Canada Strengthens Measures to Protect Endangered North Atlantic Right Whales

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Ottawa, Ontario – Maintaining healthy ocean ecosystems and protecting biodiversity are top priorities for the Government of Canada. That is why the government is committed to protecting endangered species like the North Atlantic right whale, and the marine environment in which they live. Our efforts to protect this iconic species also help ensure Canadian fisheries are sustainable for Indigenous Peoples, the fishing industry and coastal communities. In 2023 and into the future, Canada will apply its world-class and adaptive management measures to protect the North Atlantic right whale from fishing gear entanglements and vessel collisions, which threaten the recovery of the species.

Today, the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Joyce Murray, and the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra, announced the fishery and vessel management measures for the 2023 season.

  • Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) will prioritize measures designed to prevent entanglement, in particular the adaptive closure protocols. These include seasonal and dynamic area closures for non-tended fixed gear, trap and pot fisheries in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Bay of Fundy, Roseway basin, and other areas, where and when right whales are visually or acoustically detected.
  • DFO will address lost, abandoned or discarded fishing gear in areas affected by Hurricane Fiona, including right whale hot spots in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, as well as support marine mammal responders and robust whale surveillance.
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