New fishery measures to protect North Atlantic right whales
In an attempt to protect the endangered North Atlantic right whale, Canada’s Fisheries and Oceans Minister Dominic LeBlanc announced new management measures for the Gulf of St. Lawrence snow crab fishery on Tuesday, 23 January.
In his announcement, LeBlanc promised these measures will be “very aggressively” enforced.
Based on predictions by government scientists that the whales could return as early as April, these new measures are effective immediately:
1. The amount of rope used in the crab fishery is to be reduced, so right whales don’t become entangled by ropes floating on the surface.
2. All rope used in the crab fishery will be color specific to each fishery area.
3. All buoys will be identified by sequential numbering.
4. All lost gear must be reported as soon as known.
The government plans to announce additional measures in the coming weeks, but made these requirements public to give the industry time to prepare.