Media Reaction – SeaBlue Canada applauds Canada’s signing of the High Seas Treaty


Monday, March 4 2024: The SeaBlue Canada coalition is pleased to mark Canada’s becoming the 88th country to sign the High Seas Treaty on the one-year anniversary of the day the historic treaty was agreed.

Diane Lebouthillier, Canada’s Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coastguard signed the treaty at the United Nations Headquarters, indicating Canada’s support for a treaty that will enable protection of the ocean that lies beyond the jurisdiction of individual countries. This vast area encompasses nearly two-thirds of the world’s ocean.

This is the next step in the “race for ratification”. In order for the treaty to come into force, a minimum of 60 countries must sign on and formally ratify the treaty. Canada joins 87 other countries who have indicated their support of the treaty while Chile and Palau have already completed ratification.

“Canada has a significant leadership role to play as the Treaty process unfolds. First, Canada must move quickly to ratify, so that it can be a key player in treaty implementation,” says Susanna Fuller, VP Conservation and Projects at Oceans North and SeaBlue Canada Steering Committee member.

“Second, there are opportunities to protect areas of the high seas now, through existing entities. This includes protecting seamounts and other vulnerable ecosystems from bottom trawling and continuing to support a moratorium on deep sea mining. This next 12-18 months is a critical time to advance real actions for global ocean protection.”

Protecting the High Seas is an essential step in implementing the international promise of the Global Biodiversity Framework, which sees 30 per cent of land and ocean protected by 2030. More critically, it also offers a glimmer of hope for the ocean, which is severely impacted by the dual biodiversity and climate crises.