Government of Canada unveils its 2019 plan for protecting North Atlantic right whales
“Last year, no North Atlantic right whale died in Canadian waters. This success was due in part to the Government of Canada’s swift action, strong partnerships and industry compliance. With an additional year of science and consultations, the advanced measures announced today will strengthen protection for the endangered North Atlantic right whale, while also sustaining and growing the ocean economy that so many Canadians rely on.”
The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson
Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
‘‘Once again, the Government of Canada and the marine industry are working together to ensure safe navigation and avoid collisions with North Atlantic right whales in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. I want to thank our partners for continuing to work with us, especially on important measures like the one announced today. The mandatory speed restriction will help save this iconic species.’’
The Honourable Marc Garneau
Minister of Transport
“As the Member of Parliament for Acadie-Bathurst, I want to sincerely thank and acknowledge all of the hard work and cooperation of our fishing industry and of the many people in our communities who have worked so collaboratively over the past year. Through your collective efforts we are ensuring that we have the most robust and balanced fishing practices that not only protect iconic species, like the North Atlantic Right Whale, but also allow for a safe and sustainable fishery.
Member of Parliament for Acadie—Bathurst, Serge Cormier
“Thanks to last year’s good results achieved because of these protection measures, data collection and through consultations with concerned groups, we now have better tools to continue protecting right whales in a way that also respects our main industries including fishing and tourism.”
The Honourable Diane Lebouthillier
Minister of National Revenue and Member of Parliament for Gaspésie—Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine
The Government of Canada's Budget 2018 included $167.4 million over five years to help protect and recover endangered whale species in Canada, notably the Southern Resident killer whale, the North Atlantic right whale and the St. Lawrence Estuary beluga. This includes funding for science activities to help better understand factors affecting the health of whale populations, as well as actions to help address the threats arising from human activities.
In 2017, 12 North Atlantic right whales died in Canadian waters. The global population was estimated in 2018 to be approximately 411 animals with no more than a quarter being females of breeding age.
A complex mix of threats-such as vessel collisions, gear entanglements, availability of prey, increased noise levels, and pollution in the water-are impacting many whale populations, notably the North Atlantic right whale, the Southern Resident killer whale, and the St. Lawrence Estuary beluga.
The $1.5 billion Oceans Protection Plan is the largest investment ever made to protect Canada's coasts and waterways. This national strategy is creating a world-leading marine safety system that provides economic opportunities for Canadians today, while protecting our coastlines and clean water for generations to come. The strategy is being developed in close collaboration with Indigenous peoples, local stakeholders and coastal communities.
- Protecting Canada's Endangered Whales
- Protecting North Atlantic right whales from collisions with ships in the Gulf of St. Lawrence
- Protecting our Coasts – Oceans Protection Plan
- Government announces new initiatives to protect whales under the Oceans Protection Plan
- What we heard: A summary of comments from the 2018 Pan-Atlantic Roundtable on North Atlantic right whales
For more information:
Office of the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Office of the Honourable Marc Garneau
Minister of Transport, Ottawa
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