MONCTON, NB, July 22, 2019 /CNW/ - The well-being of the endangered North Atlantic right whale population is of great concern to Canadians and its protection is a significant priority for the Government of Canada. We are gravely concerned about the recent North Atlantic right whale deaths and are committed to continuing to enhance our measures to ensure that this species is protected.
Today, the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, met with hard-working members of the federal government, non-government organizations and universities to discuss their ongoing work to protect North Atlantic right whales this year.
Over the past few weeks, Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) Conservation and Protection fishery officers, scientists and marine mammal response coordinators, with partners from Transport Canada, the Campobello Whale Rescue Team and the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), have worked together to disentangle rope and gear from two North Atlantic right whales spotted in the area.
As part of DFO's efforts to protect the endangered North Atlantic right whale, fishery officers and the Canadian Coast Guard have just completed a three-day operation searching for and retrieving lost fishing gear, known as ghost gear, from the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Partner groups with specialized expertise in marine mammals and species at risk, like Marine Animal Response Society (MARS), Group for Research and Education on Marine Mammals (GREMM), Campobello and Tangly Whales, have also been instrumental in our efforts to protect these iconic mammals.
On any given day, five or more aircraft could be flying over the waters of Atlantic Canada in search for whales. This includes flights by DFO's Conservation and Protection and Science aircraft, as well as Transport Canada's National Aerial Surveillance Program. Since April, the Government of Canada has spent over 1,150 hours in the air monitoring North Atlantic right whales in Atlantic Canada. Surveillance efforts will continue throughout the season, weather permitting.
Earlier this month, the Government of Canada announced additional measures to protect North Atlantic right whales.
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SOURCE Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) Canada
For further information: Jocelyn Lubczuk, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, 343-548-7863, [email protected]; Media Relations, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, 613-990-7537, [email protected]