EU, Canada enter into ocean partnership agreement

Leaders from the European Union and Canada have ratified a partnership agreement that includes clear commitments to combating the negative effects of illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fisheries, marine pollution, and climate change.  

Signed at the 17th summit between the European Union and Canada, held in Montreal, it is hoped that the agreement will also help to facilitate the sustainable development of the marine and maritime sectors and the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, particularly the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14.

This partnership sets out general lines for future collaboration in areas such as:

  • The conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity in the high seas
  • The fight against marine pollution, including marine plastic litter and micro-plastics
  • Implementation of the Paris Agreement on climate change as relevant to the oceans
  • Prevention of unregulated commercial fishing in the central Arctic
  • Strengthening ocean governance in regional and global forums
  • The promotion of safe and decent living and working conditions at sea
  • The fight against IUU fishing

“The vast challenges our oceans face have been one of the priorities of my mandate – from climate change to plastic pollution to illegal fishing. No country, or region, can tackle these problems alone. I am delighted that, together, E.U. and Canada are leading the way to healthier oceans,” said Karmenu Vella, European commissioner for the environment, maritime affairs, and fisheries, commenting on the new agreement.


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