Mr. Speaker, I stand today to inform the hon. member about our government's approach to protecting marine biodiversity in Canada's oceans, as well as in international waters.
Canada remains committed to the sustainable development of the oceans, both domestically and internationally. We continue to make progress in the responsible management and protection of our oceans. The government ensures that our national waters are protected and preserved through our strong regulatory regime that governs responsible resource use and development, and ensures high standards of environmental protection. We will continue to collect the scientific information necessary and provide advice to support informed decision-making regarding the issues of greatest concern to Canada's oceans.
Integrated ocean management plans have been completed for two ocean areas and three more are nearing completion. These plans provide a basis for decision-making, recognizing the importance of natural ecosystems while balancing the needs of resource users. There are currently eight Fisheries and Oceans marine protected areas and seven additional areas that are under active consideration as potential marine protected areas. In fact, among federal, provincial and territorial governments, 810 marine conservation and marine protected areas have been established to date.
Our government will continue to work together with the provinces, territories, aboriginal peoples, industry and all of our stakeholders in developing Canada's network of marine protected areas. We have made significant progress in implementing a strategic approach to oceans management in collaboration with other levels of government and stakeholders. We have worked together with our partners to deliver results, increase surveillance of marine pollution through acquisition of specialized equipment and the provision of emergency and safety services to local operators.
Internationally, we are taking our domestic experience and approaches and working collaboratively in global processes to protect the biodiversity of the world's oceans. Canada is an active member of the North American Marine Protected Areas Network, a Canada–U.S.–Mexico project to advance the development of an effective system of North American Marine Protected Areas Networks, to enhance and strengthen the protection of marine biodiversity.
Last year, with the support of the United Nations General Assembly, we endorsed an expert process to assess the best tools and mechanisms to ensure the long-term sustainability of the world's oceans. Canada participates in a United Nations working group established to deal with these issues and looks forward to contributing to analysis of the best options. Developing networks of marine protected areas, as we are doing with our North American partners, is one example of an effective tool.
We believe it is important that existing agreements and mechanisms be implemented and a thorough analysis of options be conducted before a new international treaty is negotiated. We prefer to take a pragmatic and practical approach that can lead to action sooner rather than later. Canada does not want to abandon the agreed upon United Nations process that will build global understanding of this complex issue.