Oceans North Canada Applauds Government Focus on Arctic Conservation

OTTAWA, Aug. 20 /CNW Telbec/ - Oceans North Canada applauds the Honourable Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon's statement on Arctic foreign policy today for its strong endorsement of conservation of Arctic ecosystems as a key component of the government's Arctic policy. In particular, the statement highlighted protection of Lancaster Sound as a national marine conservation area and ecosystem-based management of the Beaufort Sea.

"Prompt creation of a national marine conservation area in Lancaster Sound is an essential element of Canadian Arctic policy," stated Trevor Taylor, Policy Director for Oceans North Canada. "We look forward to working with Inuit communities and the government in protecting these vital waters," Taylor continued. "Once completed, this Inuit-led process will make Canada a world leader in Arctic marine conservation."

The statement highlighted environmental stewardship as one of the bedrocks of the government's policy in the Arctic and noted opportunities for Canada's stewardship in its own Arctic waters to serve as an example for other Arctic countries.

In addition to Lancaster Sound, the statement noted the importance of an ecosystem-based approach to the Beaufort Sea. The Standing Senate Committee on Fisheries and Oceans recently recommended that the government work with Inuvialuit communities on a moratorium on new commercial fisheries in the Canadian Beaufort Sea. Such a plan would prevent large-scale commercial fishing until scientists and Inuvialuit communities are assured they can proceed sustainably.

"A precautionary Beaufort fisheries plan negotiated with Inuvialuit leaders would set an example for other Arctic countries faced with increased commercial fishing pressure in new, ice-free areas," stated Taylor, a former fisheries minister in Newfoundland and Labrador. "It could even serve as a model for international cooperation on fisheries in the Arctic waters surrounding the North Pole."

About Oceans North Canada

Oceans North Canada promotes science-and-community-based conservation of Canada's northern seas and the resulting wellbeing of indigenous Arctic peoples.

For more information visit our website: cr="true" href="http://www.oceansnorth.ca">www.oceansnorth.ca

SOURCE OCEANS NORTH

For further information: For further information:

Trevor Taylor, (613) 290-4498

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