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December 4, 1998
(Executive Council)

Province welcomes Canadian victory in Turbot War case

Premier Brian Tobin welcomed the decision today by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) not to hear Spain's claim against Canada arising from the arrest of the Spanish fishing vessel Estai during the 1995 Turbot War.

"The decision by the International Court of Justice, in a 12-5 vote, ends the final chapter in the Turbot War with another victory for Canada," said Mr. Tobin. "We now have to build on the improvements in international conservation and enforcement that we made in 1995 to ensure that overfishing of straddling stocks is ended permanently."

At the end of the Turbot War, Canada and the European Union agreed on improved international conservation and enforcement measures that were adopted by the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO) later in 1995. These measures, including 100 per cent observer coverage, continue in effect.

Also in 1995, Canada spearheaded adoption by the United Nations of a new convention on international conservation and enforcement to protect straddling fish stocks (like cod, flounder and turbot) and highly migratory fish stocks (like tuna).

"Canada should ratify without further delay the United Nations convention to protect straddling stocks," said Mr. Tobin. "Canada took the lead in negotiating this convention, we now need to take the lead in implementing it."

"The federal government and the province have worked closely to combat foreign overfishing," said Mr. Tobin. "We did so again in the case before the International Court of Justice."

The premier expressed his appreciation to the province's representative on Canada's legal team, the Clerk of the Executive Council, Malcolm Rowe, Q.C.

Media contact: Heidi Bonnell (709) 729-3570.

1998 12 04                            9:20 p.m.

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