BRUSSELS, BELGIUM--(Marketwired - April 29, 2016) -

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Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard Hunter Tootoo concluded a series of successful meetings during Seafood Expo Global in Brussels, Belgium.

During this Ministerial mission, Minister Tootoo met with Canadian exporters, European importers as well as representatives from governments and the diplomatic community.

Trade and sustainable economic development were a common theme of the trip with much focus on the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with the European Union. Once CETA is finalized, it will give Canada access to the world's largest market with more than 500 million people in 28 different countries.

The seafood expo was also an opportunity to advance Canada's interests in a number of important areas such as lobster exports.

Minister Tootoo met with his Norwegian and EU counterparts to discuss finding sustainable solutions that would address the reasons for Norway's ban on imported live lobster from Canada as well as a similar request from Sweden that could result in a ban across the European Union.

While in Brussels, the Minister also signed a joint statement with European Commissioner for the Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella that outlines Canada's commitment to working together to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, which harms the marine environment, depletes resources, robs the world economy of billions of dollars, and endangers the lives of fishers.

In addition, the European Union released its new Arctic policy on April 27. This new policy aligns closely with Canada's approach to the Arctic, which advocates for a precautionary, science-based approach to unregulated high seas commercial fisheries in the central Arctic Ocean. It also emphasizes the need for more scientific cooperation.

Finally, Minister Tootoo met with European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, Carlos Moedas to discuss the valuable work carried out under the Galway Statement on Atlantic Ocean Cooperation that helps coordinate scientific and research collaboration between Canada, EU and US.

This summer, Canada, the European Union and the United States will launch the fourth joint expedition on board the Canadian Coast Guard vessel Louis S. St-Laurent to resume exploring and mapping a vast swath of the North Atlantic Ocean seabed between Canada and Northern Europe. The new seabed data will be used to further our understanding of marine habitats, conservation and navigation.


"We made sure our EU partners understood the importance of the lobster fishery for Canadian families and were happy that they were receptive to ongoing dialogue on this priority issue. We also had important discussions on enhancing trade through CETA that will help create jobs for Canadians and agreed to collaborate to combat illegal fishing, protect the Arctic and further scientific research."

The Honourable Hunter Tootoo, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

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Contact Information:

Media Relations
Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Patricia Bell
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister
Fisheries and Oceans Canada