St. John’s, NL - Making our oceans and our coasts healthier and safer, as well as ensuring our Indigenous, commercial, and recreational fisheries remain sustainable, are priorities for the Government of Canada. Through patrol and enforcement of our laws, Canada continues to protect our oceans, marine life and fisheries from coast to coast to coast.
Today, the Minister of Indigenous Services and Member of Parliament for St. John's South — Mount Pearl, the Honourable Seamus O’Regan, announced that the Government of Canada is awarding a five-year, $128 million contract to PAL Aerospace, an international aerospace and defence company based in St. John’s, Newfoundland. PAL is a global leader in airborne intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, with over four decades of experience in both civilian and military aviation environments. The agreement also includes opportunities for PAL Aerospace to earn extensions that increase the life of the contract to ten years. Over the next 18 months, PAL Aerospace will prepare bases of operation in Halifax and Campbell River, in addition to its headquarters in St. John’s, supporting over 100 jobs in the process.
This new contract will provide fishery officers with longer range aircraft, expanding their range of operations and giving them enhanced tools to combat illegal fishing and increase Canada’s maritime security. The contract will also allow high-fishing areas to be patrolled more often and for longer periods.
This contract will also help fulfill the Government of Canada’s commitment to protecting Canada’s oceans, waterways and marine life. As we work to protect 10 per cent of Canada’s marine and coastal waters by 2020, these aircraft and new bases of operation will help fishery officers better patrol marine protected areas (MPAs) across Canada, including remote MPAs Anguniaqvia niqiqyuam and Tarium Niryutait in the Beaufort Sea.
They will also help enforce the measures put in place by the Government of Canada to protect our endangered whales. This includes monitoring the Gulf of St. Laurence for compliance of the recently-announced fisheries management measures for North Atlantic right whales, as well as monitoring critical habitat areas for Southern Resident killer whales and enforcing fisheries management measures for their primary prey, Chinook salmon.
Enforcement is a key aspect the Government of Canada’s commitment to protecting our oceans and ensuring sustainability of Canadian fisheries. This contract, as well as our commitment to hire more than 100 new fishery officers by the end of 2019, will go a long way to ensuring the enforcement of protections provided through the $1.5 billion Oceans Protection Plan, $1.3 billion for Canada’s Nature Legacy and the updating and modernizing the Fisheries Act and the Oceans Act to protect marine life and its habitat.