S) FISHERIES

118. Fisheries

The Conservative Party encourages the government to work cooperatively with the provinces and territories in all regions of the country to put emphasis on protecting and enhancing all stocks. This must be done in order to meet the needs of Canadians rather than reducing the harvesting and processing efforts to fit declining and mismanaged fisheries.

We encourage the government to take a leadership role in international dealings with other fishing countries in order to assure cooperative management of common stocks and end fishing abuses, including foreign overfishing. We encourage the government to maintain its commitment to take custodial management of the stocks on the Nose and Tail of the Grand Banks and the Flemish Cap. We recognize that fish are renewable resources that can be rebuilt and sustained
through a proper investment in science and management.

We believe in investing significantly in our scientific knowledge base and in making firm and fair decisions based on facts, with a regulatory and enforcement regime that has the ability to carry out the necessary function. Responsibility must come from participating regions where more decision making must be located so that wild stocks, as well as aquaculture, can be
managed appropriately.

We encourage the government to work with any interested province or territory, to increase and streamline mechanisms for provincial management of fisheries.

We believe the government must continue to support the Canadian sealing industry by working to eliminate unfair international trade bans on Canadian seal products.

119. Oceans and Coastlines

The Conservative Party believes that the oceans surrounding Canada on three sides are internationally recognized, Federal jurisdictions with rights and responsibilities in accordance with international treaties and laws. We support:

i. the Canadian government claim to sovereign rights: in the Internal Waters, in the Territorial Sea, in the Contiguous Zone, in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and in, on, or above the Continental Shelf of Canada;
ii. the sovereign right to:
a) control the Northwest Passage and the Canadian Inside Passages off the BC coast as internal waters of Canada;
b) explore, exploit, conserve, and manage living and nonliving resources of water column in the EEZ;
c) explore, exploit, conserve, and manage non-living resources of the seabed and subsoil of the continental shelf, (E.g. minerals such as ferromanganese crusts, ferromanganese nodules, gas hydrate deposits, and petroleum); and 

d) economic activities, such as the production of energy from the water, currents and winds; to construct and establish artificial islands and installations;

iii. the rights and responsibility to:

a) conduct marine research as well as the right to suspend or cessation of marine scientific research activities within its jurisdiction; and

b) regulate marine traffic, enforce safety standards, minimize environmental impact and ensure that foreign vessel traffic is for legal and peaceful purposes only.

120. Marine Transportation

The Conservative Party supports the retention of lightstations, their personnel, and their aids to navigation. Lightstations are an important contribution to Canadian sovereignty, provide for public safety especially for recreational boaters and kayakers, are an essential presence to monitoring sea-planes and marine traffic, and assist in the interdiction of smuggling.
We also recognize the historical value of the lightstations and promote the concept that they are well situated infrastructure and personnel which can be utilized for scientific data collection and for other uses.

We support a strategic plan to address proper docking facilities for all coastal communities across the Far North.

We believe the government has an obligation to:

i. enforce the relevant laws and regulations with respect to pollution by dumping;
ii. adopt special discharge and navigational requirements for designated areas and to prosecute foreign vessels where an actual pollution discharge has occurred;
iii. provide vessels passing through its EEZ with adequate charting and maritime safety information;
iv. provide Search and Rescue capabilities which are comparable to international standards of other developed countries; and
v. establish and enforce safety standards for local and foreign vessels which operate in Canadian Waters for the well-being of workers as well as the environment.

121. Freshwater Fish Marketing Act

The Conservative Party believes that the Freshwater Fish Marketing Act should be repealed and a voluntary dual market be instituted.

We believe that fishermen currently under the monopoly of Freshwater Fish Marketing Corporation should be given the freedom to make their own individual marketing decisions and to direct, structure, and voluntarily participate in producer organizations. 

122. Marine Scientific Research 

We believe the government has an obligation to:

i. promote international cooperation in marine scientific research for peaceful purposes; and 

ii. create favourable conditions to study the processes occurring in the marine environment through bilateral and multilateral agreements.

We believe that government should promote opportunities in Ocean Technologies (or Blue Technologies) by identifying and reducing barriers to ocean technologies development, and by encouraging collaboration between industry and educational institutions for innovation.

We believe that government is responsible to regulate activities on the ocean to minimize environmental impact on the marine environment.


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