Mr. Speaker, last week the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization held its annual meeting in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. Conservation and compliance were the major points of discussion, and Canada made progress in a number of key areas.
NAFO parties agreed to a multi-year conservation plan for turbot that includes an overall reduction of 60% in the total allowable catch. Canada is pleased with this move away from a year to year management regime toward a comprehensive, long term rebuilding strategy. This plan will save millions of fish. There will be an immediate and significant reduction of the total allowable catch, with the 2004 quota being reduced to 20,000 tonnes from 42,000 tonnes in 2003, and further annual reductions leading to a quota of 16,000 tonnes in 2007.
This reduction is significant and demonstrates political will among NAFO parties to focus on conservation of such an important stock.