Statement on World Oceans Day

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to mark World Oceans Day, an international day to observe the challenges facing our oceans, and to celebrate and encourage conservation. This year's theme is “Youth: The Next Wave for Change”.

We know that young people care about the environment and are concerned for the future. The theme is intended to inspire young people to take action on environmental issues to effect lasting change.

Our oceans face serious risks. Climate change, pollution and overfishing have wreaked havoc on our oceans. The time to act is now.

Canada is lagging well behind in our duty to protect our ocean ecosystems. If we are to fulfill our 2012 commitment, we must dramatically increase the number of marine protected areas on all three coasts. We must also work to lower our emissions and use science-based conservation measures.

I encourage all members of the House to participate in World Oceans Day.