Long Range Patrol Squadron unload a CP-140 Aurora aircraft after returning to 19 Wing Comox, B.C. during Operation Driftnet 2014. (Photo: DND-MDN CANA
Another success in multinational struggle to protect North Pacific Ocean fish resources
Saturday, August 12, 2017, 00:40 (GMT + 9)
Operation Driftnet 2017 has concluded another successful enforcement initiative to protect marine resources in the North Pacific Ocean, as it was announced by Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard Dominic LeBlanc, and Minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan.
“I am proud of Canada’s ongoing international efforts to prevent and deter illegal fishing on the high seas. Maintaining sustainable fisheries is not something we can leave to chance. Canada takes a stand against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and Operation Driftnet is a prime example of international collaboration at its best. Operations like this help protect our oceans and ensure that our global marine resources are protected for future generations,” Minister LeBlanc stated.
For this year’s operation, which took place from July 5 to 29, a CP-140 Aurora, the Royal Canadian Air Force’s long-range maritime patrol aircraft, was stationed at Hakodate Airport, on Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido.
To Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) officers flying on the CP-140, this location allowed them to conduct surveillance patrols over the high-threat zone which is beyond 322 kilometres from shore.
Using the Aurora's enhanced electronic sensor suite, the Fishery officers and the Aurora sensor operators look for signs of illegal fishing and activity, and gather imagery for use as evidence in enforcement action.
Since its inception in 1993, Operation DRIFTNET has helped to decrease illegal fishing in the international waters of the North Pacific Ocean. It is complemented by the enforcement activities of the United States, South Korea, Russia and Japan.
“Canada’s Department of National Defence is committed to working with federal agencies and international partners against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing activity. Operation DRIFTNET is one piece of Canada's contribution to the North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission and its multinational efforts to control this destructive practice,” concluded minister Sajjan.
llegal fishing on the high seas is a serious threat to the world’s marine resources that cost the world economy as much as CAD 23 billion a year.