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Statement by the Prime Minister on World Oceans Day

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The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today issued the following statement on World Oceans Day:

“Canada has the longest coastline in the world, and as we celebrate World Oceans Day today, we take time to honour these vast waters that surround us. From sustaining our coastal communities, to providing essential habitats for endangered species, to strengthening our supply chains and creating jobs in the marine sector, our oceans are part of who we are as Canadians.

“The theme for this year’s World Oceans Day – Planet Ocean: tides are changing – reminds us that we have a shared responsibility to protect them for future generations. That is why the Government of Canada is taking action to protect our oceans, especially in the face of challenges like pollution and climate change. Over the last decade, we’ve gone from protecting fewer than one per cent of our oceans to helping protect 842,822 square kilometres – about 14.66 per cent – and exceeded our initial protection goal ahead of schedule.

“Collaborative solutions must be grounded in science, Indigenous knowledge, and local perspectives. By working together to keep advancing solutions like protecting marine areas that give vital ecosystems a chance to thrive and creating targeted fisheries management conservation measures, the Government of Canada is making huge strides toward its goal to conserve 25 per cent of Canada’s oceans by 2025 and 30 per cent by 2030. And we are championing these goals internationally too, including by stepping up to welcome the world to Canada for COP15 last year, where the 196 Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity agreed to an ambitious global framework to protect nature and biodiversity.

“Our ocean and coastal areas are essential to our environment, to our livelihoods, and to our economy. That is why our Oceans Protection Plan – Canada’s largest investment ever in our coasts and waterways – is protecting and restoring vulnerable marine ecosystems, coastlines, and waterways across the country, in partnership with Indigenous Peoples, coastal communities, governments, industry, and academia. Canada’s oceans are also home to endangered whale species, many of which play a critical role in the health of our oceans and carry cultural significance for many Indigenous and coastal communities. In Budget 2023, we continued to invest in action to protect endangered whales and their habitats.

“On World Oceans Day, I invite Canadians from coast to coast to coast to reflect on the importance of our oceans, what they mean to our communities, climate, and country, and join with people all over the world to turn the tide toward a healthier marine environment across the planet.”