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Government of Canada marks World Maritime Day 2018

Government of Canada marks World Maritime Day 2018

OTTAWA, Sept. 27, 2018 – The maritime sector plays a crucial role in the daily lives of Canadians. They rely on marine transportation to go about their everyday lives and to deliver many of the goods Canadians use every day. Given the marine industry’s critical importance to the economy, Canada continues to play an active leadership role internationally to ensure the best possible conditions for safe and secure shipping that all Canadians benefit from.

As an active member of the International Maritime Organization, Canada joins 173 other member states and three associate members to mark World Maritime Day. This year’s theme – better shipping for a better future – marks the organization’s 70th anniversary and the progress made to ensure safe, environmentally friendly and more efficient shipping.

Canada’s oceans are one of our most important resources and play a key role in strengthening the economy and growing the middle-class. The Government of Canada is creating a world-leading marine safety system that provides economic opportunities for Canadians today, while protecting our coastlines for generations to come. The $1.5 billion Oceans Protection Plan is the largest investment ever made to protect Canada’s coasts and waterways. This year, the government has improved emergency preparedness and response, enhanced prevention with safety navigation and vessel tracking, and modernized marine safety regulations and operations.

Canada is strengthening its position as an international leader in marine safety, security and environmental issues. Under the Oceans Protection Plan, Canada is reinvesting in its international engagement, including at the International Maritime Organization with the creation of a permanent Canadian mission with three representatives. Last year, Canada was also re-elected to the International Maritime Organization Council, continuing our uninterrupted presence since 1959.

The Government of Canada’s measures to protect endangered North Atlantic right whales from vessel strikes in the Gulf of St. Lawrence have proved to be effective. Transport Canada is committed to the support and recovery of these iconic whales. Since a speed restriction was imposed on April 28 for vessels 20 metres or longer, the department is not aware of any North Atlantic right whale deaths caused by vessel strikes in Canadian waters. Collaboration with other government departments, industry, non-governmental organizations, academia and Indigenous peoples, is key to the adoption and success of our measures.

The Government of Canada has improved shipping through the introduction of the new Arctic Shipping Safety and Pollution Prevention Regulations in December 2017, which incorporated the International Maritime Organization’s Polar Code into Canada’s regulatory regime. This ensures that stringent levels of safety and pollution prevention are applicable to ships operating in the Canadian Arctic are maintained.

Transport Canada also introduced the Fishing Vessel Safety Regulations in July 2017. The new regulations aim to reduce fatalities, injuries, and loss or damage to commercial fishing vessels, while taking into account economic barriers fishing communities may face.

For more information on World Maritime Day 2018, visit the International Maritime Organization’s website.