Port State Measures Agreement Implementation Act

An Act to amend the Coastal Fisheries Protection Act

This bill was last introduced in the 41st Parliament, 2nd Session, which ended in August 2015.

Status

This bill has received Royal Assent and is now 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 ActGovernment Orders

May 28th, 2015 / 1:05 p.m.
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Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

As you would know, Mr. Speaker, the government's track record on what it claims it will do or even on what it announces it will do is that it is not always that good at getting it done. That even relates to my critic portfolio. The Conservatives talk tough on crime, but they are certainly not smart on crime.

In terms of the fisheries, which is what the member's question really relates to—

Port State Measures Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

May 28th, 2015 / 1:05 p.m.
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Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, there is a little heckling from the other side. There is one thing the Conservatives are adverse to, and that is evidence-based decision-making and facts. They do not like to hear the facts. However, the fact is that when it comes to announcements, they really do not mean much. They are more political spin for a little while, but the dollars do not always follow suit.

I come back to the point the member raised about the former fisheries committee. Why it does not work as well today in the House and at the committee level is that in a previous time, members of the fisheries committee were actually there to work for the industry and to take direction from the industry. The problem now is that the members who sit on the government side believe that their direction should come from the executive branch, and that is so wrong. Members who enter this place should work for the industry, not the PMO.

Port State Measures Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

May 28th, 2015 / 1:05 p.m.
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Conservative

Stephen Woodworth Conservative Kitchener Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, in fact, the fisheries program continues to recruit new talent to protect our fisheries. The government's approach to fisheries protection and enforcement is working. Over the past three years, fisheries officers have issued 5,529 charges, issued 2,638 tickets, obtained 2,972 convictions, and issued $6 million in fines for both charges and tickets.

I would like to know if the hon. member will stand with us in the House and commend our fisheries officers for their great work.

Port State Measures Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

May 28th, 2015 / 1:05 p.m.
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Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, there is nothing I would like to do more than commend the fisheries officers for the great work they do.

I hear a lot of applause from the other side, and I am glad to hear it. It is fisheries officers we are talking about. However, when it comes to government policy fostered by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and the cabinet, that is an entirely different story.

Conservatives are slow getting to the plate. How long did it take this bill to get here? It took years and years. They still cannot answer questions on how many countries have yet to ratify the agreement, what countries are unwilling to ratify, and when the agreement will be in place. We will be passing a piece of legislation, but the government failed to provide the witnesses at the committee level to give us those kinds of answers.

I say to my hon. friend on the other side that maybe some spokesmen on that side, as soon as they get some direction from the PMO, could give us those answers during the rest of the debate today.

Port State Measures Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

May 28th, 2015 / 1:10 p.m.
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Conservative

Stephen Woodworth Conservative Kitchener Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, before I begin, I would like to note that I will be sharing my time today with my hon. colleague, the hard-working and principled member for beautiful Langley, British Columbia.

I rise today to also provide my support for amendments to the Coastal Fisheries Protection Act. It appears that we have the support of many other members on this critical piece of legislation. It is my hope that the opposition will not only talk the talk but walk the walk and join us in voting this bill through quickly.

As a former member of the parliamentary fisheries committee, and as the longest-serving member of the parliamentary environment committee, I understand the critical importance of defending sustainable fisheries from damaging activities.

As we are all well aware, it is difficult to estimate precisely the total catch from unlawful fishing. It is an illegal market, and estimates are therefore naturally unreliable. However, studies indicate that the global figure could be from 11 million tonnes to as much as 26 million tonnes every year. As my hon. colleague mentioned earlier, this represents a significant portion of the world's total catch.

Illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing is a wide-ranging problem with serious impacts on marine environments and law-abiding fish harvesters.

By illegal fishing, we mean contravention of the conservation and enforcement measures of international fisheries management organizations. Unreported fishing refers to fishing activities that have not been reported or that have been misrepresented by vessels to the relevant enforcement authority. Unregulated fishing is self-explanatory. It includes fishing activities that are not adequately regulated or controlled by any responsible flag state. Of course, from a criminal perspective, this kind of fishing operation can be highly attractive. They do not pay licence fees, taxes, or duties on these catches.

Developing countries are at particular risk of having their resources illegally exploited. Canada has built its own capacity to effectively enforce its rules, but by supporting international efforts to cut off port access for these high-seas bandits, we can help countries that are still building their critical infrastructure.

When customers around the world order fish in a restaurant or buy it in a store, they probably assume that it was legally harvested. Once illegally caught fish enter the supply chain, there are very few ways to tell how it was harvested. Therefore, these amendments to the Coastal Fisheries Protection Act will further strengthen our controls on the import of fisheries products into Canada that are suspected of being illegally harvested. This will not only help our Canadian harvesters protect their economic interests but will also assist those in other countries in the protection of their fish stocks.

Turning to the subject of port controls, it is important to note that stemming the trade in illegal catches is complicated by the fact that not every vessel needs to enter a port to land its catch. Smaller fishing vessels can offload their catches onto larger ships with refrigerated holds while still at sea. This is known as trans-shipping. It can be used by criminals and can serve to disguise the origin of illegally caught fish. Through Bill S-3, Canada will address this issue by expanding the definition of a fishing vessel to include all of these types of container ships.

Another feature of the problem of illegal harvests is that vessels operate under so-called flags of convenience. Some countries allow foreign fishing vessels to operate under their flags but then take little or no responsibility for the activities of those vessels. It is in response to this gap in flag state enforcement that other measures, such as the port state measures we are discussing today, have been proposed as a highly effective option in the fight against illegal fishing.

The issue of illegal fishing has been on the global radar for years. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations adopted the code of conduct for responsible fisheries in 1995, and that was endorsed by around 170 member states, including Canada. In 2001, the organization adopted an international plan of action to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.

Under this framework, member states agreed that a concerted approach by all port states was needed to make it more difficult for illegal fishing vessels to land their catches without fear of any serious repercussions. The agreement on port state measures to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing is a treaty that promotes this coordinated global action.

Some regional fisheries management organizations now maintain illegal fishing vessel lists containing details of vessels that have supported illegal fishing activities within that region. This name-and-shame policy is another means to make it difficult for criminal fishing vessels and their support ships to find ports in which to offload their catches. However, the amendments that would be made to the act by Bill S-3 would provide enhanced clarity for our fisheries officers to share information on those who committed illegal fishing offences with the Canadian Border Services Agency and with our international partners.

No single measure on its own will succeed in eliminating illegal fishing. All possible avenues must be explored, otherwise strong market demand and high prices, especially for the world's most sought after species, will continue to attract illegal fishing operations to the long-term detriment of the world's fish stocks. Therefore, Bill S-3 would further deter illegal operators with new powers for the court to order to significant financial penalties upon conviction.

It is clear why all of this matters to Canadians and to our fishing industry. First, as a responsible fishing nation, we need to ensure that we are part of the solution and a leader in combatting illegal fishing, which is also an important priority for our key trading and enforcement partners. Second, the aspects of illegal fishing that I have mentioned put our industry at a competitive disadvantage, and we have to do what we can to level the playing field. Third, we all have an interest in protecting the health of the world's oceans.

Bill S-3 would strengthen the Coastal Fisheries Protection Act, aligning it with the new global standards articulated in the port state measures agreement.

Of course, states are free to take more stringent measures than those outlined in the agreement, and as part of meeting our international obligations, this bill would enable us to further protect the livelihoods of law-abiding fish harvesters, not just in Canada but all around the world, by supporting global efforts to prohibit the entry of illegal fish into international markets.

The amendments to the act contained in Bill S-3 would allow Canada to ratify the port state measures agreement and to improve our already robust control measures in regard to illegal fishing and the products derived from this destructive activity.

This is a necessary, important step for Canada to take. I urge all hon. members, not just to talk about this problem but to join me in supporting these critical amendments to the Coastal Fisheries Protection Act, and vote for Bill S-3.

Port State Measures Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

May 28th, 2015 / 1:20 p.m.
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NDP

Linda Duncan NDP Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, I used to serve on the environment committee with the member, and I can attest to the fact that he was very active on it.

I understand that this proposed law was originally brought forward in September 2013, but died because the government prorogued Parliament. Therefore, if there has been any delay in bringing forward legislation to implement this international agreement, it is certainly the fault of the other side, not here. We simply want to debate the bill to ensure it is strong legislation, which is our responsibility as elected members.

I raised this question with some of the member's colleagues, and I note he mentioned there would be a requirement for regular inspections. What is the government doing to move forward with finally procuring and building the necessary ships to do the enforcement? What discussions are under way through the Arctic Council to ensure this inspection also occurs for any future fishery activity in the Arctic?

Port State Measures Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

May 28th, 2015 / 1:20 p.m.
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Conservative

Stephen Woodworth Conservative Kitchener Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I cannot respond very adequately to the question about the Arctic Council. The Arctic Council is dealing with a vast variety of issues involving borders, land claims, pollutant controls and other issues. I confess that I cannot say whether the Arctic Council has specifically dealt with this issue of illegal fisheries.

As to the question of boat procurement, I know the member opposite, who is thoughtful about environmental issues, at least will understand the necessity to proceed in a manner which avoids some of the fiascos of the past and which in fact carefully costs out the options and looks for ways to maximize the benefit of the shipbuilding program economically to Canadian communities.

In the meantime, as I have mentioned, our fisheries officers work with a very robust enforcement program. In the last three years they have issued 5,529 charges. They have issued 2,638 tickets. They have obtained 2,972 convictions, with $6 billion in fines for both charges and tickets.

Port State Measures Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

May 28th, 2015 / 1:20 p.m.
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Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, I know the member has a keen interest in sustainable issues. Maybe he could spell out how important it is in this area? I do not think there is any other industry that is as affected by the migratory movement of fish around the world and the distances they travel than the fisheries industry. I mentioned earlier in my remarks the tuna industry as a prime example, where we have a hook and line industry here and other areas may not.

Could the hon. member mention how important strong enforcement under this legislation is where other countries apply sustainable practices as we try to do in the long-term future of the fishery and our own economy in those coastal communities?

Port State Measures Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

May 28th, 2015 / 1:20 p.m.
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Conservative

Stephen Woodworth Conservative Kitchener Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I compliment my colleague, the member for Malpeque, on raising an important issue. In fact, what he points to is the real necessity for Canada to work collaboratively on a global basis with our partners around the world. He is quite correct about that. These issues are not confined to a single coastline or a single area of the high seas; they do cross borders.

In point of fact, the legislation would allow Canada even to co-operate with distant conservation authorities, of which we are not members, to adopt their standards and to work with them in enforcing their measures against illegal fisheries. We are on the right track.

Port State Measures Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

May 28th, 2015 / 1:25 p.m.
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Conservative

Mark Warawa Conservative Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in the House today to speak to Bill S-3.

The amendments proposed in the bill are very important to ensure that we are able to do all we can as a global leader to fight illegal fishing and the damaging impacts it has on our ocean resources. These amendments would strengthen our current robust system by controlling our ports and seafood imports, and would enable us to support the efforts of like-minded nations in the protection of the world's fisheries.

As a British Columbian, I appreciate the great importance of the bill for both the protection of economic interests of law-abiding fish harvesters and the environmental necessity of doing all we can to ensure all fisheries are sustainable.

Today, we have been discussing one of the greatest threats to the survival of the global fish stocks, which comes from illegal, unreported, unregulated fishing. It is in everyone's interest for the global community to co-operate with one another toward the long-term conservation, management and sustainable use of the world's fish and other marine resources. These key resources are critically important, providing livelihoods and food security for millions.

The fight against illegal fishing occurs on many fronts. Effective and coordinated steps need to be taken by the coastal states where this fishing occurs, by port states where the suspected fish may be landed for sale, by flag states of the vessels to ensure that the rules are enforced, and by the home states of the owners and masters of vessels who are fishing illegally.

In particular, port state measures are considered an effective and cost-effective way of preventing illegal fish harvesters from profiting from their activities. There is a recognized need for countries, individually and through regional fisheries management organizations, to continue to develop and implement effective state port control measures that are consistent with international law.

Canada is already an active participant in the global efforts to curb and ultimately eliminate illegal fishing. Canada closely monitors domestic fishing activities within our own waters as guided by the Fisheries Act, as well as the activities of the Canadian fish harvesters in international waters.

Through the Coastal Fisheries Protection Act, Canada also carefully monitors and regulates fishing and other activities by foreign fishing vessels in Canadian waters, and in certain areas of the high seas.

Internationally, Canada is an active partner in fisheries protection with Interpol. Fisheries and Oceans Canada officials participate in the Interpol Environmental Crime Programme and the Fisheries Crime Working Group.

In this group and in other international organizations, Canada continually advocates for more responsible control of vessels in the states that register these flag ships, and for improved enforcement against those that facilitate the sale of illegal products. Canada is widely recognized for its expertise in intelligence-led fisheries enforcement, including advanced technologies, such as digital forensic analysis.

We are committed to working with other countries to share this expertise and thereby help to build up the global capacity in the fight against illegal fishing.

Earlier I mentioned the importance of implementing effective port state measures as a deterrent to illegal fishing operations. Canada already has a robust regime for port control measures regarding foreign fishing vessels. These enterprises already avoid Canada as a location to land their catches due to our extensive monitoring and enforcement programs.

However, not all countries have as strong and effective a system as Canada. Real international coordination is needed if we are to make illegal fishing an unattractive business proposition.

With this mind, the international community came forward and together negotiated a treaty that would set standards of action for all countries to take regarding foreign fishing vessels in their ports. The result of this process is the agreement on port state measures to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.

For the port state measures agreement to anticipate possible loopholes, the negotiators attempted to ensure that even situations that may not arise often or in all regions of the world would be addressed in the treaty. It should not be surprising, therefore, that in reviewing the Coastal Fisheries Protection Act, we found that some sections addressed in the port state measures agreement need to be aligned with our domestic legislation. The bill before us today, Bill S-3, would make the necessary amendments to coordinate our existing legislation with this key treaty.

Even without the need to ratify this treaty, the measures in this bill would strengthen and modernize our legislation in ways that benefit Canadians. This would be accomplished by strengthening controls on our fish and seafood imports from other regions of the world, by providing broader enforcement powers to our dedicated fisheries protection officers in the performance of their duties, and by ensuring that Canadian fisheries officers have the legal authority to share intelligence regarding illegal fishing activities with domestic and international fishery enforcement partners.

By updating our already robust port state measures regime, Canada would be setting an example for other nations that still have further steps to take in order to bring themselves into compliance with the treaty. It would demonstrate that we continue to be committed to maintaining the pressure on illegal fishing operations around the globe, and encourage other countries to follow suit. It would also help to level the playing field for our industry, which must contend with the unfair practices and price distortion of illegal fishing operators.

As we all know, this is a very serious issue. By blatantly disregarding the rules, illegal fishing causes untold harm for the world's marine environment, negatively impacts the profits of law-abiding fishermen, and jeopardizes the safety of those aboard the vessels. I urge all members in the House to join me in supporting Bill S-3 so that we can ratify this important agreement and continue our tradition of leadership in global fishery protection stewardship.

To protect the sustainability of our fisheries and safeguard the economic interests of our global communities and coastal communities, we must take action now, today.

Port State Measures Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

May 28th, 2015 / 1:30 p.m.
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NDP

Marc-André Morin NDP Laurentides—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, I have a question.

Only 11 countries have ratified the agreement. The government likes to brag about having signed free trade agreements with 38 countries. I am just wondering how many free trade agreements it has signed with non-signatory countries. Has it not missed out on an opportunity to put some pressure on those countries to ratify the agreement?

Port State Measures Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

May 28th, 2015 / 1:30 p.m.
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Conservative

Mark Warawa Conservative Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member brings up a very important point. When we became government in 2006, there were 4 international trade agreements, and now there are 47, I believe. There has been a dramatic increase in trade, which gives opportunities to Canada and creates jobs and a strong economy. Part of that is making sure that international agreements include the protection of our fisheries.

Port State Measures Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

May 28th, 2015 / 1:30 p.m.
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NDP

Jack Harris NDP St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, as the member said, this is a very important issue and we need immediate action. The same thing was actually said in 2005 by a task force of which Canada was a part, saying that illegal, unreported, and unreported fishing “will persist unless immediate action is taken”. That was in 2005. In 2007, this treaty was passed. We are now dealing with our own legislation in 2015.

What action does Canada plan to take? Only 11 countries have ratified this treaty, yet 25 are needed to make it law. What are Canada's immediate plans to ensure that this treaty is ratified and put into force?

Port State Measures Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

May 28th, 2015 / 1:35 p.m.
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Conservative

Mark Warawa Conservative Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, I would suggest that it is prudent to set a good example. Canada changing its domestic laws to align with this international treaty would set a good example to those who have not yet done this. As the member points out, it is very important that the other countries do follow Canada's example of excellence in protecting our fisheries.

Port State Measures Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

May 28th, 2015 / 1:35 p.m.
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NDP

Jack Harris NDP St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to have an opportunity to speak to Bill S-3, a bill to amend the Coastal Fisheries Protection Act, the port state measures agreement implementation act.

The port state measures agreement is actually the United Nations food and agriculture organization agreement of 2009. It was the first global treaty focused specifically on the problem of illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing. It was a landmark in a sense. It was a response to the need to stop the devastation of unregulated, unreported, and illegal fishing, which is a worldwide scourge and is doing awful damage to the sustainability of fisheries throughout the world. In fact, it is estimated that between $10 billion and $23 billion is the cost of this kind of fishing, which needs to be stopped.

I just mentioned the urgency that was identified back in 2005 by a task force of which Canada was a part. It was known as the ministerially led task force on illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing on the high seas. Its report was called “Closing the Net”. That was an important step along the way. Following that, there was this treaty in 2007. Talking about the importance of immediacy, here we are in 2015, nearly 10 years later, seeking to pass regulations about this, important though they are.

We support the bill. I want it to be clearly on the record that the New Democratic Party, the official opposition here, supports the bill because we recognize that illegal, unreported, unregulated fishing undermines the sustainable practices of legitimate fishing operations, including those in Canada, and presents unfair market competition to sustainable seafood.

The changes that are being proposed here would actually help protect fishermen and their communities from unfair competition, but it is really only the first step in preventing illegal fishing. Upon ratification of the port state measures agreement, we must then take on a leadership role in encouraging others to move forward on the agreement as well.

The previous speaker talked about leading by example. We waited eight years to get to this stage. If we are leading by example, I do not think this is a very good example. We need a government that is prepared to take a leadership role to encourage other countries, in the most forceful way we can, to take seriously their responsibilities as stewards of our Earth.

We are talking mostly about fishing on the high seas here, but we are also talking about the necessity of ensuring that all countries do a very significant job in enforcement of the regulations where they exist, internally in their own waters, in shared waters, or in waters where we have overlapping species.

We have seen some failures by the government in enforcement procedures. We know under the NAFO agreement that Canada has an important role in surveillance and enforcement. However, have seen in recent years a reduction in the number of surveillance aircraft hours from 1,000 to 600 annually. That is a 40% reduction. We have also seen the number of sea days devoted to surveillance activities cut by 25%.This is an indication of a failure to take seriously the importance of illegal fishing, both in our waters and in the NAFO areas, as well as in the areas where we have straddling fish stocks that move between international waters and the regulatory areas. It is extremely important to be on the water and in the air to conduct the surveillance in order to ensure these problems are encountered and to have an enforcement regime that is credible and believable and acts as a deterrent to people who wish to break the law.

We in Newfoundland and Labrador know all too well the consequences of having a devastation of the fish stocks. I think it is worth reminding everyone in Canada about the history of the cod moratorium, which commenced in 1992, and the devastating effects of that, caused by overfishing, unreported fishing, and illegal fishing. It had a devastating effect throughout the entire Atlantic region, but particularly in my province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

I can say that on the northeast coast of Newfoundland and Labrador, as a consequence of the cod moratorium in 1992, there was a reduction of 500,000 tonnes of groundfish in Atlantic Canada and a loss of employment for 12,000 fishermen and 15,000 plant workers. There were 25,000 people who lost their employment and incomes as a result of the collapse of the cod fishery in 1992. I see my colleague across the way is listening carefully. This was a devastating loss in a province like Newfoundland and Labrador, a coastal area with small communities.

Just imagine the consequences of an equivalent devastation to the auto sector in Ontario, for example, taking away the livelihoods of that many people as a result of one single event, which in this case was the collapse of the cod stock. It resulted in a depopulation of much of Newfoundland and Labrador, particularly the parts where people were heavily dependent upon that fishery. There was a decline in population on the northeast coast of Newfoundland, particularly the Great Northern Peninsula. The effects are still being felt to this day because those codfish stocks have not recovered.

This legislation is very important because it actually moves the ball forward. As I said at the beginning, it is long overdue, but we are not getting the sense of urgency that it deserves. This was first brought to the Senate in 2012. I do not know why it was not brought to the House of Commons, where the elected people would perhaps have insisted on giving it the urgency it deserved. It is here now, in 2015. It was introduced in the Senate first in 2012, and in 2013 it reached third reading in the Senate, but then there was prorogation and the bill disappeared. It was reintroduced and passed in the Senate and not introduced in the House of Commons until February of 2014.

New Democrats see some important changes. We are pleased to see that the provisions are being changed that would provide for inspections to try to prevent the entry of unreported, illegal, and unregulated fish into the ports of the states that ratify the treaty. It would give powers of inspection and surveillance and would also attempt to set up a worldwide reporting system to monitor the actions of ships and states that are engaged in illegal fishing. These are important steps, but they need to be carried out with the co-operation of all countries of the world, particularly those with a history of failing to properly enforce fishing laws on their own citizens, which we have a problem with in this country, particularly in the NAFO area, but we had a problem historically in the offshore until the 200-mile limit was established, and even since.

The devastation of the offshore cod stock off Newfoundland and Labrador and the whole northeast coast has been well documented. A very fascinating book was written in 1983 by a gentleman named William Warner, called Distant Water. It talked about how the development of the factory freezer trawler starting in the fifties and going on until the early eighties, took 11 million tonnes of codfish out of that whole northeast coast. The development of fishing methods that were essentially clear-cutting the oceans, taking away the breeding stock, fishing inside the ice off the Labrador coast, going all the way down to the United States as well, caused a major devastation of this huge biomass, which is an extremely important protein source for the world.

We are now in a situation where the population of the world is growing. We need to have a sustainable fishery throughout the world. We need to have international co-operation on the high seas as well, to ensure the sustainability of domestic fisheries like those in Africa, which are suffering because of the failure of enforcement. There needs to be co-operation on this level. There needs to be a sense of urgency and we need to hear from the government, and I am not hearing it from the other side. Perhaps somebody will tell us in a comment on this speech that there is a program, that there is a plan to use whatever influence Canada has.

My colleague just asked a question about we only have 11 nations ratifying this treaty and 25 are needed to bring it into force. Conservatives brag about the number of trade agreements that they have negotiated with countries since they came into office in 2006. In how many of them has Canada said, “We want to trade with them and do business with them, but we also want, as a fishing nation, as a coastal nation, as a nation that is interested in international co-operation on matters such as this, if they are going to be partners with us in trade, we want them to ratify this treaty so that this can be in force”?

This is the kind of leverage that we could expect a Canadian government to engage in if it believed that this was an urgent international problem as well as one that provides for the sustainability of our own fisheries here in Canada. The fisheries are very valuable to Canada, to Newfoundland and Labrador and to the west coast, Quebec regions and the Great Lakes, although that is not necessarily the subject of the bill, the inland waters. We have to have respect for the oceans and we have to have respect for the sustainable nature of the fisheries and we have to have measures in place to make that work.

That is all I have to say right now, except that we support this legislation. We want to see it passed, but we really also want to see significant action on the part of the government to try to get this ratified by the 25 nations and we want to see Canada play a leadership role in that regard.