International maritime regulations are developed within specialized United Nations agencies, such as the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

The International Maritime Organization is:

  • A specialized UN agency governing shipping, bringing together 172 Member States and three associate members
  • 33 international conventions to date
  • Signatory countries committing to applying the conventions in their waters.

Several conventions developed by IMO aim at protecting the marine environment. The main conventions that are in force and that have been ratified by Canada are :