Notices to Fish Harvesters
Scallop - 19A - Gaspe-Lower St. Lawrence
Right Whale Mortality: Fisher Collaboration is requested
Quebec City – August 2, 2017
Since the beginning of the summer, the North Atlantic right whale typically found in the waters of the Bay of Fundy and the Scotian Shelf has appeared in great numbers in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The right whale is listed as an endangered species under the Species at Risk Act. Their population is estimated to contain approximately 500 individuals.
Considering that vessel strikes, fishing gear entanglement and marine noise pollution pose significant threats to the right whale population, the Department is now seeking the collaboration of fishers in order to reduce risks to this species.
The Department recommends that all operators using fixed fishing gear (ex: cages, nets, longlines) identified with buoys, systematically employ sinking lines on the buoy rope to reduce the risk of entanglement. Furthermore, when right whales are observed in a fishing zone, fishing permit holders are encouraged to relocate their fishing gear to another zone where whales have not recently been observed.
Despite these measures, if any whale is observed entangled in fishing gear, the Department reminds permit holders to not attempt to free the whale themselves. All observed deceased whales or whales in distress must be reported as soon as possible to the Marine Mammal Emergencies network at 1-877-722-5346 and noted in the appropriate section of the logbook.
Fisheries and Oceans Canada is committed to ensuring the protection, conservation and recovery of the right whale. The Department is equally committed to ensuring environmentally responsible fishing.
For more information:
To learn more about the right whale situation, please visit the following website: http://dfo-mpo.gc.ca/science/environmental-environnement/narightwhale-baleinenoirean/index-eng.html.
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