to the local economies in those regions. Those fish simply do not stay in one spot. They swim across international, territorial and provincial boundaries. We have one biomass of fish on the east coast of North America and one biomass on the west coast. They are regularly caught in international or national waters on the Canadian side and it is important that we have a regulatory regime that can address any illegal fishing of this important biomass in this important Canadian industry.

Port State Measures Agreement Implementation Act
Government Orders

May 24th, 2013 / 1:10 p.m.
See context

NDP

Hélène LeBlanc LaSalle—Émard, QC

Mr. Speaker, the bill before us is another bill that originated in the Senate. This kind of bill always raises the same question in my mind.

This government may have won a majority, but we have to wonder whether that is truly the case, since it won just 39% of the vote and there was a participation rate of only 50%. I do not know if the government can claim to have the approval of the majority of Canadians.

Why are we seeing yet another Senate bill? We know that most senators are only appointed in return for favours granted to the Conservative Party.

Why does this government insist on introducing bills in the House of Commons that originate in the Senate?

I would like to hear the parliamentary secretary's thoughts on that.

Port State Measures Agreement Implementation Act
Government Orders

May 24th, 2013 / 1:10 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Gerald Keddy South Shore—St. Margaret's, NS

Mr. Speaker, I can certainly tell the member opposite that this is important legislation. It is also, quite frankly, important that it is introduced in the Senate. It makes the Senate more accountable and realistic to all Canadians.

I am always surprised by the opposition members in their preambles to their statements and the lack of any real substance in them. What we have is a specific problem that we are trying to address, and that is unregulated and unreported illegal fishing worldwide. This bill would allow the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, through the minister, to address that very real problem.

If the opposition parties want to take political cheap shots and make it into something it is not, they can go right ahead. It is their time and if that is the way they choose to spend it on the floor of the House, instead of doing something about a very serious international problem, that is up to them.

Port State Measures Agreement Implementation Act
Government Orders

May 24th, 2013 / 1:15 p.m.
See context

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, we recognize that IUU fishing is completely unacceptable. I believe all Canadians have a vested interest in and are concerned about this issue, whether it is the pricing, the amount of harvesting that takes place, or the depletion of fishing stocks by pirates who travel the world with no sense of obligation of management control, or maintaining certain species and so forth. It is deplorable.

It is interesting we have an agreement that was signed in November 2010, I believe. Does the minister have a list of the signatories on that agreement and does he have some thoughts on some countries that he would have liked to see sign on to the agreement?

Port State Measures Agreement Implementation Act
Government Orders

May 24th, 2013 / 1:15 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Gerald Keddy South Shore—St. Margaret's, NS

Mr. Speaker, as I said in my speech, the U.S. is in its ratification process right now. Certainly, we would expect all major fishing states to sign on to this agreement at some point. This prevents egregious international overharvesting and illegal fishing.

One only has to look at a couple of examples. The Chilean sea bass is a very high value, very tasty and very high-end, white tablecloth restaurant sea food that has been overfished in international waters by a number of countries and pirates around the world. There has been no international measure in place to deal with that. This would allow the capacity for individual countries to deal with problems like that.

Another great example, which the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans mentioned, is the international tuna agreement. We often catch tuna on the east coast of Canada that has been tagged in Portugal, or off the coast of Spain or North Africa.

We have an international fishery and many species here and this is one way of addressing some of the problems with that international catch.

Port State Measures Agreement Implementation Act
Government Orders

May 24th, 2013 / 1:15 p.m.
See context

NDP

Jinny Sims Newton—North Delta, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of second reading of Bill S-13, an act to amend the Coastal Fisheries Protection Act, the port state measures agreement implementation act.

Before I get to talking about the substance of what is here, I have to make a couple of comments on the process.

We have a majority government that has a legislative agenda. Obviously the Conservatives are running out of ideas, even though they have asked for and now have debate until midnight from Monday to Thursday until we adjourn the House for the summer.

It seems now that instead of having a legislative agenda of their own to deal with issues that would grow jobs for Canadians, that would address the high unemployment of our youth, that would seriously address the use and abuse of temporary foreign workers, instead of coming forward with legislation that would actually put forward an agenda, they have now been driven to, through lack of imagination, or will to work, to turn to the other House to produce legislation in this House. I am finding that rather interesting.

The other thing I find interesting is that when we look at this particular piece of legislation, it is a bill that is required to be passed so Canada can ratify the UN agreement on port state measures to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.

That is great. This will go a long way. We absolutely applaud the government for bringing the bill forward, and no matter how it got here, it is here. I think it should have come from the government. We will be submitting some amendments when the bill gets to the committee stage, because we believe we are here to debate, and together, with all sides of the House, to make the legislation more effective for Canadians. We are absolutely committed, as our previous speaker said, and all Canadians are, to our fisheries.

We talk about our country from coast to coast to coast. We have so much of our national identity, our national economy, our cultural practices tied to the coast itself, whether it is east, west or north. Because of that, we in Canada absolutely value the need to protect our pristine coastlines. We also value and recognize the need to preserve and to fish in a sustainable way so that our fish is there for generations to come, thus not only providing a great delight for the palate, but also a huge economic force in Canada as well.

Not one of us would support unregulated fishing, because when we get unregulated fishing, it undermines sustainable practices of legitimate fishing operations in Canada and internationally, and it presents an unfair market competition to sustainable seafood.

We can never underestimate the importance of the ocean to our food chain, and how significant that is. I am not just talking about the taste of seafood, and I am sure we all love our west coast salmon, we all love our lobster from the east coast and we just love our seafood, but unless we are here and looking at the long-term impact of overfishing, unregulated plundering of the ocean and we put an end to the illegal activities of fishing, we will have a serious problem.

We know that despite how wonderful and diverse our beautiful planet is, we are dependent on the oceans and seas for our food chain as well. We also know that making changes, especially signing onto the UN agreement, will also help fishermen and their communities in the face of unfair competition.

Let me digress for a moment. When I think of the United Nations, there is a bit of irony in this. Here we are debating signing on to a UN agreement. It is the same government that could not even sustain a seat on the United Nations Security Council, and we now sit in the outer room when it comes to making critical decisions about the security of this world. It is the same government that withdrew from a UN convention looking at the impact of drought. We are looking at a government that time and again has been absolutely unprofessional and has provided uncalled for criticism of the rapporteur who looked at the dire condition of the food supply and living quarters of our first nations. When the Conservatives read the report and did not like it, they just ditched all over the report, made personal attacks on the rapporteur and questioned his integrity and ability to do the job.

Nevertheless, when we on this side of the House see good behaviour, we still want to reward it, so we are going to support this bill to the reading stage because we believe it is a step in the right direction.

Our oceans, our fish and our seafood are not confined by man-made boundaries; when it comes to areas like this, we realize how interdependent we all are, and we are dependent on other countries to sign onto this agreement. I worry, and I wonder if my colleagues across the aisle worry as well, about the way they are going to persuade. Is it going to be moral persuasion, saying that it is good for the planet and it is good for us? How are they going to persuade them when we have abandoned so many of the UN agreements ourselves and have even turned our back on things like fighting drought, which will impact the whole planet and not just some parts of the world?

At the same time, I am hoping that the Conservatives will dig deep and maybe go back to some of our past history, when we had unquestionable standing in the international community. Maybe they can turn to that and say that we used to do all these things, that we may not do them now but we used to be leaders in international development, we used to be leaders on environmental protections, we used to be leaders on world security and we used to play a critical role at the Security Council. We can say that because of that, we really urge all of them to sign this new agreement that is so important for the future of our oceans and our seafood and our beautiful salmon.

On the west coast, we are so proud of our wild Pacific salmon, and it is hard for us when we hear of the dangers to that species at times. In the same way, I know the impact of the depletion of the cod supply on the Atlantic coast, and I know the impact it had on me when I was living in England, because suddenly there was no cod available for fish and chips. That was hard, because I really like fish and chips made with cod.

All jokes and personal preferences aside, what we have here in front of us is a piece of legislation that would protect our seafood. I urge members on all sides to support it and remember that this is not the final step. Ratifying the UN measure is one part, and this bill is only the first step to prevent illegal fishing.

Once Canada ratifies the port state measures agreement, we must then take on a leadership role and encourage other nations to do the same. However, we then have to do something else because it is not enough to just pass bills on paper. We have to take action. We have to put our money where our mouth is. We cannot just be satisfied that we debated something in the House and it is on paper somewhere because without implementation this will just be a piece of paper housed in Parliament, in the hands of lawyers, et cetera.

We are not alone. There are others who support the position that we are taking. The PEW environmental group had this to say:

Illegal fishing is a major threat to the sustainability of the world’s fisheries. Some estimates are that illegal and unregulated fishing causes annual financial losses of up to $23.5 billion worldwide and accounts for up to 20 percent of all of the wild marine fish caught globally. In some parts of the world, the situation is even more dire. For example, fisheries scientists estimate that illegal fishing accounts for up to 40 percent of fish caught in West Africa.

It is time to take action.

Port State Measures Agreement Implementation Act
Routine Proceedings

March 8th, 2013 / 12:10 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai Calgary East, AB

Mr. Speaker, I believe if you seek it you will find unanimous consent for the following: that the House reaffirm Canada's commitment to the treaty on the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and unequivocally condemn North Korea's recent nuclear test in violation of its international obligations; that the House express its grave concern regarding the widespread violations of basic rights in North Korea, including torture and other cruel inhumane punishment, arbitrary detentions, absence of due process and the rule of law, collective punishments extending up to three generations and the existence of political prison camps; that the House express its grave concern regarding the government of North Korea's continued pursuit of its nuclear weapons program despite the humanitarian crisis in the country, including mass starvation and prolonged food deprivation, reject North Korean's increasing aggressive actions, including ballistic missile launches and attacks against South Korea, which represents a threat to regional and international peace and security; and urge the regime in Pyongyang to abandon its reckless weapons program and instead focus its resources on meeting its citizens' basic humanitarian needs, respecting its citizens' fundamental freedoms and abiding by the United Nations Security Council resolution.