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Operation Driftnet to combat illegal fishing

Staff writer ▼ | July 1, 2016
Canada and its international partners have joined forces again this year as part of Operation Driftnet to combat illegal fishing.
Enforcement initiative   The North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission
This international enforcement initiative of the North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission is also complemented by the enforcement activities of the United States, South Korea, Russia and Japan.

“Operation Driftnet is an important component of Canada’s contribution to the North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission,” said Canada’s defence minister, Harjit Sajjan.

“The Department of National Defence is committed to our federal partners in this initiative against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing activity, as well as to the protection of Canadians and their interests,” he added.

Ministers have announced that Operation Driftnet 2016 has concluded another successful enforcement initiative to protect marine resources in the North Pacific Ocean.

The 2016 operation, which took place from 3-26 June 2016, was coordinated by Fisheries and Oceans Canada personnel from British Columbia and the Canadian Armed Forces, with support from the United States Coast Guard and the government of Japan.

Operation Driftnet uses long range aerial surveillance supported satellite imaging technology, such as Canada’s Radarsat-2. Extended patrol flights took place beyond Canada’s 200-mile borders in a "high threat" zone.

Over the duration of the mission, 11 flights and 120 surveillance hours were logged in the high threat area of the North Pacific.

Since its inception in 1993, Operation Driftnet has helped to decrease illegal fishing in the international waters of the North Pacific. From 2001 to the conclusion of this year’s operation, four vessels have been apprehended.