The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard led a Canadian delegation to the international conference, which is taking place October 5 and 6 in Malta. The conference focused on: how best to establish meaningful marine protection, both through marine protected areas (MPAs) and other measures; the benefits of promoting sustainable fisheries; identifying and mitigating climate-related impacts on oceans; and growing the Blue Economy.
Minister LeBlanc also highlighted the leadership role Canada is taking internationally on marine conservation and protection, particularly on the development of scientific criteria for other effective area-based conservation measures. Canada welcomes the use of these rigorous criteria by other coastal nations in their efforts to achieve marine conservation goals. He also mentioned that Canada will be hosting a scientific workshop on international criteria for other measures this winter.
Minister LeBlanc also announced that Canada will establish a national advisory panel that will provide the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard with advice on minimum standards within future MPAs in Canada's waters. He reiterated that, working with Indigenous and Northern partners, Canada will support and protect the future the "last ice area" in the Arctic Ocean, where summer ice remains year round.