DFO asks Gulf fishermen to watch for whales
Fisheries officials in Ottawa have closed part of the snow crab fishery in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and have issued a notice to commercial fishermen to be on the lookout for whales.
This comes in the wake of seven endangered right whales found dead in the Gulf of St. Lawrence last week.
Fisheries and Oceans Canada is reviewing fisheries in the area and taking measures to avoid negative impacts on the whales. This includes implementing an immediate partial closure within the snow crab fishing area where whales are known to frequent.
The department has also issued a notice to the commercial shipping and fishing industries in the Gulf of St. Lawrence to watch for whales and to report any sightings.
DFO has requested all mariners voluntarily reduce speed along the Laurentian channel in shipping lanes between the Magdalen Islands to the Gaspé peninsula until Sept. 30
The department is continuing to work with partners to necropsies of all the whales that died last week to better understand what may have caused their deaths.
“The government of Canada takes the protection, conservation and recovery of endangered species very seriously,” the department said in a statement issued Wednesday.
“We will continue to work with our partners as this issue evolves.”