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Statement - Minister Wilkinson congratulates Canadian Space Agency on successful satellite launch that will benefit maritime security

Press Release From: Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) Canada
Posted: Wednesday, June 12, 2019

I would like to congratulate our colleagues at the Canadian Space Agency on today's successful launch of the RADARSAT Constellation Mission satellites from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. This new generation of earth observation satellites will ensure continuity of satellite data for safe navigation and help us create solutions to key challenges facing our planet, and specifically our oceans.

The high-quality data received from these satellites will allow our fishery officers to detect and track illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing vessels with greater accuracy, helping put an end to the reckless and illegal fishing in our oceans that costs the global economy billions of dollars every year. Canada's leadership in earth observation technologies will also allow us to further support small island developing states in their fight against IUU fishing. These developing states have some of the most vulnerable waters for IUU fishing, and need support from other nations to keep illegal fishing at bay. These satellites will also improve our ability to monitor vessel activity in Canada's marine protected areas – helping to conserve and protect marine species and their habitats.

The Canadian Coast Guard will also be among the leading users of remote-sensing data from the new satellites, including enhanced information on ice quantity, density and strength, allowing for safer passage through our waters. This data will be used for marine disaster response, with the trio of satellites able to provide accurate pictures of weather and pollution activity, regardless of climate conditions or time of day. The RADARSAT Constellation Mission will also help the Canadian Hydrographic Service keep navigational products up to date, better enabling mariners navigating in Canadian waters to safely reach their destinations.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada is proud to be part of this ground-breaking launch, and is looking forward to putting the data retrieved from the RADARSAT Constellation Mission to work for the benefit, safety and security of all Canadians who make their living on or from Canada's oceans. 

The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

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